How to choose a carpet

Despite the rising popularity of hard floors, carpet remains a popular choice for the majority of home owners. Nothing quite feels like walking around barefoot on a lovely plush carpet. It’s also a great option if you want soundproof flooring or to avoid anything too slippery.

Nowadays there are so many different types of carpet available, it can be tricky to choose between them.

What should I consider when choosing a carpet?

The main factors to think about are:

How much you want to spend on your carpet

Costs of carpets vary hugely – for example a premium hand-woven carpet will cost a great deal more than a synthetic plain carpet. Setting your budget beforehand is a good way to help make your decision.

High traffic areas need more durable carpeting

– How hardwearing your carpet needs to be

If your carpet is in a high-traffic area such as a hallway, it will need to be more durable than the carpet in your bedroom. If you have children or pets, you will probably want a carpet that is easy to clean and less likely to snag. These are all factors to take into consideration

The look and feel of your carpet

Perhaps you’re after a thick, plush carpet for your bedroom or a fun, patterned carpet for your living room. Decide on the look you’re going for to help whittle down your choices.

What are the main types of carpet?

Natural vs Synthetic

Natural carpets such as wool and sisal tend to be more expensive but are generally harder wearing and last longer. They are also a good eco-friendly option. Wool is useful for controlling humidity levels as it absorbs and releases moisture but it’s prone to being attacked by moths and can fade if exposed to the sun for long periods.

Synthetic carpets are cheaper but don’t last as long as wool carpets. However they do repel stains more easily than natural alternatives. There are different synthetic options and even synthetic/wool combinations, so it’s worth speaking to your carpet fitter to understand the benefits of each. Some synthetic carpets, such as polyester carpets, can be considered an eco-friendly option as they are made from recycled plastic bottles.

Woven vs Tufted

The main types of carpet in the UK are woven and tufted. Woven carpets are made using traditional processes and are more expensive due to more labour-intensive manufacturing processes. Axminster is the most famous British brand of woven carpet and has been around for over 250 years and is even used by the Queen herself! Wilton is another famous brand of woven carpet.

Tufted carpets are the type found in most UK homes. Available in both wool and synthetic versions, they are made by punching yarn into a base layer, which is a far cheaper production method. The pile of tufted carpet is either looped or cut.

Looped vs Twisted

Looped carpets have loops at the end of their pile. They are hardwearing and good for busy areas but the loops mean they are less suitable for homes with pets, particularly cats who can get their claws caught in the loops!

Twisted carpets have twisted fibres and are another resilient option but are a better option for pet owners. They are one of the most popular carpet options today, particularly for busy family homes.

Saxony Carpets

Saxony carpets (also known as plush carpets) are luxurious cut loop pile carpets with a very dense and soft pile, Although thick and velvety, they do leave marks from vacuum cleaners and furniture. Saxony carpets are most popular in bedrooms and other low-traffic rooms.

Berber carpets are a great option for high traffic areas

Berber Carpets

Berber carpets are textured loop pile carpets made from thick yarn. They offer great value and are very hardwearing which makes them ideal for high traffic areas. Berber carpets should last for many years before needing replacing.

Velvet Carpets

Velvet carpets have a luxurious smooth finish. They are called velvet carpets because of the type of weave rather than the material and can be made from both natural and synthetic yarns. A velvet carpet is a cross between a Saxony and Woven carpet and has a dense, short pile, It’s best suited for low footfall areas such as guest bedrooms.

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