Pile refers to the fabric loops of your carpeting—the soft surface that's made carpet so popular and enduring. If a carpet is called “high pile,” it means the fibers are taller and looser. Shag carpet, for example, is a well-known high pile option.
Simply put, a rug's pile refers to the density of fibers—flat (short pile) or shaggy (long). It goes in hand with pile height, which is the thickness of a rug measured from the surface of a rug to its backing.
Carpet Piles and Face Weight
When determining the quality and durability of carpet, start by finding out its pile height and face weight. Pile height is the height of the carpet fibers, excluding the backing. Carpet will typically be classified as low pile carpet, medium pile carpet or high pile carpet.
High pile carpets are great choices for individuals or families interested in cultivating a sensation of warmth, comfort, and coziness. They insulate much better than low pile carpets and are good choices for environments where people will frequently sit or lie on the carpets.
Low pile rugs are 1/4" or shorter. Typically, we use low pile rugs in a space like a kitchen or mudroom (ie: indoor/outdoor rugs with a flat weave). However, we don't limit our use of low-pile rugs to only these areas - sometimes a bedroom or lounge area just calls for this type of rug!
The six types of carpet are textured, plush, frieze, cable, Berber, and cut-and-loop. Each type has its own look and performance conditions.
The three most common types of synthetic carpet fiber materials used to make new carpet are nylon, polyester and olefin. Acrylic carpet fibers are also sometimes used in the home, as well as wool carpet fibers. Wool carpets can either be natural or synthetic, depending on your preferences.
A nylon Berber carpet of high-quality can last up to 20 years if well cared for and not exposed to heavy foot traffic. Most Berber carpets last an average of 10 years, up to 15 if they are high-quality and routinely professionally cleaned.
Believe it or not, carpet doesn't last forever, even with good care. Most manufacturers say carpet should last for 10 years with proper care.
Low pile carpets have a smoother surface as compared other varieties and this leads to easier maintenance. Your vacuum cleaner will be more effective and efficient as the short length of the fibers allow for less of a place of dirt and grime to hide.
3 Types of Carpet Styles
Carpets are made of fibers that are cut, looped or cut and looped. Although there are several different subcategories of carpet styles, all fall within one of these three groups.
A general rule of thumb for most residential carpet applications is to choose cushion no more than 7/16 inch thick and no less than 1/4 inch with 6 pounds per cubic feet density.
High pile generally measures between 1/2" and 3/4" and can be either cut-pile or looped. Depending on the carpet's material, pile texture can be fine, coarse, soft, or rugged. Please keep reading as we delve into the many facets of a high pile carpet.
Definition of pile (Entry 4 of 6) 1a(1) : a quantity of things heaped together. (2) : a heap of wood for burning a corpse or a sacrifice. b : any great number or quantity : lot. 2 : a large building or group of buildings.
Q: How can you tell good quality carpet? A: one of the main signs to look for when identifying a high-quality carpet is its density. Carpets made from premium grade materials tend to be a lot denser than those made from low-quality textiles.
Carpet fibers often become matted and frayed within just 3-5 years. A carpet can only be expected to last 5-15 years from installation, so if your carpet it starting to look a little beat-up then it's probably time to replace it. Areas that see the most wear and tear are usually the hallways, stairs, and living areas.
In its most extreme form, it's known as shag carpet. Cable has long, thick fibers and is very comfortable underfoot.
Shag carpeting is back in style -- with an update. There's not a room in your home that couldn't be made a little more delicious by a retro style that's making an explosive comeback: that deep-pile, hairy-looking carpeting known as shag.
Cut pile is simply carpet loops that have been cut, whereas loop pile is when loops remain in their natural state.
Twisted pile carpet is the most popular style of carpet and comes in a large variety of colors. The yarn has been tightly twisted and the loops are cut to become this style of carpeting.
Nylon is the most durable and stain resistant carpet fiber available, when treated with stain protection. It is the fiber of choice for homes with pets and children and for those who entertain a lot. Because of it's durability, nylon carpet is perfect for heavy foot traffic areas like hallways and stairs.
Consider Different Fibers
Nylon does have a long history of proving itself to be very durable and resilient and is the most popular synthetic fiber used in carpet. However, nylon is also the most expensive of the synthetic carpet fibers. Consider choosing a less expensive fiber for your carpet.
The number of twists is measured per inch and can range from 2.5 in low-quality carpet to 6 in the best carpets. Manufacturers usually indicate the twist as a single number. Anything above 4 is considered good quality.
Saxony carpet is a cut loop pile carpet. Its pile is designed to be incredibly dense, for a soft feeling underfoot. This makes it popular for bedrooms and living rooms. Sometimes Saxony carpets are called a plush carpet, based on the luxurious style and feel.
Medium pile carpeting shares characteristics of both low and high pile carpeting. Their fibers are not the tightest in the world, but they are not longest either. Dirt and debris can still get stuck in them, but not to the degree of a high pile carpet.