Biggest mistakes when buying carpet

Are you planning on buying new carpet for your house and you are not sure where to start from? With so many options available on the market, shopping for a new carpet can become a daunting task. Read our article below to find out which are the biggest mistakes when buying carpet and how you can avoid them.

1. Not considering your needs

Carpets come in a multitude of colours, designs, patters and fabric types, therefore, it is easy to get lost and make your decision based only on the aspect and price of the carpet. While the aesthetics play a big role when comes to choosing the right carpeting for your home, there are a few other things you should take under consideration, such as the use of the room where you want to place the carpet, how much traffic it will experience, if you have kids, pets or you are entertaining a lot, as well as the amount of time and effort you are ready to invest into maintaining your floors. 

We can all agree that some specific areas of your home, such as bathrooms, kitchen or laundry room, are not suitable for a wall to wall carpet. There is too much moisture, the risk of water getting trapped under the carpet causing mould is very high and the opportunities for stains and spills are endless. Bedrooms on the other side are the perfect place for carpeting. Since the amount of traffic this room gets is lower than other areas of your home, you can pick a premium plush, super soft carpet, or even a frieze or velvet one. These type of carpets are not suitable for high traffic areas, as they are hard to maintain and fairly temperamental, but they make a good choice for bedrooms. If you already have hardwood, you can still create that intimate and luxurious vibe, by adding an alpaca or silk-and-wool rug.

For kids’ room or play room, you should choose a soft carpet, so children could sit, lay or play on it. Either a wall to wall carpet, or a low, tightly woven loop or cut area rug, look for something with an easy to clean fibre, such as polypropylene or nylon.

For living room or dining area hard floors are your best bet, especially if you are entertaining a lot. To inject some colour and personality into the space, use a dense area mat under the table. They’re durable and easy to clean when spills happen. 

If you prefer wall to wall carpet into high traffic areas, you can go for low-pile carpets/rugs, as they hold up better than the plush ones. Also, a stain and soil resistant carpet is always the better option. Nylon is a great option, or a blended carpet made out of 80% wool and 20% synthetic fibres.  This type of carpet is also suitable for houses with pets. Choosing a cut pile carpet instead of a loop pile one, means that the chances your pet damages the carpeting by snagging the loops, are lower. 

In terms of maintaining your carpets in top condition, a reputable and experienced carpet cleaning company, such as Carpet Cleaning Dublin by Happy Clean, can help you preserve the appearance and prolong the life span of your carpets. When performed on a regular basis, a thorough deep cleaning of your carpeting keeps dust, dirt, allergens, bacteria and stains out of the surface of your floors, improving the quality of the indoor air and promoting a healthier home environment. 

Types of carpets

Woven carpets are made using traditional loomed methods that date back to the 16th century. They are very labour intensive, therefore more expensive, and they are well known for the high quality, durability and rich colours. They are suitable for well trotted spaces, such as hallways or living rooms. There are two types of woven carpets, Axminster and Wilton. 

Tufted carpets are easier to produce, which makes them more affordable, and therefore more popular. Carpets are made by looping the fibres yarns through the backing material in a manner similar to how a button is sewed onto a shirt. These loops of fibres can then be left either intact, or cut at various angles and lengths. How the fibres loops are treated is known as the carpet pile. Based on the type of pile, there are two main carpet categories: loop pile and cut pile.

Loop pile carpets:

  • Berber is the most common type of loop pile carpets, as they are durable and stain resistant. A good all-rounder, however, not a great choice if you have pets, as they may pull up the loops with their claws.
  • Level loop – this type of design uses short loops that are carefully measured to be of the same length. It is the most suitable choice for high traffic areas, as it is very durable and resistant. 
  • Multi- level loop the tops of the loops will vary in height, offering a more appealing design with series of visual flourishes. 

Cut pile carpets:

  • Saxony – the fibres in a Saxony carpet are about half an inch long, cut as evenly as possible and tightly packed together. Due to its softness and luxurious look, it is a popular choice for bedrooms.
    • Textured the fibres are twisted together tightly, offering great stain resistance and durability. 
  • Frieze – the extra-long tufts give this type of carpet a super shaggy look. Not ideal for areas with high-traffic, but a fantastic choice for bedrooms! 
  • Velvet– has a smooth, cut pile finish and is usually available in solid colours. Velvet is prone to wearing down, scuffing, and showing footprints, therefore, it is only suitable for low-traffic settings. 

2. Getting Hung up on Weight

One of the most common misconception when comes to carpet is that a heavy carpet means a high quality carpet. The weight of the carpet pile per square yard is its face weight. A heavier carpet indicates more fibres per square foot, however that doesn’t guarantee a better durability or soil resistance. Unfortunately, face weight has been so heavily marketed that many consumers are given the impression that it is the best and the only way to determine a carpet’s quality. While a good indicator, the face weight is not the only aspect you should take under consideration when buying new carpet. Other factors that you should check before making your decision are the density, the type and twist of fabric, the texture and the padding material. 

Carpet density refers to how close together the fibres are stitched into the carpet backing. Run your hand over the upside of the carpet. If you can feel the backing material, this means it is a low quality carpet. 

The type of fibre a carpet is made of is a very good indicator of its quality. Common synthetic carpet fibres are known for their high durability and resistance to mildew and germs, while natural fibres for their beautiful and luxurious appearance. To get the best of both types of material, you can pick a blended carpet. 

The fibre twist indicates the number of times the strands are twisted together within the one-inch length of the fibre. The higher the number of fibre twists, the heavier traffic a carpet can withstand. 

3. Skimping on padding

The padding is a soft material that is flexible and designed to go in between the subfloor and the base of the carpet where the fibres are attached. Test the padding used on your carpet before choosing it, so you could get an idea of how it feels under your feet. An upgraded carpet doubled by a high quality padding material do not only feel softer and more comfortable, but it also provides great thermal insulation, sound dampening and saves wear and tear on your carpet by absorbing the impact of foot traffic so the carpet doesn’t have to.

4. Assuming Carpets Are the Same, Because They Look the Same

Either you are shopping for new carpet online or you are visiting a local shop, don’t forget to read the labels and check the manufacturers’ warranties. Don’t just assume that carpets with similar aspects share the same characteristics. For example, if one carpet has a 10-year warranty and the other has a 20-year warranty, you are obviously not looking at the same quality of carpet.

5. Calculating Your Square Footage (Incorrectly)

When shopping for new carpet and calculating your square footage, you want to be as accurate as possible. You don’t want to overestimate and blow your whole budget, but you also don’t want to underestimate. If your installers don’t bring enough material, it’ll delay the job and disrupt your home for longer, and no one wants that. To calculate the square footage of a room you need to measure the length and width of the room, then multiplying them together. If your bedroom is 10 by 15 feet, you’ll need 150 square feet of carpet for that room. However, not all carpets are installed in a single, rectangular room. You’ll also need to take into account hallways, closets, and any other small areas that you might overlook. Use masking tape to mark off the areas you’ve already measured so you don’t lose track, and draw a rough floor plan of the area so you know you’re not missing anything.

If you have angled spaces in your room, don’t worry! In most cases, the angled area is small enough that you can just ignore it. You’ll have a little extra corner of scrap carpet leftover, but it’s easier than trying to account for it.

Our strong advice is to take your measurements, and then hand them over to the salesperson. The salesperson will know how to account for these considerations and should be able to give you an approximation of your total square footage requirements. Keep in mind, though, that the salesperson’s quote is only as good as your information: if you have measured incorrectly or left out important details such as closets or railing posts the true cost of the project will not be able to be determined until you have had a professional visit your home.

6. Carpet care and maintenance

The level of care and maintenance required to keep your carpets in the best possible shape is in strong connection not only with the level of traffic, but also with the type of carpet you choose for your home. A durable and soil resistant synthetic carpet, placed in areas where the entire family is spending lots of time, is far more convenient and easy to maintain than a super plush or velvet carpet placed in same area. 

Selecting the right type of carpet along with the right colours for specific rooms, can assist greatly in maintaining carpet’s appearance. Medium colours, tweeds and patterned carpets hide soil, while lighter colours mask fading. Patterned carpets are the most effective at soil hiding with random designs being particularly useful.

Vacuuming is one of the most effective and easy way to care for your carpet. The frequency of vacuuming is determined by traffic. Heavy traffic areas may require daily cleaning, while others only when necessary, though not less than once a week. For thorough cleaning be sure movements are slow and methodical when vacuuming. 

Despite regular vacuum and spot cleaning, in time, your carpets will look dull, due to the accumulation of dirt and stains that regular cleaning cannot remove. It then becomes necessary to avail of professional carpet cleaning services. Depending on the traffic, professional carpet cleaning is recommended every 6 to 8 months, or at least once per year. If you are looking for the best carpet cleaning services in Dublin, look no further than Happy Clean. With more than 7 years’ experience on the Irish market and thousands of 5 star reviews, they are the best rated professional carpet cleaner in Dublin. 

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