A good carpet turns your house into a home, it provides warmth, texture and personality, but is also tough enough to handle everyday wear and tear. Some carpets suit the requirements of particular rooms better than others, so when choosing a carpet think about which fibre, texture and style is best for you.
There are three types of fibres to choose from – natural, synthetic and blended. For a luxurious look and feel, choose wool, a natural fibre which is soft and comfortable as well as durable. For a practical solution, synthetic fibres can be stain resistant, robust and also great value for money. These are an ideal choice for high traffic areas, for example, hallways or playrooms. Blended offers the best of both, such as a mixture of Wool and Nylon, hardwearing and beautifully soft, a great choice for living rooms.
There are different types of pile available too and it is worth considering all the options. Loop and Twist piles are a practical choice for a busy room. Loop pile carpets are classic and durable and normally made of synthetic fibres and wool. The loops can be made of different lengths to create a textured, rustic effect. Twist pile carpets are ideal for busy families, created by twisting yarn tightly together, making them hardwearing and easy to maintain. You can choose between two types of twist, plain and heather. Both have a lovely even surface that springs underfoot and come in a variety of colours. The heather shades are less likely to show marks, so they’re perfect for your hall or living room. For a more indulgent option, go for a Saxony, this has a longer pile so creates a much more sumptuous look and feel for a room, working very well for bedrooms.
Vinyl is now one of the most versatile types of flooring you can find and is ideal for a busy household with high footfall and pets, due to its hardwearing nature. Best suited to kitchens and bathrooms, vinyl is long lasting and water resistant. There are so many designs on offer, from faux finishes that emulate wood and marble to patterns and bright colours. Whether it is natural wood that looks like the real deal, to dramatic monochrome or shimmering metallics, you are sure to find a style that will suit your interior space. All vinyl comes with a wear layer, which makes your floor extra durable and slip resistant and they also come with a minimum of a five year wear guarantee for added reassurance.
Vinyl is also now available as a Luxury Vinyl Tile, which offers fantastic durability in a great choice of super-realistic wood or stone effects. The tile or plank format is easy to install and allows you to create a unique finish on your floor by mixing and matching different designs.
Natural look laminate
With a huge range of laminate to choose from, you can bring the outdoors in by adding the natural beauty of wood or stone designs. From rich oak to smooth slate, choose a design that will make your room look fabulous and feel realistic underfoot. Laminate tiles come in three finishes. Wood grain appears with small grooves in the top layer to give a textured feel to the laminate. Embossed reproduces stone and wood effects more realistic and finally, registered embossed exactly matches the print of the design and texture together, providing the closest match, down to the detail of knots in the wood designs or contours in stone effects.
Never underestimate the underlay
Underlay is the most understated part of your flooring but just because it can’t be seen doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in it. In fact, underlay increases the life span of a carpet by up to 40%. It also cushions your feet for extra comfort, acts like a shock absorber, is a sound protector and insulates your home, helping to reduce energy bills. It comes in lots of different thicknesses, weights and densities, so when choosing your underlay, make sure you compare like for like.
There are three options – foam, sponge rubber or crumb rubber. Foam is a relatively new type of underlay, it is comfortable, lightweight and easy to handle. Sponge rubber is a popular choice due to its durability, thickness and cushioning. Many crumb rubber options are made from over 80% recycled rubber, meaning that one used car tyre goes into every square metre. It is one of the hardest wearing types of underlay, making it ideal for high traffic areas like hallways and stairs.