Carpet: The basics and beyond

Filed in Design and Decor by on December 13, 2015

3)Grey room
By Jackie Jenson

From basic Berber to plush pile, carpet has come a long way since it’s shaggy, 70’s past. Although hardwoods constructed of maple, oak, and hickory have been a staple in flooring for the past decade, wall-to-wall carpeting is making a comeback; some would even argue, it never left.

One reason for these new notions in carpeting is it has grown up over the past ten years too. Offering innovative styles and new textures, carpet is a fresh flooring option ready to be explored. Thanks to new yarn technologies as well as advanced dyeing techniques, modern carpet has more color, durability, and stain resistance than ever. In short, today’s carpeting choices offer homeowners high style, new patterns and an endless color palette in which to play, making it a truly modern flooring alternative.

Carpet 101

Carpet is comprised of a variety of fibers, most notably nylon, polyester, polypropylene, and wool, and comes in either cut or loop pile.

Cut Pile

  • Comes in four basic styles: Saxony, frieze, plush and textured plush.
  • Offers a plethora of solid and multi-color options .
  • Known for its soft, dense yarn twists.

Loop Pile

  • Consists of knotted loops, usually with flecks of a darker and lighter yarn strands.
  • A durable and inexpensive carpeting option, Berber carpet is an example of loop pile.
  • Offers numerous patterns; comes in level, multi-level and textured loop selections.


  • A combination of cut and loop piles offering.
  • A multi-level product.
  • Offers patterns such as swirl, lattice work and geometric shapes.

6)New Exhibition-Bedroom PatternedNot just for bedrooms anymore

Thanks to numerous textures, patterns, and colors available, carpet is becoming a focal point in many homes. With names such as “Storm Chaser” frieze, “Cashmere” plush and “BrushStroke” Berbers, homeowners are connecting with carpet’s new designer ways.

Now more than just a backdrop for a home’s style, carpet is also making its way down the hall. No longer relegated to those rooms seeking balminess for bare morning toes or wacky Wii play in the bedrooms and rec rooms of America, carpet is being deployed throughout the home in places like sunrooms, great rooms and office areas.

Sara Dolyniuk, residential sales and design consultant for I’ll Tile and Stone in Detroit Lakes, Minn., notes that sculptured Berbers and low pile carpeting with patterns are selling well and making a splash in the area’s homes.

Carpeting Colors

Colors are always changing in the design world. Yesterdays must have, avocado appliance colors from decades past, for example, have transformed into our essential stainless steel ones of today. In keeping with this theme, carpets have also changed their colors, transcending their ‘90’s mauve tones, to the sophisticated grays sought after today.

And, where barely-there-beige may have ruled the color wheel for the last couple of years, new shades of gray, blue and green are finding their way into today’s home.

“Colors of gray and two-tone browns have been very popular lately,” notes Dolyniuck.

If you can’t decide on one color, how about a fleck? Fleck pairs tan, beige, and cream backgrounds with deeper, shades of blue, brown, and green, providing a flexible accent option.

“Right now, we are seeing a lot of grey and fleck beige,” says Cullen’s Home Center of Fergus Falls flooring salesperson, Nick Miller.

5)pattern BrushStrokePerfect Patterns

Not that the need for neutral carpet has gone away; it hasn’t. Berber is still a popular choice because of its vast range of earthy, neutral selections. But unlike the plain Berbers of the recent past, today’s versions have more texture and pattern thanks to variations in loop height. Today’s Berber’s offer a new found, design versatility, allowing homeowners to incorporate Moroccan and chevron patterns into their flooring, not just their throw pillows and panel drapes.

Commercial carpet tiles are yet another way to achieve patterned carpet effects. Known for their flexible design elements as well as durability and ease of use, they are a go-to for many homeowners and businesses.

“They are very easy to install and easy to replace,” adds Dolyniuk. “Carpet tiles come in lots of pattern options, colors and styles,” says Miller. “You can simply lay them down in different lines, back and forth or side to side, creating lots of different styles and patterns.”

With carpet tiles, if a couple of tiles get ruined via an unintended paint, bleach, wine or whatever spill, a homeowner can simply replace a tile or two rather than the whole carpet piece. Stylish and durable, it is an extremely flexible flooring option.

Padding Potential

Providing a soft cushiony step, padding is an additional carpeting plus, and today’s padding has a lot to offer by way of modern material components and new softness factors. In other words, how soft do you want to sink into your step: the ultra-plush plunge or skateboarding stiff? Thick or thin, padding provides the structure to your steps on carpeting.

“Padding today, for example, has memory foam and is more green than ever,” said Miller. “[It is also] Made from recycled materials.”

Modern carpet padding is also as durable as it is resilient.

“Today’s pads come with a specially designed moisture barrier,” adds Dolyniuk.

All in all, modern carpeting offers a plethora of pattern, textures, and colors, making it a flexible flooring alternative for today and tomorrow. And with its everything old is new again quality, who knows, maybe that nostalgic, cut pile shag carpet of our youth, will once again find its way back into our homes.

Perhaps sometime in the near future.


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