When you need to install some carpet, you ought to know what you’re getting into. There’s a lot more to choosing carpet than walking around a store and feeling the samples, so here’s what you need to know.
One thing you should consider when choosing a carpet is the pile–the visible surface of the carpet. How the piles are constructed, whether cut, loop or cut and loop; how long or short the piles are; and what materials are used can affect the way the carpet looks and feels.
In the next sections, we’ll talk about the different types of carpets namely the cut, loop, and cut and loop carpets, as well as the materials used in making carpets; how these affect the carpet properties; and ultimately, your choice of carpet.
What are the Different Types of Carpet?
One way to distinguish carpets is by the pile construction or how the fibres are woven into the carpet. As mentioned above, carpets can be cut, loop, or cut and loop.
You can tell the difference between cut and loop piles by asking this question: can you see the ends of the fibres? If yes, then that’s a cut pile carpet. Cut piles can be categorized further into twist and plush. If the fibres seem to weave back into the carpet instead of ending, that’s a loop pile. If you see both the weaves on a carpet, then it is cut and loop.
Here are some more specific details to help you identify each of these types of carpets.
What Types of Materials are Used in Carpets?
What Type of Carpet Should I Buy?
Now that you are familiar with the properties of a particular carpet based on how they are made and the material used to make them, it will be easier to make a decision in selecting a carpet. Think about where you want your carpet installed and what your lifestyle is.
For example, if you have kids and/or pets, you want something that is durable and stain resistant.
Here are more of our tips.
Family rooms & dining roomsNo matter how careful you are, spills and messes will be inevitable especially if you have kids. So in areas where food and drink are consumed, choose a carpet with a high level of stain resistance and a low pile for easy cleaning. Both level loop and twist carpets are good options for these areas.
Hallways and living roomsYou need a carpet that is extremely durable, easy to clean and resistant to crushing for the busy areas in your home. Wool or synthetic loop carpet would be a good option in these areas.
Comfort is the top priority in bedrooms. Plush carpets made with wool, wool-blend, or Triexta are great choices.
Basement & rumpus roomFor naturally damp areas like the basement, carpets made with synthetic fibres like nylon and polyester are the best choice. Because they are breathable and don’t absorb moisture synthetic carpets are not prone to moulds.
Know Your Underlay
Carpets and other types of flooring require the use of an underlay. This is a thin protective layer that sits between the flooring and the subfloor. It is primarily used to provide a smooth and flat surface for easy installation of the flooring.
An underlay also helps extend the life of a carpet by protecting it from moisture coming from the subfloor and absorbing the impact of foot traffic to help minimise wear and tear. It also provides thermal and noise insulation.
Carpet underlays are typically made of either foam polyurethane or rubber. Felted wool can also be used to make carpet underlays.
It is recommended that you use an underlay that has a good density and is at least 11 mm thick for most uses.
For carpet, you will usually want foam or rubber carpet padding for underlay. The options are rebond padding, frothed foam, memory foam, slab rubber, waffle rubber, and standard urethane foam. Like the different types of carpet, each offers a different level of comfort and durability.
How to Decide What is the Best Quality Carpet
Wool carpet is generally considered to be more high-end than its synthetic counterparts. It is quite resilient and can retain its original appearance for a long time. Because of the natural waxy coating on the surface of the fibre, wool carpets can resist spills, although it is not as stain-resistant as other synthetic fibres. If maintained properly, it can last for at least 20 years.
On the other hand, the latest technologies have made it possible to make synthetic carpets that are extremely durable, soft, and have great properties like stain resistance, fade resistance, odour control and more. This, and the relatively lower price point make them a tough competitor to wool.
While wool has stood the test of time and is deemed by many as the best quality carpet, synthetic carpets are quite durable, offer great features, and can provide great value for your money. In the end, the best carpet for you is the one that meets your requirement. Visit your local Carpet One store across Australia for advice on choosing the best quality carpet.
What Type of Carpet is Best for Absorbing Sound?
If you’re looking for carpet to help out the acoustics in a room, you’re going to want to go with one that’s got a longer pile, specifically a cut pile made from wool or jute.
When looking for soundproofing, the surface area is your best friend. Sound is caused by waves moving through the air, and it bounces off of hard, flat surfaces without a problem. On the other hand, when sound hits a curly mass of long-cut carpet, it’ll get trapped, bouncing around between the fibres until it runs out of energy and dies away.
Wool, jute, and other fluffy materials are ideal because they have more fibres than other materials do, which increases the surface area, even more, allowing the carpet to absorb even more sound.