Top 9 Carpet Terms That You Need to Know
You have your ideal carpet in mind, but do you know how to describe what you’re looking for? Many of the terms that are used to describe carpets are rarely used in everyday language, meaning that it can be difficult to find the words express what you want in a carpet. Fortunately, the concepts are straightforward – once you know some basic carpet terms, you’ll know just how to find what you’re looking for.
We’ve put together a few carpet terms that can be used to help you better describe what you’re looking for in your next floor covering:
A carpet’s backing can be found on the bottom side of the carpet. Typically constructed of woven plastic, the backing supports the top yarn, or fiber, section of the carpet. This prevents the fiber from being pulled out of the carpet. Backing is typically attached to the carpet using a strong latex adhesive.
Density refers to how close the individual carpet fibers are to one another. Higher quality carpets tend to have denser fibers. This makes the carpet feel thicker underfoot.
Carpets can be made out of a variety of different fibers, which each have different properties. Most modern carpets are constructed from synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, and polypropylene. Nylon, in particular, is a popular fiber choice due to its soft texture, durability, and stain-resistant properties. In addition to synthetic fibers, it’s also possible to find carpets made from natural materials such as cotton or wool.
The soft, top layer of a carpet is called the pile. This is the part of the carpet that consists of individual yarn strands that have typically been twisted into a particular style. A carpet’s pile height refers to the distance between the top of a carpet and the backing. In other words, longer strands of yarn will result in a carpet with a higher pile.
Carpets come in numerous styles and patterns. All carpets begin as loop piles, which consist of loops of yarn that vary in height depending on the carpet style. Berber carpet, which is highly durable and often used in offices, is an example of a loop pile carpet with extremely short loops. If the carpet loops are cut, the result is a cut pile carpet. These are often used in residential settings.
A tuft is an individual strand of yarn in a carpet. Tufts are created when a threaded needle pierces the carpet backing, creating a loop of yarn. This loop can then be either cut, creating one tuft, or left intact, creating two tufts.
A carpet’s twist level refers to the number of twists per inch in a strand of carpet. Carpets with low twist levels are likely to unravel, whereas a high twist level can increase a carpet’s durability. This makes twist level an important factor in determining carpet quality. Fortunately, many carpets are heat-treated in order to prevent carpet strands from becoming unwound.
Although an underlay is not technically part of the carpet, it’s an important component of carpet installation. The underlay is a layer of padding placed underneath a carpet in order to provide insulation and cushioning, as well as to increase the life of the carpet. Underlays can be made from a number of materials including foam, latex, and rubber.
Although carpet can be manufactured in a variety of widths, the most common width is 12 feet. This means that it is often necessary to keep a carpet’s width in mind when calculating how much carpet to purchase for a given floor.