Berber Vs. Plush Carpet

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The sensuous feel of plush carpeting on the bottoms of your feet can transport you to another dimension -- one of deep comfort and luxury. On the other hand, a floor covered with Berber carpeting, with its neutral color scheme and tightly woven, loopy tufts, speaks of a refined taste and a simple, no-frills decorating scheme. Both carpeting styles can work together in the same home, with specific rooms dedicated to one or the other, but melding the two requires attention to color detail, lifestyle patterns, and whether your home is a shoe-less environment -- or not.

Berber Fabrication

Berber is totally man-made of looped fibers. You don't have to look closely at a Berber carpet to see its construction, since the loops are evident and part of the personality of the carpet. Because of the high nylon content of a Berber, the carpet cleans easily, traffic patterns are less evident, and the flooring is extremely durable. A downside to Berber is that seaming may be more evident than in a plush, and it's not animal friendly; your pets' nails often pull at the loops, opening them.

Warning

  • It's not recommended to use Berber carpet on stairs; the backing is visible when the loops separate over the curve of the step.

Plush Compositions

A wide variety of materials go in to making carpeting that is plush, from man-made materials to natural fibers. Cost varies, with nylon the least expensive and wool the most costly. The advantage of nylon is that it is stain-resistant and soft. Polyester and polypropylene fabrications afford a homeowner a wide spectrum of colors, and all are easy to clean. Wool is luxurious but shows footprints and vacuum marks.

High-Traffic Areas

Traffic patterns within the home dictate which carpet style wear best. For living and family rooms, a Berber carpet with small loops is recommended. A cut known as California, in which the loops are cut rather than rounded, wears even better and doesn't show signs of deterioration as readily as the larger-looped Berbers. Colors of Berber carpeting are limited to neutrals, which make color coordination throughout the home a simple task.

Bedrooms

A luxurious bedroom carpet in a deep pile is the best use of a plush carpet. The depth of the pile results in cushioning that's soft and comfortable on bare feet. Using plush carpeting in the bedroom is a safe choice, since it's often stain resistant and repels loose soil tracked in on the bottoms of shoes. It also comes in almost any color, which blends with an oatmeal neutral Berber in the hallway and family living areas.

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