What Carpet to Buy?

Not sure what carpet to buy? Buying the right carpet for you and your home can be a real challenge, fortunately, we have everything you need to know about carpets right here.

Woven or Tufted?

In the UK, the main types of carpet are tufted and woven.

Woven Carpets

Woven carpets are created using the traditional loom method to create a premium finish. The colour or pattern is woven into the carpet rather than printed onto it. Woven carpets are typically superior than tufted carpet, made with pure wool or a wool blend with manmade fibres (usually 80% wool, 20% nylon). Woven carpets are available in a wide range of styles from patterned Axminsters or plain, cut and loop style Wilton carpets.

Tufted Carpet

As an affordable, great value product, tufted carpet is the most popular type of carpet. Created using a row of needles which punch the pile yarn into a backing cloth. Tufted carpets are springy and available in a wide range of colours and finishes created with wool, manmade fibres or a mix of the two.

Carpet Pile

Carpets are created in an impressive range of surface textures which affect the feel, appearance and performance of the carpet. The pile of the carpet needs to be considered based on the location of the carpet, as each carpet pile is designed for different degrees of wear.

Twist Pile

Twist pile carpets are created using twisted fibres which create a textured surface. This pile style is the most commonly found style in tufted carpets. Available in two styles, plain or heathered (slightly speckled), twist pile carpets are incredibly hardwearing making them suitable for almost any area of the home. Heather twist pile carpets are perfect for busy areas of the home, as marks and stains are less likely to show.

Velvet

As an incredibly soft and smooth cut pile carpet, velvet carpets look beautiful in any room, particularly bedrooms to create a luxurious appearance. Patterned carpets are traditionally created using a smooth velvet pile carpets due to the hardwearing nature of the carpet.

Loop

Loop pile carpets are created using uncut loops of yarn. This style of carpet is great for high traffic areas of the home as the fibres bounce back really easily. However, loop pile carpets are not suitable for home with pets as their claws can get caught in the carpet which can pull the loops.

Berber

Twisted Berber pile carpets are made from a mixed blend of coloured yarn to create a flecked and textured look, sometimes creating a striped appearance.

Saxony

Saxony carpets are deep pile, making them ideal for creating a luxurious feel in the bedroom. Unfortunately, Saxony carpets are typically not suitable for the likes of hallways or stairs due to the depth of the fibres which makes them easily flatted as well as making them a challenge to clean.

Carpet Tiles

Suitable to be laid all over the home, tiled carpet is easy to install and transport. Carpet tiles are ideal for awkwardly shaped rooms as you buy them by area, without having to worry about the width of the carpet roll. Underlay is not required with carpet tiles and they can be removed for cleaning.

Pile Fibres

The appearance, quality and feel of a carpet is largely determined by the fibres of the yarn. As carpets can suffer harsh treatment from dirt, vacuuming, shoes and furniture, it is important that you find a pile which can retail its look and density.

Wool

Wool is the best carpet fibre to use, due to its natural properties:

  • Flame retardant
  • Durable
  • Easy to Clean
  • Retains appearance
  • Soft fibres
  • Dirt and abrasion resistant
  • Naturally insulating
  • Reduced noise and heat loss

Woollen carpets are available in a range of qualities, from whiter New Zealand wool which produces great colour clarity when dyed to British wool which is strong and great for colour and heathered finishes. In addition to its great natural properties, wool is also sustainable and suitable for mixing with other materials to make it more affordable.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene carpets are incredibly stain resistant and durable with great colour fastness. A great budget carpet option due to its affordability, however, it is important to remember that it flattens easily and does not hold its appearance over time.

Polyester

Polyester carpets a hard wearing, easy to clean warm carpets. Typically used for long pile Saxony carpets, it has a beautiful glossy appearance. Polyester is often blended with wool to provide definition to the tufts and reduce the shedding of fibres.

Nylon

This durable, hardwearing material is highly stain resistant and easy to clean. However, nylon carpets do not retain their appearance quite as well as wool.

tartan carpet on stair case

Carpet Performance

Each area of your home experiences different levels of foot traffic and wear. On the stairs and in the hallway, the same small areas of carpet receive high foot fall and wear, meaning a more durable, easy to clean carpet is required. In the likes of the living room or lounge, there is medium footfall, with the footfall being more spread across the room. For these types of room, a durable carpet is still required, however you could consider a longer pile or slightly more luxurious carpet which is still durable. For bedrooms and areas of the home which see fewer people, you can choose the likes of a deep pile Saxony carpet which may be more challenging to use, but creates a more luxurious appearance and feel underfoot.

Do I Need Underlay?

Underlay is a great addition to any carpet, providing sound and heat insulation, protection and a better overall look and feel. Carpet underlay also makes your carpet easier to clean by protecting the pile of the carpet, helping your vacuum cleaner to be more efficient.

Finding the Right Underlay

There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to finding the right underlay for your home.

Decibel Rating

This indicates how sound will be reduced by the carpet underlay. A higher rating indicated greater sound reduction – 20db would be considered low, 50db would be high. A higher rating should be considered for upstairs rooms or if you live in a flat.

Tog Rating

Tog rating indicates the heat insulation properties of the underlay. 3.5 tog is heavy insulation, while 0.5 tog would be considered light insulation. Light insulation is ideal for use with underfloor heating, while a higher rating is suitable for colder rooms in your home.

Upcycled Felt Underlay

This type of underlay is created using offcuts of carpets. Upcycled felt underlay is better for low traffic areas of the home, with noise reduced by around 30db and a high tog rating of almost 3.5 tog.

Upcycled Felt and Rubber Underlay

This type of upcycled underlay is created using carpet offcuts as well as trimmings from the manufacturing process. The combination of the felt and rubber can improve the durability of your carpet, extending the life of your flooring. Upcycled felt and rubber underlay is suitable for both high and low traffic areas. This underlay can reduce noise by 36db and has a tog rating of just over 3 tog.

What Carpet to Buy?

By considering the different carpet characteristics and what you are looking for in your home, you will be able to find the best carpet for you. Get in touch today for more information or visit us in one of our carpet shops Glasgow can rely on!

What Carpet to Buy Infographic

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