Carpet Buying Guide

S&G carpets are members of the Carpet Foundation. They have put together a Carpet Buying Guide which is below. This takes you through all the things you might want to consider before you buy your next carpet.

Bedroom Carpet

In the Bedroom, there is nothing like getting out of bed and your feet touching the warmth and comfort of carpet rather than chilly floorboards. It is a very personal space and you can do what you want here. i.e be unashamedly decadent; be sophisticated -the choice is yours! In terms of wear, it is the room that will take the least so you can save money here. A bit of carpet buying advice here is that if, for example, your preferred carpet comes in more than one weight, you don’t need to buy the heavier weight as it will not be subjected to heavy wear.

Living Room Carpet

The Living Room, as the name suggests, is often the ‘hub’ of the household so, here again, a hard wearing carpet is needed. A house full of young children or teenagers will need a practical, hard wearing carpet over luxury and appearance. Stain resistant polypropylene might be the solution in that instance.

Dining Room Carpet

The Dining Room is often a ‘decorating centre’ and the focus of much effort and expenditure as a ‘showcase’ room. The choice is entirely yours when it comes to the carpet – plain, patterned or loop pile. They will all look attractive.

Hallway Carpet

The Hallway is the first thing people see of our home – and we all like to create a favourable impression. For this reason a small runner is a great way to inject colour and make a statement.. It is also an area that takes a lot of wear and tear so your carpet needs to be durable so we recommend a wool mix carpet.

Stairs and Landing Carpet

The Stairs and Landing take a lot of wear as well, so again, a wool rich carpet is strongly recommended. Combining a stripe on the stairs with a contemporary plain carpet in the hall is a clever and practical way to add interest to a functional area. A stair runner is also a clever means of introducing colour and pattern.

Bathroom Carpet

It is a common misconception that you cannot have carpet in the Bathroom – not true. It is only a ‘no no’ if there is the potential for it to get soaked on a regular basis ie if you have young children.

There are a variety of carpet styles and surface texture options available, all of which affect the appearance, feel, and importantly, performance of your carpet.

By and large, the more luxurious the surface, the more care it will need. Shorter pile usually wears better than long pile carpet but is not as luxurious. It all comes down to personal taste and room usage. The most common styles are:

Twist Pile Carpet – These carpets have a coarse, rugged finish.

Velvet Pile Carpet – Have a smooth luxurious appearance, rather like suede. (On a like-for-like basis the only difference between Twist and Velvet is aesthetic)

Loop Pile Carpet – These replicate the look of natural flooring such as coir and sisal. Cats and anything with long claws are not a good idea with loop pile carpet.

Saxony Carpet – Has a deep pile with a pronounced sensuous feel. Though popular in bedrooms, they do flatten so are not recommended in heavy traffic areas.

Patterned Carpet – Usually has a smooth velvet surface with excellent appearance retention.

There are essentially two types of carpet sold in the UK – Tufted or Woven carpet.

Tufted carpet is much quicker and easier to make. Imagine a very large sewing machine – and you have Tufting! It is suitable for all types of yarn and you can make a variety of finishes. The overwhelming majority of carpet sold in the UK is Tufted.

A Woven carpet can be either an ‘Axminster’ or a ‘Wilton’. Axminster carpet is predominantly patterned with unlimited colour potential. Wilton tends to be plain but can use up to 5 colours. The manufacturing methods for both are traditional and labour intensive (the front and back of the carpet are woven together simultaneously) – but they are the ‘carpet man’s carpets’.

How carpets look and perform depends largely on the fibres they are made of. When it comes to carpet fibres, wool has long been recognised as the best.

It is soft and warm, resilient, naturally flame retardant and doesn’t ‘ugly out’, so looks better for longer. It is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable fibre and is biodegradable.

It is often blended in an 80/20 or 50/50 mix with other ‘man made’ fibres to enhance performance.

Synthetic fibres tend to be cheaper than wool and are certainly hard wearing although they are not as sumptuous in appearance as wool. Polypropylene also has the added benefit of being ‘stainfree’ and easy to clean.

Plain or patterned carpet? The choice is entirely yours!

Plain carpet is safe and will suit any room or decorating style. It also gives you greater flexibility with wallpaper and soft furnishings so can be easier to build schemes around. Using the same colour throughout does give a feeling of space and link rooms.

Plain carpets come in just about every hue. Deeper colours create a mood of intimacy and sophistication while lighter colours make a room feel airy and spacious.

While most of us have plain carpet, there are a wonderful variety of patterned carpets, from small scale well defined designs to larger scale geometrics and plaids and tartans. Patterned carpet most definitely does not mean 1970’s swirly, pub style carpet!

Striped carpet is very popular at the moment, particularly in hallways and on stairs. Stripes can lift spirits and, on a practical note, make a small space seem larger. They also co-ordinate well with plain carpet.

Finally, if you want your very own colour – you can. Manufacturers like Brockway and Ryalux will dye your own bespoke colour for you.

When you have made your decision, we give the following general advice when buying carpet:

Get a written quotation before you place the order – especially if you are asked to leave a deposit.

Make sure there are no hidden extra costs to come and that the quote includes things like ‘furniture moving’, ‘waste removal’, ‘delivery’, etc. Ask your retailer about these.

Ensure your deposit is protected by paying it with a credit card. Remember that if you are buying from a Carpet Foundation member, your deposit is automatically protected – but that may not be the case elsewhere. We do not recommend paying up front in cash.

Be suspicious of ‘generous’ discounts. If it seems too good to be true, it will be!

Ask what will happen if things go wrong. Remember that if you buy online, service and back up is not guaranteed and you will be on your own in the event of a problem.

We, and our Consumer Code of Practice that has been approved by the TSI, recommend that new carpet underlay is bought with every new carpet. The reasons for this are: Underlay is vital for a new carpet to sit properly and wear evenly It improves the feel of the carpet underfoot and helps with that ‘luxury’ feel It increases heat and sound insulation and can reduce energy costs It reduces pile compression and so enables a carpet to retain its appearance for longer Noise insulation. Acoustics are considerably improved with carpet and underlay while impact noise is reduced New underlay can increase the life of your carpet by forty per cent Just as carpet may wear more in certain areas, so does the underlay. You wouldn’t buy a new car with old tyres! What is more, manufacturers may not accept a complaint if old underlay has been used or, worse still, no underlay has been used at all. So, remember to buy new underlay with a new carpet!

Visit our Showroom or Arrange a Home Visit

S&G Carpets regularly provide domestic and commercial flooring across Devon and North Cornwall, including Bideford, Barnstaple, Torrington, South Molton and Bude. To view our range and discuss your options with a trained advisor, visit our showroom in Torrington, or alternatively arrange a home or business visit by either calling us on 01805 623112 or completing our enquiry form. We’ll come to you free of charge to measure up and provide estimates, we’ll also bring samples with us for you to see how different colours will work alongside your decor and furniture.

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