If you’re trying to buy carpet for your home, you will soon discover a seemingly endless myriad of options to choose from. But while you can find carpets of all colors, varieties, and fiber materials, you must first decide on going with a low or high pile option.
Each of these has a distinct visual aesthetic and one may be far more appealing than the other upon first glance, but it also helps to understand what makes the two different from one another besides their surface appearances.
The type of pile you buy can also have an effect on the comfort of your home and provide certain health benefits for those who are sensitive to allergies. You should also consider how much time you are able to devote to performing routine maintenance on your new carpet, as this too can have an impact on whether you should go with a low or high pile option.
When we talk about “pile” we are referring to the loops of material that comprise the carpet itself. The fibers that are sewn into the backing can be natural or synthetic in composition and these are what define the pile of your particular floor covering.
That’s because these fibers can vary greatly from one carpet to the next. Some are soft, some are coarse, they can be sewn in tightly against one another or loose and easy, and, of course, the height of the loops plays a major role in labeling a carpet low pile or high.
All of these things together are what define the pile of your carpet. You’ve likely seen both types, berber or saxony are known as low pile, while shag or frieze styles are known as high pile. You may have a personal preference of one over the other already, but keeping these examples in mind, you can tell one from the other by inspecting the length of the loops and the tightness of their composition.
Benefits of High Pile Carpeting
If you’ve ever walked barefoot on a high pile carpet, the first thing you probably noticed was how soft and cozy you felt stepping down on it. That’s one of the primary reasons why homeowners will go with high pile for their home.
It’s a style of carpet that offers comfort in a soft, plush surface that you can sit on or lie down upon for hours. Sometimes a high pile carpet is preferable for lounging upon instead of sitting or lying on the furniture inside the room.
Due to their plush, fluffy appearance, high pile carpet will often be the centerpiece of a room with all the other furnishings chosen to complement or enhance the carpet, instead of the other way around. This type of pile is usually installed in rooms that are used with the most frequency, making them the ideal choice for bedrooms and family rooms.
With all that being said, high pile also has some potential disadvantages in that they can be tougher to maintain and require more routine cleanings to eliminate all of the dirt and germs that can caught in the thick, high fibers. High pile may also not be the best choice for high traffic areas as the fibers can trampled down and lose some of their lushness without regular vacuuming and cleaning.
Benefits of Low Pile Carpeting
The low pile option is ideal for homes with inhabitants who are highly susceptible to allergic reactions to common household allergens. That’s because the fibers in low pile carpet are too short and tightly wound to be good traps for these contaminants.
Since high pile carpets are more prone to capturing germs and particulate that can get kicked up into the air as you walk over them, they can pose a health issue for families. That’s among the main reasons for going with a low pile option instead.
As you may have already guessed, low pile is much easier to care for and maintain as they don’t require as much attention for keeping them fresh and clean. The shorter fibers of the carpet will also keep their appearance longer, even in high-traffic areas.
The biggest disadvantage, however, is they don’t offer the same luxurious comfort and softness as high pile alternatives.
But whichever choice you prefer, make Chem-Dry On The Plateau your choice for professional cleanings at least once a year. If your carpet has a warranty, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendation for professional cleanings, so as not to void your agreement.