DIY Choosing the Right Carpet or Floor Coverings
As a former commercial floor layer (commercial carpet fitter), I used to do lots of fitting in shops and in other commercial buildings. As commercial fitter I didn’t do many carpets in houses like I used to do, not like I used to when I was first training to become a fitter. When selecting carpeting for your home you have many things to consider and many options to weigh. Carpets come in a vast array of colours and styles, textures and fibres and there are many different qualities of carpets to choose from. There are no best times of the year to change your carpet, however when doing DIY and Choosing the Right Carpet or Floor Covering. Some people have been known to change their carpets and floor coverings around the beginning of the summer vacation period, or around the beginning of December; just before Christmas, so the carpet is fully climatized to your house.
If you look after your carpets and floor coverings, they can usually last between 10 to 15 years. Vacuuming your carpet every day actually reduces the life, the wear and tare of your carpet. Once the carpet has been fitted, by the shop you purchased your carpet from. You should vacuum straight away. This sucks the air from beneath the carpet and picks up all the bits, which have been left behind from the fitter. Leave shampooing your carpet to no more than twice a year. Mainly because washing or shampooing your carpet can remove some of the flame retardant chemicals used when manufacturing your carpet.
Different Types of Carpet
The two most popular types of carpeting today are loop pile and cut pile. Loop pile has individual strands of yarn pulled through the carpet backing twice, creating a small loop. Cut pile has the loop cut at the top, leaving tufts of yarn that stand straight up. A cut pile carpet is generally more durable than a looped pile carpet. Cut pile carpets come in a variety of styles such as shag, textured, saxony and velvet or plush. Loop pile carpets would be a berber, cable or sisal. Loop pile carpets are a good choice for high traffic areas.
There will be the decision on the type of carpet fibre you choose. One of the factors here is cost. While there is nothing quite as luxurious as having wool carpeting in your home most cannot afford wool. If you are able to afford wool carpeting you will find that although it cost more at the time of installation, your wool carpet will prove itself to be far superior to other types of carpeting. No man made carpet fibre can come close to the durability, rich look or feel of wool. Your wool carpet can last upwards of thirty years.
You Don’t Need to Be an Expert
You don’t need to be an expert, but understanding some of the different carpet types, carpet pile mixes or which carpet needs under and gripper, wont go amiss. You’ll need to know a bit about other carpet fibres. Make sure you ask to see the manufacturers performance rating for each carpet, which are usually on the under side of each carpet same within the showroom.
Acrylic carpeting is very similar to wool (wool is considered the best carpeting available and also consider to be amongst the most expensive too) and is sometimes called man-made wool. It resists moisture, fading, mildew, crushing and staining but is not recommended for high traffic areas in the home. Nylon carpeting is popular due to it’s durability. It resists mildew, staining and soiling. Nylon carpet is recommended for all traffic areas. It is one of the most expensive of the synthetic fibres but cheaper than wool. Olefin is a very low cost easy care material that is often used in indoor/outdoor carpeting. Olefin is colourfast and strong and easy to clean. One drawback to olefin is that it can be easily crushed depending on the pile. Polyester is luxurious and durable however is not good for high traffic areas in the home.
The next consideration would be colour and/or pattern of carpeting. Light carpeting colours create a spacious effect, making a room seem larger. Light colour carpets of course show soil much more easily than dark. However, most stain and soil treatments put on carpeting today do help to prevent this problem. Dark or dull carpet colours will absorb light giving the room what some call a “cozy” feeling. Rugs with patterns will make a space seem smaller. Your colour choice could be based on the paint colour used on your walls. It is suggested that if you do this, the colour of the carpet be darker than the colour on the walls. Also, when choosing your carpet remember that the carpet installed on your floor will appear darker than the small sample you see in the store. Ask to take carpet samples home so that you can see how they actually appear in daylight and at night.
Other Types of Floor Coverings
Anther type of floor covering is called Amtico. This is the most expensive type of floor covering, with prices starting on or around £50 per sq metre. Amtico is more luxurious than laminate flooring and is Acrylic type of flooring. Amtico have many patterns, shades and be used in any room of your house.
Image courtesy of: Amtico.com
The reason this floor covering so expensive, is the lifetime warranty and guarantee which comes with this time of flooring. Another expense preparation time, the materials needed under the floor covering; the fitters time which is usually about £1000-1500 per day.
Now if this type of flooring is not for you, then Laminate flooring can be close alternative. Although laminate flooring does not require the same amount of waxing or aftercare which Amtico requires.
With a bit of knowledge or hindsight you can find the right type of carpet or flooring covering for household needs. You could chose vinyl or laminates for hall ways, bathrooms or kitchen’s. Carpets for your lounge, stairs and landings; or if you prefer HSL (Hall, Stairs and Landings). Carpets or laminates for Bedrooms. If you have a bit more money to spend or a wider budget, then you could go down the Amtico option for your lounge, kitchens, dinning rooms and bathrooms.
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