A Breakdown of Different Carpet Textures

Carpet is a largely popular flooring choice, for many reasons. It’s comfortable to walk on when properly cared for, can help keep allergens away. Carpet is also practical and makes for an economical floor covering for family rooms, play areas, bedrooms, media rooms, and cozy dens.
Carpets come in a myriad of different textures. It can be overwhelming to choose one. If you are thinking about installing carpet in your home, read on to find out about carpet including the textures you’ll have available so you can make an informed decision.

A Carpet Rundown

A carpet a flooring cover textile that usually consists of an upper pile layer that is attached to a backing of some type. Traditionally, carpet was made of wool but since the 20th century, other kinds of synthetic fibers are used as well such as polypropylene, polyester, and nylon. Synthetic fibered carpet is less expensive than wool.

The pile of carpet is typically fashioned with twisted tufts that undergo heat treatment. There are many different shapes, sizes, and textures available in carpeting. The colors and patterns can vary too.

Construction of Carpet

The way carpet is made and what it is made with has a lot to do with the characteristics the final product possesses. Carpet is constructed by looping yarn through a backing material repeatedly, in much the same manner as one sews with a needle and thread. Yarn is typically made of nylon that is a durable and soft fiber. They can also be made of wool or polyester.

The loops on a piece of carpet make up its pile. The pile determines the look and feel of the product and is responsible for its texture. Loops can be loose or tightly twisted. The loops may be left intact, cut, or a combination of both.

Carpet Textures

There are some basic texture types of carpet such as:

Plush Pile

Plush pile carpet is a cut pile which means the loops of yarn are cut to form individual strands. The strands are the same length and have a velvety, smooth finish. This type of carpet is ideal for formal areas and rooms you want to walk over a cushiony, soft surface like a bedroom. It is preferred for rooms with low traffic.

On the downside, plush pile carpet it generally available in a single solid color which makes it show vacuum marks and footprints. Also on a negative note, plush pile isn’t as durable as some other choices because the ends of it are exposed.

Textured Plush

Textured plush is a lot like plush pile carpet but there is a major difference – the yarns are cut into varying lengths and are laid at different angles, so the carpet has more depth due to the texturing.

This kind of carpet isn’t as velvety and smooth as plush cut pile. But, the fact that it is thicker in texture means it is not as susceptible to showing vacuum tracks and footprints which means it is perfect for playrooms, bedrooms, living areas, family rooms, and hallways.

Level Loop

Level loop carpet has consistent uncut loop piles that makes for a tight texture over the entire surface without any noticeable variation or pattern.

Level loop doesn’t tend to show footprints or any other type of tracks. The loop tightness does make the carpet less soft, but it is perfect for high-traffic areas like family rooms, hallways, and dens.

Cut Loop

One of the most popular textures of carpet is cut loop pile because it’s so durable. The loops are medium high and are cut evenly making the feel of it softer than some other options. There are many varieties of cut loop that is achieved by changing the twisting and the pile density.

Cut loop carpet is a nice cross between other more extreme textures that goes well in both high and low traffic areas. It works in formal and informal settings and is great for family rooms, bedrooms, halls, and dens.


Although there are several definitions of Berber carpet, all Berber consists of a level loop pole that is constructed with yarn that is thicker than traditional level loop. It is generally made with a neutral shade combined with flecks of one or more color.

Berber is known for its durability. It works well with most all decorating schemes and colors and is ideal for high-traffic areas. It tends to last for years and sometimes even decades. Berber doesn’t show footprints or vacuum trails and also is excellent for hiding stains and dirt.


Saxony carpet is appreciated for it’s soft, deep texture that made by longer pile lengths that are evenly cut. Typically, this kind of carpet is woven very densely and is associated with luxury due to it’s plush look and feel.

Saxony does tend to show footprints and vacuum streaks. It is also more expensive than most other types of textures. It is ideal for use in rooms that are less traveled and decorated with a sophisticated air about them.


Like Saxony, Frieze carpeting has a longer cut loop pile. It is not as luxurious, however because the piles are tightly twisted so it isn’t as soft to the touch. The piles go in different directions which makes it soft in its own right, just not quite as much so as Saxony. At a certain length, Frieze is considered to be shag carpet.

Frieze is an excellent choice for rooms that get more traffic than is appropriate for Saxony but in which a soft pile is desired. It doesn’t show vacuum tracks and footprints since the piles face one central direction so it is the perfect choice for common living areas and hallways.

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Variable Heights

As the name implies, variable heights textured carpet is comprised of pile that is different lengths. Some types of variable heights carpet is achieved by combining cut and looped piles. Geometric patterns are common among variable heights carpet.

Variable heights carpet makes a great choice for high traffic areas and places where children or pets frequent because it doesn’t show footprints or tracks of any kind. It is also easy to clean and doesn’t tend to wear easily.

Choosing the Ideal Carpet Texture

While there is no exact formulation for which carpet texture would work best for your needs, there are some factors to consider that will help you make a wise decision


One of the primary considerations that should determine what texture of carpet is best for you is your budget. Saxony is on the high-end whereas Frieze is a less expensive version of a similar look and feel without the hefty price tage.


Do you live in a humid location or does your home tend to produce humidity? If so, you’ll want to take that into consideration. You will want to go with a shorter carpet so the excess moisture doesn’t get trapped thus creating mold and mildew.

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Style / Taste

The type of carpet you get should also be determined by the type you like. There’s a great satisfaction in knowing your fulfilled your heart’s desire. Carpet is designed to last a good long while so be sure you love what you get. If the type you have your heart set on is too expensive for your budget, consider saving up or finding a great sale on what you really want.


Is the carpet for your home or for an office? Is it to cover a high-traffic area such as a lobby or family room, or is it for a bedroom that gets little traffic? Along with showing tracks and footprints, you’ll want to consider the carpet’s ability to mask stains in well-traveled locations.


Do you are anyone in your household have an allergy to synthetic materials? Or are you sensitive to wool? Other factors to consider when choosing materials is whether you want to go with all-natural or a synthetic type. The durability of the material is another consideration to think about.

Laying it All Out

Once you’ve decided what type of texture you want to lay in your home or office, it’s time to start looking around. Compare prices and quality and don’t forget to factor in the labor of laying the carpet. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be able to make a sound decision for having done your homework on carpet.

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