Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?
Fletcher-Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate
How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and
avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes.
Q. How well does Berber withstand high traffic areas? Is
it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is best? I am going
crazy trying to decide if I want a plush or Berber. I have a
newborn and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!
Don't spend a lot on new carpet if
you have small children! Children are very hard on
carpets, they spill everything imaginable and parents are often too tired to
clean up messes quickly enough to keep up with the demand. Looped Berbers made from the Olefin
Fiber are hard to keep clean, they snag easily
and are not recommended for folks
with active children or pets.
For folks without active children or pets:
Berber may be a good choice. Most Berber styles are made with
loops. Some Berbers are called "cut and loop" having both loops and cut loops, Some
Berbers have patterns and some do
not, and still other Berber styles have no loops at all and are called
"Cut-Berbers" (also known as a California Berber)
Berber carpets are often made from Nylon
or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better choice for homes
without kids and pets. Nylon Berbers costs
more but lasts
much longer, and cleans much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.
Berber Carpet Complaints
Olefin Berber carpets attract dirt and
are so hard to keep clean?
While Berber styles are elegant and beautiful
when new, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made
with the Olefin fiber. Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning, previous
spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all. This is
because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and
prone to attracting dirt like a magnet. Old stains tend to reappear again and
again regardless of how many times you have the spots cleaned.
Olefin fibers attract dirt?
Here's why... During the manufacturing
Olefin fiber is naturally oily. Fiber makers use a special process to clean the Olefin
fibers to try to remove these oils, but often cut corners in order to
reduce costs. Some manufacturers put
their Olefin fibers through a "three-phase" cleaning process to try to
remove most of the oils.
To make a better product, the fiber maker will use a
"five-phase" cleaning process
which removes much more of these oils from the fiber.
This makes a significantly less-oily fiber that cleans much easier and
doesn't attract dirt nearly as much.
Using the five-phase process to removing excess oils from Olefin is a
more time consuming and costly procedure, manufacturers must charge more for these
premium fibers and therefore you will pay more for a carpet made from
these premium olefin fibers. Unfortunately
consumers have no way of knowing which Olefin fibers have been cleaned
with the "five-phase" process and those that have only had the
Rule of thumb: I think it would be
reasonable to assume that most Berbers priced under $13.50 per yard ($1.50 sf)
would be made using the "three-phase" process. You might have to spend
$18 per yard or more to get the better grade of olefin fiber.
Most carpet salespeople have no knowledge
about this manufacturing process and asking them questions about it might be
futile. However, perhaps you could ask them to call the carpet manufacturer and
see if they can tell you which cleaning process was used in the Berber carpet
you are considering. Good luck with that.
Less-expensive looped Berber carpets tend to snag easily and wear out more quickly.
It's the fiber and the size of the loops that matters most.
snag easily. Often priced at less than $10 per yard, don't fall for those cheap Berber prices and
assume that this low-quality carpet will
last more than a few years for you. If you have active kids or pets you
need to buy something more durable.
styles the feature Large loops tend to fall over quickly and look worn out and
matted down within a short period of time, often within a year or two.
looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing and retain a like-new
appearance longer and are more durable overall. Berbers made of Nylon last
longest and resist matting and crushing of the pile longer than any other
If a Berber carpet is priced under
per yard, then it is likely a cheaply made carpet only designed to last a
couple of years at best. You'll be plagued with lots of snags, runs and
stains that will not be easily cleanable. Berber is a bad choice for
folks with kids or pets.
A good quality Nylon Berber would clean easier,
wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an
If you decide buy a Berber carpet and
want it to last, be sure to select one with smaller loops, as the bigger
loops tend fall over quickly and look worn out sooner. As far as pad goes, an
8-pound minimum density, and a 1/4" to 3/8" thickness is
required for all Berber styles. Some Berbers are made from wool, which is an
excellent natural fiber, but are very costly. For this reason, I do not
recommend wool Berber carpets for folks with children or pets.
Grade of Carpet Should You Select?
my free Carpet Foot
Traffic Test to find out!
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Who I Recommend Near You
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