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Carpet Pile: A Room by Room Guide

February 13, 2013

There are many factors to consider when purchasing carpet for your home. An understanding of a few basic principles can help you make the choice that best fits your needs. Just one of these varied details is carpet pile. This refers to how long the fibers are in a carpet. There are three foundational types: cut, loop, and cut and loop.

Here is a breakdown of the different styles of carpet, their definitions, and in which rooms they perform the best:


1. Cut Pile Carpets: Still one of the most popular carpet styles in households today, cut pile carpets are sheared evenly across the top creating a carpet high in durability.  Their choice of fibers, combined with the density of their tufts, and twist in their yarn, make them a good choice for busy homes.

Textured Plush: Usually made with multiple colors of yarn, this style of carpet is great for hiding footprints and vacuum cleaner marks. The tufts are varied in height and have a tight twist, making them resistant to soil.

Rooms:  A good “whole-house” carpet. Good for informal rooms such as a family room. Not recommended for stairs as the yarns tend to be long and can snag a heel.

Saxony Plush: A dense carpet, cut evenly at ½”, this carpet has a refined, smooth, surface, giving it a formal look.

Rooms:  Formal living room and dining room. This is not a carpet for high traffic areas such as hallways as the pile tends to crush underfoot.


Frieze:  A carpet comprised of short, highly-twisted fibers. It tends to have a “curly” look that is extremely durable. This carpet hides footprints well and is a great choice for informal rooms.

Rooms:  Hallways, stairs, kids’ rooms, and informal settings.


2. Loop Pile Carpets: A popular carpet for high traffic areas due to its long lasting wear. Looped pile carpets are comprised of fibers that are continuously looped and then fastened to the carpet backing. Loops can be of even or uneven heights, making for a variety of textures.



Even Loop: A basic loop pile with uncut tufts of equal height. Durable.

Rooms: Great for high traffic, informal areas such as stairs, hallways, and family rooms.

Uneven Loop: This style is made up of several loop heights that give it a patterned look. Usually comprised of Olefin, the most popular uneven loop carpet is Berber.

Rooms:  Great for high traffic, informal areas such as stairs, hallways, and family rooms.


3. Cut and Loop Pile: Sometimes called “tip-sheared”, this carpet is comprised of both yarn styles listed above. It is used to give a carpet a sculpted, patterned look. Designs are “cut” into the fibers by using low, looped fibers in contrast with high, cut fibers. It is usually comprised of multiple colors, making it a good choice for hiding stains and soil.

Rooms: Anywhere but the kitchen! It is great for both formal and informal rooms depending on your choice of décor.

Hopefully this article will help you in your quest for finding the perfect carpet to suit your lifestyle needs. There are so many more factors involved. If you would like to read more about these, you can view our previous post on How to Choose Your Next Carpet. Happing hunting!


Julie Rosenfeld serves as an Administrative Assistant for Aaron’s Quality Cleaners, a carpet-cleaning company that services the Fresno and Clovis (CA) areas.  She is the author of “Julie’s Corner” and provides information and perspective on topics related to the carpet-cleaning industry.


Aaron’s Quality Cleaners performs carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, aggregate cleaning and upholstery cleaning in Fresno, Clovis, Madera and Sanger California 

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