What is Frieze Carpet and Is It Any Good?
Quality Frieze carpet is priced at between $4 and $9 per square foot.
Last Updated: August 18, 2023, by: Greca Fotopoulos
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 reports on 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.
FRIEZE CARPET DURABILITY
Another big advantage of frieze carpet is that it is extremely durable. The tight extra twists in the fiber mean that the fiber keeps its shape longer and doesn’t easily fray.
Because frieze carpets also have a longer fiber length, the fibers tend to curl rather than stand straight up. This makes the fibers better at resisting pressure; they are less prone to being crushed underfoot, tending to bounce back to shape.
Ultimately, however, the durability of a frieze carpet also comes down to which fiber is used. A vast majority of frieze carpets are made from synthetic fibers such as nylon or polyester, in particular polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Nylon fibers are by far the most durable of all the synthetic carpet fibers. PET fiber is made from recycled plastics, so has an added advantage of also being eco-friendly. Both nylon and PET fibers are extremely strong and durable, with inherent stain and fade resistance.
In addition to choosing a durable fiber material, also consider the manufacturing process of the fiber. Frieze carpets made using continuous filament (BCF or CFN) fibers are more durable and less prone to shedding than those made with staple fibers. Note that usually nylon is manufactured in both staple and continuous filament fibers, whilst polyester is only available in staple fiber.
FRIEZE CARPET COST
As with most carpet types, it pays to shop around for frieze carpets to get the best price. You can expect a good quality frieze carpet for cost somewhere between $4 – $9 per square foot.
Because the frieze carpet style is pretty similar across brands, you’ll really be making decisions based on the following factors:
- the carpet color and tone that suits your home décor
- the installation costs (frieze carpet tile is cheaper to install than wall-to-wall options)
- the warranty options (these can be as little as 5 years and as much as 20 years depending on the brand)
Opting for a recognized brand with a good reputation for respecting warranty conditions is one way to approach the rather crowded carpet market.
Another cost consideration is whether to choose wall-to-wall frieze carpet sheets or frieze carpet tiles.
We like the carpet tile option a lot for busy homes; forward thinking homeowners can buy an extra box to keep as a back-up in case damaged tiles ever need to be replaced. Frieze carpet tiles also have an added advantage of being easier and cheaper to install (see below).
Note that some carpet retailers include professional carpet installation in the cost per foot for the carpet, so double check what is covered in the price.
FRIEZE CARPET MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
As we’ve said, frieze carpets are extremely durable. The longer twisted fibers withstand footfall and bounce back easily after vacuuming, so your frieze carpet looks good for longer. However, those very same long twisted fibers have a downside: they hide dirt and debris. And they do it very well.
Regular vacuuming, with the correct vacuum cleaner will keep your frieze carpet clean and looking its best. However, it is essential that you choose the right vacuum cleaner for your frieze carpet.
You’re going to want one that is powerful enough to pull up the dirt that has worked its way down to the base of the fibers, but not so powerful as to destroy the fibers causing the carpet to shed. Vacuum cleaners without beater bars (or with beater bars that can be turned off) and with adjustable cleaning head height are ideal.
Avoid powdered carpet deodorizers; they tend to clog up on those lovely long twisted fibers, adding to the embedded dust at the base of your carpet rather than lifting odors off it.
Opting for professional cleaning twice a year will ensure your carpet is deep cleaned to remove germs and embedded dust. But be sure to check that your pro carpet cleaner knows not to use super high temperatures that may damage the twist of the fiber. Also note that pro cleaners will need to do additional drying phases as frieze carpets tend to soak up water.
On that note, as those long fibers will soak up spills more effectively than a shorter pile, be careful to also choose a frieze carpet that has integrated stain resistance. Solution-dyed fibers – where the color is added when the fiber is being made (rather than dyeing the fiber afterwards) – will also mean that dealing with spills and stains will be less likely to affect the carpet color.
In summary, these are the top tips for keeping our frieze carpet clean:
- vacuum at least once a week
- avoid vacuum cleaners with beater bars
- avoid powdered deodorizers
- clean up spills quickly, using a moist towel to gently blot the spill
- use a professional and experienced frieze carpet cleaning service, up to twice a year
Another advantage of the frieze style of carpet is that repairs can be easier to achieve because the more relaxed style and longer fibers allow repaired patches to blend almost seamlessly. There are numerous ways of repairing frieze carpets depending on the type of damage, and these can be done by confident DIYers (LINK) but if in doubt an experienced pro is the way to go.
FRIEZE CARPET INSTALLATION
Frieze carpet is as easy to install as most any other carpet.
Wall-to-wall frieze carpet is best installed by experienced pros to ensure a good fit. Pro carpet installers will check that the subfloor is clean and even, will advise you on the best carpet underlayment pad to use and lay the carpet correctly with stretchers and tacks as necessary. For more check out how much carpet stretching costs.
If you’re opting for frieze carpet tiles, these can usually be installed as a DIY job following the manufacturer’s instructions. Carpet tiles usually have integrated underlayment and either a peel and stick backing, or they are glued down using an appropriate adhesive.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll get the best installation results if the subfloor is perfectly even, clean and dry before the carpet is laid.
FRIEZE CARPET VS OTHER TYPES OF CARPET – IS IT COOL AND WHERE SHOULD YOU PUT IT?
Frieze carpet has been seeing an upturn in décor trends in the past couple of years, as more and more homeowners want to create cozy surroundings away from the grind of daily life.
The minimalist and back-to-basics Scandi chic trends of the previous decade (which were at their peak around 2018/ 2019) have given away to a more comfortable vibe: after the quarantine and lockdown orders of the pandemic, people want their homes to be a haven where they can relax and unwind.
Frieze has the advantage of being just the right side of cozy chic – it’s an informal look, but not as dramatically relaxed as a full shag pile carpet.
Frieze carpet is particularly suited to bedrooms, playrooms, family rooms, living rooms, and of course the home office, if you’re lucky enough to have one. And because frieze pile isn’t too long, if you want you can take your comfy cozy vibe one step further by layering rugs on top of carpet (opt for frieze carpet in neutral tones so that it becomes the backdrop for the other rugs).
Related Reading: Best Living Room Floor Ideas
However, if you want to have a more formal look in your home, then frieze carpet is not going to be the best option. For formal rooms, smooth pile carpet – also known as straight or velvet Saxony – tends to work best.
Note that frieze carpet is also not a good option for bathroom or powder rooms. Mind you, carpets in those rooms are never really a great idea!
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 20 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 several 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, available in several colorways. However, Mohawk has annoyingly categorized many of its frieze carpets as textured carpets, so it’s not always easy to tell which is which. The good news is that the one design that is categorized as frieze is pretty perfect: it’s called Stylish Beauty and available in 16 neutral tones from off white, through creams and taupes to dark gray. With excellent credentials such as the CRU Green Label Plus and Mohawk’s propriety Smart Strand Forever Clean stain resistant fibers, this is a very good quality frieze carpet that will suit any home. For an equally well-credentialed frieze-style carpet but with tones ranging through the pastel blues, pinks and purples, then have a look at the Exquisite Beauty design—perfect for calm bedrooms everywhere!
Home Decorators Collection and LifeProof Carpet 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 carpet – 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 want a hassle-free choice with tried-and-tested brand, then look for the trusted Stainmaster which is now exclusively available at Lowe’s. With 6 frieze carpet designs (most of them available in at least 12 colorways), it is easy to navigate and to make a choice. We particularly like the Day Trip design, which has a very suble mottled pattern in mostly cream and oatmeal tones; for a bolder look the Hypnotized design has a more obvious mottled pattern. All Stainmaster frieze carpets come with their trademark PetProtect system which makes it easier to vacuum up pet hairs and offers reinforced stain resistance. Stainmaster PetProtect carpets also have an impressive lifetime warranty for pet related stains and 25 years warranty for texture retention, wear and fade resistance.
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 Chandler Bay design, available in 12 colorways that bring to mind the granular tones of sandy beaches; and the multi-toned fibers of the Solstice design that are perfect for homes with kids and/or pets.
FRIEZE CARPET IDEAS
And lets wrap up with a selection of frieze carp photos in various rooms of the home to show you how versatile and beautiful this carpeting type can be…enjoy!
About the Author: Greca Fotopoulos
Greca is the lead style writer at Home Flooring Pros (more), with a BA in Technical Art, she’s focused on flooring trends, flooring ideas, and flooring brand reviews.
“There’s nothing more satisfying than creating a home that you love. The hardest thing about this job is trying not to covet all the great floors I get to review; if I could remodel my home every month, I would!”