Here at Home Flooring Pros we try our best to bring a greater sense of clarity and precision to the home flooring arena, and our work is at its most complicated in the non-standardized area of carpeting. Today we’re going to have a look at frieze carpet: we’ll explain exactly what it is, and review some of the best frieze carpet brands.
If you are planning to install new or replacement carpet then be sure to get at least three estimates from local contractors to make sure you’re getting the best rates. You may also want to consult our guides to DIY carpet installation, average carpet installation costs and after sales carpet cleaning.
What is Frieze Carpet
The first two things to clarify are, firstly, that frieze is often also known as twist or twisted; and secondly frieze is a type of cut pile carpet (other cut pile carpet types are shag, plush, Saxony and texture). Cut pile is where the carpet fibers are originally woven in a looped formation, but then the loops are cut to create the pile effect. The style of a cut pile carpet is dependent mainly on the length, density and the twist of the fiber.
Both frieze and texture carpets can be quite similar in appearance, with an uneven and tufted surface; the main difference is when you look closer you will see that the fibers used to make frieze carpets are extremely twisted, to the point that they curl or kink.
In fact according to the Carpet Buyers Handbook…
“most carpet styles have 3.5 to 5 turns (twists) per inch. A frieze may have 7-9 turns per inch and the high carpet twist level causes the carpet tuft to kink or turn back upon itself giving it a curled appearance.”
However, as many consumers don’t really take the time to look at the twist number, you will often see frieze and texture carpets retailed in the same category. Nevertheless, it is worth searching out a true frieze as the way they are made results in a stronger construction that is more durable.
What are the Benefits of Frieze Carpet?
The main reason that frieze carpet is seeing increased popularity in recent years is that it is very good at hiding vacuum tracks and footprints – the twisted, curly surface is much more forgiving than the straight edged pile of a Saxony or plush.
The surface texture of frieze is also quite good at concealing dirt too – even more so if you choose one of many frieze carpets that are available in mottled color tones. On the other hand, if you opt for a frieze with a longer fiber length and less density you might find that dirt gets trapped at the base of the fiber (nothing that a good quality vacuum cleaner couldn’t handle, though).
Another consideration when choosing frieze carpet is to understand that this is a very casual, relaxed style of carpet. In this regard it is perfect for family rooms, kids bedrooms and so on; but not necessarily the choice you’ll want if you’re styling a formal living room or a grand master bedroom.
Finally, you will find that a true frieze carpet with its highly twisted fibers is more costly than a texture carpet – but as the frieze is likely to look good for longer, your investment is likely to go further.
Best Frieze Carpet Brands Reviewed
The number of frieze carpets to choose from can be overwhelming. Use our frieze carpet reviews as a good starting point for your research.
Shaw Floors – Shaw Floors refer to their frieze carpets simply as twist, and they currently have 48 carpet designs that fall into this category, though if you look in more detail a fair number of them are closer to a full shag carpet than a frieze. Most of the frieze carpet designs are – frankly – quite similar, but they all come in numerous colorways giving you a large range of options to consider. For my money, the My Inspiration II and III designs are worth looking at as they each have 40 different color options, with a subtle mottled aspect that is not too overpowering. For parents and pet owners, there are also a number of designs that have Shaw’s patented LifeGuard waterproof system that comprises their R2X stain protection and a thermoplastic commercial-grade backing that provides a moisture barrier, preventing liquids soaking into the carpet padding and subfloor. All in all, if you know you want a frieze carpet, then the offerings from Shaw are hard to beat.
Mohawk – As you would expect from this industry leader, Mohawk has a comprehensive range of frieze carpets, with currently 66 designs each available in several colorways. For added luxurious feel you should opt for those designs that feature an impressive pile length of 0.982 inches such as the generously mottled Full Experience design, available in 8 cream, caramel and beige tones; we also like the slightly shorter pile of the Mojave Magic design (0.707 inches long), but with a thinner fiber that gives it a less dense, more free-flowing feel. Plus nearly half of the Mohawk frieze carpet designs (30 to be precise) are made with their innovative eco-friendly EverStrand PET polyester fiber made with up to 100% recycled material, giving you not only a huge range of choice but also the added bonus of helping the planet too!
Home Decorators Collection and LifeProof at Home Depot – As many of us already know, when it comes to carpeting not everything is exactly what it seems. This is particularly true of the two largest frieze carpet ranges at Home Depot – Home Decorators Collection and LifeProof – which are marketed as exclusive Home Depot brands but which are in fact produced by third-party manufacturers. But this is not bad news; in fact is actually good because the manufacturer behind the Home Decorators carpets is Shaw Floors, and Mohawk is the one producing the LifeProof carpet! So opting for either of these brands at Home Depot is a good bet for decent quality and durability. However, client reviews often are critical of the in-house installation service, so it may pay to look for independent, trusted installers instead. Each of these brands offers a wide selection of frieze carpets designs – in a good range of colors, though predominantly creams, taupes, grays, tans and browns. If I had to opt of one brand over the other, I would recommend looking at the LifeProof brand as the carpets are made using triexta fiber, which is one of the softest fibers on the market and has built-in stain resistance.
Stainmaster – If you have your heart set on frieze carpet and really, really don’t want any hassle in choosing a design, then look for the trusted Stainmaster brand because they only have two frieze options, and one of them is practically a shag carpet! The true frieze carpet is the Devoir design and is produced by Royalty Mill; it comes in 24 uniform colors, ranging from light creams to dark chocolates, and has Stainmaster’s Active Family protection built-in for easier cleaning. Meanwhile the Medley design – produced by Unique Mill – is closer to a shag carpet as it has longer fibers, comes in 8 mottled colorways including two gray tones, and has Stainmaster’s PetProtect system which makes it easier to vacuum up pet hairs.
Phenix Flooring – As I often mention, there’s nothing quite as messy and confusing as the carpet industry: with no overriding standard descriptions for each type of carpet being just one of the more annoying aspects of this chaos. A case in point is the carpet classification system at Phenix Flooring, where instead of looped, cut pile, twist or otherwise the carpets are classified into three much broader groups: patterned, tailored and casual. It’s in the casual group that you’ll find frieze style carpets, as well as what would otherwise be classified as textured cut pile! A few standout frieze carpets from Phenix to consider are the beautifully mottled tones of the Cape Coral design, available in 15 colorways that bring to mind the granular tones of sandy beaches; and the multi-toned fibers of the Griffith Park design that are perfect for homes with kids and/ or pets.