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Carpet Buying Guide

Helpful hints for choosing your carpet

Walk into any carpet showroom and you find a world of colours, textures and prices that can easily confuse and make you wonder where to start.

So before you start on your proposed carpet purchase there are three important factors to consider:

  1. Wearability

    Which room is the carpet for a lounge or hall stairs and landing will need a heavier wear carpet than a bedroom due to the everyday wear and tear it will receive, and therefore your budget should take into account whether this is a long term investment or a short term purchase.

  2. Type of carpet

    Many People choosing carpets have a definite colour in mind. The next step is deciding what design would look best, plain, a stripe or a pattern. Normally your colour choice is the main factor to co-ordinating with something else on the room like sofas, curtains or a more neutral colour to allow other items of furnishing to stand out.

  3. Budget

    What our estimator will do for you is to maximise the carpet usage and minimize waste. Some rooms are more economical to carpet using narrower or wider carpet rolls. It is something to bear in mind, but don’t worry we do all this for you!

    Most carpets are available in 4 metre widths with some coming in 3.66 metre and 5metre.
    If your budget for example is £900, the next few steps will give you some idea before you start choosing if you want a rough guide to the amount of carpet required:

    Measure the maximum length and width of your room, i.e., 6.45 metres x 3.89 metres. This means you would need a 4 metre width so multiply that by the 6.45metre, which in this case would a total of 25.80 square metres.

    Divide this figure into your budget figure as above and this gives a price of approximately £35.00 per square metre. This will also need to include underlay and fitting that your budget allows for. Don’t worry we have plenty of ranges and offers to fit most budgets!

    Remember – we always come out and check measure your rooms to ensure you are getting the best value for your investment and little things like seems are in the right place.

LET’S HELP WITH THE MAIN TYPES OF CARPET CONSTRUCTION

  1. TUFTED

    The most popular carpet type as the manufacturing process makes this great value for money. A modern tufting machine can make a roll of carpet in about an hour compared to about eight hours for a woven carpet. The yarn is punched through a primary backing and then cut by a blade automatically.  The carpet then has a secondary backing glued to it to add strength to the carpet and maintain the tuft retention. It is then put through a shearing machine to trim the tips and get the height correct.  This method is fast, extremely reliable and cost effective thereby offering fantastic value for money.

  2. WOVEN

    Woven carpets are made using the traditional loomed method which can involve patterns or plain designs. This is a more premium product as it takes longer to manufacture and requires more human involvement. You can choose from Axminsters which tends to be patterned or Wiltons which are normally plain.  Both types are usually manufactured using 100% wool or 80% wool and 20% nylon. 

Choosing the right carpet type for you

  1. TWISTS

    Made from twisted fibres, this is the most stylish and practical carpet for busy families and the most popular of all carpet types.  The twist pile is simply two yarns twisted around in the same direction. The yarns are very short in length, thus creating a springy feel underfoot.  Twists come in two styles:
    Plains
    Heather – slightly mottled finish which is perfect for the family home as marks are less likely to show.

  2. VELVET

    A softer and more luxurious version of the twist pile but with fewer twists in each pile. This means like any velvet the tufts react to light and shows light and dark shading. Nevertheless velvets carpets offer a rich and indulgent effect.

  3. LOOP PILE

    Loop piles are great for most areas of your home.  The carpet is made from uncut loops of yarn and can be different lengths to create a textured effect that does not show the flattening during use you might see with twist pile carpets, as the weave bounces back easily.

  4. SAXONY

    Saxony offers a luxurious deep pile carpet that feels really soft underfoot and looks stunningly elegant. This type of carpet is perfect for bedrooms but not necessarily heavy wear areas, as the long pile would flatten earlier.

  5. PATTERN

    These can be traditional style carpets or the exciting stripes.  Patterns are great for hiding marks and with today’s modern colours can be visually exciting, giving your room that individual touch.

CARPET FIBRES

There are three types of carpet fibre: natural, synthetic and blended.

WOOL

Wool is a natural fibre and naturally flame retardant, durable and easy to clean, as well as retaining its appearance.  Commonly available in 100% wool form or as a blend containing at least 50% wool. The most common blend is 80% wool and 20% nylon.

Synthetics

  1. Nylon

    Nylon is a very strong hard wearing fibre and cheaper than wool but lacks some of wool’s long term benefits.

  2. Polypropylene

    Polypropylene is highly stain resistant durable and great value for money, but flattens easily and does not retain its appearance long term.

  3. Polyester

    Polyester wears well and is commonly used for Saxony carpet due to its glossy appearance. However, this also flattens quite easily.

Synthetics are good for people with allergies to hair and wool products.

Making life easier for you

All our carpet price tickets have been designed to help you in your choice.

They show:

Pile Weight i.e. 40oz
Pile Composition i.e. 80%wool/20%nylon
Available widths i.e. 4m and or 5m
Wear Grade*
RRP and offer Price

*WEAR GRADES

All our carpets are tested and graded for their durability as per the following grades:

  1. Extra Heavy Domestic/Extra Heavy Wear – the most hard wearing of carpets and ideal for anywhere in the home.  Also suitable for commercial use.
  2. Heavy Domestic/Heavy Wear – a hardwearing carpet, again, suitable for anywhere in the home.
  3. Medium Domestic – ideally suited for light traffic areas such as bedrooms.

Caring for your carpet

Regular maintenance

Vacuuming at least twice a week in your main living areas should prevent dirt and grit from matting the fibres. Carpet can store up to ten times its weight in dirt so regular vacuuming will help prolong the life of your investment.

Stains and spills

These need to be dealt with straight away with a clean dry cloth or kitchen roll. Always blot the stain and work from the outside to prevent spreading.  Apply the cleaning agent to the cloth, not the stain but always check first by trying the agent on a small area that is not seen.   If in doubt, always seek professional advice to remove larger or difficult stains.

5 YEAR PROTECTION

Our Care Programme gives you 5 years peace of mind!  Spilt wine? The children trampled stains into the carpet? Relax call our Care Programme Claim Line, explain what has been spilt and they will give the correct advice.  If the stain is stubborn, they will send a specialist cleaning company to remove the stain and if not, the affected area will be replaced.

Just a useful thought to protect your hall carpet. As carpets by front doors always take the heaviest wear, we often install a mat well using coir matting to ensure as much dirt is taken off shoes before people come in the house. Another solution is to whip edges of any carpet remnants to use as a mat and protect the underlying carpet.

Underlay

Underlay

A vital part of your flooring investment is a good underlay, which will:

  • Cushion your feet for added comfort.
  • Prolong the life of your carpet by up to 40%
  • Enable your carpet to wear evenly
  • Help to insulate your home and keep heating bills lower
  • Reduce noise

Depending on the area you are carpeting and the carpet you have selected will affect the type of underlay required.  Our expert carpet estimators are trained in each type of underlay to make sure we recommend what is right for you.

The main four types of underlay are:

  1. Blown rubber “waffle” underlay– Available in different weights and thickness. More commonly known as a waffle underlay. The surface pattern is designed to trap air under the carpet to improve insulation and give that soft springy feel underfoot.
  2. Polyurethane “eco” underlay - made from recycled polyurethane which offers a soft luxurious feel to your carpet and is an extremely good insulator.
  3. Rubber & felt - is a crumb rubber and felt, suitable for all domestic and most contract areas. This eco friendly underlay is made up of a base of recycled crumb rubber and a surface of recycled fibres and is excellent at retaining heat in your room.
  4. Sponge rubber - is suitable where you may have an office environment within the home. Castor friction from constant movement of an office chair will prematurely wear a carpet and also cause dangerous rucking. This underlay is stuck to the floor and the carpet is then stuck to the underlay thereby restricting carpet movement.  This underlay is also suitable for under-floor heating due to its low tog rating.