Choosing your carpet type
Choosing carpet can be so confusing.
However, colour is just the beginning, there are so many options of constructions and materials, so many industry buzz words and different advice on the internet. It can be very difficult to know which carpet is the best for you. We suggest getting the advice of your local independent flooring shop (preferably us!) however below are some of the things you need to consider and an explanation of some of the carpet terms you may hear.
Colour and Design.
In our experience this is often the customer’s first consideration. We get it, there is a lot of carpet in your room and it forms such an integral part of your room design and colour scheme. Flooring can make such a difference, if chosen carefully, it can really give you the wow factor.
We advise you to consider it very early in your design plans, if left to last you will restrict your options and often end up choosing a neutral colour by default. When thinking about colour think about how carpet will work with soft furnishings and wall colours.
Patterned carpet tends to be more expensive than plain but can add a real dash of style; however it also has the benefit of covering areas of wear or staining and may prolong your carpets lifespan.
We love it when customers are brave and you can see some great examples in our gallery.
How much Traffic?
Consider the environment your carpet will be in, and what sort of footfall it will have to endure. This will help you narrow down your options. You will be able to have a softer carpet in the bedroom compared to what you need on a stairs and landing.
Wool Rich or Synthetic?
We will be honest and say we prefer the benefits of wool rich carpets compared to manmade fibres. Generally used for high-quality carpets, wool has natural bounce back that extends the appearance retention of your carpet especially in high traffic areas. It is a great insulator, it is fire resistant and, if looked after, it will last many years. Of course, wool is a naturally sustainable product, bio-degradable and is more environmentally friendly than petrochemical based synthetic carpets.
Manmade carpet has its place though, most are very easy to maintain and some are bleach cleanable, different types of synthetic manmade fibres include:
Nylon is very soft, durable, and resistant to stains and abrasion. It has good resistance to wear making it the most durable of the synthetic fibres.
Polypropylene is the best-selling carpet fibre. It is stain-resistant but is prone to soiling and holding onto oils which, in turn, collect dirt. It is relatively easy to clean—bleach can even be used in many cases. Polypropylene is not as resilient as nylon; the cost of polypropylene is less than most nylon carpets. Polypropylene is flammable and not self-extinguishing.
Polyester holds vibrant, fade-resistant colours and can be used in softer carpets. One type of polyester carpet, known as polyester/PET, is made from recycled plastic bottles. Polyester is prone to flattening under weight, making it a bad choice for high-traffic areas. It can also be prone to oil stains, which can be hard to remove.
Acrylic has good resistance to static electricity, moisture and mildew, fading, and staining. But it is not a very durable material, and it doesn't hold up well in high-traffic areas. It is sometimes blended with wool. Acrylics can sometimes turn brown if stained with certain alkaline chemicals, such as those found in cleaning products.
Cut pile or loop pile?
Looped pile carpet is made from a continuous yarn looped on the surface of the carpet. You can have either a small tight loop which wear incredibly well or a larger softer loop. Loop pile carpet is a good all-rounder but isn't a great choice if you have pets, especially cats that may damage the carpet with their claws
Cut pile is a style of carpet that is sheared, exposing the ends of the carpet each carpet tuft. Cut pile carpet comes in different forms.
Twist-pile carpet is made from twisted fibres which create a textured surface that is makes a hardwearing and soft carpet underfoot.
Saxony – A deep-pile carpet that is popular for bedrooms, the long tufts give a deep soft feel underfoot. Its long pile also means it flattens quickly.
Velvet – A short, dense pile and a good choice for a luxurious floor covering in a bedroom. Velvet pile has a smooth, cut pile finish and is usually available in solid colours.
Patterned Carpet – Made on either an Axminster or Wilton loom. Pattern carpets take longer to manufacture and therefore tend to be more expensive. They are of high quality and are used in some of the finest hotels and palaces in the world. There are modern and traditional designs available and will can hide any wear and tear or staining for years. A quality patterned Axminster or Wilton carpet is an investment which you can expect to last years.
Bathroom carpet - There are very few specialist bathroom carpets available, bathroom carpet has a gel backing which makes it impermeable.
What weight of carpet do I need?
One of the key elements when choosing a carpet is the weight which is defined as the weight of the carpet pile per square yard of carpet, measured in ounces generally between 30 and 60oz. The higher the weight the more yarn is in the face (front) of the carpet.
Generally speaking, the higher the weight, the better the quality, however we advise caution! It is not as simple as this as the weight is influenced by both pile height and density. A shorter pile 50oz carpet will be denser and more ware resistant than a longer pile 50oz carpet. Remember that the pile content and construction is as important when assessing quality.
How much do I need?
We strongly recommend you get your local retailer to come round and measure your installation. We offer a free of charge and no obligation service. We use the latest technology to ensure we plan your flooring in the most effective way. We will then give you a written estimate for all the costs involved.
Can I have carpet with underfloor heating?
You can have carpet with underfloor heating, there is a maximum TOG rating given by your underfloor heating installer (often around 2-2.5 TOG) We can advise which carpet and specialist underlay combinations would be the most suitable.