A carpet is a timeless go-to flooring option for many commercial spaces and residences. Not only does it offer a soft and comfortable floor covering to walk on, but it also comes in a wide variety of colors and styles that can match just about any interior design. Aside from that, there are several carpet options available on the market — like wool — with a lower carbon footprint and are thus more eco-friendly.
With the various benefits to be had from using a carpet, it comes as no surprise that homeowners and interior designers alike choose to use this kind of flooring for residential and commercial buildings. If you’re among those who want wall-to-wall carpeting or carpet tiles in their interior, this article can help you choose the perfect one.
Once you begin your search for the perfect carpet, you’ll find that there is a wide array of options to choose from. While this can be overwhelming at first, you can narrow down your choices by considering the following factors:
1. Carpet Use: Consider Your Lifestyle
The first and, arguably, the most important thing you must consider when looking for the right carpet is how you plan to use it. To be more precise, you’ll have to decide where you intend to install the carpet and how much foot traffic it will have to endure.
To determine this, below are some more questions you can answer that can help you identify the right kind of carpet for you:
- How will you use the room where the carpet is to be placed in?
- Will there be a lot of people walking in the room?
- Will it be the center of entertainment or family activity?
- Is the room directly accessible from outside?
After you ponder these questions, seek assistance from carpet dealers to pick the right carpet that will suit your home and specific lifestyle. When doing so, you must remember to offer as many details as possible, including the presence of pets or children and your expected guests, so they can help you make an informed decision.
2. Durability: Resilience, Density, Pile Weight and Use
A carpet’s durability lies in the resilience of the material, thickness, and pile weight, as well as the location where it will be used.
Check whether the carpet you have your eyes on is as resilient as they go by pressing your thumb firmly into the pile. The faster it recovers and springs back, the denser and more resilient it is.
Remember that carpet density is a major factor that determines its durability, so keep this in mind when picking one for the stairs and other high-traffic areas.
To determine a carpet’s density, you should check how closely each fiber is knitted into each other. Determine the amount of space in between tufts. The bigger the gap, the less dense the carpet is (which also means it may lose resilience faster).
The weight of like-for-like carpet styles should be indicated at the back of the samples. The universal rule is to go for carpets with shorter and denser fabrics as those with longer loops tend to weigh less.
Aside from the general idea of durability based on the quality of the material, a carpet’s longevity will still vary depending on how it is going to be used (see item no. 1). For example, a dark-colored carpet may last longer when placed in areas away from direct sunlight, like a bedroom. In the same manner, denser carpets do better in high-traffic areas like stairs and hallways.
3. Style: Loop Pile vs. Cut Pile
When it comes to style, carpets come in a wide variety of choices. However, all you’ll need to learn about are the two basic pile types: the loop pile and the cut pile.
Carpets with loop-style piles have each end connected to the backing in a continuous loop. This means that you should be able to feel the loop when you run a pin underneath it.
This style of carpet is best used in heavy-traffic areas, particularly spaces that kids and pets usually frequent. It can also last longer in rooms with a lot of activity.
Cut-style pile carpets have loops that have been cut, with the ends sticking out through the backing like a sheer cut pile. This style of carpeting can be used throughout the house and lends an appealing aesthetic to the floor, as well as comfort for anyone who walks on it.
4. Material: The Thing About Fiber
When shopping for a carpet, another thing you must learn about is the type of fiber used in it. There are many material options out there, each with its own characteristics, advantages and suitability.
For example, if you’re looking for easy-to-clean carpeting, olefin is your best choice since it can resist stains naturally and is easy to clean. Polyester is another stain-resistant option and is best used for situations when staining is common. Wool, on the other hand, might require a bit more effort in terms of cleaning and maintenance, especially with stains, but is arguably the most eco-friendly choice.
Understanding what each type of fiber has to offer can help you not only narrow down your options, but also get a pretty clear picture of what you’re looking for. Remember: Never assume that one fiber is always better than others. Each material offers advantages for different situations, so the first thing you need to do is determine what the situation is before you decide.
5. Price and Extra Costs
While carpets are considered luxurious, this doesn’t necessarily mean that this type of flooring material is generally expensive. The upfront price may vary, depending on the carpet’s weight, density, and other characteristics. Plus, there are the longevity and maintenance costs to consider.
For the most part, olefin is a low-end option that is popular among homeowners, while polypropylene is deemed as the cheapest. Polyester carpets come in second in terms of being the most affordable, but nylon is considered the highest quality when it comes to synthetic fibers. Of course, wool is considerably pricier than the others, but it is naturally stain-resistant and can last longer.
When getting quotes, remember to shop around first. Ideally, you should have at least two or three retailers to compare once you’ve chosen the type of carpet you’re going with. Check whether their quotations include everything — from the carpet’s actual price to the installation costs and taxes.
Carpets offer a luxurious feel to any room. Whether you are picking a carpet for a hotel-like experience or you simply want to add personality to your home, use this article as a guide to make sure you don’t regret your decision.
James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, top importers and exporters of wallpapers, flooring and fabric in the Middle East. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.