Choosing a carpet for your home can be a daunting task. Not only do they have to match your needs, budget, and aesthetic, but you likely also expect them last for years – if not decades!
To help you on your journey, we’ve put together a quick guide to one of the most popular forms of carpeting out there – loop pile carpet. We’ll go over all the key factors, including cost, comfort, maintenance, and durability, and you can decide if loop pile is right for you. For those of you looking for more general advice, why not check out our Ultimate Carpet Buying Guide?
What is carpet pile?
Let’s start with the basics – what exactly is pile? ‘Pile’ refers to the top layer of the carpet, the part you’ll be interacting with every day. The pile dictates the comfort, durability, appearance, and maintenance of your carpet, so it’s important to pick the right pile for you.
You’ll often see carpet pile divided into three categories – deep/high, medium, and low. Deep/high is usually the most comfortable, with longer, taller fibres providing a luxury feel, though often at the expense of durability. The shorter fibres of a low pile are cheaper and more durable, but usually the least comfortable. And, as you’d probably expect, medium hits a middle ground between the two.
For home use, medium and deep are likely going to be the best choice for you, depending, of course, on your specific needs, maintenance abilities, and budget. Workplaces will likely lean towards a low pile, to manage much higher foot traffic while keeping costs low.
What is loop pile carpet?
The term ‘loop pile’ refers to the construction of the carpet itself. During the manufacturing process, the pile is woven in and out of the backing of the carpet, creating a series of loops. Loop pile carpet can be broken down into even more variations, such as Multi-level loop, Berber, and Sisal – we’ll touch on these later.
The alternative to loop pile carpet is cut pile. It’s exactly as it sounds – the fibres are woven through the backing but instead of looping over, they’re cut to a specific height and twisted into tufts. You might also find carpets that are a combination of the two.
Here’s a quick look at some of its specific features to help you decide if loop pile carpet is right for you.
The cost of buying and installing a loop pile carpet is generally comparable to other types of carpet, with prices determined more by materials, brand, patterns, and labour rather than whether it is a loop or cut pile carpet. The best way to get an indication of the price is to reach out to an expert for a quote specific to you and your home’s needs.
Loop pile carpet is often chosen over cut pile due to its reputation for durability. Because the loops have been left intact, the carpet is less prone to fraying over time and will stand up to heavy foot traffic. This makes it perfect for areas like stairs and hallways, which will see lots of movement over the course of the day.
Loop pile carpet is also easier to keep clean, as there are fewer loose fibres that dirt and liquids can slip between at the bottom of the pile. While ongoing maintenance is important whatever type of flooring you have, loop pile will require much less than other carpets.
The loops can snag on sharp objects (such as a pet’s claw), which can leave the carpet looking a little dishevelled over time as the loops loosen and unravel. If your pets have particularly long claws, you might need to lean towards a cut pile carpet instead to avoid this.
One of the most favourable aspects of loop pile carpet is that vacuum tracks and footprints won’t show in the pile. While a quick vacuum over an indentation can often fix the problem right away, a cut pile carpet might begin to matt in areas where people frequently step and stand. There’s no such issue with loop pile carpets – plus the lack of footprint evidence is perfect for those sneaky late night trips to the kitchen!
The nature of their construction means a loop pile carpet will generally lean towards shorter fibres – bigger loops are more easily snagged and won’t look as consistent as more tightly packed loops. As a result, a loop pile carpet won’t have quite the same luxurious feel as, say, a cut pile carpet with a deep pile.
You should still be able to find plenty of comfortable choices when it comes to loop pile, particularly if you stay away from the low pile options – these are best suited to workplaces, where the trade-off of comfort for durability and cost is much more appealing.
Drop by a showroom and try out some samples – you may be very pleasantly surprised!
Because of the way it’s manufactured, loop pile carpet is naturally quite dense, meaning that dirt, liquids, and other messes won’t be able to go deep into the carpet. As a result, loop pile carpets are generally easier to maintain and keep clean, with most nasties easily vacuumed up at surface level.
For ongoing maintenance, your best bet is a quality suction-type vacuum cleaner with a soft brush head. You can use a turbo head but be sure not to focus on one spot for too long – this can result in premature wear. To get an idea of how well your vacuum will perform and to gauge the best settings for you, try testing it out on an offcut from your carpet.
For deep cleans, a general 12-month cycle should be fine, depending on the area and your specific household. A home with heavier foot traffic or shedding pets will, of course, need more attention more frequently.
If you’re looking for more specific maintenance advice, we can help! Start by checking out our 5 easy fixes to getting dog hair out of carpet, or our guide to getting rid of one of the most common pests in our homes, carpet moths.
Variations and aesthetics
Loop pile carpet can come in a multitude of variations, with plenty of beautiful colours and patterns available. The affordable and easy to clean Berber style uses thicker yarns, often in earth tones. Sisal is a natural fibre, that holds dyes well and creates durable, low maintenance carpets. Multi-level loop pile blends different heights of loops to create dynamic, almost sculptured carpets.
If aesthetic is a key priority for you and you have a very specific vision in mind, loop pile carpets might present some issues. Colours can be limited, depending on the type of loop pile carpet you go for, and for more intricate patterns you’ll potentially have to look elsewhere. That said, consider carefully what you’re looking for, and spend time going through your options – you might find something that jumps out at you!
So, is loop pile carpet right for you?
If you’re looking for durability, longevity, and easy maintenance when it comes to your carpets, loop pile carpet may just be the way to go. You’ll potentially sacrifice a little in terms of comfort and looks, but there’s plenty of long-term benefits to make up for it.
Whatever your needs and budget, you can reach out to our experts, either online or by visiting a showroom. They’ll be able to offer tailored advice and put you on the path to finding the perfect carpet for your home.
- 2021, “Your Guide to Loop Pile Carpet”, Tile Wizards
- Feb 2022, “Cut Pile vs. Loop Pile Carpet: Side-by-Side Comparison”, FlooringStores
- “Cut Pile Carpet vs. Loop Pile Carpet”, Avalon Flooring
- “What is a loop pile carpet?”, Carpet Ace