Frieze carpeting is a very popular style of carpet, characterized by long fibers with a high twist, in which relatively long pile fibers are twisted three to five times under steam conditions. The twisting is so tight that the fibers actually begin to curl back upon themselves, making for a very dense texture that performs well under heavy traffic. It is essentially the modern version of the old shag carpet from the 1960s and 1970s, but fortunately, it is evolved since. If you have memories of your parents or grandparents raking their shag carpet to reverse the matting that occurred with the long shag fibers, fear not—today's frieze carpets are durable and stylish enough for a relatively informal setting, and they don't compress and flatten as old shag carpets did.
Frieze is generally constructed of skinnier fiber strands than traditional shag carpet. Shags often had a bulkier look, while friezes have a thinner, leaner look. Frieze fibers is usually longer than a saxony or trackless style, and not as high in density as most saxonies. Frieze carpets are great at hiding dirt and footprints, but they can be somewhat difficult to get clean.
Soft and comforatable
Difficult to clean
Frieze Carpet Cost
Frieze carpets tend to be slightly more expensive than other pile types, but still far less expensive than premium flooring materials, such as hardwood. Prices range from about $1 per square foot for a polyester frieze carpet to as much as $8 per square foot for top-quality nylon carpet. Among other factors that affect the cost of the carpet are the face weight and fiber twist. Face weight is a measurement of how much fabric went into the carpet construction, while fiber twist refers to the number of times the carpet fibers were twisted. Higher face weight and fiber twist indicate a better, more expensive carpet.
Maintenance and Repair
High durability is probably the biggest advantage of frieze, which derives from the high twist of the fibers. A strand of carpet is strongest on its side rather than the end of the strand. When a fiber is standing straight up and down, the impact of foot traffic occurs directly on top, which will eventually cause the fibers to spread (bloom) and crush the carpet. But when a fiber is long and flopped over, as is the case with the twisted fibers on a frieze carpet, the impact occurs on the side of the fiber, where there is no danger of blooming.
While frieze carpets have the advantage of hiding dirt and footmarks, this comes at a price—they can be difficult to clean. With tighter, shorter piles, spills tend to sit on top of the carpet, where you can easily clean and remove the carpet stain. Since frieze fibers are long and loose, the spill tends to run deep into the carpet, making it much more difficult to tackle. For this reason, be sure to buy a carpet with excellent stain resistance. Look for comprehensive stain and soil warranties on the carpet. You may wish to choose a solution-dyed fiber, which means that the color is added directly in the manufacturing process, not applied later. In this process, the color goes entirely through the fiber, which means very high stain resistance.
Frieze carpet works well in a variety of home settings, especially family rooms, halls and stairs, and bedrooms. It has a look that is compatible with more casual décor, and it is soft and cozy enough to lounge on while playing a game with the kids or sink your toes into first thing in the morning. It is definitely durable enough to withstand the high-traffic areas such as hall and stairs, and it retains its beauty for many years if installed in the right location and properly maintained.
Another advantage of a frieze is that the long fibers are perfect for hiding seams. If your room is wider than the width of the carpet roll (standard widths are 12 and 15 feet) you will require a seam. This can sometimes give the appearance of a line through your carpet, but these seams are usually hidden by the tightly twisted fibers of a frieze carpet. Frieze carpets are also great for stairs and hallways with pickets (railing posts). They are extremely good at hiding the seams where the carpet has been cut around the posts, and at hiding the staples on stairs.
Frieze Carpet Installation
Frieze carpets are installed no differently than any other form of carpet. The work is usually done by professionals. Professional installation is relatively quick and inexpensive, and it may even be part of the cost of the carpet. Installation involves the crew preparing the floor, then laying down a carpet pad, then installing and securing the carpet using special stretching tools.
DIY installation, while possible with rental tools, is not done very often, since the cost savings is not substantial and the process can be difficult for amateurs.
A good carpet pad can make an average carpet feel like a much better product. Avoid cheap bonded foam pads. While these can be very cheap (about $.50 per square foot), for about $2 per square foot you can get a dense rubber padding that will feel wonderful underfoot and protect your carpet against compression.
Top Brands of Frieze Carpet
Most every major manufacturer of carpeting offers frieze carpet styles among their many offerings. Remember, though, that each manufacturer offers a range of carpets, from inexpensive bargain lines to high-end premium carpets. Getting a good carpet is not so much about the manufacturer, but more about your choice from among the products they offer. These manufacturers are very large corporations, and some manufacture several carpet brands.
The top carpet manufacturers include:
- Shaw Flooring: They have been rated the #1 manufacturer by many industry publications, thanks to their quality, service, and availability. This giant company also offers laminates, hardwood, and tile flooring.
- Mohawk Industries: This is one of the largest names in carpeting, and the company has gradually acquired many other flooring companies. Karastan is also a Mohawk-owned brand.
- Stainmaster: This major name offers four product lines to cover different needs: TruSoft, PetProtect, Active Family, and Essentials.
- Atlas Carpeting: Known as a design leader, with many patterns and textures, their carpets cater to a wide range of budgets.
Comfort and Convenience
While all carpets are more comfortable than hard flooring surfaces, frieze carpets are especially soft underfoot, thanks to their long, densely twisted fibers. And many frieze carpets are now featuring new, softer fibers, such as Mohawk SmartStrand.
The long and loose fibers are also great for hiding dirt, which makes frieze attractive to people with busy households. They also help to minimize footprints and vacuum marks on the carpet.
Is Frieze Carpet Right for You?
This can be the right carpet style for you if you want a somewhat informal-looking carpet that will hold up well under fairly heavy use. This can be a great carpet for family rooms, hallways, and other informal, heavy-use areas, but it may not be the best choice for formal settings.