Berber carpeting is one of the more interesting styles currently in production, and also one of the oldest. It was originally woven by hand in North Africa thousands of years ago and is still popular today due to its distinctive style. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the more difficult types of carpet to shop for.
While you don’t need a degree to find the best Berber carpet brands, it’s important to understand how the carpet is made and the difference between traditional and manufactured Berber as well. Our guide will give you a crash course in Berber carpeting as we’re going to discuss pricing, installation, and the pros and cons of this unique carpet.
What is Berber Carpet?
The word “Berber” can cause confusion as it can mean a style or even color of carpet. The term is used loosely by salespeople and carpet manufacturers alike but typically refers to a loop carpet style. Originally, this fiber was hand-woven by the Berber tribe and featured multi-colored flecks of wool in the weave, along with a pronounced knot or loop.
You can find the same look from manufactured Berber carpets today, but the term itself now refers to certain styles of looped carpeting that meet certain criteria set by the manufacturer. In other words, it’s not uncommon to find solid-colored nylon looped carpet without flecks called “Berber” or see light-colored olefin carpet with flecks also referred to Berber. Regardless of the color, this material is distinct, whether it’s patterned loop Berber or Cut and Loop Berber.
Is Berber carpet suitable for pets?
Carpet and pets don’t always get along, but sometimes it’s a match made in heaven. With Berber, it’s a bit of a mixed bag considering its looped style and the types of animals most homeowners let roam around their homes – cats and dogs. Claws can be an issue with other types of flooring, and it can be a problem with Berber if you have unruly pets.
Does your cat forget to use its scratching post and prefer your rug or carpet instead? Well, you don’t want them doing it on Berber carpet, and a heavy dog can cause damage quickly when they tear across the room to grab a toy or just to say hello. Berber carpet isn’t bad if you have pets, especially if it’s high-quality, but you’ll want to keep the size of those loops in mind.
Berber Carpet Pros and Cons
Any type of flooring will have pros and cons, especially carpet. While comfy, it’s not built to stand decades of abuse like hardwood, and Berber carpet is known as a carpeting style that can be difficult to deal with for a variety of reasons. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of buying Berber carpeting for your home.
Berber Carpet Prices
If you’re interested in purchasing Berber carpet for your home and can deal with the negatives, it’s time to talk about the cost of Berber carpeting. As we mentioned, it is one of the more affordable options in the carpet world. It’s also no longer considered “cheap” by many homeowners thanks to new styles and fibers, so you can find it installed throughout homes, not just high-traffic areas or finished basements.
While it’s hard to narrow down a price given the wealth of Berber options available, the fiber it’s made from will increase the cost as will the general style. Patterned carpeting usually brings a premium, and that’s no different with Berber carpeting. Cut Berber and Patterned Loop and Cut are also options, and then you have the fiber itself to consider.
Wool Berber carpet is the most expensive, with prices ranging from $5.00 to well over $8.00 per square foot for high-quality products. Nylon is considerably cheaper but varies wildly at $3.00 to $4.00 per square foot while olefin Berber tends to be the cheapest but is also the most difficult to clean.
Again, that’s just a range as the color, manufacturer, and overall quality of the carpet will play a part in the pricing as well. With brands, companies like Shaw and Mohawk have large collections of Berber carpeting, and you’ll certainly find fibers in the Berber style with the StainMaster branding along with other top manufacturers in the carpet world.
Berber Carpet Installation Cost
One of the cons of Berber carpeting is the fact it’s not easy to install. That means it’s not necessarily DIY-friendly, so you’ll need to think long and hard before deciding to tackle this style of carpet on your own. Our carpet cost and installation guide will let you know which tools you’ll need to pick up or rent, and what to expect if you want to install Berber carpet yourself.
If you plan on hiring a professional to install Berber carpet in your home, it’s typically a few dollars per square foot. Well, you can double that if you want to use patterned loop Berber to around $4.00, although other styles may be cheaper to install. On average, labor should cost around $2.00 to $3.50 per square foot unless you have issues with your subfloor or need old carpet removed and hauled off.
If you’d like to find a contractor in your area to Berber carpet in your home, our quote tool will help you find the right professional for the job.
Berber carpet is unique, and the attractive price point makes it an interesting choice for various rooms in your home. It is a style you need to consider carefully however due to all the variables involved with the style and the term itself. If you are still on the fence about Berber or just want to decide on the style of Berber that’s best suited to your needs, be sure to check out our carpet buying guide, which breaks down common styles and touches on some of the top manufacturers.
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Q: Is damaged Berber carpet easy to repair?
A: It can be, but it depends on the type of damage and how severe it is. There are kits that help you repair long runs or just a few bad loops, but immediate action should be taken as a small snag can become a big one rather quickly.
Q: What’s the best type of vacuum cleaner to use on Berber carpeting?
A: A wide variety of systems will work from cordless stick vacuums to large uprights or canister vacuums. The main thing to keep in mind is power, along with the brush roll or beater bar. If it has one, make sure it’s adjustable or can be turned off completely.
Q: Berber carpeting is affordable, but is all Berber carpet cheaply made?
A: No. While this style of carpet is well known for being a budget-friendly option, there are a wide variety of Berber carpet styles that fall into the premium and mid-range categories as well.
Q: Is Berber carpet easy to keep clean?
A: It’s in the middle of the pack when it comes to carpet styles. While not difficult to clean, wicking could be a problem because of the tight weave and stain resistance.
Q: What’s the best way to prevent Berber carpet from snagging?
A: Most snags in Berber come from poor quality carpet or poor decisions by homeowners. With the latter, you will need to refrain from dragging anything across your carpet and always keep an eye on active pets in your household. Unkempt paws are one of the quickest ways to damage this style of carpet.
Q: Is Berber carpet a good choice for homes with active or large pets?
A: Yes. Berber is a resilient style that does well in homes with pets or children. Snags are possible; however, which is why quality and keeping your pet's nails trimmed is critical.
Q: How long can I expect Berber carpet to last?
A: Between 5 to 20 years depending on the type of fiber used an the manufacturer. On average, 10 to 15 years is normal unless using a fiber like Olefin.
Q: What’s the best fiber for durability in Berber carpet?
A: Nylon. This fiber is known for its ability to hold up well under foot traffic where other fibers falter and is an excellent all-around choice for a number of styles.