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.
How to Select the Right Grade of Carpet
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.”
Sherwood found out the truth about Berber carpet 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.
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 are aligned in beautiful patterns and rows 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
smart option for those homeowners with kids and pets would be to go with a non-looped
Berber style. These are often called "California Berbers" or also
referred to as "Cut-Pile" Berber.
Berber Cost and Durability
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).
Berber Cost and Durability
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.
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
Carpet Padding For Berber
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Learn more about Carpet Specifications Carpet Specifications Explained
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