Carpet Glossary

As you prepare to purchase carpet for your new home or during a home renovation, it is important to know some key terms related to carpeting and flooring. At Reinhart Carpet Outlet in Philadelphia, we want to make your shopping experience simple and stress-free, which is why we’ve provided the following glossary of terms to know as you look for new carpet.

  • Adhesive – When carpet is installed, it is held in place by an adhesive, which is a substance that dries to a hardened film to hold carpet and backing in place on the surface of the floor.
  • Backing – Carpet is not installed directly onto the flooring surface. It is supported by primary and secondary backing, which consists of fabric layers onto which carpet fibers are directly sewn in. Secondary backing also helps carpet retain its shape and dimensional stability.
  • Berber – Traditionally, Berber carpet is constructed of coarse yarn with flecks of color throughout the carpeting. However, the term has evolved to refer to multi-loop carpeting of all varieties and colors.
  • Burling – Hand-tailoring of carpet to remove knots and loose ends or insert missing tufts and yarn. This is a common repair procedure for carpet that is unevenly damaged or worn.
  • Cable – Yarn constructed by twisting at least two piled yarns together.
  • Continuous Dyeing – A carpet dyeing process in which color is sprayed directly on the surface of the carpet—commonly seen in patterned and multicolored carpets.
  • Cushion – Padding beneath the rug’s surface. Various carpet varieties work best with different cushion types, generally no more than ½ inch thick.
  • Cut Pile ­– Carpet surface of cut yarn. The length of yarn is referred to as pile height.
  • Density – Tightness of yarn stitched into the backing. Higher density carpet is often more expensive and long-lasting.
  • Double Stick Installation – A carpet installation technique in which the cushion is glued to the floor and carpet is then glued on top.
  • Face Weight – The weight of the carpet excluding the weight of the backing. Face weight and density may not coincide, because dense, low-pile carpets can weigh as much as low-density, high-pile carpet.
  • Fiber – The basic component of carpeting. Most modern carpet fibers are synthetic, though natural fibers are an option.
  • Frieze – A style of cut pile carpet with twisted fibers that curl over at the end for a rich carpet texture and high strength against wear.
  • Loop Pile – Carpeting with no exposed carpet tips. Fibers are looped over to withstand heavy traffic and resist staining.
  • Nylon – The most common type of synthetic carpet fiber. About 75% of carpeting is nylon, which delivers a reliable performance in stain resistance and color retention.
  • Polyester – A synthetic carpet fiber ideal for bulky, colorful carpet varieties. Not as resilient as nylon, but still long-lasting with proper care.
  • Saxony – More delicate carpeting with uniform twist and finish for a smooth and velvety feel.
  • Textured – Carpet with a two-toned appearance with alternating twists of yarn in cut pile surfaces.
  • Wool – The most common natural fiber used in carpet manufacturing. Ranges in color and requires more dedicated care, but can last for many years.

To learn other important carpet shopping terms and explore samples to narrow your choices, visit Reinhart Carpet Outlet in Philadelphia. We offer a huge selection of carpeting and hard flooring choices to fit your style.

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