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Carpet Buying Guide

Choosing a carpet for your new home can be challenging. The right carpet will add comfort, warmth and even soundproofing to your home. But you also need a carpet that is practical for you. Especially if you have a busy home with lots of kids and visitors.

Where your new carpet is going is the most important consideration, as different carpets will suit different areas better. Which we will discuss below. If you need any help with choosing a carpet or just need practical advice, you can call our customer care team on 0161 6419 996 and they will be happy to help. 

What carpet pile is best?

There are three main types of carpet pile.

Loop – Hardwearing, plus cosy and practical. May not be ideal if you have pets. Their claws catch and pull out the loops.

Twist – Made from tightly twisted yarns that produce a hardwearing carpet.

Saxony – A deep and luxurious carpet that is perfect for bedrooms and living rooms.

Carpet Pile Height

The type of pile to choose for your carpet is one of the most important things to consider after colour. Different piles are suited to different rooms and traffic areas. 

Low pile under - 7mm

Low pile carpets usually have a tighter weave, creating a denser carpet with a smoother appearance. The shorter pile is best for high traffic areas because less dirt, debris and pet hair can get stuck.

Medium pile – 7mm to 13mm

Medium pile carpets are the Goldilocks of the carpet world. Being able to be soft and hardwearing.

High pile – 13mm to 19mm

Featuring luxurious longer fibres, high pile, or shag pile carpets are best suited to low traffic rooms such as living rooms and bedrooms. This is because the high pile is slightly more difficult to vacuum but substantially cosier.

What is the best material for carpet?

Carpets are mainly manufactured from two main materials. Polypropylene and wool.

Polypropylene -

Hardwearing and stain-resistant. Polypropylene carpets are bleach cleanable, making them the best carpet for busy homes. These are also the cheapest carpets, making them excellent value

Wool –

High quality but expensive. Wool carpets are durable and offer good sound deadening properties. They cannot be bleach cleaned however, so are not ideal for rooms where a mess is likely to occur.

Wool/Polypropylene mix –

An all-purpose carpet, with a standard mix of 80% wool 20% polypropylene. More stain-resistant than a pure wool carpet but still cannot be cleaned with bleach.

What are the different types of carpet backing?

Action Backing – Created from woven hessian, action backed carpets are hard wearing, but they require carpet underlay for fitting.

Smart Backing – A softer and more flexible backing made from 80% recycled material. Requires carpet underlay when fitting.

Felt Backing – Providing a slightly softer feel underfoot, felt backed carpets can be fitted without underlay.

To get the softest feel underfoot we always recommend installing your new carpet over one of our specific carpet underlays. An action backed or smart backed carpet will always feel softer than a felt backed carpet when fitted over underlay.

What is the best underlay for carpet?

The type of carpet underlay you need will depend on what room your new carpet is going in and how much traffic it gets. If you are after maximum comfort (who isn’t!) then we recommend going for one of our PU foam carpet underlays. PU foam also offers excellent insulation for heat and sound.

PU Foam – The most popular type of underlay. Created from 100% recycled material, PU foam carpet underlay offers excellent comfort and sound reduction. Available in a number of thicknesses this is the perfect all-round carpet underlay.

Sponge rubber – Created from recycled car tyres, sponge rubber is a balance between comfort and protection.

Crumb – This carpet underlay is flat and dense. It does not offer much comfort underfoot but offers maximum protection, making it ideal for high traffic areas.

It’s important to get a new carpet underlay each time you change your carpet. It degrades over time, so any benefits you are hoping to get, won’t be there. Your underlay protects your carpet and adds that extra step of comfort.

How thick should carpet underlay be?

The thickness of your carpet underlay will depend on the room it is going in. Rooms with higher traffic will benefit from a denser underlay. While low traffic rooms such as bedrooms can use a luxurious 12mm underlay. Providing maximum comfort underfoot.

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