By Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet
Expert, Consumer Advocate
is Berber Carpet and do I want it in my home?
carpet has been around for a long time and was originally hand-made by the Berber
tribe of North Africa. In fact, Berber carpet is still hand-made today in some parts of Africa.
Berber carpet became popular in America in the early 1980's and has grown in
popularity ever since! Homeowners today have
many choices and options
with Berber styles, colors and quality levels. Here are some important facts and useful
Berber carpet information
to help you choose the right style of Berber Carpet for your home.
Multi-color Loop Berber
Patterned Loop Berber
and Loop Berber
Patterned cut and
Pile Berber (no loops) (aka California
I Choose a Looped Style or a Non-Looped Berber Style Carpet?
Berber style carpets just have random loops like the Looped Berber one
shown here. If it has a pattern it would be called a Patterned Loop. Berber
carpets are much more difficult to install than are plush style carpets and
there is usually an added charge for installing Berber styles. Berber carpets
are thicker, heavier and much harder to cut and seam together. Don't be
surprised when the installation cost is one to three dollars more per
square yard than for other non-Berber styles. There may also be an added
fee for installing Berber carpet on stairs too.
Some Berber carpets are made with
random loops and cut-loops
and are known as a "Cut and Loop Berber".
Berber styles usually require a more dense padding.
In most cases, the minimum padding density is 8-pounds and the maximum padding
thickness is 1/4" to 3/8". This is what the carpet manufacturer
requires to keep your warranty in force. Always read your new carpet warranty
before you buy to make sure you purchase the correct padding. Call the
manufacturer directly if you are unsure.
If the style has a repeating pattern then
it is called a “Patterned Cut and Loop”. These are typically more costly but are
quite beautiful and have an elegant appearance. If you choose a Berber carpet
that has a pattern, and your rooms are wider than 12 feet, then you may need
to make sure you order enough extra carpet to allow for seaming and aligning
the pattern match properly.
Another popular style is called a
and has no loops at all. (Hence the word “cut”) This style is also known as a
California Berber. These look very similar to a Frieze style. California
Berbers often have a speckled-egg look with light earth tones infused with
flecks of colors like red, orange, blues and greens though-out. Very Beautiful
and there is no pattern with this style.
are just a few of the endless possibilities available with Berber style
carpet styles with "loops" have two main drawbacks you must consider
can be easily snagged. If you have active kids or pets then a Looped
Berber Style may not be a good choice for you. Repairing snagged loops can be
very costly. Some snags can run (like a pair of nylon stockings) causing major
damage to your carpet that may not be repairable.
tend to fall over or "crush" in high traffic applications. This is especially true
with Berber carpets made of Olefin. The larger the loops the more prone
they are to matting and crushing. Choosing a Berber with smaller loops
will decrease the chances for matting and crushing. Choosing a Berber
carpet made from Nylon will also reduce the chance for matting and
crushing of the pile.
Much Does Berber Carpet Cost?
(Not including pad and installation)
carpet made of Wool can easily cost $80 per square yard and go up from
made of nylon range from $25 to $60 per square yard, depending on the type
of Nylon and the carpet style. (The popular “Soft” Nylons are a bit
made of Olefin range from $10 to $25 per square yard.
more about Carpet
Cost and Prices
I Select a Wool, Nylon or Olefin Carpet Fiber?
it comes to selecting the right Carpet Fiber for you there
are two main things you must consider: Cost and Longevity.
is a natural fiber derived from sheep. Wool is the most expensive fiber and
while it is very soft and durable, it is also the most costly to maintain.
Wool carpet must be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner who has been
specially trained to clean wool carpet. The cost is significantly higher
than for the cleaning of other types of carpet. Wool carpet can last a
lifetime if cared for properly.
is a very durable fiber and is less costly than wool. Nylon cleans easily
and resists stains very well. Nylon is the most resilient fiber which gives
it the ability to retain its like-new appearance longer than any other
synthetic fiber. Depending on your amount of foot traffic in your home, a
good quality Nylon carpet can last up to 20 years or more if well cared for.
more about Nylon
is the least costly fiber to consider. Olefin is inexpensive to manufacture
and the fiber is prone to matting and crushing because it is not very
resilient. During the manufacturing process the fiber becomes oily and while
they try to remove as much of the oil through a multiple rinsing process, it is
difficult to do. The residual oil on the fiber tends to attract dirt and
makes the carpet difficult to keep clean. Homeowners often complain saying
that stains tend to reappear a few days after a professional steam cleaning. Berbers made with Olefin are very
reasonably priced but generally only last up to 10 years if well cared for
and traffic is low to medium.
I said before, Berbers
made with larger loops tend to mat down more quickly, so choosing a Berber
with made with smaller loops may be a better choice and will resist matting
better than Berbers with larger loops. Commercial quality Looped Berber
styles usually have the smallest loops and carpets made from
Olefin (polypropylene) is a common choice for those who want a higher level
of durability and less matting or crushing of the pile over time. In most
commercial settings, the carpet is glued down without using any padding. In a
home application using a thin buy dense padding can make the carpet softer to
walk on, but can significantly reduce the overall lifespan and increase the
potential for the carpet to stretch out and develop wrinkles over time.
carpet is much more difficult to install than regular carpet styles. Berber is
a heavy carpet and is much more difficult to handle, seam and cut. Most
installers charge at least $1-2 extra per square yard for installing Berber
carpet and also charge a higher price for installing Berber on stairs. Learn
more about Carpet
is the Best Padding for Berber Carpet?
Berber carpet styles require a high density padding and a lower thickness than
other non-Berber carpet styles. In most cases, a minimum of 8-pound density
and a thickness of no more than 3/8” is required. Check with the carpet
manufacturer to make sure you select the correct padding specifications.
Using the wrong padding can void your carpet warranty and may cause your
carpet to wear out prematurely.
Grade Berber Carpet Styles.
are the two most common Berber styles used in offices and institutions today.
They are very durable because they have a very high pile density. The loops
are very small the packed tightly together to help prevent matting and
crushing. They can be made with one solid color or from multiple colors. Most
homeowners don’t choose a commercial grade carpet unless they need to use a
wheelchair or walker. The lower pile height also makes it easier for the
elderly or handicapped to walk. Offices and airports use commercial grade
looped styles and cut pile styles because they are very durable, easy to clean
and tolerate heavy foot traffic when glued down to the floor without using any
to Buy New Berber Carpet?
out my special hand-picked directory of Reputable
Carpet Dealers that I recommend.