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cut pile carpetmulmatsherm, Flickr

Looking for wall-to-wall carpeting? Consider cut pile: a dense, cushiony flooring favorite.

When it comes to home flooring, carpeting is a favorite -- especially in bedrooms. Essentially, carpet is made of up fibers that are woven to a mesh backing, secured with adhesive. A cushion is often also added for that luxurious underfoot feel.

Most carpeting starts off as woven loops, nylon, olefin, polyester, acrylic or wool. Cut pile carpeting is created when the woven loops are cut short, causing the carpet fibers to stick straight up. The loops are cut evenly over the surface and the tips fray just slightly to give a more soft, plush feel.

You might be surprised to know that there are a few different types of cut pile carpet, some that leave tracks and some that are more formal. Let's take a look.

There are three main types of cut pile carpet:

1. Saxony: Saxony carpet is created by tightly twisting the carpet fibers, cutting and then heating them so that they stand up straight. This type of cut pile carpet tends to show footprints, vacuuming marks or other impressions, which could put off some buyers. But it's a good choice for its warmth and plushness. Most Saxony carpeting comes in solid colors, but you may be able to find textured Saxony carpet as well. Textured Saxony is typically composed of two tones of the same color, which helps hide marks and footprints.

saxony, cut pile carpetingSaxony carpeting. Photo: Georgia Carpet Industries

2. Frieze: Frieze carpeting is twisted very tightly before it is looped and cut, causing it to fall in various directions, even curling back on itself. This is one of the more desirable types of cut pile carpet because it hides footprints and vacuum marks. Frieze is great in high-traffic areas and will last for a long time. Various colors are available, but because the piles tend to be random, complex patterns cannot be created.

Carpet Frieze carpeting. Photo: Georgie Carpet Industries

velvet carpetingVelvet carpeting. Photo: Ryalux

3. Velvet (or plush): Velvet carpets are the most formal and luxurious of the bunch. The piles in Velvet carpets are very dense and are lightly twisted, and they seem to blend together uniformly. Velvet carpets are very soft (which is why they are sometimes referred to as "plush" or "velour"). Velvet carpeting can be somewhat difficult to maintain because, like Saxony, the piles can be easily crushed causing markings on the surface. This type of carpeting is likely best in living rooms or spaces that may get less foot traffic.

Most carpets these days are pretreated for stain resistance, but that doesn't make it completely impervious to spills. Accidents happen and you'll likely find yourself rubbing away at a stain at some point. It's a good idea to speak with the sales associate or manufacturer to find out the best cleaners for your carpet.

Vacuuming is another important part of keeping a carpet looking like new. If you have pets who shed often, daily vacuuming might become part of your routine. Frieze carpet is probably the best choice in households with pets or children, where stains and spills are the norm.

Shampooing or deep-cleaning your carpets is also part of routine maintenance, but its frequency is determined by the amount of dirt, stains or pet accidents that you endure. Some households will require deep cleaning once every month while others can wait two years.

Carpeting is typically priced by the square foot or square yard, but that isn't the final price you will pay. Typically, you will also be buying additional padding (for that extra-cushiony feeling), a warranty and -- if you're not DIYing it -- installation. It can add up quickly! Therefore, an accurate measurement is very important. Click here to learn how to measure your floor for carpeting.

Some large stores offer flat rate installation, so take advantage of these kinds of deals if available.


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