Nothing quite changes the look and feel of a home like laying new carpet. It can transform a cold and barren space into a cosy room that everyone wants to spend time in. And that’s certainly a bonus at this time of year! Fresh new flooring changes a drab old decor into a plush and modern space. Laying carpet can remove lingering odours, reduce the risk of slipping on hard floors, and actually increase the value of your home.
Yet, many people hold back from replacing carpet because they are overwhelmed by the decisions involved; plush piles or loop piles? Which fibre should you invest in? How do you know if the colour will suit the room? While it’s true that there are different factors to consider, choosing the right carpet for your home can be surprisingly easy. Just keep these four basic points in mind:
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT PILES?
You don’t need to be an expert on all the various industry terms relating to carpet, but a basic understanding of carpet pile will help you to choose the best carpet to suit your needs. The “pile” is the visible surface of the carpet, which usually consists of either looped fibres, cut fibres or a combination of the two. Looped pile gives a nice textured finish that is hardwearing and easy to clean – great for hallways and busy areas in your home. A cut pile is when the top of the loops are cut so the fibres stand upright; this gives you a carpet that feels more luxurious and looks more formal, but that can show up footprints. Many opt for a combination of cut and loop pile because it looks and feels great (with a lovely contrast of textures) but is less likely to show footprints and vacuum ‘streaks’.
WHAT LIFESTYLE DO YOU ENJOY?
Are you part of a large family with young children? Do you have pets that spend most of their time indoors? Are you a professional who likes to enjoy the finer things in life? Are you a fan of entertaining? These questions may at first glance seem irrelevant, but this is actually important in pointing you in the right direction of a suitable carpet. Entertainer? You’ll want something that looks good but is hard wearing, in medium to darker colours that won’t easily show small stains (something like a stippled cut pile or a mix of cut and loop pile will work well). Young family or pets? You want a carpet that will be, above all, forgiving of spills and tough enough to withstand numerous feet running back and forth (a loop pile may work well). Looking for something a bit luxe? A flat colour and a plush cut pile feels great under the feet, suggests opulence and has that cosy hygge feel.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE COLOUR?
When it comes to choosing a carpet colour there are some basic principles that will help you make the right choice. If you have a smaller area that you are trying to make look bigger then a lighter coloured carpet will help create that illusion of space. If you have a large room that you want to look cosier and more inviting, then a darker coloured carpet is the way to go. If you are concerned about stains, then it’s a great idea to look for a carpet that is a blend of two similar toned colours (neither too light or dark). This blend of medium shades is far more forgiving than a flat, one-dimensional colour would be. It’s also good to keep in mind that carpet will fade over time (particularly if exposed to direct sunlight), so if you’re concerned about this then choose a slightly darker shade.
WHICH FIBRE TYPE IS BEST FOR YOU?
Carpet fibres can basically be divided into three categories: synthetic, wool-nylon blends and 100% wool. Pure wool has always been a popular choice because of its ability to stay cool during warm weather, but then still feel warm in cold weather. However, pure wool used to be very expensive, so many people favoured a synthetic carpet instead. Synthetic fibres are less susceptible to fade and still feel surprisingly soft, with coloured nylon proving to be a popular choice. As a compromise between the two, there is a wide selection of blends now available. These days, synthetic doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper and wool doesn’t guarantee a higher price; it’s often worth talking to an expert to get a better idea of what will suit your budget and will be easiest to keep clean.
At the end of the day, it’s all about choosing the carpet that is best for your family, your home and your individual lifestyle, so asking yourself these questions can make the process easier. Do you have any advice that you can share in the comments below about your own experience of buying a new carpet? Or do you swear by rugs to make a room feel cosy in the winter? Let me know below!