The Guide to Berber Carpet – Brands, Costs + Pros and Cons

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berber carpet brands

Berber is one of the most well-known types of carpet in the world.

It is also one of the most misunderstood.

If you have ever wanted to know more about Berber carpeting, you are in the right place.

Not only will we define and explain Berber carpet, but we also take it several steps further.

In this article we will cover the best Berber carpet brands, look at the pros and cons of the carpeting solution and discover who it is best suited for.

While Berber carpet may be well-known, that doesn’t mean it is the best solution for you and your home.

Read on to find out if Berber is a good fit for you, or if you should continue your search for another carpet type.

Best Berber Brands Currently Available

With Berber being so popular, it can be difficult to know which brands to look at. Here are the best of the best when it comes to loop-style carpeting.

  • Mohawk Berber. Not only is the carpet high-quality, but you have more choices than ever to pick through.
  • Shaw Carpeting. One of the best carpet and flooring companies around, the Berber selection is astounding.
  • StainMaster. While they may have a few less options than Mohawk, StainMaster is still tops when it comes to Berber choices.
  • Karastan. Higher quality carpet at an affordable price. The selection is decent, too.
  • LifeProof. Berber carpet from the Home Depot brand is highly affordable and can be installed by Home Depot in many cases.

What is Berber Carpet?

what is berbet carpet

Berber is a loop style carpet modeled after the weaving patterns of the Berber tribe in North Africa.

The carpet fibers are pulled through the backing and looped back into the mat without cutting the ends.

The weaving pattern is highly rugged, durable and can withstand a lot of foot traffic.

Because of these facts, it has grown in popularity over the years with homes that have a lot of traffic, pets or need a durable flooring solution.

Original Berber has a pronounced loop with a lighter colored wool or fiber. Darker specs of fiber are also woven in to give it the distinctive look.

Unfortunately, this means that finding Berber is more difficult than it should be, as the term is now used to define the carpet style as well as color pattern.

Berber colored carpet is not the same thing as Berber carpet and it is easy to get confused.

When shopping, make sure the carpet fibers themselves are looped, not cut and have a pronounced knotting, along with the light and dark color mix.

Berber Carpeting Pros and Cons

As with most carpet and flooring styles, there are good things and bad things. Berber has a long list for both sides, so it is important to understand what you are getting.

Pros of Berber

The good news is that there are plenty of things to like about Berber carpeting. The following list will explain more.

  • Highly durable and able to withstand high-traffic areas.
  • Coloring hides the appearance of dirt extremely well.
  • Since Berber is cheap to produce, it is highly affordable as a flooring solution.
  • With the right tools, Berber is also relatively easy to clean.
  • There are multiple fiber choices, allowing you to pick density and softness for each room.
  • Natural stain fighting is built into the weave and pattern, provided you get to the spill soon enough.

Cons of Berber

The bad news is that Berber can be a headache if not paid attention to. Below are some of the more major concerns.

  • Lifted or frayed loops can become unraveled with pet nails or vacuums if not treated right away.
  • Vacuuming can cause abnormal wear. You want to use a vacuum without a brush roller, or one that can be turned off to prevent snags and tangling.
  • Berber isn’t the softest carpet out there, and even the wool fiber options can get rough underfoot.
  • Installation and repairs are more difficult as finding seams and matching patterns between rolls is near impossible.

Berber Carpeting and Pets

berber carpet and pets

While it is true that a lot of carpeting and pets do not get along. Claws and paws can get caught on carpet fibers resulting in wear areas, loose fibers or even holes.

On top of that, accidents can soak into carpeting, through the pad and even the subfloor below.

While Berber does have a tendency to yank or pull when the loops are tangled, it is actually a good carpeting solution for homes with pets. The durable weave and fibers make it able to stand up to the rough and near-constant traffic pets provide.

Because of the looped weaving of the carpet that produces raised knotting, pet accidents also tend to sit on top of the carpeting instead of soaking in through the pad and to the subfloor.

This won’t last, though, so while Berber is great at preventing stains and allowing liquids to soak in, you still need to soak them up and remove the liquids as soon as possible.

Of course, it isn’t always great things. Claws from running or playing animals can get caught on the loops and pull them up or out.

If this happens the snags on the carpet are prone to getting worse.

You will need to keep an eye out for these areas and mend them before they get worse.

Berber Carpet Cost

The price of Berber will vary greatly depending on several factors, just like the cost of many carpeting solutions.

The brand and quality of the base, backing and fibers are the biggest factors.

Higher quality brands will charge more, but they also use better quality fibers.

Wool is the most expensive type of Berber fiber, it is also the most plush, resilient and comfortable.

When you find Berber carpeting in living rooms or bedrooms, it is most always wool.

You can expect to pay between $4 and $8 per square foot for wool Berber, which doesn’t include all the extras.

The most popular type is nylon Berber. It has some flex and give, adding to the comfort, and is still durable and resistant to staining like wool.

However, it is also a little more coarse and can mat a lot easier, too. For this, the price comes down a bit and you can find nylon Berber between $2 and $6 per square foot.

Then comes the full synthetic. Known as Olefin, this polypropylene material is highly resistant to staining and fading, making it popular in finished basements and entry ways.

However, it is the thinnest fiber of the bunch which results in short, rough loops.

It isn’t the hardest carpet to walk on, but it isn’t the softest, either. You can expect to pay between $1.50 and $4 per square foot.

Purchasing Extras

Aside from the carpet itself, there are other factors to consider when setting a budget. There are other materials needed, as well as installation costs.

Carpet padding is a must, and depending on the type and size Berber you select, your padding will vary.

For almost all Berber, though, you want a thinner pad that is more dense. Luckily, this is more common and less expensive than other carpet pad styles.

Installation can run between $2 and $6 per square foot, though, so you will need to find a trustworthy contractor with great labor rates. If you need help in this area, you are in luck.

Our free Professional Finder will show you local results, fast. You can start making calls right now to get quotes and estimates from vetted and trusted contractors in your area, today.

Best Berber Carpet Brands

best berber carpet brands

Almost every carpet manufacturer on the planet makes a Berber selection.

Only a few of them are worthy of being called best, though. Whether it is for selection options, durability, comfort or price, these are the best of the best when it comes to Berber carpeting.

1. Mohawk Berber Carpet Solutions

Mohawk is one of the top flooring companies in the country and they have a wide selection of almost every type of flooring.

Their carpet alone has over 1000 different options, including styles, colors, textures and fibers. For the Berber style you will find 11 different types, each with over 10 colors and options.

If you want selection, reliability, choice and fiber options, Mohawk has you covered. While they aren’t the cheapest available, their Berber choices are among the highest quality on the market.

Mohawk may not be the first option you think of, but it should be the last.

Mohawk also offers stain resistance, and stain + wear resistant options. You will find that you can choose more than color as well. The loop style, Berber knotting and height are all selectable, ensuring you get the best option for your needs.

There are three major Berber sub-categories to choose from, including PermaStrand, SmartStrand and EverStrand. These three combine to form the entire Berber line and offer you affordability, color options and wear resistance on different levels.

2. Shaw Carpeting Berber Options

With Shaw flooring, you know you are getting high quality. Shaw is at or near the top in almost every flooring category’s top lists. If you have searched for flooring before, you no doubt have come across Shaw.

When it comes to the loop style Berber carpeting, you aren’t going to be disappointed. With 19 style options and each with their own color choices, you have over 400 different combinations to decide on. It isn’t an easy task as each one is better than the one before.

The quality is high with Shaw, a leader in durable, reliable and long-lasting flooring. These carpets will last you many years, and most options won’t even show signs of matting or bending, which is common for Berber after a few years.

Almost all Berber options from Shaw are made from nylon fibers. However, they also have various nylon types, including the durable and comfortable Anso nylon.

This fiber is softer than most, fade and stain resistant and feels great under foot. It is more expensive, of course, but worth it.

Shaw also offers different types of backing, including the Backed by Blue stain and waterproof technology that makes carpeting less likely to hold stains and odors from pet accidents. When it comes to Shaw’s Berber selection you will have a difficult time finding the best fit, but only because you will want them all.

3. StainMaster Berber Carpet Choices

StainMaster is known as a leader in carpet protection and most of the stain and fade resistant treatments other brands use are made by StainMaster. Now that they sell carpet of their own, it is easy to see why the brand is tops when it comes to flooring.

At first glance, their Berber selection looks mighty, with almost 300 style options and each with multiple color variants. However, most of what you see are mixed fiber options, textured carpeting with some Berber in the mix.

For the true Berber carpet, your options are much less, with about 9 total. However, these options are among the best in the business. And, if you want a Berber style carpet, the textured options have a lot of loops but also cut or Friezie fibers, too.

These make great patterns that look and feel wonderful underfoot.

Of course, since the carpet comes directly from StainMaster, you know each and every inch of the carpet is protected with stain and fade resisting treatments, and in most cases, this includes the pad and backing.

You can find StainMaster at many outlets, with Lowe’s being their top distributor. For price, selection and overall value, StainMaster Berber is a top pick in many homes across the country.

4. Karastan Berber Solutions

Karastan is a brand that works under the Mohawk company umbrella, along with Mohawk and Pergo Flooring, you will find Karastan raising the bar on durability and aesthetics. IN all, they offer 32 total Berber options, and each one is worthy of a museum.

With designer looks, high-quality weaving and a durable finish, these floors will feel as good as they look (and they look amazing). You will pay a bit more per square foot here, but when the installation is complete, you will know where your extra money went.

Many of their options are stain and fade resistant, and some offer permanent resistance, meaning you don’t need to retreat every few years like some brands.

If you are looking for sleek, modern carpet designs with a long-lasting fiber, Karastan is worthy of any home. You won’t find higher quality anywhere, though Karastan may not be the best option for every budget.

5. LifeProof Carpeting Berber Options

Speaking of budgets, if yours is smaller or tighter, then you can still get a great Berber carpet for a lot less than other brands. LifeProof doesn’t have the selection of other brands, in fact they only have 4 styles to choose from.

However, you can get all four styles in over a dozen colors, so matching your home and décor won’t be a problem. The Naples, Lightbourne, Dublin and Revel Berber lines are all priced reasonably well.

You can expect to pay between $3.50 and $5 per square foot (depending on line and color options), but this also includes installation. No other brand will match that. Of course, carpet pads, old carpet removal and other items are not included in that price.

The LifeProof carpet is exclusive to the Home Depot and installation generally takes about 14 days from date or purchase. While the carpet is affordable, it isn’t as wear resistant as other brands.

Where most of the high quality brands listed here will last 8 to 12 years (sometimes more), you can expect LifeProof to average about 6 or 7 years. While this is still in the range of acceptable carpet life, it is on the lower side.

What you pay for, though, is a durable, stain resistant Berber that looks great, comes with it’s own installation team and will refresh the look of your home instantly.

Installing Berber Carpet on Stairs (and Other Locations)

Berber has worked its way out of the basement. No longer is the carpeting just for finished basements and less-often used areas of the home. With softer fibers and better padding, Berber has gone mainstream.

This includes installing the carpet in areas it used to be almost forbidden. Stairs are the newest addition to the arsenal of Berber and it can easily be installed on both the riser and the tread. Installing Berber on stairs is just like installing any other carpet on stairs.

But the list doesn’t end there. Berber is now found in entry ways, sun rooms, and even play rooms. The stain resistant, fade resistant carpet is ideal for many areas of the home when you choose the Olefin fibers.

For bedrooms, living rooms and other rooms where you walk more, the softer wool or nylon options are better suited for installation.

Cleaning Berber Carpeting

cleaning berber carpet

Just like any other carpet, Berber needs to be vacuumed. However what may surprise you is that the best vacuum for Berber is actually the best vacuum for hardwood floors. This is because of the loop-style pile Berber has.

You want a vacuum that has a removable brush roller cleaning head, or a powered cleaning head that can have the roller turned off. High-speed brush rollers can take a Berber snag and unravel it fairly quickly.

If you do use a rotating beater bar, make sure the carpet doesn’t have any snags, tears or loose loops. Otherwise, the vacuum is likely to grab a hold and start unraveling.

Aside from this one setback, vacuuming your Berber carpet is simple and quick. If you do need agitation, use a robotic vacuum or a stick vacuum that has a lower power level than a standard upright.

Adjustable speeds, suction power and brush roll controls are crucial to keeping your carpet looking great for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

faqs berber carpet

In this section, we will answer the more common questions about Berber carpeting. If you have other concerns, please use the comment section below the article.

Q. What materials is Berber carpet made from?

  1. Berber fibers can be classified into five groups. The first is wool, which is the softest and most expensive option. You also have nylon and Olefin (polypropylene) which are both durable and fade resistant, but harsher on your feet.

Berber also comes in polytrimethylene terephthalate, or Triexta (PTT), a fiber invented by DuPont. Finally, you have the blends. Usually blends are a combination of wool and nylon, but can be any (or all) of the other types, as long as there is more than one.

Q. Is Berber carpeting a good choice?

  1. Berber is an excellent carpet choice for just about every home. It is an ideal solution for finished basements, stairs, living rooms and even bedrooms. Higher traffic areas will get more use out of the durability of the loop style carpet, while sun rooms and entry ways will enjoy the stain and fade resistant features.

Q. If Berber is so affordable, is it also durable?

  1. Berber is one of the more affordable carpet types because it has a smaller manufacturing process. All carpet starts it’s life as a loop style. Most carpets, though, then have their loops cut, topped or split. This extra step or two is not present in the Berber process, saving time and money.

Just because it costs less doesn’t mean it is lower quality carpet. As long as you stick to a good brand and get great fiber materials, the Berber carpet is affordable, durable and resilient.

Q. How long will Berber carpeting last?

  1. With proper installation, the right pad and moderate wear, Berber can last quite a while. Like most carpeting you can expect Berber to last at least 5 years. Most new installs with medium to light traffic and a good cleaning regimen will see Berber last 8 to 10 years. You shouldn’t expect much more than that, though.

Conclusion

Berber carpet is a solid choice for many reasons.

Not only is it more affordable than other types, it comes in many different fiber types to match your needs.

Wool for softer feel underfoot to Olefin for a fade and stain resistant flooring solution.

While Berber isn’t the best choice for every home, floor or person, it does fit a lot of various applications.

With the help of this guide you should know if Berber carpet is the right choice for you. If not, we have other choices to consider.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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