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Rugs: Pile Height Guide

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Rugs: Pile Height Guide

Your Guide to Rug Depths
Should pile height affect your rug purchases? This guide offers information on how pile height affects a rug's performance so that you can make the most informed purchase decision possible. Use this article to learn about pile height and know exactly what you're getting!
What is pile height? Pile height is the measure of the length of a rug's pile from the top surface of the backing to the top of the pile. The length of the backing is not included in this measurement. The pile is simply the visible surface formed by the cut ends of the knots. The most common procedure for measuring pile height is the use of a small ruler or measuring stick.
Why does pile height matter? Pile height affects a rug in a number of important areas, including: durability, ease of cleaning and cushioning. No length of pile height is considered to be of superior quality over another. In general, a customer's preferences should determine choice of shorter or longer pile.

Advantages of Shorter Pile (Less than 1/2 inch): Rugs with shorter piles tend to last a bit longer and are considered more durable than rugs with longer piles. Along with this increased durability, a lower pile is less likely to catch an object and be pulled, making shorter pile rugs better suited to last in a house with small children. Furthermore, a short pile rug can be vacuumed thoroughly. A shorter pile allows a vacuum to reach dirt at the very bottom of the rug without the risk of ruining it.
Advantages of Longer Pile (Greater than 1/2 inch): Rugs with longer piles are considered more luxurious and soft on the feet. Although generally not as durable as rugs with a shorter pile, long pile rugs provide plusher cushioning and, with proper care, can still last for generations.
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