Guide: How To Choose Your Next Carpet and Flooring

warm and cold flooring samples

So you’re thinking about replacing your floor but you want to make sure that you’ve taken everything into consideration before you make a purchase? It isn’t just a case of going out to find the most attractive looking piece of flooring you can find. Flooring acts as the base for every room in our homes and although we often take it for granted, finding the right type will make all the difference in the long run.

To help you decide, here we provide you with the answers to popular questions that will ensure that you choose the best carpet or flooring to fit your needs in your home or business. Our guide covers questions we ask our customers when they come into our showroom and those who send us an online enquiry. We will explain why it’s important that you consider all of these areas fully to ensure you make the most informed decision.

Firstly, we will begin with questions asked to our customers looking for a new carpet, and then we will cover questions for customers interested in other flooring types. If you would like to jump to a specific section you can use the table of contents below.

Table of Contents

New carpets:

Other Flooring Types:

New Carpets

Need inspiration, design and colour ideas?

Tartan patterned carpet in bedroom

When you are shopping for a new floor it is easy to be won over by a stunning design or style that you feel you must have. What shouldn’t be forgotten is how it fits into the overall aesthetic of the room. A new floor should complement your current decorating scheme. If you are looking to paint the walls or hang some new wallpaper, then think about how these two elements will fit together. It is important to strike the right tone and atmosphere in the room as it will remain in place for at least a few years.

You probably already have an idea of what you want your room(s) to look like but if you’re still looking for colour inspiration you could start with a popular Colour Lovers interiour colour palette, or if you have a photo you could upload it at Adobe’s Color and make your own palette.

For your room style and for inspiration of which carpets may fit with your furniture, you could browse some of the Houzz carpets and carpet tiles images and put together your own idea book.

Recently patterned carpets and tartan carpets have again been very popular, and we have some suggestions if you’re looking to give your home a new look.

Do you prefer a twist pile or a loop pile carpet?

There are two main choices when it comes to carpets, Twist pile or Loop pile. If you would prefer a carpet for warmth and comfort, that offers softness underfoot, then you would be better suited to a Twist Pile carpet. If you however want to maintain a stylish look in your high traffic areas, while still knowing that your carpet will be well protected, then you may prefer a Loop Pile carpet.

Blue twist pile carpet

Twist pile often has a matt look, is softer underfoot, is hard-wearing, and is available in both wool and man-made yarns. It is one of the most popular carpet choices for homes as they are suitable for any area offering comfort and style with the added benefit that there are stain free options, which is a big must for family homes.

Loop pile carpet covering stairs and hallway

A loop pile or Berber carpet is a yarn where it is spun to create a more textured look and feel. Again, available in both wool and man-made yarns. You can choose between a flat or a textured style. A chunkier loop pile makes it a great option as a hard-wearing carpet for high traffic areas at your home, rental property or at your business.

What room is it for, is it high traffic?

Patterned hallway flooring

For example, when choosing a carpet for a hall, stairs and landing we would always advise on a wool carpet, the yarn in wool carpet is tougher than man made yarns. This is due to the superiority of wool from the sheep being able to withstand the harsh conditions of British, European and New Zealand weather.

When you’re choosing a carpet for your lounge for example you will need to consider if you would prefer a softer feel underfoot, this also goes for other frequently used areas such as bedrooms, then Polyester carpets have that luxurious feel, with a longer pile. There are different grades of man-made products:

  • Polypropylene- the most common, fairly tough, sometimes soft depending on how much is spent
  • Polyester- the most luxurious, very soft underfoot, a finer yarn than polypropylene
  • 6.6 Nylon- the highest form of man-made yarn, both soft underfoot and extremely hard-wearing

Do you have any pets?

flooring for pets

Cats, and sometimes dogs, love a carpet they can use as a scratch post, so a loop pile carpet may not be the best option- in this instance we would always advise on a twist pile carpet.

A twist pile carpet is a great choice for pet owners who have decided to change to a carpet after they have had pets who have injured themselves slipping on a shiny laminated floor or are at risk of hip dysplasia. The softness and warmth of a twist pile carpet will also be much more comfortable for older pets especially ones who suffer from arthritis.

Alternatively if you’d prefer not to have a carpeted floor for your pets then have a read of our article about different types of flooring for your pets.

Do you have any allergies?

Nylon is the most effective allergy fibre for people with allergies as mould-growth and pollen cannot live within the fibre. Wool on the other hand will allow carpet moths and pollen to grow within it. Also avoid longer pile carpets as more pollen can sit within the length of the carpet fibre.

Alternatively choosing another flooring type like Luxury Vinyl Tiles, which we cover in our next section, might be a better option paired with some small well placed and easy to clean rugs to add some warmth underfoot.

How long would you like it to last? Will you be staying in your home for longer than say 5 years?

This is quite an important question as you could save some money if you don’t need a carpet that will last 10 years, if something for the next 5-7 years will work for you then you can invest in a good carpet with a good underlay and not have to break the bank. We have a guide to choosing the best underlay here if you need further guidance.

Recommendations for aftercare and keeping your carpet clean?

Cleaning carpet

You may want to get a darker carpet if you have kids or pets, as accidents are bound to happen every now and then and this ensures any stains do not show up too clearly, or choose a carpet with a stain protection. The National Carpet Cleaners Association have some great tips for spot and stain removal.

Other Flooring Types:

What type of room is it for?

Karndean LVT flooring in hallway

If it’s for a high traffic area, then a luxury vinyl tile (LVT) with a good wear-layer is essential, a 55mm wear-layer is suitable for any area in the home (and suitable commercially). Being water repellent an LVT floor is great for bathrooms, kitchens and utilities too. It reacts better with moisture than a wooden floor would, an LVT will leave the water sitting on top, ready to be soaked up- a wooden floor can absorb the moisture and potentially warp the floor. We also have some suggestions for your conservatory flooring.

What is your subfloor currently?

Most subfloors will require a degree of work to get them ready to receive a floor covering, be it an LVT floor, a wood floor or a vinyl floor. Using a reputable company who specialises in subfloors, with the correct fitters and skills, is essential. Identifying moisture, testing for moisture and protecting against moisture is as important, if not more important than the flooring you choose- any moisture in a subfloor will affect every type of flooring you can think of. Ensure the RH levels of a concrete floor is 75% Relative Humidity (RH) or below.

The humidity in the home is not just related to the heating system but also the water you produce on a day-to-day basis. Water does not go well with some materials like timber, while it is perfect for flooring solutions such as luxury vinyl tiles which are completely waterproof. If you live in a part of the country that experiences high levels of rainfall, carpets may not be a good idea in the hallway as they will absorb much of the water you bring in from the outside.

Would you like a wood effect, tile effect or wooden floor?

Having an idea of the contrast between your new floor and decoration and accessories in your home will make a big impact on what you choose. Do you opt for a subtle tone of a nice light oak floor, or maybe a darker tile effect for practicality?

Every floor has a different level of embossing, some with a simple emboss finish so it has ridges that act as a grain effect, some completely smooth, others with the ‘in-registered embossed’ effect- the ultimate look for a natural grain finish.

How to maintain your flooring?

Ideally you want a flooring solution that is easy to install, lasts for years and can be maintained without too much hassle. Specialised flooring like timber needs more care and attention, whereas vinyl flooring can be quickly cleaned and stains are wiped away in seconds.

We hope that the questions we have covered here will help you to make the best choice for your new carpet or flooring in your home or business. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

We encourage you to visit our showroom to see and feel the types of carpets and flooring, as your new flooring is not something that can be chosen from a picture that you’ve only viewed online. Remember you’re going to be seeing it and walking on it every day, it’s not something you want to get wrong! We have samples available too.

Also we suggest that you take a look at our recent projects so you can see the lengths we are willing to go to ensure you get the perfect outcome from your flooring choice.

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