07 Sep 2015

For many homeowners, the luxuriously soft feeling that carpet offers underfoot makes it a clear frontrunner when it comes to flooring options in living areas and bedrooms. Depending on your family and how you’ll be using the carpeted spaces in your home, you need to carefully consider which type and material will offer you the comfort and longevity you need for the years to come. The most important things you need to know about different carpets include the fibres, density, and colour and design considerations. Here we’ll talk through each important consideration, so when it comes to choosing the carpet for your home you’ll be an expert in knowing what you need and what to look for.

For many homeowners, the luxuriously soft feeling that carpet offers underfoot makes it a clear frontrunner when it comes to flooring options in living areas and bedrooms. Depending on your family and how you’ll be using the carpeted spaces in your home, you need to carefully consider which type and material will offer you the comfort and longevity you need for the years to come.

The most important things you need to know about different carpets include the fibres, density, and colour and design considerations. Here we’ll talk through each important consideration, so when it comes to choosing the carpet for your home you’ll be an expert in knowing what you need and what to look for.

Carpet fibres

Carpet is made from numerous fibres, and the type you choose will have a significant impact on how the carpet wears over time and how it feels underfoot. The various fibres that carpet is made from include:

  • Wool – Wool is the only natural fibre that is used in the making of carpets. It’s extremely durable, very soft underfoot, and stain resistant. It does, however, fade easier from direct sunlight and is the most expensive type of carpet on the market.
  • Acrylic – Acrylic is a fibre that is sometimes used in the production of carpet as it emulates the look and feel of wool but is much cheaper. The advantage of using acrylic is that it is resistant to mould and mildew.
  • Nylon – Nylon is the most commonly used fibre in carpets today. It’s popular because it is an extremely durable material, making it exceptional against general wear and tear.
  • Polyester – Polyester has become a popular choice because it’s a more cost effective option over other fibres. It is, however, less resistant to wear and tear and so isn’t ideal for high traffic areas.
  • Olefin – This is an ideal fibre for outdoor carpeting as it is resistant to mould and mildew. It may not be as hardwearing as nylon but it is far less likely to fade.
  • Blends – Blends combine a number of different fibres to optimise the look, feel, and overall quality of a carpet. One of the most common blends you’ll see is wool and nylon.

Styles

Virtually all carpet, regardless of the fibre, starts off the same – with the fibres looped through a piece of backing material. These loops are then either left intact or cat at different angles to give different effects. It’s this process of how the loops of fibre are left or cut that is referred to as the carpet pile.

  • Loop/Berber pile – This is the name given to an uncut carpet pile. This pile tends to be easier to clean, extremely durable, and resistant to stains, making it a great choice for high traffic areas and commercial use. If you have small children or pets, however, the loops can easily snag, and it generally isn’t as soft underfoot as a cut carpet pile.

By changing the different ways in which the pile is cut and how the fibre is treated, a range of different carpet styles are created. Cut carpet piles tend to be a popular choice for homes, as they’re very soft to the touch and easy to clean. Different styles of cut carpet pile suitable for residential use include:

  • Saxony – This pile is characterised by individual strands that stand up, making the carpet surface very soft and fluffy. This would have to be one of the most popular carpet piles, however as it’s rather vulnerable to wear and tear, it’s not really suitable for high traffic areas.
  • Plush – Featuring soft, dense fibres that are cut short, this carpet pile feels extremely luxurious. It does, however, wear down relatively fast and should only be used in low traffic areas.

Density

The density of a carpet refers to how many fibres are used in the pile, as well as how close together these fibres are tufted. This is therefore something extremely important to be aware of when buying carpet, as it will have a big impact on its longevity. The denser the carpet, the higher the quality and therefore the better the wear.

Colour and design

When choosing the overall interior design style for your home, your flooring choice is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make. The look and colour of the floors will have a major impact on the atmosphere of the rest of your home. Think carefully about the colour palette you’d like to have on your walls and surfaces, and what style of carpet would best be suited to that vision.

In terms of the carpet style and fibre you choose, it’s important to consider your family’s habits and how each room will be used. If you have pets indoors and small children running around, you’ll want to opt for a more durable and hardwearing carpet surface that can possibly be treated for protection against stains and dirts.

Carpet still remains one of the most popular flooring choice for homeowners everywhere. Now that you’re equipped with all the important knowledge and information about carpets, choosing the right one for your family and home should be a breeze!