Expert Carpet

    What are the vital factors you need to consider when choosing a carpet?

    Follow our expert carpet guide for the in’s and out’s, textures and underlays and of course should you have any questions, then we’re always available to provide you with additional expert guidance and support.

    Which pile?

    Carpet pile is the finish of the actual material that makes your carpet, there are many different styles, some more contemporary and some more traditional, check out our quick check guide to see the benefits of each type.

    Loop pile is simply put uncut weaved material that is available in different heights or ‘loops’. Berber carpets are made from bulky or thick yarns of wool,  nylon or polypropylene (or a mix of all) to give a cushioned effect. Level loop pile is where all of the loops are of the same height, and are most commonly made from synthetic fibres – level loop tend to be tightly bound together and are durable, easy to clean and can actually help prevent spills from soaking into the body of the carpet. Level loop is a popular carpet style. Multi-level loop styles of carpet are particularly forgiving and can hide a multitude of marks and stains and are recommended for parts of your home with the highest traffic.

    Cut pile as you can probably imagine is where a carpet has the loops cut during manufacture. The result is an attractive, soft plush carpet ideal for bedrooms and dining rooms. Twist is probably the most popular of all cut pile styles, the carpet yarn has been twisted and set to retain it’s shape, and the resulting finish is an attractive evenly coloured carpet. Velvet or Velour carpets do not have a tight twist, rather they have a level pile surface which is sheared to give a smooth finish, because the carpet fibres have more flexibility this type of carpet can shade and look unevenly colours as fibres laying in different directions may reflect light in different ways. Saxony textures are made of twisted yarns which have been strongly set, the tips remain distinct rather than blending, as with Velvet carpets, the Saxony style does show vacuum cleaning marks and footprints so is best used in low-traffic, occasional room areas. Freize carpets are the last style in Cut pile, they are similar to Saxony in manufacture however their yarns are even more tightly twisted. The resulting texture is coarse and is therefore makes this type of carpet perfect for busy areas of the house. Freize carpets also hide dirt and footprints exceedingly well, and make excellent carpet if you have animals.

    Cut and loop pretty much does what it says on the ‘tin’. A combination of the above styles leads to versatile textures and patterns. A multi-level surface is beneficial for hiding stains, footprints and muck. Shag pile, a 70’s favourite that’s experiencing a bit of a resurgence, falls under this category. Shag pile comes in a variety of pile lengths, but you can generally expect it to be longer length than loop or cut pile. Shag offers maximum comfort under foot and is a favourite for bedrooms.

    Which material?

    Wool especially British Wool, is strong and resilient, offers comfort and is naturally fire retardant. Wool has been the traditional material of choice since weavers began carpet manufacture, it’s still a vital part of carpet manufacturing today, although now wool is often blended with man-made fibres…see below.

    Nylon is durable and particularly resistant. Colour and prints are added after production ensuring that this type of carpet can have the brightest and boldest designs and colours. Nylon is also the most hard wearing of all the synthetic fibres.

    Polyester is the man made material closest to wool in look and texture. It’s unusual to have a 100% polyester carpet, you’re more likely to see it blended with other materials.

    Polypropylene is now seen as the most popular of man made carpet fibres. Colour is locked in during manufacturing making it extremely durable and stain resistant. It is also is considered excellent value for money.

    SmartStrand has revolutionised the carpet industry with its lifetime guarantee against staining, exceptional durability to maintain its beauty and super soft makes it a perfect long lasting carpet ideal for family and pets. Made partly from a renewable plant source it also has a low impact on our environment.

    Bamboo is a unique and innovative bringing many additional benefits to the carpet. Bamboo fibre has natural anti-bacterial and humidity regulating properties and when turned into carpet yarn, it is exceptionally soft to the touch.

    Looking after your carpet

    Ensuring your carpet lasts and lasts isn’t as hard as you think, as long as you follow these simple steps.

    • #1 has to be ensuring you have adequate underlay, a good quality underlay will extend the life of your carpet exponentially.
    • Use a cylinder vacuum cleaner with a suction head only on loop pile carpets.
    • Use a upright vacuum cleaner with a beater bar and brush on cut pile carpets.
    • Vacuum regularly at least twice a week.
    • Consider entrance mats, door mats and different flooring at home entry and exit points to ensure that your carpet doesn’t take a beating when coming from the outside, in.
    • Deal with spillages and stains as and when they happen – ALWAYS ensure that the products you ‘re using to clean your carpet are suitable for the pile and material they’re made of.
    • Blot – don’t rub when it comes to stain removal.
    • Work from the outside in to avoid spreading.
    • Never use detergents, washing-up liquid, bleach or other ‘general’ household cleaning products on your carpet.
    • Only cleaning products with a ‘Wool Safe’ mark are suitable if you have wool, or wool mix carpets.
    • General periodic cleaning; having your carpet professionally cleaned throughout the years will ensure that your carpet retains a fresh, even colour and pile.
    • Always securely cover your carpet when decorating or having building renovations.
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    Herts Flooring Limited,
    16 Mark Road,
    Hemel Hempstead,
    Hertfordshire HP2 7BN

    Tel: 01442 263723

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