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"Sophisticated, soft flooring brings together warmth and style."

The soft flooring category largely consists of carpets and rugs. There are two main types of carpet: cut-pile and loop-pile. In the US, carpet usually comes in rolls that are 12 or 15 feet wide. Carpet tiles are also available.

Cut Carpet

As its name suggests, the fibers of cut-pile carpet are sheered off creating soft tufts above the carpet backing. Cut-pile carpeting is typically made of wool, nylon, polyester, acrylic or a combination of these materials.

Wool is a resilient natural fiber that is moisture resistant, but it is relatively expensive compared to the other carpet options. Nylon is strong and non-allergenic. It works well mixed with other fibers. Polyester is less expensive and has a luxury feel, but the fibers may pill over time. Acrylic is a lower priced option to wool. It looks similar to wool, but it isnít quite as stain resistant. Consider your needs and desires as you evaluate pros and cons of each option.

How carpet will wear, depends on various factors and not just the material it is made of. Twist and density of the fibers is also import. Higher numbers are better on these scales. When you examine a carpet sample, fold it over on itself so the backing is pressed together. If a lot of the carpet backing is visible through the carpet fibers when you do this, itís likely not going to be a good wearing carpet. Carpet tufts that are not dense will have a tendency to mash down over time. Maybe a lot sooner than you would expect.

Loop Carpet

The other main type of carpeting is loop-pile carpeting. The carpet fibers form loops above the carpet backing. Berber is a typical example of carpeting of the loop type.

Loop-pile carpeting tends to be a bit more resilient and hard wearing because of its construction. However, itís not as soft to the touch as cut-pile carpet though this aspect has been improving. While not as soft, many loop carpets are still quite comfortable underfoot.

Looped carpeting is often made of olefin (polypropylene) fibers which are naturally stain resistant. There is a degree of variation in style within the looped carpet category. The loops may be uniform in length or varied to create interesting and sometimes subtle patterns. There are a lot of options.

Cut-And-Loop Carpet

Yes, there is a type of carpet that combines both cut and loop varieties. As you might expect, itís called cut-and-loop carpet. This is evident with sculptured carpet for example. Some of the fibers are left in looped condition and other are sheared off to create soft tufts. The combination, at different heights above the carpet backing, can create interesting patterns.

One of the biggest benefits of carpeting is its warmth in comparison to other flooring products. A functional and soft flooring choice might turn out be a very wise decision.



Return from Soft Flooring back to Interior Flooring page.