What is a berber carpet?

Home Builder with The Flooring Girl

Berber carpet Westchester NYThere seems to be a lot of confusion about the term Berber carpets. Part of the reason for this is modern use of the term berber vs. traditional berbers. 

Originally posted at What is Berber carpet?

Berber carpet Westchester County - Sherwood ParkModern Berber Carpets

Modern berber carpets are distinguished by a looped carpet construction, and they usually contain small flecks of darker or lighter shades vs. the background color. The size of the loops can vary. They typically come in neutral colors with no pattern (or a random pattern) and they tend to be less expensive and durable. They are less soft vs. a traditional cut pile or texture carpet you might put in a bedroom. As a result, they are popular for basements, family rooms and steps. 

Traditional Berber Carpets

Berber carpets get their name from Traditional Berbers which are traditional hand-woven carpets made by the Berber people of North Africa. They use a distinct knot (which is similar to the knot of modern berbers), but they are brightly colored with designs. Traditional Berber carpets are completely different from the modern mass produced berber carpets usually known in the US and Canada. They are much more sophisticated and are made of natural materials while most modern berbers are made with synthetic materials 

Berber carpet fibers

Berber carpet Westchester NY - sisal weaveJust like other types of carpet, the quality of berber carpets differ based on the fiber used (the higher the quality, the higher the cost). Wools and nylons are better quality, but they are less common, as they cost more. Many berbers are a blend of fibers. The most common carpet fibers for berber are:

 1.  Wool berbers – highest quality, highest cost, last the longest

 2.  Nylon berbers – good quality, mid price

 3.  Olefin berbers (or polypropylene) – lower quality, lower price (also comes in PET/polyester).  Most common type.



Benefits of berber carpet

  • Westchester carpet - berber carpetingDurable – they can often take a lot of wear and tear on heavy traffic areas. The loop construction gives the fibers more support vs. a cut carpet which will crush more both from furniture and foot traffic


  • Hide dirt better – most have flecks of color which help hide dirt and stains a bit better vs a solid color carpet. Note: it’s still advisable to vacuum regularly and use a professional carpet cleaner annually


  • Tend to absorb less moisture, bacteria and allergens – there is less room for the carpet to absorb these, so they are generally better for areas that have minor moisture (e.g. basements) vs. a plush cut carpet and are relatively better for those with allergies and allergens.


  • Often, they are less expensive (but this can vary based on the quality of the fiber and weave)


Drawbacks to berber carpet

    • Westchester NY berber carpet - BrocadeThey are a bit more challenging to install, even by a seasoned pro, and show seams easily. It’s extra important to have a reputable carpet store install berber carpets and optimize seam placement to show the least wear.


    • Cheaper berbers can unravel, especially if the loops get caught in heels or pet claws.


    • Can be difficult to clean if dirt does get lodged in the fibers, and it may need dry cleaning or specialized service for deep cleaning.

  Berber carpet selections - Westchester NY  

If you live in the Westchester County area and have an interest in berber carpets (or other types of carpets), give The Flooring Girl a call at 914-937-2950.

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What is Berber Carpet? Westchester County NY


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Kim & Kristine Halverson 05/12/2012 02:50 PM
  2. Donna Foerster 05/18/2012 06:16 AM
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DeeDee Riley
Lyon Real Estate - El Dorado Hills CA - El Dorado Hills, CA
Realtor - El Dorado Hills & the Surrounding Areas


This is great information.  We have had berbers throughout the years.  One of our houses in WA had a  wool berber.  You could always smell the wool when we had them cleaned.  You're so right about the seams.  They are hard to hide!

Have a great Sunday!

May 12, 2012 06:08 PM #23
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Shar - Excellent.  Glad to hear that.  I think you are referring to loop cut loop.  Check out this post on Patterned tone-on-tone carpet and this board on Pinterest.

Barbara - Thanks.  yes, the looser loops can cause problems with some pets.  Tighter loops are better for pets.

Sharon - It's interesting because customers seem to be all over the board on which berbers they like.  Some like a certain style and hate the others and other customers are vice versa.  Everything depends on the room, too.  I prefer cut or tone on tone for bedrooms, but that is just my opinion.

Joni - Yes, some last much longer and others don't.  Just like cut carpets, it depends on the quality of the fiber.

Mikayia  - Thx

Evelyn - Thank you so much for your kind words.  Yes, they do vary in quality and some can be very long lasting.

Kristine - thank you so much. I will check that out.

Christine - Excellent.  I'm so glad to hear that.

DeeDee - Thank you, and yes, they really are.


May 12, 2012 08:29 PM #24
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Deb, i was thinking this is a great guest post as soon as i started to read it...congrats on the feature!  Love the berber

May 12, 2012 08:57 PM #25
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I like the Berber made with man made fibers.  NO INTRINSIC ABSORPTIVE VALUE!!!

That is HUGE!!

Nothing will ruin a carpet worse than spills.  With a good nylon Berber, all it takes is to flood the area, sop it up and you'd never know there was a spill.

Wool or other natural fibers are very stain prone.

May 12, 2012 09:05 PM #26
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Ginny - Thank you.  You are so sweet.

Lenn - Yes, the lower absorption helps.  Wool, though, is usually naturally stain resisant and crush resistant.  That is one of the many benefits of wool.  Stain protection can also play a large role, especially on the synthetic carpets and one of the biggest issues (ironically) is that sometimes the steam cleaning extracts the stain protection making it more stain prone, so it's important to reapply it afterwards.  It kind works/uses similar technology to hair dye.

May 12, 2012 09:14 PM #27
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Very interesting post Debbie.  I learned something new this morning!!                                                                              

May 12, 2012 09:38 PM #29
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

I came in to your post. .posted this comment and I'm leaving  a little smarter.

Thank you for the lesson. .your expertise is apparent in your chosen field.

May 12, 2012 09:40 PM #30
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Valerie - Yes, they can be because the loops hold up better vs. the cut carpet.  If you have a cut carpet for a runner, it should be very compact and high quality.

The Christiansen Team - Oh good, I'm so glad to hear that.

Fernando - Thank you.  You are so sweet.  I really appreciate that!

May 12, 2012 09:43 PM #31
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I like berber.  I see it a lot.  We have it in our family room without an incident like a run or tear.  It is pretty good stuff!

May 12, 2012 09:50 PM #32
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Funny you put this post up today, we are actually looking at redoing our family room and my wife was asking what the best carpet for the best look would be. I like the explanation and maybe this will help our decision. Thanks

May 12, 2012 10:38 PM #33
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Jay - Excellent.  I'm so glad to hear it. 

Scott - Oh good, I'm so glad this is so timely for you.

May 12, 2012 10:44 PM #34
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

I like the higher end carpets in this fashion but the lower end is not for me

May 13, 2012 12:17 AM #35
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

That's it! Loop cut loop. ahahahahh... Thanks for those great links. They were helpful. That is exactly what I have been looking at. I love the tone on tone patterns even in fabrics. Thanks!

May 13, 2012 12:28 AM #36
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Harry - For sure I prefer the higher end carpets.  But, sometimes for basements, these types of carpets are ideal.

Shar - Oh excellent.  Yes, I love the tone on tones, too.  Glad the links were helpful.

May 13, 2012 12:41 AM #37
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Debbie, I was familiar with traditional berber, but did not know about the new ones. I do remember sometimes getting a heel caught. Great update!

May 13, 2012 12:56 AM #38
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Sandy - Thank you so much.  I really appreciate that.

May 13, 2012 06:41 AM #39
David Grbich
Realty One Group - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Thanks for the tutorial - love the berber that looks like sisal without the cost.

May 14, 2012 02:03 PM #40
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

David - Thanks.  yes, that is one of my favorites too.  And, it's much softer on your feet vs. sisal.

May 14, 2012 07:51 PM #41
Dylan Taft
Dylan Taft Broker/Owner Taft Street Realty, Inc. - Woodstock, NY
Ulster County Area Consultant

So much more to berber than i thought.  thanks for sharing!

May 19, 2012 10:01 PM #42
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Taft Street Realty - Thx so much!  Yes, a bit more complicated than most realize.

May 19, 2012 10:09 PM #43
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