Berber? Consumer Report: 

Complaints About Berber Carpet

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Berber carpet looks so good in the store. But, I can't say it enough times - Berber is the style or weave of a carpet, it is not the type of fiber of a carpet. Just like "Shag" or "Saxony", which refer to the appearance and construction of the fiber weave or fiber cut. So Berber carpet can be made of different types of fibers or combinations of fibers. The sales hype surrounding Berber carpet was initially unintentional. The Olefin story and consumer ignorance are really the culprits. The consumer, and far too often the carpet seller as well, is naive to the fiber content of carpet and what it means in terms of performance and required maintenance. The content here is intended to inform anyone with carpeted space to avoid any purchase of a carpet without first having an accurate understanding of what Berber is and is NOT!!! See our original Consumer Report on Berber.

Truly good carpet, like those made of 100% Nylon or Wool, will last for at least 10 years under the worse traffic conditions. Cared for properly that number doubles or triples for Nylon and even more so for wool carpet.

The "bad" Berber is made of polypropylene, often called Olefin or PolyOlefin. It has a very bad reputation. So carpet manufacturers are dreaming up new product names every day to disguise the fact that it's Olefin, Polypropylene is a cheap polymer and has only one known real value in the world of carpet namely when it's manufactured into strictly carpet backing material. It doesn't belong on the top as "face fiber". Since this cheap fiber can be woven into Berber style, it is a very misleading imposter of the best soft floor coverings, Nylon or the luxurious Wool carpet.

Nylon still dominates the carpet market and always will. Wool, is the only alternative to Nylon carpet and holds a small percentage (less than 5% in the USA) of the market due to cost and lifestyle factors. Wool carpet is usually sold to the very upscale residential and commercial property owners.  However, for about a decade Olefin Berber has been pushed so hard as a Berber alternative that consumers fell for it. In actual use, the result is the constant complaints by consumers of poor performance and misrepresentations of the product.

Here are some of the thousands of emails we receive complaining about the biggest mistake a home owner can make with regard to Berber carpet. The conclusion, Berber carpet (unless made of 100% wool or 100% nylon) is the worst carpet to buy today! For the record, we do not sell carpet at all. Our endorsement of Nylon and Wool is based on real life experience for more than 20 years and our services on millions of yards of carpet. The moral of the story is to educate yourself BEFORE you buy any carpet! Color Your Carpet® will post various articles to assist you in that education. 

Note: Thanks to all of you who have sent me your "Berber horror stories". I have posted some of them here. There are many more horror stories about Berber and other carpet nightmares. Visit our Carpet Education pages for more information.

Hello Connie!
I just finished reading your article re Berber carpet-I have a looped Olefin Berber in a family room and can certainly attest to the statements made in your article-it is impossible to keep clean and is totally matted and looks disgusting. My problem is that I was getting ready to replace it with a cut-berber made of the PET polyester-it had a high density and face weight so I though I would be buying a better product-I'm glad I read your article.  Is there a carpet you would recommend putting in a much used family room that has a garage and back yard access? Thank you for your article and help.
Donna R.

Note to Donna: Polyester Berber is just as bad as Olefin. No matter what new "name" the mills come up with to sell this inferior floor covering, it's all bad unless the face fiber content states 100% Nylon or 100% Wool!

Dear Sir,

We bought our house 2 years ago this March 2002. The carpet (Olefin Berber) was beautiful. Now, 1 child and 2 dogs later, the carpet looks like crap! The dog hair is actually stuck in the carpet.  We had it professionally cleaned about 6-8 months ago.  While it was wet it looked like all the stains had come out and I was thrilled, but as it began to dry the stains came back. In less than a month, the carpet looked worse than ever.  In some spots where we cleaned up, it left what looks like a light blue-gray stain. I am embarrassed for people to come over...because I can't get it to look good! No matter how clean the house is, the carpet makes it look terrible.  I would never buy Berber again!
The Bizzells

 (not everyone knows I'm a woman)

I'm a new tenant in an apt with NEW Berber carpet.  It is shredding the bottoms of my feet!  A horror story for you.  I have to wear slippers at ALL times or the skin on my toes and balls of my feet just shred and bleed. (gross, I know)  Other than moving, what can I do so I can walk on the Berber carpet and save my poor little feet?
Thanks! Larry

Just finished reading your web page and I want to thank you.  I have a rental
property and was considering buying a Berber for it. Naturally, it was the
Olefin type, they sure tried to put one over on me. I now know that is not
the way I'm going to go.  Not sure what I will be doing, but I do know that I
won't be putting the over hyped make believe Berber in that home.

Thank you again. D. S.

Hello Connie. I was just reading your site. trying to find stuff on Berber
carpet. We recently rented a home and the owners installed Berber carpet. I
have been here a month. And the bottom of my feet are rough and the skin
feels like it's been cut to ribbons. I hate shoes and do not want to have to
wear them constantly to avoid this. I hate to move already and I certainly
have never been allergic to carpet and am wondering if you have heard of
others who also have this problem. Thank you for your reply.


Note to Mrs. Propst: The fibers of Olefin have this characteristic. It's a trait that the sellers neglect to tell you about, assuming they even know. We get thousands of complaints like this. The answer is to place area rugs or carpet runners made of Nylon or Wool in the walking areas, - or to buy new Nylon carpet.

Dear Connie,
We are renting a house, and have been here for 2-1/2 years now.  I appreciate
your article on berber carpet.  We are planning on moving next June, and I
just *knew* that the landlord would keep our security deposit.  The carpets
are horrible!  They had put new berber carpet in less than a year before we moved
in. I HATE IT! Not only does it show horrible spots! (I even had it cleaned
in April, and it looks worse now than before it was cleaned)...but it is so
bad for my feet! My feet are constantly peeling, more like shredding. The
skin will shred and dry out and it makes them bleed.  I know I could cure
that by wearing slippers, but I love to go barefoot. Have you ever heard of
Berber doing that before?  I am 45, and have walked barefoot in my house all
my life, and I've never had this problem until this carpet.

Anyway, I think that your article will get me back my $750 rent deposit!
Thanks!!! Donna

Note to Donna: If a landlord or property manager installs Olefin Berber, and fails to tell you the negatives or doesn't know the problems, they should still be liable for replacement, not the tenant. We have helped fight this battle many times. I certainly suggest you provide them with the facts. It's unfortunate but often the landlords or property managers do not know all that they should about carpet. Additionally, they must provide you with a detailed invoice if they expect you to pay for replacement.

Further, carpet in rental properties, just like other private homeowner or commercially owned businesses that have installed carpet, the carpet has a pro-rated depreciation associated with it directly related to the price, age and quality. Typically, high quality carpet will lose value at a rate of a decending percentage per year, with the first 5 years accounting for 75% of the value, with 5% per year depreciation beginning in the 6th year. As a general rule, on carpet that costs less than $20 per yard, then 50% of the value is lost the first 2 years, followed by 20% each for the next 2 years leaving a 10% cost of replacement by the 5th year.

In most states, laws are in place to protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords. With regard to carpet, the landlord cannot hold the tenant responsible for the cost of purchasing brand new carpet after even a year since that would be awarding the landlord an unfair monetary gain to get something of more value than the used item was worth at the time the tenant moved out. The exception of course is abuse or vandalism. Check you state laws for details. Also, ask your insurance agent if they have and amortization/depreciation schedule on carpets.

We just recently moved into a new house and guess what kind of carpet the builder put in?  BERBER!!!  Our previous house had regular carpet and I have to say it was cheap builder's grade carpet.  I hated it!!!! I was excited at first when I learned that our new home would have Berber.  We were in our house only 2 weeks when we noticed to snags in the carpet.  I could not believe it.  I can honestly say that I wish we still had the regular (Nylon) carpet.  Our Olefin Berber carpet now looks as though we have lived there for 10 years.  We have only been there for four months.  The stains in our carpet are awful.  I do not like the feel or look of the Berber at all.  Hopefully we can save some money and replace it soon - with real carpet - nylon. Thanks, Ashley

    Hey!  I would never by berber carpet again. Unless I can be positive that it's nylon. I had Olefin berber carpet installed in my house 3 years ago.  And it looks terrible.  There are places in my carpet where it is coming unraveled.  A lot of places matter of fact.  And the stains are terrible.  The place where I bought my berber carpet from went out of business and I had a 5 year warranty on my carpet.  But I don't know who to get a hold of for them to come and replace my carpet. We put in 1900 square feet of carpet.  We spent alot of money of this carpet and it looks and feel terrible. 
    I hate to go bare footed on my carpet it has the worse feeling on the bottom of my feet.  It is hard.  The man that sold us the carpet said stains would come right up.  That is a lie.  I have tried everything but a professional cleaner to clean my carpet.   And It has not done no good.  One man told me to pour straight bleach on my berber carpet that it would not hurt it but I did not do it.  I can not be around bleach smell.  I am very disappointed in my berber carpet

Hi, well I can tell you a horror story about olefin berber carpet.  I have a new
house 2 1/2 years old.  I paid a hefty price to upgrade my carpet to an
offwhite cut berber.  I do not remember what it is made of but it was the
biggest mistake I ever made.  I even purchased an extra 5 year stain
gaurantee with it from 3M and that was a mistake too.  After 1 year the
carpet looked dull and I had it professionally cleaned.  The stains came back
only a few days after cleaning.  I called the 3M people and they told me they
would replace my carpet but I had to pay to have it all taken out and
discarded.  I could not do it myself they said.  Well at $2,000 to take it all
up I chose not to do it.  Now 2 1/2 years after first installed I am
embarressed to have anyone over to my home.  My older dog has had a few
accidents and I have tried everything to clean they up but the carpet yellowed
bigtime.  It is horrible and I will never buy carpet again from the place that suggested
it to me.  This (Olefin berber) is by far the worst carpet I have ever had. 
Thanks Stephanie

We recently had our berber carpets cleaned.  Shortly after, when moving
furniture back, we noticed some spots.  When we tried to clean these with
Resolve, the carpet (off-white with flecks of other colors), started to
turn a brown color.  It was as if the color were all coming out onto the
carpet.  We had the cleaners back to look at it, and they said that it was
likely that the fiber pockets exploded, bleeding onto the rest of the carpet.
They said this probably happened as a result of the heat/friction from
moving the furniture.  Could this actually be true?  Is there a way to get
the stain out?  What kind of cleaning agent can we use from now on that
won't cause this?


Note to Miriam: The carpet cleaners don't know what they're talking about as usual. The carpet was "scorched" from the furniture being moved across it. Olefin has a very low tolerance for heat or friction. The stain is "burned" carpet. It cannot be fixed. As far as cleaning agents on Olefin, don't use any commercial product except mild dish washing solution like Ivory or Dawn(liquid soap). Add some white household vinegar. The formula is one drop of liquid soap and 4 ounces of vinegar to each gallon of hot water. This will remove most stains safely and keep the carpet from yellowing or browning. It will also prevent high pH build up which causes overall discoloration. Some stains need specific remedies, find them on our Carpet Education page.

Hi, read your warnings regarding Berber carpet.  I am replacing my 12
year old saxony style nylon carpet (which has held up very well) and was drawn
to the color variation and texture of the Berber style.  Of course we we
weren't told of any of it's potential problems.  The style I was drawn
to was an Aladdin by Mohawk made of 100% Xylon Olefin.  Which of course,
you mentions isn't the best fiber choice for carpet.

I am looking for a durable, stain resistent, yet textured/multi-colored
for style.  Does the "Nylon" Berber have similar problems as one made of
Olefin? My main concern is will it clean nicely? Granted my current
carpet has seen it's day.  Other than a little wear/matting in the high
traffic area it has held up very well.  Any suggestions would be much
appreciated.  Thank you, Susan H

Note to Susan: Yes there are great choices in Nylon Berber. It's a little more expensive but well worth it. Nylon carpet in any style is a superior floor covering. We cannot change the texture or weave of a carpet, but we can restore the color or change it to a brand new color and ALL STAINS will be eliminated, giving the carpet the appearance of new carpet. We can even add borders or designs. But only on Nylon or Wool carpet. Nylon cleans very well and will last ans look newer for many years. From my experience, Olefin and polyester only has a REAL LIFE CYCLE appearance wise of less than three years. Invest in Nylon for longevity, appearance, safety, ease of maintenance and comfort.

Hi i have berber and it is only 1 year old and we have had nothing but
trouble with this carpet it had come unraveled in several places and i have
runs all over we called the place were we bought the carpet and they told us
that our vacuum was the problem im not sure of the fiber content but we are
trying to find out the manufacture of the carpet and call them the carpet
place says they won't replace it what can we do HELP!!!!!

Note to Help:  Keep after them, call your local TV consumer news department. Keep records of every event and correspondence. Eventually, we'll get the attention of the carpet manufacturers and maybe they will take this product off the market. I have amassed quite a pile of evidence against the sales tactics and misleading consumer advertising claims about polypropylene (Olefin), polyester and P.E.T. so hopefully soon someone will take the necessary steps to bring this subject to the foreground of consumer problems.

So what do I recommend? I recommend 100% Nylon type 6 or 100% Nylon type 6.6 - don't let them tell you any different! Unless you can afford wool, these are the best choices. Don't get talked into any "premium" cost for Stainmaster or Scotchgard, etc. The weave style of the carpet can be cut plush or berber, but just be sure it's ALL Nylon.

Don't fall for the "well this is 'solution-dyed' Nylon either". Demand written description and warranty BEFORE you buy! When examining for quality, look for the fiber roots to be stitched very closely together. The more backing you can see when you part fibers, the more inferior carpet it is. Then, look for the "twist" to be very tight. Example - a fiber that has 3 twists (rungs) in a half inch height is far inferior carpet to a fiber that has 6 twists in a quarter inch height.


Our company is Color Your Carpet® the only onsite, full-time, 100% carpet dyeing & color restoration service in the world. Expert carpet dyeing & color restoration services for upscale commercial & residential property owners exclusively through our franchise system.

Dyeing Berber Carpet?

One myth is that Berber can't be dyed. Well, it's not worth dyeing unless it's a nylon or wool Berber, in which case, "THEY'RE" right, "THEY" can't dye Berber. But, Color Your Carpet® can and does dye Berber made of nylon or wool. And YES we can dye the "other" Berber carpets, even the inferior Olefin type. But colors are limited compared to the millions of colors we can provide on Nylon or Wool.

To see some of our color samples on wool Berber visit our Carpet Samples   page.

I would like to hear your story about Berber, good or bad. Please include how long you've had the Berber installed, the fiber content (olefin, polyester, PET, unknown, blend, nylon or wool), the color, the cost (total & how many square yards), and your experience with durability, appearance, cleaning results, stains, pulls or any other important issue. Also, let me know if I may publish your letter. Let me know what you think via phone or:

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