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CHOOSING THE RIGHT CARPET

When you are shopping for carpet for your home, try to keep quality and durability at the top of your mind, after all this is an investment that you will probably be living with for a very long time.

With such an abundance of carpet styles, colours and textures to choose from these days, selecting carpet can be a difficult and sometimes confusing process.

So before you tackle the task, here's some pointers to help you find the best carpet for your home and lifestyle.

Wool versus Synthetic

While some nylon carpets have good abrasion resistance, they can soil easily and develop a matted and shiny appearance. As well as offering comfort underfoot, the appearance retention of wool carpets is superior to most synthetic carpets due to their durability and natural resistance to soiling. Wool carpets are also one of the most effective acoustic insulating materials, and are naturally flame retardant, to make your home 'safe and sound'.

Loop or cut pile

Loop pile carpets are formed from loops of yarn, and can be either level loop or textured depending on whether or not each loop is identical to each of its neighbours. Cut pile carpets are achieved by cutting the tops of the loops so the yarn stands upright.

Interior trends over the past few years have brought textured loop piles to the forefront of flooring fashion. In the simple minimalist style of today, the floor is an ideal medium in which to introduce texture to a room. Cut piles are still a popular choice and can help create a more formal atmosphere or look in your home.

You should be aware that loop pile carpets do tend to wear a little better than cut piles of the same quality, which are likely to track (show footstep impressions) or shade (show irregular dark and light areas). Tracking and shading is usually more apparent in 'plush' cut pile carpet.

But which colour?

Colour works with texture to enhance the mood of an interior, which in turn can affect the quality of life in that space. Because carpet forms the basis of your room, and is likely to be there for many years to come, it is important that where possible, your carpet is the first choice you make when decorating a room. Start from the bottom and work your way up.

Bear in mind that very light colours show dirt more readily than darker or flecked colours. Darker earthy tones are being used more and more to create a restful atmosphere in the home. Remember it is a good idea to take samples home to 'live with them for a while', and see what they look like in different lighting situations in your home.

How can I tell the quality of the carpet before I buy it?

There are a number of ways that you can tell whether a carpet is of a high standard of quality or not before you buy it, just by looking at the sample.

Carpet backing

Look at the back of the sample. How closely woven together is the jute? The stability of carpet is reliant on the quality and strength of its backing, so it is important the jute is woven tightly.

This jute combined with high quality latex, and modern application technology also makes the carpet easier to install, which can affect its over all appearance and durability.

Kemp

You can spot carpets made from a lesser quality wool by looking for kemp, or shorter white wool fibres on samples (because kemp doesn't retain the dye as well).

Warmth and Atmosphere

Some houses will never be warm with the wrong floor coverings. Statistically carpet provides the most warmth of any floor covering and is the most efficient way to add cosiness and comfort to a home. Heat efficiency starts from the floor up. Just as humans find that when their feet are cold their entire body is cold, some houses will never be warm with the wrong floor coverings. Statistically carpet provides the most warmth of any floor covering and is the most efficient way to add cosiness and comfort to a home.
Carpet is also a great way to add texture and colour to your home, it's durable and forgiving so can be laid on a variety of surfaces.


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