You’re thinking about buying a new carpet and you’ve stumbled upon the phrase ‘carpet pile’, but don’t know what it means. Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place. Floor Coverings International of White Bear Lake is here to sort through the confusion.

The short answer is that carpet pile is the top of your carpet. It’s the side you see and feel when you’re walking over it. But you might be surprised by just how many different kinds and styles of carpet pile there is.


Carpet pile can be made from a wide range of materials that vary in texture, durability, resilience to stains, and environmental impact, not to mention the cost. Common materials used to make carpet pile include: Nylon, Polyester, PTT (aka Triexta Polyester or Polytrimethylene Terephthalate), Polypropylene, Acrylic, and Wool. These materials can also come in a variety of blends, but and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Types of Pile

Carpet pile can come in a wide variety of types as well with common styles including: Woven, Needle Felt, Knotted, Tufted, as well as a variety of others.

Woven – Woven pile is produced on a loom and comes in two varieties: Plush & Berber. Berber pile is a loop, while with plush the loop is cut, which is why these two types are also known as loop and cut carpeting.

Needle Felt – More advanced than woven, needle felt is generally seen in commercial environments like hotels because it is very durable.

Knotted – Perhaps most notable pile of the knotted type is shag carpet, which is made by threading strands at right angles to give it a layer of cushion.

Tufted – A tufted carpet is created by having its pile injected into a backing material then layering on that a second layer of backing. The pile can then be sheered in different ways to create unique textures.

If you’re considering a new carpet and want to know which pile is right for you, what better way to learn about it than by having an expert bring samples into your own home? Floor Coverings International of White Bear Lake will do just that with no obligation. Call today!