When reading about rugs and carpets, you’ll often come across the term ‘rug pile’. If you are a new homeowner or first-time rug shopper and you’re not sure what the term refers to or why it matters, it is a good idea to take some time and learn about rug pile before you go out shopping. This way, when the rug seller talks about rug pile you know what it means. It will also help you decide what kind of rug pile is right for you.
What Is Rug Pile?
Pile refers to the surface, or “face” of a rug. It is made up of tufted loops, which may later be cut or left alone. The pile of a rug can range from low to medium to high. Most tufted pile rugs are referred to as plush.
The pile height affects how a rug feels under your hands or feet, and it also affects how easy (or difficult) it may be to clean your rug.
High Rug Pile vs. Low Rug Pile
Low-pile rugs have a height of less than a quarter of an inch and tend to feel very dense under the hands and feet. These types of rugs are good for high-traffic areas and kids’ rooms, and they are a little easier to keep clean.
Medium-pile rugs are anywhere from a quarter of an inch to a half-inch high, and these rugs tend to feel quite soft on the hands and feet. Most people want a medium-pile rug for areas like a living room or bedroom because they feel good under their bare feet.
High-pile rugs have a pile that can range anywhere from a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch. These rugs are sometimes referred to as “shag” because of their shaggy appearance. High-pile rugs feel really good and soft under your hands and feet, but they can be difficult to keep clean because of the length of the pile. These rugs are best suited to areas such as a master bedroom or den, where traffic may not be as high, but the floor may need some extra warmth.
Which Pile Is Better – High Or Low?
There is no one length that is best for everyone. All three types of pile have their benefits as well as their downfalls.
If you prefer low-maintenance rugs that are easy to clean with a vacuum you should look for low-pile, because its fibers are trimmed quite short and it is easier for the vacuum to suck up any dirt or debris before it settles in.
If you don’t mind a little extra maintenance but want softness and warmth, you may prefer a medium or high-pile rug, as these tend to be warmer, and feel much better under the hands and feet. These will need a deeper suction from a vacuum, as the fibers are longer, and dirt or dust may be easily trapped down near the ends closest to the floor.
Pile height is only one of several factors you should consider when buying an Oriental rug. You also want to make sure that it is in the style, color, and shape that will stand out and make a style statement in your home.