Here at Floor Coverings International of Hillsborough, NJ, we realize that there is a vast variety of material and style options to choose from when you’re picking new flooring, and that sometimes that dazzling array of choices can be overwhelming. We at Floor Coverings International of Hillsborough, NJ are here to help you learn as much as possible, so that you can make the choice that’s best for your needs. As such, we’ve written this post to help you get a more in-depth look at one of the flooring options offered by Floor Coverings International of Hillsborough, NJ: Berber Carpeting.

What is Berber Carpeting?

Berber refers to a carpeting style, rather than a material, such as Sisal for example. Berber carpeting comes in a variety of materials, the most common being wool, nylon, olefin, and other synthetic fibers. The Berber style is characterized by loops of fabric that are tight and upright, creating a firm, flat carpet surface. These loops and tufts can be all even in height, or patterns can be created by using loops of varying heights. Traditionally Berber carpets would be pale and off white, or white, with small black tufts and flecks speckled throughout. These days Berber comes in nearly every color. The highest quality (and thus most expensive) types of Berber carpeting are made of 100% wool or 100% nylon. When you are choosing a Berber carpet, pay attention to things like thickness, and denseness, with a low pile height. You want a high twist level (more turns per inch) and higher stitch and gauge rates (more stitches that are tighter). These are signs of well-constructed Berber.

The History of Berber Carpeting

Berber carpeting originated in North Africa and draws its name from the peoples of that region, known as Berbers. Berber carpeting from this area dates back all the way to the Paleolithic era! In those days Berber carpets were woven from natural, local materials such as wool or camel hair. While the Berbers of North Africa wove their rugs by hand, these days most Berber carpets are mass manufactured, and often made of blends of synthetic materials. The first manufactured Berbers were only made of wool and nylon, and today the highest quality Berbers are still made from these materials. Due to the durability and ability to take wear and tear of Berber carpets, they were often used in utilitarian spaces like schools or offices, but these days have become more popular in homes as well.

Advantages of Berber Carpeting

As we’ve mentioned above, one of the big selling points for Berber carpeting is its ability to take wear-and-tear. Because of the high density and low pile, it is the go-to carpet for high traffic areas, which is why it has been so widely used in non-residential settings. Because of the thick weave, Berber doesn’t absorb spills as quickly as most carpets, making it more stain-resistant. There are a huge variety of colors, patterns, and materials that can be used for Berber so it’s a good fit for any décor. One of Berber’s highest selling points is how affordable it is though. Berber tends to cost less than other high pile, plush carpets. But even within the Berber family there is a wide price range depending on material used, stitch and gauge rate, and yarn pile.

Disadvantages of Berber Carpeting

The biggest downside to Berber is the flipside to some of its strongest selling points. While the thick weave and dense loops of Berber help to keep stains and dirt out, once they have seeped down in to the padding of the carpet, those same dense loops make Berber very difficult to clean. This means that Berber requires more frequent maintenance than some carpet choices, in order to keep stains and dirt from getting ingrained in the carpet. Odors, stains, and bacteria, once they’ve sunk in to Berber, are less likely to come out than with other flooring options. Another problem with Berber carpets is things getting caught in the loops. Berber’s are not a pet-friendly flooring option, as cats will tend to use them as a scratching post, and dragged furniture can also catch the loops, causing the carpet to unravel. A last thing to consider is that while Berber is great in high traffic areas because it is so flat and dense, this also means that it is not as soft or plush as other carpet options, so if you plan to walk around barefoot or sit on the floor a lot, such as in a bedroom, Berber might not be the best choice.

Care of Berber Carpeting

As we explained in the last section, Berber carpets need consistent cleaning to prevent dirt and grit from sinking into the padding. Because of this Berber carpeting should be vacuumed at least once a week, although ideally several times a week. Make sure to vacuum with high suction, but be sure to detach the beater bar or brush, these could catch one of the loops and unravel the carpet. Each type of material will make for different cleaning regimens as well, for instance wool Berber should be treated differently than Berber made of synthetic materials. Whether or not you decide that Berber is right for you, we hope you begin your flooring journey with us, at Floor Coverings International of Hillsborough, NJ.