Shag Carpet, What is it?
While you may think it is just a 70s carpet, shag carpet is making a strong comeback in the world of home textiles. But, before you run out and get yourself a nice, new shag carpet, you need to have all of the important information. That is where this shag carpet—informative guide comes in. Here you will find everything you need to know about shag carpeting, including its price, cleaning, considerations, and where to put it in your home. We will end by telling you the best shag carpet brands and shaggy carpet suppliers.
First of all, what is shag carpet? This type of carpet has a characteristic deep or high pile. Pile refers to the lengths of fibers that make up a carpet. These fibers are looped and attached to a backing. Some carpets have loops that are cut off at the top and others keep the loop. Shag carpet is made of a cut pile with a length of at least ½ inch.
The long pile length of shag carpet gives it its characteristic shaggy appearance. The name itself reflects the look of shag carpet. The term “shag” likely comes from the Old English word sceacga, which meant matted or wooly and usually referred to a beard or hair. This is also closely related to the Old Norse word skegg, which means beard.
The deep and dense piles of shag carpet make it extremely soft and warm. Plus, with modern production techniques, it does not have to have gaudy or ugly colors. As we will discuss more fully below, shag carpet today can be made of any type of material and in a variety of styles.
The history of Shag Carpet
Before we look for closely at the shag carpet options available today, let’s discuss the long and storied history of shag carpet. Shag carpet is not just a 70’s carpet. In fact, it has been around since at least 331 B.C.E. (before the Christian era). These early shag carpets were called Flokati rugs. They were created by people in Turkey, Central Asia, and Greece.
Flokati rugs were hand woven and exclusively made from wool. This meant that they were extremely warm and soft. Because they were hand woven, Flokati rugs were much smaller than today’s shag carpets. But, this did not stop the carpet style form becoming popular all over the world. Eventually the name Flokati was replaced by shag.
Probably the most popular that shag carpets would ever get was the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. During this time Shag carpets were synonymous with the hippie lifestyle. Their plush, bright colors graced many magazines and homes. Eventually the outgoing nature of the shag carpet was replaced by more subdued patterns in the 1980s.
Different types of Shag carpet
Today, shag carpets are mostly not hand woven but are made by machines. This process has been around since the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century. Manufacturing carpets has made them more affordable. Additionally, advances in science has created more fibers than just wool, which means that modern shag carpets can be made from almost any fabric and in any style or color.
The plethora of shag carpet options may be overwhelming. The very name of this type of carpeting can be confusing, since modern manufacturers often call it frieze carpet to avoid the 70s carpet connotations of the word shag. So, we will go over the most common styles and materials found in modern shag carpets.
While shag, or frieze, carpet comes in one very recognizable style, it can have different pile lengths. High pile carpets have a pile of at least ½ inch. But, that does not mean that all high pile carpets have a pile length of that number. Many shag carpets have pile lengths of ¾ inch or more. The longer the pile, the shaggier the carpet. So, changing the pile length has a significant impact on the style of the carpet.
Modern shag carpets are made from many materials other than wool. Wool is still extremely popular, but because of its high cost and cleaning concerns, most people purchase shag carpets made from synthetic materials. Some of these non-natural fibers include olefin and nylon. The cost will depend on the synthetic material you use, but, in general, all synthetic carpet fibers are more affordable than wool.
Shag carpet pros and cons
Most carpet styles come with pros and cons, but these are even more important to consider before purchasing a shag carpet. You have to make sure that you are willing to take on the cons of a shag carpet as well as its positives before you buy. This will ensure that you get the most out of your shag carpet, and that it brightens up a room instead of becoming an eyesore.
- The extreme thickness of shag carpet gives it a super luxurious feel, especially on bare feet.
- The many color options of modern shag carpet—among them neutral colors like white, cream, or beige—allow you to put it in any room without looking out of place.
- Shag carpet definitely makes a statement and can be a fun conversation starter with guests.
- Shag carpet comes with its own cleaning considerations. Most of all it needs to be cleaned more frequently than other types of carpets, or it will become ratty. Also, you may need to purchase a new vacuum for your shag carpets. Traditional vacuums could pull or snag the long pile of your shag carpet.
- Finding wall-to-wall shag carpet can be a challenge. But, it you are willing to purchase a shag rug, you shouldn’t have a problem.
- Watch out for poorly or loosely made shag rugs. If the fibers are not securing attached to the backing they could shed or unravel. This will negatively affect the visual appeal of your shag carpet, because large bar spots are never appealing.
Where should I install shag carpet?
Modern shag carpet can be a great addition to any room. Yet, some rooms are better than others if you don’t want to have to spend a lot of time cleaning. Here are a few things to think about when planning where to put your shag carpet.
Shag carpet has an extremely long pile, which means that it can trap dirt and stain easily. So, it will work best in rooms that do not get as much foot traffic. Keep in mind that shag carpet can be a great accent piece. You don’t want to hide it in a room that never gets used either. You will always want to walk the line between a high traffic and low traffic area when placing your shag carpet.
Because shag carpet tends to attract dirt and needs more consistent cleaning anyway, it should not be used in rooms that often involve eating or cooking. Cooking and eating can be messy activities, especially if you have children. So, keep the shag carpet out of those rooms if you don’t want to be cleaning up crumbs after every meal.
Best rooms for shag carpet
Den or study
Hallways with less traffic
Worst rooms for shag carpet
Entranceways or mudrooms
Cost of shag carpet
The cost of your shag carpet will depend on many factors including material, size, and length of the pile. But, we’ve included some generalities below to give you an idea of the cost of this unique type of carpet.
The price of each type of carpet material varies slightly by the quality and the type of carpet that is a part of. Shag carpet tends to be more expensive than other carpet types, so you can expect to pay on the higher end of the range for each carpet material. This means that shag carpet will cost around the following for each material.
Wool: $10 per square foot
Nylon: $5 per square foot
SmartStrand: $4 per square foot
Polyester: 2.50 per square foot
Olefin: $1 per square foot
Just because olefin is the cheapest carpet material does not mean that it is the best option. It is a much less durable carpet material than wool or nylon. Your choice of material for your shag carpet will be determined by your budget as well as how long your plan on having the carpet and where you are planning on installing it.
There will be other costs when you buy and install shag carpet. You will have to make room in your budget for these common expenses as well as the cost of the carpet itself.
Carpet padding: $.30-$.60 per square foot
Carpet installation: $.50 per square foot
Extras: $.20-$.50 per square foot
Carpet padding and installation fees may be fairly self-evident. But, extra costs can be added by the installers for cutting the carpet for non-square rooms or having to move/replace furniture. You will also want to budget for a little extra carpet in case there are problems in installation or a patch of the shag carpet needs to be repaired.
Cost of shag carpet
Shag carpet needs to be cleaned or else it will begin to mat and look grungy. You have options as to how you will clean your shag carpet. You can go with a professional carpet cleaning company that specializes in plush carpet or you can do it yourself. Each option—professional company vs. DIY—comes with pros and cons.
Professional shag carpet cleaning
If you choose to go with a professional carpet cleaning service, make sure to hire one that is proficient in plush carpet.
Professional carpet cleaning services have access to equipment that is not available for the home market. This allows them to clean the shag carpet quicker and more efficiently than a DIYer.
You don’t have to clean the shag carpet yourself. This saves time and energy, and who wouldn’t want that.
Your shag carpet will look like new much longer when you use professional carpet cleaners.
Professional services can get quite expensive. Depending on how often you have the professionals come out to your home, the costs can add up quickly.
Just because you hire a professional carpet cleaning service does not mean that you won’t have to vacuum or clean up spills. The company will not take care of these everyday maintenance requirements for your shag carpet.
DIY shag carpet cleaning
Because of the costs associated with hiring professional carpet cleaners, many people prefer to clean their shag carpets themselves. If you plan on being a DIY carpet cleaner, you need to keep a few pros and cons in mind.
- Despite having to buy specialized equipment for your shag carpet, this is the cheaper option. Vacuums and carpet cleaners for shag carpet may be expensive up front. But, they are a one-time purchase.
- You can clean your shag carpet on your own schedule. If your carpet lives through a bag spill, you can plan an immediate carpet cleaning session. You don’t have to wait for a company to fit you in.
- DIY shag carpet cleaning takes time and effort. You have to stay on top of cleaning your shag carpet or it could be an unbelievable amount of work to get it completely clean.
- In order to clean your shag carpet well, you will need to become well versed in carpet cleaning. If this is not your normal profession, the amount of work and knowledge it takes to be a good DIY carpet cleaner may be more effort than you want to expend.
How to clean your shag carpet
If you decide to clean your own shag carpet, there are some steps to follow in order to get the best results.
First of all, you should vacuum as often as possible. The long fibers of shag carpets can attract dirt and dust. So, vacuuming once or twice a week will help to keep the dirt levels down. Make sure that you are vacuuming your shag carpet with an appropriate vacuum.
Secondly, always clean up spills right after they occur. This keeps the spill from being absorbed by the long carpet fibers. Once a stain gets set into a shag carpet it is almost impossible to remove. So, always clean up any spill with soap and water right after they happen.
Finally, consult the care information for your specific type off shag carpet. Each manufacturer provides slightly different instructions and recommends various products. Always follow the care instructions as this will ensure that your carpet’s warranty is not voided by accident.
Cost of shag carpet
Because shag carpet is rising in popularity, it is becoming much easier to find examples of it in most stores. Below we’ve listed a few locations where you can find a good variety of shag carpet.
Associated Weavers is the largest producer of tufted broadloom carpet in Europe. But, this does not mean that people in the United States can’t take advantage of their great shag carpets. While it may be more expensive to ship Associated Weavers’ carpets to the United States, the quality is well worth the price.
They have a large variety of shag carpet along with other carpet styles such as Berber and low pile. Their website is also easy to navigate and allows you to search for carpets multiple ways, which ensure that you will always find what you’re looking for with Associated Weavers.
Target and The Home Depot
If you don’t want to worry about trans-Atlantic shipping when purchasing a shag carpet, then you can try any local box store such as Target and The Home Depot. While neither of these stores are manufacturers of shag carpets themselves, they sell a wide variety of all styles of carpets.
In addition to the plethora of choices available at stores like Target or The Home Depot, the knowledgeable staff makes shopping for your next shag carpet easy. There are many advantages of shopping for a shag carpet in person. But, most of all, you will be able to see a potential carpet and ask any questions you may have about the product.