Do you want to spruce up your floors with newly laid down carpets? There’s no denying the timeless charm of carpeted floors, fed by the warmth and soft feel they provide underfoot.
Nevertheless, the elegance of carpets doesn’t make shopping for them any easier. If you decide you want carpets for your property, you’ll have endless choices to make, including the material, style, type, and colour of your floor.
So we’ve prepared this comprehensive guide to help you start your shopping journey armed with information.
A carpet is a type of flooring made from soft textiles, as opposed to the standard hard floor types. It consists of a durable backing and a layer of thick woven fabric attached to it, be it natural or synthetic.
Yes, carpet is a popular choice of flooring, especially in residential properties. Many people prefer it to hard floors because it provides warmth inside the house and gives off a cosy feel. It’s also popular in offices and hotels but not as common in other commercial properties.
To choose the right carpet, you should first settle on a budget. Synthetic carpets are famously more affordable than natural carpets, and choosing between them should be your first decision. Then, you should consider your property’s interior and choose a style and colour accordingly.
Carpet flooring comes in a myriad of types, each one serving a specific purpose. Here’s a breakdown of each type and where it fits the most.
Twist carpets are made by twisting strands of yarn tightly till they form a dense and thick pile of fibre. They’re comfortable underfoot, but their most important feature is that they’re more durable than many other types, thanks to the twisted fabric. These carpets are more common in synthetic materials than natural, and they’re the right fit for high-traffic rooms in your house.
Saxony carpets are made by twisting strands of yarn loosely and then cutting them at the top. The fibres aren’t as densely packed as in twist carpets, making for a softer underfoot feel. However, this softness comes with a price, as Saxony carpets flatten easier than their counterparts.
Berber carpets are different from the previous two types because their fibres aren’t cut at the top. Instead, they’re tightly woven and looped through the backing, resulting in a tough but durable feel underfoot. They’re often made using different colours of fabric and are a perfect choice for rooms with heavy foot traffic.
Frieze carpets are made by tightly twisting long strands and then cutting them at the top to give them a shaggy look. This manufacturing method gives the carpet more density and, thus, more durability. While frieze carpets do well under heavy foot traffic and rarely fray, they’re not the easiest type to clean.
After their name, cut and loop carpets consist of both cut and looped fibre strands. The two types are woven together to create unique patterns, which makes for stylish designs. Because of this manufacturing method, cut and loop carpets aren’t as soft as frieze and Saxony carpets, but they’re more durable.
Patterned carpets are either made from long and short uncut loops or a mixture of cut and uncut tufts. The variety of strand shapes and heights on the same carpet results in beautiful but loud patterns, and because of this, patterned carpets are usually the focal point of any room.
Loop pile carpets are made entirely from looped strands, unlike cut and loop carpets. This manufacturing method makes them more durable but less soft underfoot, rendering them ideal for offices and managerial commercial properties.
Velvet carpets are made by shearing wool strands till they’re very short and weaving them densely onto a backing. They provide unequalled softness underfoot and give off an aura of luxury that no other type of carpet provides. While they take heavy foot traffic well, they might flatten a little under heavy furniture pieces.
Wilton carpets are made after a city in the United Kingdom where they shone to light, and they’re manufactured using a unique method. They’re made from wool strands woven onto wire looms and then attached to the backing as a whole.
The strands can be both cut and uncut, and some carpets have a mixture of the two. These carpets are ideal for hotels because they’re elegant and durable.
Axminster carpets look similar to Wilton carpets, but their manufacturing methods are different. While Wilton carpets are made by weaving wool strands onto one large backing, Axminster carpets’ strands are woven onto multiple separate tufts. The tufts are then attached to a backing. Just like their peers, these carpets are an ideal fit for hotels.
Unlike all of the other types on our list, carpet tiles don’t have a specific manufacturing method. Instead, they’re characterised by coming in equally sized squares. They’re durable enough for heavy traffic rooms, but they don’t offer much in the looks department. That said, they’ve been recently coming in many trendy designs suitable for kindergartens, offices, and more.
Carpets come in synthetic and natural materials, and we’ll address them both in this section.
Wool carpets are made from a natural textile usually acquired from sheep and other mammals. They strike a perfect balance between durability, sustainability, and aesthetics, making them one of the most sought-after types on the market. They’re a perfect fit for residential properties because they give off a cosy feel, but they’re too pricey for the commercial industry.
Nylon carpets are made from synthetic silk-like plastic that gives them unparalleled durability. They’re resistant to stains and dents, but they’re not as comfortable and soft as natural carpets. Thanks to their excellent performance under heavy foot traffic, nylon carpets are an ideal choice for houses with pets and kids running around.
Polyester carpets are made from synthetic fibre that gives them enhanced durability and resilience. While they’re not as resistant to damage as nylon carpets, they’re softer and more comfortable underfoot. Since they flatten under heavy traffic, polyester carpets are best left for low-traffic rooms, like guest rooms.
Polypropylene carpets are made from a synthetic resin that provides exceptional resistance to water and stains. It’s softer than both nylon and polyester, but it provides very little resistance to heat. Because of their resilience against water damage, polypropylene carpets are a perfect fit for patios and other outdoor places.
Acrylic carpets are made from synthetic plastic fibre that highly resembles wool. They provide decent resistance to stains and water damage and come at more reasonable prices than natural materials. Because of their elegant, homey designs, acrylic carpets are the right fit for residential properties.
Natural fibres are a broad name that involves many carpet materials, including wool, seagrass, sisal, jute, and more. These are all-natural materials that provide a soft underfoot feeling and unprecedented durability. However, most of them are too pricey for commercial properties, making them more suitable for houses and high-end places.
Blended carpets are made from a mixture of synthetic and natural materials. The most famous mixture is wool and nylon, and it brings you the best of both worlds. You’ll enjoy the longevity and softness of wool, along with the resilience and durability of nylon. Because of their favourable features, blended carpets are suitable for both low-traffic and high-traffic rooms.
Carpets also come in a variety of styles, each suitable for a specific setting. Here’s a detailed breakdown of them:
Plain carpets don’t have any patterns, making them an all-rounder in the renovation industry. They’re ideal for all settings, including residential and commercial properties.
Patterned carpets come in endless designs, and they’re famous for their widening effect in small rooms. They’re a focal point of any room they get put in, unlike plain carpets, which usually fade into the background. They’re more famous in residential properties than commercial and industrial ones because of their bright designs.
Like patterned carpets, striped carpets have a widening effect, making them ideal for small rooms. They’re perfect for hallways and stairways because they go with all wall colours and don’t make these areas look narrower.
Textured carpets come in both plain and patterned designs, and they’re highly durable and resistant to signs of wear. Because of their dense feel, they’re less comfortable underfoot than other styles, but their durability makes them ideal for high-traffic rooms.
Frieze carpets are mostly plain, and they pack a lot of favourable features that make them suitable for residential properties. They’re stylish, durable, and take constant running and stomping well.
Cut and loop carpets are mostly available in patterns, as manufacturers use variations in strand lengths and cuts to highlight different shapes. They’re ideal for mid-traffic rooms because they’re decently durable, like dining rooms and guest rooms.
Multi-level loop carpets consist of looped strands at different heights. Manufacturers use this variation in height to produce unique and multi-dimensional designs. Because of their stylish appearance, multi-level carpets are most commonly used in residential properties.
Sisal is a natural fibre obtained from agave plants. It’s used to manufacture high-quality and durable carpets because of its soft and dense nature. The density of sisal prevents it from trapping dust and allergens, which makes these carpets a perfect fit for people with respiratory problems like asthma and allergies.
Shag carpets are made from very long strands that look like noodles. They’re characterised by their stylish unruly look and the warmth they provide under your feet. Because of their cosy feel, they’re best left for residential rooms, not commercial properties.
Plush carpets resemble velvet carpets in their softness and luxurious feel, but their strands are denser and longer. They don’t do well under heavy foot traffic and are susceptible to water stains, making them a suitable fit for mid and low-traffic rooms.
The answer depends on your needs. Do you prioritise practicality or elegance? Light colours are more elegant than dark ones, but they show signs of wear and stain easier. Meanwhile, dark colours conceal dust and signs of use well. Here’s a list of the most common plain carpet colours people buy:
Neutral colours like off-white and black are an ideal fit for commercial places like offices and conference rooms. Meanwhile, bright colours like red and purple are more famous in the residential renovation industry.
If you’re having trouble choosing the best floor for your property, let us tell you that carpets come in various types and materials, making them versatile enough for use in multiple places. They’re best suited for the following places:
Carpets are ideal for houses because of the warm and comfortable aura they provide. Here are a few rooms where you can put carpet floors and what types are perfect for them:
Stairways are high-traffic areas with a high chance of spillages and stains, making durable synthetic carpets your best bet, like nylon. As for the type, Berber and loop pile carpets are ideal because they don’t dent or flatten easily and take constant stomping well.
Since stairways are often narrow, getting patterned or striped carpets is best to make them look wider.
Bedrooms are mid-traffic rooms with aesthetics as a priority, so natural materials like wool are the more favoured option. If you want the affordability of synthetics, you can go for polypropylene or polyester carpets.
In terms of type, we think that Saxony, twist, cut loop, and frieze carpets are suitable choices for bedrooms. As for style, you can go for any you like as long as it matches your interior.
Living rooms are high-traffic rooms, which means you should stay with durable and stain-resistant materials like nylon. Like bedrooms, you can choose from Saxony, twist, cut loop, and frieze carpets in any style you like.
Hallways are high-traffic, often narrow areas, so we think durable synthetics and widening patterns, like stripes, are the way to go. As for type, you need one that doesn’t show signs of wear fast, like Berber, twist, cut and loop, and frieze carpets.
Carpets are insulating and sound-dampening, making them ideal for various commercial settings, like offices.
Since offices are prone to constant foot traffic and chair rolling, you should look for looped fibres, like loop pile or Berber carpets, and durable materials, like nylon. As for style, it depends on the interior, but plain carpets are the best choice because they go with everything.
|Pros of Carpets|
|Insulating Effect||Carpets hold on to warm air longer than any other floor type, which results in an insulating effect, much needed in cold regions.|
|Safer for Children||Unlike hard floors, carpets are soft underfoot, which means they’re safer for children in cases of falls and slips.|
|Affordable||Compared to many types of hard floors, like wood, carpets are much more affordable.|
|Concealing of Dust||Daily dust shows on hard floors right away, but carpets conceal it till cleaning day, which gives you an overall cleaner and more neat everyday look.|
|Cons of Carpets|
|Holding Dust and Allergens||Carpets retain dust and allergens among their strands, which might cause issues for people with respiratory problems.|
|Challenging to Clean||Hard floors are easy to clean by wiping, while carpets need constant vacuuming and specific detergents to remove stains.|
|Longevity||The best carpet out there will last about 20 years if maintained properly, while some hard floors live up to 50 years easily.|
|Fire Risk||Textiles catch fires much easier than hard materials, making carpets a huge fire risk.|
If you want to know where to shop for carpets, here’s a list of high-quality brands in the United Kingdom:
The average price for carpets in the United Kingdom ranges from £5 to £40 per square metre for mid-market floors. However, high-end choices start at £50. Beware that this range might change according to the type of floor your choose, labour wages in your city, and many other factors.
The best carpets on the market you can buy without sacrificing your savings are polypropylene and polyester carpets. You should also look for affordable types, like Berber and loop pile carpets.
If you don’t mind denting your wallet a bit while shopping for a carpet, you should definitely settle for a wool one. You can also look for high-end types with eye-catching designs, like Axminster and Wilton.
Fitting a carpet can cost you anywhere from £20 to £70 per square metre, depending on the size of your house, the type of carpet you choose, and the average labour wages in your neighbourhood.
Having new, high-end carpets can increase the value of your property while reselling. However, old, synthetic carpets won’t have much of an effect on your selling price.
Installing carpet floors is an intricate process that calls for the presence of professionals. Here’s a summarised version of the steps your flooring contractor will follow to install your new floor:
Yes, most carpet types need underlay to prevent an uneven surface. However, if your carpet already comes with a rigid backing that’ll look even across the floor, you won’t need an underlay.
Yes, carpet grippers are essential to hold down your carpet and stretch it from wall to wall. If you ditch them, you might feel uncomfortable lumps under your feet after a while.
Yes, you need a professional to install carpet flooring, especially if it’s your first time. Carpets are tricky to lay down because they’re prone to lumping under your feet. Any mistake while fitting them will result in an unattractive look and make your floor more susceptible to damage.
Also, cutting through carpet materials and stretching a carpet from wall to wall requires special tools that you might not own.
If you want to keep your carpet flooring looking neat and clean for the longest time possible, here’s how you should maintain it:
After a while, carpets show a lot of snags and frayed strands due to foot traffic and vacuums. To keep your carpet looking as good as new, you should trim them every few months.
Carpets are more prone to stains than hard floors, which means you need to clean any spill that occurs right away. If left for too long, stubborn stains are unlikely to get out, even with professional cleaning.
In addition to the everyday cleaning you do at your house, you should hire professional cleaning services every now and then to keep your floors in the best shape possible. They’ll give your floors deep cleaning sessions that’ll remove all the stubborn dust and stains.
Here are the steps you should follow to keep your carpet flooring clean:
Carpets collect a lot of dust throughout the day, so regular vacuuming is a must. If you leave the dust for too long, it might erode into the backing and cause signs of wear.
There are multiple carpet cleaning detergents on the market, each suitable for a specific type and material. To clean the floor efficiently, you should use a specific detergent for the type of carpet you have.
Scrubbing a stain can spread it and make it worse, especially on carpets. The ideal way to clean a stained carpet is to blot it using a cleaning rug and warm water.
The average lifespan of carpet flooring ranges from 10 to 15 years. However, the number can drastically change according to how heavy the traffic is on the carpet and how you maintain and clean it.
Carpet flooring is one of the most energy-efficient floors on the market, given that it retains heat for a long time and thus saves energy.
Yes, some types of carpet flooring are eco-friendly, namely natural materials like wool and sisal. These materials biodegrade in nature and can be recycled. However, we can’t say the same for synthetic carpets like nylon and polyester.
Yes, carpet flooring is a good choice for many people, but it depends on your living arrangements. Suppose you have kids or pets running around. You might need specific types of carpets to withstand their roughness.
Yes, some types of carpets are good for pets, especially those with cut strands. Looped strands might not be your best option because pets like to dig into the floor with their nails, so they might snatch the loops out of the backing, giving you a frayed carpet full of snags.
Yes, carpet flooring is an excellent choice for kids because it protects them from injuries in case of falls. However, just like with pets, you need to choose durable types of carpet that don’t show signs of wear easily.
Yes, it is, but it also depends on your choice of carpet. Some delicate carpets like velvet and plush don’t take high traffic well. Meanwhile, durable carpets like nylon and wool can take high traffic for years without tearing.
Carpets come in endless attractive styles and durable materials. While this works in favour of the buyer in terms of availability, it also makes the purchasing decision much more challenging. That’s why we prepared this guide to help you buy the carpet most suitable for your property and living conditions.