Choose the right material for your needs
Carpets today are predominantly made from wool and man-made fibres. Each of these materials has their own particular qualities and benefits. Keep in mind the amount of traffic the room will get – high-traffic areas, such as hallways and stairs, require a heavy-duty material like nylon, while you have a free rein of choice for low-traffic areas, such as spare bedrooms and dining rooms.
- Wool carpets are truly luxurious – they are soft to the touch, wonderful to walk on and durable. Wool is also an excellent insulator and will help to keep your home warm and reduce noise.
- Wool-blend carpets offer many of the excellent properties of natural fibres mixed in with some of the advantages of man-made fabrics. Percentages will vary and this may be reflected in the price of the carpet.
- Man-made carpets are attractive and hardwearing. If you have young children or pets and therefore require a low-maintenance, high-performance carpet, a man-made carpet is ideal. It can cope with heavy footfall, dirt, and spillages.
Also consider any health issues, such as allergies. If you or someone in your family is allergic either to natural fibres such as wool or to man-made fibres, it’s essential to take this into consideration when choosing a carpet.
Styles and piles
Plush: This is a level cut pile with tight tuft definition and no ‘tip flair’.
Cut and loop: Cut pile carpet with areas of loop pile design incorporated into it.
Hard twist: Pile with a textured finish made up of highly twisted tufts that curl slightly at the pile surface.
Shag: Long pile tufts with a low-density construction. The tuft spacing is more open than other carpet constructions.
Level loop: A simple loop pile with tufts of equal height in a tight construction.
Berber, heather, tweed: These are usually made of thick yarn tufted into chunky loops in flecked earthy tones.
Sisal, cord: Heavily textured loop-pile carpet, either uniform in height or with alternating low and high lines. Similar in appearance to natural fibre floor coverings.
Multi-level loop: Has different pile heights, so carpet has a sculptured look.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Polypropylene low-level loop is best for disguising stains.
- Wool sisal low-level loop is best for durability. When subjected to crushing, it sprang back with no visible imprint.
- Wool cut pile twist is best for the luxury factor, as well as offering warmth and resilience.
- Nylon level cut-and-loop pile is the best bang for your buck.
Choose your colour carefully
The colour of your carpet can make a big difference to your home. Some light colours can be used to make small spaces look larger and more open, while dark colours can create a cosy and intimate feel. Of course, lifestyle and issues such as pets, small children or a home with many people coming in and out regularly may require a carpet that does not show marks too easily or one that stands up to vigorous cleaning!
Get expert advice
If you are new to the world of carpets or have a large home to re-carpet, you will save money and probably a lot of stress by asking advice from carpet experts. Not only will they know which carpet will suit which space, but they can also advise you on the specifics on laying and measuring carpet.
Out of sight but not out of mind…
An important part of buying and installing a new carpet is a good quality underlay. Sourcing a quality underlay will mean that the carpet will last longer, perform better and keep its looks for years to come.
Of course, you may not want to have carpet fitted in all areas of your home. Some people prefer the practicality of wooden or laminate floors in busy areas such as kitchens, and vinyl or multi-layer hybrid can also be a great choice of floor covering for your bathroom or utility area.