Carpet Flooring Choices

Carpet Confusion? We’ve Got You!

You’re ready to update your carpet flooring. So now what? You have plenty of choices when it comes to carpet! How do you know what options work best for your family and lifestyle? Don’t worry, Graham’s Flooring & Design can help you navigate your options and get the carpet you want! Plus, Graham’s makes the process fun!

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Tufted loop carpet

Your two main carpet decisions include the type of fiber (natural or synthetic) and the pile (how the fiber gets attached to the carpet backing). In order to chat about carpet, it’s essential to know how it’s created. Loops of fibers get attached to a backing. Some piles are created by leaving the loops in place or cutting the loops to different angles and lengths to create different carpet styles. First, we’ll discuss the carpet fibers you can find at Graham’s, and then we’ll look at some of the types of piles. Remember, your Graham’s design team can help you with all of your Fort Collins carpet questions. 

Types of Carpet Fiber


Nylon is the most popular type of carpet fiber—it’s durable, soft, stain-resistant and holds up to wear over time. Additionally, nylon resists rot and retains its color. With proper care, nylon carpet can last 12 to 15 years, so it lasts longer than most synthetic fibers. 


Colors stay bright and vibrant with polyester carpet. You can even select eco-friendly polyester carpet options made from recycled plastic bottles (known as polyester/PET). It also tends to be less expensive than nylon carpet. One disadvantage is that polyester tends to flatten over time, so it’s not as durable in high-traffic areas as nylon, although the twist count can affect this (more on twist below). 


Wool is a soft, long-lasting, natural fiber choice for carpet. Low-grade wool can stain easily, but high-grade wool can be expensive. As a result, you’ll see wool and acrylic carpet blends. Wool makes a great choice for people with allergies or chemical sensitivities because it’s a natural fiber and free of any chemicals or additives. However, as a natural fiber, wool is prone to mold and moisture, so it’s not ideal for humid areas. 

Solution Dyed

Solution dyed fibers come in both nylon and polyester carpet. This occurs when the fiber itself is colored through, rather than dyeing white fiber the desired color. Solution dyed fiber is extremely stain resistant so it is great in areas where spills or pets can have an impact on carpet.

Types of Carpet Pile

You’ve probably heard of Berber, shag or textured carpet. Believe it or not, there are a variety of other carpet styles that you can select for your home (keep reading to learn about more styles!).  Graham’s design team can help you select the best type of carpet pile for your home. Usually the foot traffic, preferences and function of that part of your home influence the type of carpet you’ll select. 

Loop Pile

First up—loop pile. Loop pile carpet is durable and is great for high-traffic areas or commercial projects. Loop pile leaves the entire yarn loop intact on the surface of the carpet backing, also called “uncut pile” or “Berber pile.” Plus, loop pile carpets don’t show indentations caused by footprints and vacuum marks. The durability of loop piles make this carpet type a great choice for high-traffic areas like playrooms, family rooms, hallways as well as office buildings and schools. 

Cut Pile

Cut pile carpet is a soft, easy-to clean option that’s created by shearing off exposed fibers. You can select a variety of cut-pile styles based on the different lengths, thicknesses and angles of the shearing. Additionally, unique looks are created by using different treatments on the thread before and after it is inserted into the carpet backing. This type of carpet pile works well when an entire house is carpeted because it blends well from room to room.

You’ll notice some footmarks and vacuum trails on cut-pile carpet, but this varies depending on the twist of the fibers. Individual fibers contain twist that helps cut pile carpet stand up against matting and crushing. The heavier the twist, the more resistant the carpet will be to matting. Plus, heavy twist also helps create texture that hides wear and dirt, which is always good!

Although cut-pile carpet is more popular than loop-pile carpet, it isn’t as durable and will need to be replaced more often. Cut-pile carpet comes in a variety of styles: frieze cut aka shag, textured and sculpted. Can you believe you have so many amazing options?

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Frieze-cut pile

Frieze-cut Pile

Have you heard of shag carpet? That’s frieze carpet! Today’s frieze carpet isn’t as wild and crazy like shag carpet from the past. Frieze-cut pile refers to a carpet where fairly long-cut fibers are twisted together and kinked. This causes them to curl erratically across the surface of the carpet (these curls create the recognizable shag carpet from the past). Frieze-cut pile is durable and tends to hide dirt and wear. It’s a great option for high-traffic and commercial settings.  

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Plush pile example

Plush or Velvet-cut Pile

Densely packing fibers and cutting them short creates plush pile, aka velvet-cut pile. The result is a rich and luxurious carpet surface. One drawback to this carpet style is it shows wear, scuffs and footprints. As a result, velvet cut-pile should be used in luxurious, low-traffic settings.

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Textured pile example

Textured Pile

Textured-cut pile refers to a type of cut-pile carpet where the fibers are uneven lengths. Steam treatment spiral curls individual strands so that the fibers remain twisted and kinked. This style is “trackless” because it doesn’t show footprints and other marks on its surface like other cut piles. In addition, spiral strands don’t reflect light as much as straight strands. So, it’s not as obvious when carpet spirals get smashed down. Textured pile is a good choice for mid- to high-level traffic areas.

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Sculpted pile carpet

Sculpted Pile

Sculptured carpet has both looped and cut-pile fibers to create height and texture variations (also called cut-and-loop or patterned carpets). You can recognize sculpted pile carpets because they often have three-dimensional, geometric patterns. 

No matter what carpet option you want, Graham’s is available to help with all of your northern Colorado carpet needs. Check out our carpet flooring portfolio, and then contact us today so we can bring flooring options to your Fort Collins or Loveland home! 

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