Is Berber carpet more durable than all other carpets? Not always. Although many people have been programmed to think it’s more expensive and lasts longer, this is not always the case.
Not all Berber carpet is created equal and only an informed buyer should purchase this type of carpet for home or office. Here is what you need to know before you buy.
Overall there are four choices when it comes to Berber carpet: wool, nylon, Olefin or PET fibers.
Wool and nylon are the more expensive fibers and are a good choice if purchasing a Berber carpet. Wool is a naturally beautiful and strong material. Nylon – although man made – is quite resilient. Both wool and nylon are softer to the touch and generally clean and wear well for any type of carpet.
Olefin and PET fibers are not a good choice for high traffic areas. Olefin in a man made fiber that came out in the 1950’s as an inexpensive substitute for wool or nylon. PET is actually reclaimed plastic – sometimes referred to a “pop carpet” because much of the reclaimed material comes from plastic pop or water bottles.
Although Olefin and PET are less expensive, neither fiber wears well. These fibers shed and mat easily. With even modest traffic, carpet made with these fibers will likely be replaced in 3-6 years from installation.
Unraveling and Burning
Berber is a “continuous loop” carpet. As such, it has highs and lows that are uneven to walk upon. It can feel stiff and scratchy to the touch – especially when made of Olefin or PET.
Because of the design, simple traffic such as moving furniture, walking in high heels, the movement of children’s toys or the nails of your pet can often snag the carpet and cause it to unravel. Also, sliding heavy objects across Berber (such as a sofa or a table) can actually scorch the fibers of the carpet. The damage may appear as a light yellow hue stain; however, it is actually a burn which cannot be cleaned or repaired – it can only be replaced.
Caring for Berber
Although wool or nylon Berber can be more forgiving, inexpensive Berber carpet can be difficult to care for. The uneven pile can actually trap dirt below the surface which makes it near impossible to clean. Combined with matting, dirt can build up quickly and the carpet can look worn in a few short years.
The more expensive wool and nylon carpets are softer, more durable and can be easier to care for. Less expensive Olefin and PET carpets are generally not a good choice for high traffic areas and are not especially kid or pet friendly. So before you buy, keep in mind that Berber is a specialty carpet that should only be purchased after careful consideration for any home or office.