If you’re looking for new carpeting for your home, you’ve probably heard the word pile come up more than once. But it can be confusing to grasp what exactly “pile” is and what the different options are. There are almost endless varieties for how carpet pile is constructed, designed, colored and cut but we’ve broken down the most basic options you’ll be facing so you can navigate the world of pile with ease.

Carpet Pile | Floor Coverings International What is it?

Carpets essentially have two parts, the backing material and the fiber which is affixed to it. Pile is just another word for the fiber part of your carpet. It is most often referred to when discussing the length of carpet (how shaggy it is), but also is an important topic to understand when selecting the way your carpet has been constructed and what areas of the house it is best used in. Pile deals with everything from the material of your carpet, to the design, softness and more.


This essentially means the pile fiber is thick or thin. This doesn’t affect the quality of the rug like it might in other materials such as clothing or blankets. Instead, a thicker pile fiber is more durable or tough underfoot, making it best for high traffic areas like entryways. Lower density fiber is great for spaces like bedrooms.


Do you want shaggy carpet or flat carpet? That is the age-old question anyone purchasing new carpet must decide. Flat vs. shaggy pile refers to the length (or height) of your fiber, the taller the pile, the shaggier your carpet. This is important to understand when picking your new floors because shaggy carpet can be more difficult to clean than flat carpet, but will better disguise problem areas.

Choosing Carpet | Floor Coverings International


Carpet pile is woven into the hard backing material either through a closed looping technique, or a cutting technique in which the ends of the fibers face upward.  This is different from the length or tightness of your pile, but does also affect the feel and appearance of your carpet. Loop pile tends to be more durable than cut and is highly popular in commercial use, whereas cut pile is more popular in residential spaces as it tends to be softer to the touch.


This is not in reference to the type of material used, but rather if the pile is all cut to the same height, or if the fibers alternate in length. Homogenous length will create a plusher feel, while variety gives your carpets a nice textured look.

Ready to Get Started?

Now that you’ve got a grip on some of the many different aspects of carpet piling, you’re ready to find the right look and feel for your home! Contact our experts at Floor Coverings International® of Waukesha today to get your FREE in-home design consultation and bring carpet into your [location_area_served_1] home today!

Photo ©:  SeverijaRobert Przybysz

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