There’s more to choosing a carpet than the colour! A simple synthetic carpet could cost you £3 per sqm. An intricate luxury option could be £100+. So, what is it you need?
Cost is obviously a key factor. But you need to think about pile, carpet type and fibres to get the right fit for your home.
The Carpet Pile
The ‘pile’ is the name for all the individual strands – they will either be looped or cut.
The quality of a carpet is determined by how closely together those fibres are knitted. A short, dense carpet tends to be more durable than loose, shaggy strands which will flatten.
A good way to test the carpet is to press your thumb into the pile. If it springs back quickly it is dense, and resilient.
The Type of Carpet: Tufted vs. Woven
There are 2 different ways to make a carpet:
Woven: The traditional method using a loom. This is more labour intensive and expensive as the colour is woven into the fabric.
Tufted: This is the common option these days, and comes in a variety of styles.
The Carpet Style
Carpets can be warm and cosy, or fine and functional. These are the 5 main carpet styles.
Saxony: A super soft cut pile with an even surface. It is perfect for bedrooms as it is so cosy underfoot. The strands tend to be fluffier and looser, so it will flatten under furniture and leave vacuum marks.
Loop pile: The yarn is looped creating a soft, but durable carpet. It is a good value option for heavy traffic areas. I wouldn’t recommend it for pet owners though as claws can get caught in the loops!
Berber: This carpet has uncut loops, with a twisted/ knotted appearance. A great option if you need something hard wearing in hallways. Berber carpets look similar to loop pile, but are often multi-toned, which helps to hide dirt and stains!
Cut & Loop: This has a combination of straight and cut loops to create attractive patterns and textures. The drawback with this style is that it can wear out more quickly – so best used in bedrooms and dining rooms.
Velvet: Expect a dense, low cut pile with a smooth finish and very little twist. It is soft and, of course, feels velvety to touch. A great choice for an an indulgent dining room.
Know Your Fibres
Now you know your style – but what about the fibre?
You can choose between man-made and natural fibres to suit your budgets and tastes.
Wool: The is the traditional, and natural choice. Wool offers great sound proofing, warmth and strength. It is durable and long lasting, as well as naturally flame-retardant. This cosy choice will come with a higher price tag than the synthetic options.
Nylon: This is a good all-rounder and can be used throughout the house. It is soft, durable and stain resistant. This is probably the most popular choice for man-made carpets – costing less than wool.
Polypropylene: The 2nd most popular choice due to its value for money. It has great stain and moisture resistance, and easy to clean. However, it is not as durable or as soft as Nylon.
Polyester: This material holds colour and feels lovely and soft. This is the best choice if you have allergies too. It can also be an eco-choice as some polyester carpets are made from recycled plastics. Draw backs include wear and tear – so it may cost less initially, but you might need to replace it earlier than other choices.
Test them out!
There is a lot to think about when choosing a carpet, but the final test is how it feels underfoot.
Most retailers will send out free carpet samples so you can test them out at home. If you are able to go to the store – take your shoes off and walk on it there. This will help you make the final decision.
Remember to look at the underlay choices too. The layer under the carpet will have a huge impact on the comfort and softness.
Which carpet did you choose?