Berber Carpet: Pros and Cons
Berber carpet is a type of fabric floor covering made out of upright loops or strands of yarn that are denser than many other types of carpet. The weave is inconsistent and has a combination of large and small tufts. If you're considering installing Berber carpet in your home, make an informed decision and know the pros and cons first.
Resistant to Foot Traffic
Since this carpet has a continuous loop, it's resistant to crushing. This means that unlike cut pile carpet, Berber carpet doesn't show footsteps or vacuum marks. Most Berber carpets have speckled pattern, which also hides dirt.
Berber carpet can be made out of a variety of different fibers such as olefin, wool and nylon. While wool is the nicest, it's also the most expensive. Most weaves are made out of nylon, which is highly affordable. Depending on how you plan to use the carpet, you can easily find a weave, weight and style in your budget. The most economical fabric is olefin. Carpets of this material are usually a combination of olefin (88%) and nylon (12%). Nylon is added to help strengthen the olefin to make it last longer.
Doesn't Absorb Debris
The tight weave of Berber carpets, as well as the materials used, make them resistant to soiling. The carpets don't absorb dirt, making them ideal for high traffic areas or homes with young children or pets. The speckled pattern of most Berber carpets also hides dirt well.
Difficult to Install
A do-it-yourselfer may have a hard time installing it because of the weave pattern. Berber has a speckled pattern that can be difficult to match. This means that seams are likely to show up, even with installation from seasoned pros. To reduce this from happening, use a 6-inch seam iron to reduce seam peaking, and always order 10% to 15% extra carpet for pattern matching.
Runs Can Destroy Entire Carpet
Berber carpet is made out of a continuous loop. This means a single loose strand can easily run across the entire carpet. These runs are difficult to repair. If the run is large enough, repair is impossible and you'll need to either replace the entire carpet, or the damaged section.
Care must be taken to trim the nails of pets so that they don't cause snags. It's also a good idea to avoid wearing heels on Berber carpet.
Unlike plush pile, Berber carpets aren't soft underfoot. The looped construction is tight, which means it isn't much softer to walk on than wood or vinyl flooring. If you like cushiony softness underfoot, you can increase the thickness of the underlay you choose to place under the carpet. This will make it softer to walk on, but you still won't get the same softness as you would from plush pile.
Some of the synthetic versions of Berber carpet have a low flash point of 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This can make it a fire hazard. It also means that the friction of moving a heavy piece of furniture across it could scorch the fabric. Scorched fabric cannot be fixed and must be replaced.