Carpet Types

Although different face constructions result in different manufactured sizes, the standard nominal width for American-made carpet is 12 ft. 1 in. for commercial grades and 11 ft. 11 in. for residential. The finished size, or “trimmed width,” of carpet is at least 1 in. shorter than the nominal width.

Carpet is classified by how it’s made and the type of fiber used on the face. A carpet’s face construction denotes the method used to attach the yarn to the backing. The three most common face constructions are fusion bonded, woven, and tufted (Figure A).

Figure A: Carpet Types


Fusion-bonded carpet (left) offers the densest face. The yarn is heat-fused between two sheets of backing material and then cut into two pieces, always resulting in a cut pile. Originally all carpet was woven (center), which offers good dimensional stability and durability. Like woven carpets, tufted carpet (right) comes in either a cut or loop pile, but is often made with less expensive fibers.
Fusion-bonded carpet (left) offers the densest face. The yarn is heat-fused between two sheets of backing material and then cut into two pieces, always resulting in a cut pile. Originally all carpet was woven (center), which offers good dimensional stability and durability. Like woven carpets, tufted carpet (right) comes in either a cut or loop pile, but is often made with less expensive fibers.

Fusion-bonded carpet has the densest face. The yarn is heat-fused between two sheets of backing material, and then cut into two pieces. This always results in cut pile, and may also cause color variations unless “top” and “bottom” sheets are sorted and used separately.

Woven carpet is both durable and dimensionally stable. It can have a cut or loop pile.

Tufted carpet is manufactured on a broadloom — a large fast sewing machine that simultaneously inserts hundreds of rows of yarn tufts through a backing material (usually polypropylene). The backing is coated with latex, and then a secondary backing is glued onto this for dimensional stability. Tufted carpet can have either a cut or a loop pile.

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