What Should I Look for When Buying Carpet?

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Carpets have grown in popularity in Australia over the years, progressing from Axminster carpets to shag pile carpets. This is due to the fact that carpet is a comfortable, durable, fashionable, and quiet alternative to hard flooring.

Before purchasing a new carpet, it is important to understand what options you have available. Buying the wrong carpet may be costly, so learning about the many styles available will help you save money and effort. This should be standard practice, whether you are replacing an old carpet or simply installing a carpet in a new room.

We've compiled some helpful information to assist you in selecting the best carpet for your needs.

The Importance of The Right Material

There are a range of carpet materials to choose from, and making the right choice relies on where the carpet will be installed, how much it will be used, whether you have children or pets, and what your budget is.

Wool carpet

Wool is an excellent material to use in homes that are bound to get cold. Wool is not only warm, but it is also long-lasting and luxurious. Wool carpets, however, are normally more expensive than their alternatives. If appearance is important, you may want to install wool carpets in rooms that are seen by your visitors. Wool can withstand liquid spills and is easy to clean, as long as you clean it promptly. Choosing a low-cost wool carpet will almost certainly result in shredding. 

Nylon carpet

You may want to opt for nylon if you are looking for a man-made fibre that is both durable and tough. This is a popular option that is less expensive than wool. Nylon carpets can look just as good as wool carpets. Furthermore, they are more stain resistant. Another advantage of using nylon carpets is that they retain their colour when exposed to sunshine and cleaning agents. It is an excellent choice if you have children or pets.

Polypropylene carpet

Polypropylene is a synthetic fibre, and you can clearly tell that it is very affordable compared to other options, since it feels cheap under your feet. This material is widely used not only because it is inexpensive, but it is also long-lasting and water resistant. Polypropylene is frequently used for garages, rental properties, and playrooms.

Blending wool and nylon

If you want the best of both worlds, this is a great option. Get a more attractive carpet at a lower cost than a carpet that is solely made of wool.

You might choose Wilton or Axminster carpets, which are made up of 80% wool and 20% nylon and have the same longevity and quality as pure wool. Alternatively, you might choose a carpet that is 50% wool and 50% nylon. Though this may be an excellent alternative if you are on a tight budget, you should be aware that this type of blend is not stain resistant because this feature can not be added to blended nylon. This type of combination frequently incorporates low-quality wool.

Other Things You Should Be Aware of Before Purchasing a Carpet

Before you go shopping

It's important to know what you're looking for in terms of pile and colours ahead of time. However, picking the correct carpet should not be dependent entirely on appearance. If your home gets dirty easily, we recommend going with a pile and colour that keeps the stains hidden. Regardless of the carpet you choose, it is necessary to have a professional carpet cleaner come in at least once a year.

The importance of colour

  • Light colours - This is the best option for smaller rooms. Light colours tend to give the illusion that a room is bigger than what it actually is. However, stains will show much more easily.
  • Dark colours - Better used in bigger rooms. The best thing about dark colours is that they hide dirt. However, textile fibre accumulation becomes visible on dark carpets.
  • Speckled carpets - Whether you choose a dark or a light colour, both lint and stains will remain hidden. However, speckled carpets do tend to look like they are always dirty, despite being clean. 

Remember that you should always head to a shop in order to pick the right colour. Looking at colours online will not reflect the true colour.

Loop pile vs cut pile

  • Loop pile carpets are more casual-looking than cut pile ones. They are also very suitable for rooms that get high traffic. These types of carpets are not sheared and have small loops which are made by pulling individual strands through the carpet backing. 
  • Cut pile carpets provide a more luxurious and formal appearance. However, vacuum cleaner tracks and footprints are particularly visible on this style of carpet. Cut pile carpets are created by cutting the loops at the top, as the name implies.

Carpets with a mix of looped and cut yarn are also available. This technique is mostly used to add decorative elements to the carpet, such as swirls and squares. These extra features can aid in the hiding of footprints and dirt.

Things to check when in the shop

When heading to the carpet store, there are a few things to keep in mind. Understanding what to look for can assist you in selecting the carpet that best meets your needs.

What is the density?

Check how much pile yarn is on the carpet. In addition, evaluate how near each tuft is to the next. Simply bend the carpet into a U shape to see how much backing is visible. Less backing equals more density. Generally, a carpet with a higher density is better than one with a low density.

Is it durable?

The durability of a carpet is determined by the fibre and density. The carpet construction also has a significant impact on durability.

You can check the carpet label to see what its durability will be. The label contains a star rating system which was developed by the Carpet Institute of Australia. All of the major suppliers employ this rating system, known as the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme (ACCS).

The rating system is based on a scale of one to six stars. Residential carpets are rated one star, while commercial carpets are rated four stars. The rating is determined by performance and durability tests carried out on the carpet. The label also includes information on how much traffic the carpet can withstand. If you're looking for carpet for stairs, children's playrooms, hallways, or other high-traffic areas, go with a heavy-duty grade.

Grab a sample

Seeing a carpet at a store often does not do it justice, because the layout, colours, and furnishings of a room all play a role in how a carpet looks. The best thing to do is to get a sample and bring it home with you to check that the carpet is a perfect fit. Test the sample with artificial light, natural light, floor lamps, and any other lights in your home.

Installing underlay

Having underlay installed under your carpet can make it last longer. Furthermore, it absorbs sounds, provides insulation, and can help you cover minor holes in the floor. We really recommend that you install underlay under your carpet.

You can choose between rubber and foam underlay. You may also evaluate the underlay's quality by stepping on it and making sure you don't feel the floor.

Installing the carpet

You may opt to buy the carpet from a shop and then get it installed by a third party. However, it usually works out cheaper if you simply let the company you buy the carpet from install it for you. Most shops will provide you with a quote which includes underlay and installation. However, you should make sure that the quote includes moving the furniture as well.

What is the average cost of carpet?

Broadloom meter is the unit of measurement used for pricing carpets.

Nylon carpets are less expensive and can cost from $125 to $300 per broadloom metre. Wool carpets are more expensive than nylon, starting at $140 all the way up to $500 per broadloom metre. Polypropylene carpets, on the other hand, can range from $65 to $180.

Depending on your budget, you may want to consider purchasing some extra carpet to use in the event that you need to replace worn carpet.

Carpet Glossary

Berber carpets: Thick yarns are tufted into hefty loop tufts. Earth tones with a speckled appearance are common, and they're great for covering stains.

Broadloom metre: Unit of measurement used for pricing carpets. The area of a broadloom meter is 1m x 3.66m.

Cord/sisal-style carpets: Made with tighter loops that give them a firmer feel and make them suitable for high-traffic areas in your home.

Freize/twist carpets: These feature tightly twisted fibres which curl at the pile surface, giving them a textured appearance. Due to the fact that they hide various types of marks, they are appropriate for high-traffic areas.

Plush/velvet carpets: These are made with pile that has been cut numerous times in order to achieve a velvety gloss. Despite the fact that it is visually appealing, it will highlight each and every footprint.  

Saxony carpets: These carpets are quite similar to velvet, though not as smooth. 

Solution-dying: This is a process in which colour is introduced to the nylon carpet fibre during the manufacturing process rather than being applied to the surface at a later stage, resulting in a carpet that is colour resistant to sunlight and cleaning products.

If you are unsure of how to go about purchasing a carpet, our guide will assist you in making your decision.