If you’ve ever done any remodeling or redecorating, you know that choosing the right flooring can be a complicated process. There are so many available options and you want to make sure you choose the right one for years to come. The right flooring for a space depends on a variety of factors. The first question to consider is whether you are choosing flooring for a home or a business. A business remodeling project is very different from a home remodeling project. Either way, you should consider Berber as part of the list of possible flooring.
It has a lot of positive qualities that make it great for both business and residential uses. There are so many different brands of Berber, you're bound to find one that works for you. There are so many reasons to check out Berber right now. Let’s take a look at what makes it a great product.
WHAT IS BERBER CARPET?
Berber carpet is style of carpet that originated within the Berber Tribe in North Africa. There are still some people who hand-make Berber today. Looped Berber first came to the US in the early 1980s and it has grown in popularity over the last 40 years. It is no longer handmade, but it is made to look that way. The handmade appearance is one of the major selling points. It’s also known for being relatively stain resistant and holds up to wear and tear. You’ll find Berber carpet in many business and other industrial environments because of its low profile. Berber carpet comes in the following styles:
Berber is manufactured by several different companies. Let’s take a look at some of the brands by each company and see how they compare.
WEAR-DATED BY MOHAWK CARPETS
This is the standard brand from Mohawk carpets. They have compromised durability a bit for more comfort, but their stain resistance is decent. This brand is often sold as Durasoft, Softtouch, and Scotchguard Advanced Repel.
EVERSTRAND BY MOHAWK CARPETS
This is typically sold as a brand for pets. They are made with recycled materials and don’t have great durability. These aren’t highly recommended.
SMARTSTRAND BY MOHAWK CARPETS
This brand tends to be very stain resistant. It’s a polyester carpet that performs like a nylon.
SUTTON BY SHAW CARPETS
This brand is widely known for beautiful, patterned loop designs. They are of decent quality and are a great starter carpet.
PHILADELPHIA BY SHAW CARPETS
This is the oldest line from Shaw carpets, dating to 1946. There are hundreds of variants under this brand. It is well known and well respected in terms of quality.
IS BERBER CARPET RIGHT FOR YOU?
Making a decision about the right kind of carpet is not one to take lightly. You will, hopefully, have the carpet for the next 10 to 20 years, so you want to get it right. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Berber.
Berber is extremely stain resistant. It has a tight weave, making it hard for stains to get down into the heart of the carpet. It also tends to look “handmade” or “authentic.” These carpets are no longer made by hand, but they look that way. They don’t show footprints or other markings, so they always look new. It's possible to use Berber in both residential and commercial projects. Finally, Berber carpet is generally affordable for most people.
The first and most significant disadvantage of Berber carpet is that it is a looped design. Because of this, animals, kids, or shoes can easily snag it. This can lead to unraveling and will need to be fixed. Also, deep stains are hard to clean because it’s a tight weave. Sometimes Berber carpets fall victim to matting or crushing over time. The better quality fabric you choose with Berber, the longer it will last. Wool, for example, lasts much longer than Olefin.
Berber carpet is so versatile and is made by so many different manufacturers, there’s guaranteed to be a style and color that suits your needs. Berber is the carpet for everyone because it works in so many different situations. It’s great for industrial areas, but it can also be luxurious in your master bedroom. If you’re wondering if Berber is right for you, the answer is yes.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BERBER CARPET
The kind of Berber carpet you choose will depend on the location and traffic of the carpet. Essentially, there are two kinds of Berber—cut pile and looped. The titles speak for themselves. Cut pile Berber is looped through the base and cut. Looped Berber is left in loops. There are many variations of these two types. You can get combinations of cut and looped, as well as patterned versions. Berber is also available from some manufacturers as carpet tiles.
This type of Berber carpet is better for low-traffic areas. The loops are easily snagged and can run like nylon stockings. This can cause major damage that can’t be fixed. For these reasons, looped Berber is better in places with low traffic and no kids or pets.
CUT PILE BERBER
This is a more durable choice for areas with high traffic or children. The lack of loops means it tends to last longer without snags.
COST OF BERBER
The cost of Berber depends on the material from which the carpet is made. Berber carpet comes in several different fabric choices. These are the different Berber fabric choices and the estimated cost per square yard caries.
WOOL - $$
PER SQUARE YARD
Wool is a natural fiber that comes from sheep. This is the most expensive fiber to use. It’s soft, but it’s also hard to maintain. Wool should be cleaned by a professional regularly, and the cost may be higher than cleaning a regular carpet. This carpet lasts a long time when it’s taken care of.
NYLON - $$ TO $$ PER SQUARE YARD
Mylon is a durable, synthetic fiber that’s cheaper than wool. It cleans easily and is stain resistant. It’s also very resilient, so this carpet will hold its new appearance longer than any other. Nylon can last up to 20 years with the right maintenance.
OLEFIN - $$ TO $$ PER SQUARE YARD
Olefin is the cheapest fiber found in Berber carpet. This carpet is most likely to crush or mat over time. There is also an oily residue from the manufacturing process that is hard to remove. This can make it hard to clean the carpet. These types of carpets can last about 10 years.
Berber can be a bit more difficult to install than other types of carpet because it’s heavy. This makes it hard to handle while you are trying to seam and cut. It will generally cost you about $2 extra per square yard to have Berber carpet installed. There’s also a surcharge for installing Berber on steps. This type of carpet will require high-density padding in a lower-than-normal thickness. Generally, you need an 8-pound density and ⅜-inch pad for installation.
COMMERCIAL GRADE BERBER
Berber carpet is often used in offices and other institutions. It’s a high-density product, so it tends to be very durable. It’s not prone to matting and crushing, so it holds up well to heavy foot traffic. Berber commercial grade carpet comes in many colors as well. This makes it a popular choice for places of business. Occasionally, a homeowner will use commercial-grade Berber because they have a wheelchair or walker. The low pile makes it easier to navigate with a wheelchair or powered chair. This is another reason Berber carpet works for commercial applications—people with disabilities can maneuver around it easily.
Based on these factors, you might consider a cut pile Berber carpet if you are installing it in an office with high traffic. However, if you are looking to install it in your home, you might go with a nice looped, wool Berber.
If you’re in the market for carpet, Berber carpet should definitely be on your list of possibilities. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns as well as textures. There’s a price point for most people. You can get something basic that you’ll replace in 10 years, or splurge for a higher-quality product that will last 20. These carpets are great for businesses as well as homeowners, and if you have clients or family with disabilities, Berber won’t make it harder for wheelchairs or power chairs to navigate.
You can choose between looped and cut pile, meaning there’s a texture for everyone. If you have pets or kids, consider the cut pile version for its durability. If you are looking for something more luxurious, go for the looped style. These carpets have a rich history of being handmade in Africa, and they still have that homemade look. Whichever Berber carpet you choose, you will not be disappointed. If you’ve never considered it before, this is the time to check out Berber carpet for yourself.