Everyone here at Floor Coverings International of Scottsdale loves it when our customers get just as excited about flooring as we are, and we believe informed consumers are the heart of a healthy marketplace. Because of this we’ve put together the ultimate guide to carpeting terminology, in order to help you learn what you need to know before you install your new carpets with Floor Coverings International of Scottsdale, AZ. Enjoy!


The back of a carpet. The primary backing makes up the structure of the carpet tufts while the secondary backing acts as a barrier between the floor and the carpet.

Berber Carpeting:

This is a loop carpet style made of a mix of large and small loops with a characteristic look of dark spots on a light background.


This refers to when the ends of a cut pile carpet begin to unravel and fray.

Bulked Continuous Filament (BCF):

A carpet manufacturing method wherein a single, extended fiber is weaved through the backing to make up the carpet.

Carpet Cushion:

The cushion that separates the carpet from the subfloor. Padding will determine how comfortable the carpet will be to walk on.

Carpet Pile:

The surface or outer facing part of the carpet, the pile is the part of the carpet that you walk on. The most popular pile options are loop pile and cut pile.


refers to how carpet fibers tend to bend under heavy traffic. Crushed carpets are often damaged irreparably.

Cut Pile:

A carpet pile type where a loop pile carpet is cut so that the surface of the carpet is made up of the cut ends.


A floor’s ability to withstand wear and tear.


The material from which carpet is made.


Sometimes confused with shag carpeting, frieze carpeting (pronounced free-zay) is a carpet type characterized by a long pile with a large number of twists.

Indoor/Outdoor Carpeting:

Carpeting that can be installed outside and resist weather. Many indoor/outdoor carpets are made out of Olefin.

Loop Pile:

One of the most common carpet pile styles, wherein the pile is made up of fiber loops constructed tightly together.


A synthetic carpeting material made from polymers called aliphatic polyamides. Nylon is the most popular carpeting material on the market due to its high durability.


A synthetic carpet fiber made from polyolefins such as polypropylene.


The cushion that separates the carpet from the subfloor. Padding will determine how comfortable the carpet will be to walk on.

Pile Height:

The length of the carpet pile fibers.


Usually a cut pile carpet, plush carpets are commonly found in residential homes and are thought of as the ‘standard’ carpet.


A synthetic carpet material. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer and the carpets made from it are particularly stain resistant.

Private Labeling:

The practice of carpet retailers putting their own labels on a different manufacturer’s carpet.


How well carpet resists crushing.


The place where two piece of flooring such as carpets or planks join.


Carpet with defects.

Sisal Carpeting:

Carpeting made from Sisal, which is a type of agave plant. Sisal is a great natural flooring option.

Stapled Fibers:

This is a carpet manufacturing process wherein individual tufts are attached to the carpet.

Tack Strips:

Pieces of wood studded with tacks that are used in the installation of carpeting. These wood strips are placed around the edges of a room with the tacks face up to anchor the carpet.


Groups of carpet fibers are combined to make tufts, which are then installed on the carpet.

Wool Carpeting:

Wool is a natural carpeting material. It is very ecofriendly but typically is more expensive than other carpet types.