- Berber carpet, what is it?
- The History of Berber Carpet
- Berber carpet pros and cons
- Where should I install Berber carpet?
- Berber carpet materials
- Cost of Berber carpet
- Tips for cleaning Berber carpet
- How to repair Berber carpet
- Best Berber Carpet Brands
Berber carpet, what is it?
To fully understand what Berber carpet is and how it is used in the home, we need to clear up some confusion about the name. When you hear the term Berber carpet, it can be referring to two things: the carpet’s style or color.
Historically, Berber carpet was always light colored with dark flecks throughout. When the term Berber is used to describe a carpet’s style, it can be made of any style, cut pile, frieze, etc. But, the confusion comes because Berber is not just a term used to describe a carpet’s color, but also its style. The style Berber is extremely specific, but it can be done in any color.
Berber carpet is a loop carpet, which means that when you look at it you will see closed loops as the carpet’s fabric. To make this loop the fabric is pulled through the backing material, looped around and pushed back through the backing. This makes Berber carpet stand out from other popular carpet styles, since those are usually made of loops with the tops cut off. In order to get the Berber look in a carpet, the loops are of different lengths, usually they alternate long and short loops. Today we will be discussing the Berber carpet style, not the color.
There is no specific material that Berber carpet must be made from. However, traditionally it—like all carpets—was made from wool. Now you will find Nylon, Olefin, and, of course, wool Berber carpets. These carpets come in a variety of designs and qualities as well. In fact, Berber remains one of the most popular carpet styles in the United States.
The History of Berber Carpet
The history of Berber carpet is as fascinating as the carpet itself. In fact, the reason that Berber carpet has such a specific style is because of the way that it was traditionally produced. Berber carpets have been made since the seventh century of the Christian era—after Christ’s death. They were originally made by the Beni Ourain tribes from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco
Originally, the creation of Berber carpets was done by hand and was the purview of women. The knowledge of colors, looping techniques and the patterns of the Berber carpets were passed done from woman to woman through generations. During this period the Berber carpets were made entirely by hand.
Berber carpet pros and cons
As one of the most popular carpet styles, Berber carpet has quite a few pros. However, there are some cons to considered as well when looking at Berber carpet. Here’s what you need to know.
- Berber carpet is extremely good at resisting stains because it is so tightly woven. This makes it a great carpet style for rooms that receive heavy traffic.
- Berber carpet is quite easy to make. All carpets begin life as looped carpets, and then most have the tops of the loops cut off. Berber carpet doesn’t require this step, which makes it easier and cheaper to produce.
- The tight and low pile make Berber Carpet extremely durable and easy to clean. Thus, less time vacuuming and carpet cleaning for you. Plus, you will not have to replace Berber carpet nearly as often.
- Because of the shaped and length of the pile loops Berber carpet is much less soft than other styles of carpet. So, if you are looking for a luxurious carpet to sink your feet into, this is probably not the carpet style for you.
- You will need a vacuum that does not have a beater bar—or has one that can be turned off—because it could snag and ruin your Berber carpet. Snags are less likely with this style of carpet but can happen if you are not careful. Cat’s especially love to play with the loops and cause snags.
- Berber carpet, especially the patterned variety, can be hard to install. The low, tight loops mean that seams are easily spotted. Plus, if you have purchased a patterned Berber carpet, the installation team will need to ensure that everything if lined up correctly. This means that Berber carpet can be more expensive to install than other styles.
Where should I install Berber carpet?
Because Berber carpet is a tougher style of carpet it should not be placed in rooms that need a soft carpet style, like a bedroom. However, its stain resistance and easy-to-clean nature make it great for rooms that receive a lot of traffic and/or dirt and mud. An example of these types of rooms include entryways, stairs, and family rooms.
As mentioned above, Berber carpet comes in a lot of different colors and patterns. This means that it can be tailored to any rooms decorative scheme. So, this is one type of carpet that can literally be dropped into any room well, as long as the texture works.
Best rooms for Berber carpet
- Entryways and mud rooms
- Family rooms
Worst rooms for Berber carpet
- Living rooms
Berber carpet materials
Berber carpet comes in a variety of carpet fiber materials, but the most common are wool, nylon, and olefin. Of these three, wool is the only “natural” carpet fiber. It is also the most expensive. The other two, nylon and olefin, are synthetic and cheaper. Below you will find a little more about each common Berber carpet material.
Wool is the oldest carpet material. It is still what people think of as carpet, even though many carpets today are made of synthetic fibers. Wool comes from sheep. It is an expensive and hard to maintain material, but it is softer than the other two material options. If you want the most traditional carpet you can find, and you don’t mind paying for professional carpet cleaners, then wool is the Berber carpet material for you.
Nylon Berber carpet is durable and cleans easily. It is more expensive than olefin but significantly less than wool. It is a synthetic material. Yet, because of its durability, it will withstand a lot of abuse and traffic. With the proper care, you could have your Nylon Berber carpet for twenty years.
Triexta (PTT) is another synthetic material that can be made into Berber carpet. It comes under various names and is similar in price to Olefin Berber carpets. It does not have the drawbacks of Olefin, however, and performs nearly as well as nylon Berber carpets. If you want a good bang for your buck, then Triexta may be the Berber carpet material for you.
Olefin/Polyester is an interesting fiber because it is extremely cheap to buy as a Berber carpet. The trade-off with this cheap synthetic material is that it is not at all durable. It gets crushed and attracts dirt easily. This means that you will likely only get up to ten years out of your olefin Berber carpet. But, it is still a good option for people who cannot afford the more expensive materials.
Cost of Berber carpet
There are a lot of Berber carpet prices depending on the type of material that is used to make it. The numbers will vary based on the quality of the material and its level of softness, but here are a few general guidelines.
Wool Berber Carpet=$80 per square yard
Nylon Berber Carpet=$25-60 per square yard
Olefin Berber carpet=$10-25 per square yard
Keep in mind that the above numbers just indicate the amount you will likely pay for the carpet itself. They do not take into account the cost it will be to install the Berber carpet. Because Berber carpet is harder to install, the price you will pay will likely be higher than for other types of carpet.
Most carpet installer will charge about $1-2 more per square yard to install Berber carpet than they would for other styles. That number will increase if you plan on installing Berber carpet on stairs or in usually shaped rooms.
As you budget for your new Berber carpet, you need to keep in mind a few other expenses. In addition to the cost of the carpet and its installation, you will likely have to pay for under carpet padding—you need more for Berber carpet than your do for other styles of carpets—and other carpet installer fees. These extraneous expenses can add up, so make sure that you work with a reputable carpet installer who can help you estimate an accurate budget.
Tips for cleaning Berber carpet
Unless you have an Olefin Berber carpet—this material is known to attract dirt and grime—you should have a fairly easy time cleaning your Berber carpet. But, there are a few unique issues to keep in mind.
First, because of the tight weave of the Berber carpet, it can hold onto water. This is a problem because no one wants mildew or mold to grow on their carpets. Understanding the water holding properties of the Berber carpet will help you clean it. You will need to ensure that not too much water is used when carpet cleaning—or else the carpet may not get fully dry. Dry cleaning your Berber carpet would be best.
Second, you should clean up any spills or stains immediately. When you act fast, you may not need to pull out the carpet cleaner. Plus, the possibility of completely cleaning the stain or spill from your carpet is much higher. If you let the mess sit, it can get stuck into the Berber carpet and be impossible to remove completely.
Professional vs DIY Berber Carpet Cleaning
Because of Berber carpet’s cleaning considerations, you may be considering just hiring in the professionals. There are pros and cons to both choices—DOY and professional carpet cleaning.
The biggest reason to hire professional carpet cleaners is that these people do the job for a living. This means that you know your carpet will get as clean as possible when you hire a professional service. However, that professionalism comes at a cost. Professional carpet cleaning can get expensive, especially if you have it done more than once per year.
DIY carpet cleaning, on the other hand, is extremely convenient, since once you have purchased a carpet cleaner, you can pull it out to clean any mess. This is significantly less expensive as well. You will have to pay for your home carpet cleaner, but that is where the expenses stop.
But, for all the pros of DIY carpet cleaning, there are a couple drawbacks. The most important is the fact that home carpet cleaners are not as strong as professional models. They also only come in steam varieties, which means that water is used to wash the carpet. The preferred dry-cleaning methods for Berber carpet are not available to DIY carpet cleaners.
How to repair Berber carpet
Sometimes despite our best efforts the Berber carpet gets snagged or dented. Especially if the carpet is relatively new, you may not want to invest in a new Berber carpet purchase. So, the best option may be to try and repair the damage. Here are some steps to do just that.
- Check your original Berber carpet purchase to see if your carpet is still under warranty or is insured. If you still have a warranty on the carpet, you may be able to get it professionally fixed for free or a lower cost. You will also want to check this information first, as some of the following suggestions may void your warranty agreement.
- Call in some professionals to help get your Berber carpet fixed in no time.
- To repair a snag the best thing to do is to cut the snagged material as close to the carpet’s base as possible. Then glue the loose ends back into the carpet taking care that you don’t create a hole with the glue that will point to the old snag.
- If your Berber carpet has been burnt, you will need to cut out the burnt section and repair it with a piece of extra carpet. You should always purchase a little more carpet then you need to have around for this type of repair.
Best Berber Carpet Brands
Berber carpet is so popular that a lot of manufacturers make their own. Here are top picks for the best brands that produce Berber carpet.
This flooring manufacturer creates a lot of different styles of Berber carpet. They definitely earn their reputation as “the world’s largest flooring company.” Their Berber carpets come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and patterns. You can find what you’re looking for at Mohawk Flooring.
Shaw Flooring is another hugely popular and well-known flooring company. Like Mohawk, they produce a wide array of flooring types, from hard woods to shag carpets. They, too, have a lot of Berber carpet choices, including a range of colors and patterns. However, the way that Shaw organizes their carpet brands can be confusing. But, with some patience or the help you can find the Berber carpet that will work best for you. One final thing to keep in mind is that Shaw Flooring primarily produces Berber carpets in nylon and olefin. So, if you are looking for a wool Berber carpet, you may need to check another company.
Probably the third most popular Berber carpet manufacturer on this list. Stainmaster made a name for themselves as the producer of highly stain-resistant carpets and that does not change with their Berber carpet options. They have quite a few to choose from—although not as many as Shaw or Mohawk.
All of Stainmaster’s Berber carpets use their propriety nylon 6, 6 polymer fiber. This combination is what produces the stain resistance that gives the company its name. The fiber’s versatility also contributes to the large number of colors and patterns available from Stainmaster.
Home Depot and Lowe’s
We’re ending this article with a glimpse at the two box stores that you’re likely to encounter Berber carpets from the manufacturers listed above. Neither Home Depot nor Lowe’s produces their own line of carpets. But, they stock a lot of different Berber carpets from various manufacturers. They also have knowledgeable staff that can help you with your purchase.