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Carpet Styles 101

Carpet is manufactured by sewing strands of yarn into a backing, creating thousands of yarn loops. What happens to the loops of yarn defines the style of carpet created. When yarn loops are cut, the tufted yarn stands up straight, creating a cut pile carpet. When the loops are uncut, the carpet is called a loop carpet. These two options can be combined to create many carpet style possibilities.

Level loop carpet styleLevel loop carpet
As the name suggests, level loop carpets are made up of thousands of yarn loops of similar heights. The level loops create a smooth and durable surface well-suited to high traffic areas.
Level loop commercial carpet
Multi-level loop carpet styleMulti-level loops carpet

Multi-level loop carpets are created by combining a variety of loop heights. The results are carpets with unique patterns and textures. Multi-level loop and level loop carpets are also commonly referred to as berber carpets.

multi level loop carpet

Cut and loop carpet style Cut and loop carpet
Cut and loop carpets are combination of cut pile and loop pile that creates a sculpted design that gives visual impact to any room. These carpets can create a variety of patterns from a simple pin dot to larger floral or geometric patterns. The texture helps hide soil and stands up well to active households.

Cut and loop carpet

Frieze or shag carpet styleFrieze carpet
Pronounced frih-zay’, this carpet is known by many names including twist and shag. Yarn of frieze carpets is heat twisted very tightly so it curls once it has been cut, giving frieze carpets that bouncy texture they are well-known for.

Frieze carpet style

Plush cut pile carpet
Plush carpets are a type of cut pile carpets with a soft, smooth, and dense cut pile. They have a smooth and flawless appearance that gives a space a traditional and luxurious look.

Plush cut pile carpet

Textured cut pile carpet
A textured cut pile carpet is the classic residential carpet, suitable for mid to high traffic areas. It differs from its cousin, the plush, by having more visible yarn ends. This results in a slightly more textured looking surface that reduces the crushing and traffic marks commonly found on plush carpets.

Textured saxony carpet

The benefits of carpet tile

Carpet tiles were introduced to the market over 60 years ago but their popularity has rapidly grown during the past decade. Modular carpet tiles are becoming the soft surface of choice for offices, retail spaces, hospitality, and even apartment buildings. They are even popping up in residential spaces that want something more unique than the traditional wall-to-wall carpet look.  Here are three reasons why we love using carpet tiles.

Endless unique design possibilities

With many offices moving away from cubicle farm layouts and embracing open spaces, designers are given larger areas to work with. Open spaces give them a chance to be more creative and try elaborate large scale designs like these new hexagon tiles from Shaw Contract.

Hexagon carpet tiles

Bold statements can be made using a combination of different tiles. These bright tiles can be used to add punches of colour to a pattern or many different colours can be put together to create your own pattern.

Colourful carpet tiles

Using different installation methods can create an entirely different looking carpet for some patterned carpets. Each of the different installation methods below creates a different look for one style of carpet tile.

Carpet tile installation types

The versatility of carpet tiles allows customers to have a custom looking carpet without the cost of ordering a custom made product.

Simple to replace damaged areas

When carpet is stained or damaged, modular tiles are easier to replace than broadloom carpet. When doing a repair for broadloom carpet, a whole roll of broadloom carpet needs to be dragged down from storage, cut and seamed in. With carpet tiles repairs are much easier. Simply remove the damaged tile and put a new one back in. Wear patterns can be minimized by replacing and rotating select tiles rather than replacing the entire floor when broadloom carpet wears out.

Easier transportation and storage

12 foot rolls of carpet and a highrise elevator are not an ideal match. On installation day, it is much quicker and easier for our crews to move boxes of carpet tile instead of bulky broadloom rolls. Businesses that choose to buy extra materials to keep for repairs use less space to store a 2′ x 2′ box of carpet tiles than a 12 foot long roll of carpet.

Shag carpet: the comeback kid

Shag/Frieze carpet

As the popularity of mid-century modern design has grown (think of the set of Mad Men), so has the popularity of shag carpet. For many, the mere mention of shag carpet brings up nightmares of wood panels, avocado green appliances, and plastic furniture. But the shag carpet of today is much different than its stringy, burnt orange cousin of the 1970’s.

It’s not just the dated colours of seventies shag carpet that make homeowners want to tear it out of their homes on sight, it’s the quality of the fibres. That harvest gold shag carpet found CMHC specials is heavily matted in all the walking paths. Carpet fibre technology has dramatically advanced since then and today’s shag carpet shows footprints less than the seventies version.

In most carpet stores, this new generation of shag is often referred to as “frieze.” The new name helps shag carpet shed its image as a style nightmare. Emily Morrow, Director of Colour, Style, and Design at Shaw Industries explains that “the simplicity and contemporary lines of the style appeal to a generation of new consumers and homeowners who did not live through the trend in its original heyday but like the nostalgic effect it offers.”

Like the look but aren’t ready to make the commitment of wall-to-wall shag carpet? An area rug is a great way to incorporate this style into your home. Broadloom carpet from any manufacturer can be cut and bound into an area rug, giving you an endless array of colours and styles to choose from.

Still skeptical about shag carpet looking good in your home? Take a look at Houzz’s shag carpet ideabook to see how shag carpet is incorporated into a variety of decor styles.

What do you think? Would you include shag carpet in your next home redecoration or is this a piece of history that shouldn’t be repeated?

3 reasons to buy a wool carpet

wool carpet
Wool is the highest standard of fibre. It is the fibre all other synthetic fibres are trying to imitate. We prize Merino (from merino sheep) and cashmere (from goats) wools for our clothes. Why not consider it for your carpet?

Here are the top three reasons to choose a wool carpet:

1. Naturally resistant to soil and dirt

This is often the number one reason to buy wool carpet for many customers. The fibre structure of wool has overlapping scales, similar to roof shingles. These scales keep the dust and dirt near the surface of the carpet and prevent it from reaching the inner pile. Since the wool fibres have kept the dirt and grime at the surface, wool carpets experience significantly better soil release when vacuuming than their synthetic carpet cousins.

2. Appearance retention

Flattened pile can occur after only a couple years with cheap synthetic carpet and cause the floor look worn out before its time. With wool’s natural elasticity, flattened pile is not an issue. Each wool fibre has a three dimensional spiralling crimp that can stretch to more than 30% of its original length and bounce back like a mini spring. Wool is a crushproof choice that quickly recovers from daily traffic and even furniture indentations.

3. Naturally stain resistant

Wool fibres have a thin protective membrane that gives wool the ability to shed water instead of immediately absorbing the liquid into the fibre. Since 80% of carpet stains are water based, this membrane is an important contributor to the natural stain resistance of wool carpets.

This wonder carpet is generally associated with a high price tag, but it is actually more in reach than expected. Like a cashmere sweater, purchasing a wool carpet is a long lasting investment. The wool carpet looks great longer and has to be replaced less often than synthetic carpets. By investing more money in a timeless wool carpet, there are savings in future material and installation replacement costs. The benefits offered by wool carpet can be of greater value for your lifestyle. For wool, both the luxury and value are worth the price. Feel a couple samples of wool carpet and we dare you to not fall in love with this amazing fibre!

A Guide to Carpet Fibres

All carpet is created from the conversion of fibres. Generally, fibres are spun into yarn and the yarn becomes carpet by being weaved, tufted, or bonded. Each fibre has unique benefits that will influence whether it is suitable for your space.

The most popular carpet on the market as it’s present in about 60% of the carpets in the US. This fibre is highly durable and resists wear and tear well. Since nylon fibres are not inherently stain repelling, carpet manufacturers treat the fibres with a stain repelling system such as Shaw’s R2X.

This fibre is less resilient than nylon but is still a strong and resistant choice. On the other hand, it’s less likely to fade in colour. Olefin is a great choice for an outdoor carpet as it is mold and mildew resistant plus it’s not very comfortable to walk on with bare feet.

This fibre choice is becoming more popular as it is a more cost effective option than other fibres. Polyester is also less resistant than nylon. It shows damage and fades, so it’s not a good choice for high traffic areas. If your polyester carpet has a thick cut pile construction, it can be very soft to the touch.

This carpet option is not a widely used option. It looks and feels like it is wool, but is a less expensive substitute. It’s resistant to mold and mildew.

Made from all natural fibres, wool is the most expensive carpet option. It’s known for being a durable option that feels great. Both stain and dirt resistant, this carpet does fade in direct sunlight.

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