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© Alan Fletcher - 30+ Year Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate


When Linda Sherwood of Lake City, Michigan purchased a looped Berber carpet for her living room, she made it clear to the salesperson that she was looking for a carpet that could withstand her four children, two dogs and a cat. However, no one at the carpet store mentioned that a looped Berber Carpet Style isn’t a good choice for a family with small children or pets!




Sherwood didn’t find that out until just over a month after her new carpet’s installation as she watched helplessly as a snag on the carpet was pulled by a curious child.

“It was like getting a run in your nylons,” Sherwood recalls. “But this was my living room carpet not a pair of $3 nylons. Now I have this unsightly run going the width of my living room. At first I tried to repair it by using super glue, but it didn’t work.”

The run in her carpet can be repaired, but the cost of repair rivaled what Sherwood paid for her carpet.

“I’ve decided to live with it for now,” Sherwood says. “Still, I was shocked when a few months later I read in an eBook that looped Berber carpet isn’t recommended for small children and pets because it can snag and run so easily and is difficult and costly to repair.”   


How to Select the Right Grade of Carpet

Sherwood found out the truth about Looped Berber Styles while reading “The Complete Carpet Buying Guide,” by Alan J. Fletcher. With more than 30 years of experience in the carpet business, Fletcher offers expert advice to homeowners who are shopping for carpet including tips on best carpet selection, how to choose the right padding, and how to obtain qualified carpet installation.


How to choose the right carpet style

Pam Louden of Grand Rapids, Mich., had a similar experience with a looped Berber carpet style in her bedroom. 

“I didn't realize the dogs' nails would catch the loops and leave little "pulls" all over the place.” Louden said. “It was like carpeting your room with a knitted sweater.”

Fletcher says that looped Berber Carpet has become a popular choice with consumers in recent years because of its elegant appearance and frequent retailer and manufacturer advertising campaigns.

“Looped Berbers have loops that are aligned in beautiful patterns to create an elegant and uniform appearance,” Fletcher said. “When choosing a looped Berber style, it would be wise to select a pattern with smaller loops to get the best wear and durability. Larger looped styles tend to mat down faster and are more prone to snags.

“If you have young children or pets, it’s probably best for you to go with a plush style to avoid the possibility of unsightly snags.” Says Fletcher. 


Another smart option for those homeowners with kids and pets would be to go with a non-looped Berber style. These are often referred to as "California Berbers" or also referred to as "Cut-Pile" Berber. 



Nylon Berber Cost and Durability


Nylon Berbers can easily last for 10 to 15 years or more, tolerate heavy foot traffic and resist matting and crushing of the pile. However Nylon is more costly than all other synthetic fibers and you should expect to pay at least $30 or more per square yard (carpet only).  


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Olefin Berber Cost and Durability


Berbers made of Olefin are less costly ($10 to $20 per square yard for carpet only), are not as durable, tend to mat down easily in traffic lanes, are harder to keep clean and tend to wear out and get ugly in 7 years or less. 




Berber Carpet Installation


Installation for Berber Carpet styles is more costly too. Berber styles are hard to handle, hard to cut, hard to install on stairs and have a heavier backing system. Most installers charge extra to install looped Berber styles. Berber styles also require a thinner and more dense padding. Call the Carpet manufacturer to see what padding is required for the Berber style you select.


Learn about Carpet Comparison


Carpet Padding For Berber Styles

Determining how long you want your carpet to last is important in determining what grade of carpet to buy, Fletcher said. Choosing the wrong carpet fiber may translate to replacing the carpet in just three to five years.

If you want carpet to last longer, the quality of the pad can help extend the carpet life, Fletcher said.

“Carpet padding is the heartbeat of your carpet and installing a good padding is very important,” Fletcher said. “Even if you plan on spending a small amount on carpeting, plan on installing the best padding you can afford.”

According to Fletcher, Rebond pads are most often used in homes. Made from recycled materials, it comes in every thickness and density.

Some types of padding are required with certain types of carpet. Failure to use the correct padding could result in voiding a manufacturer’s warranty.



Best Overall Carpet Value

“Nylon is the best fiber to choose, and selecting fibers other than nylon can reduce the longevity factor,” Fletcher said. Nylon is also one of the more expensive choices.  


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Carpet fibers - what you need to know before you buy carpet


The type of materials used, the amount of fiber, its weight and density, as well as how it is constructed is all used to determine the grade. In general, the thicker and denser the pile, the higher the quality. Fletcher warns, however, that a thick polyester carpet isn’t comparable to a thick nylon carpet.

Fletcher recommends you check the carpet’s fiber twist. In plush styles of carpet, the tufts are twisted in the same way people curl their hair. The more the fibers are twisted, the better, Fletcher said. If you count the twists, five to seven twists per inch is good. Less than four twists may not meet your expectations. 


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Next Article: Homebuyers Often Discover Carpet Pet Damage too late




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