Ultimate Buying GuideTips to help you choose the right carpet
How to Choose A Carpet
Evergreen Flooring are proud to be able to offer a diverse range of carpet suitable for a variety of applications that is both affordable and sustainable.
Of course we want you to purchase your brand new carpet from Evergreen Flooring, but wherever you choose to go, here are a few points to help you decide which product is right for you.
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How do you use your space?
Just consider for a moment how you use the space you’re intending to carpet. Maybe it’s already carpeted and you’re wanting to update the style or colour, or just replace what’s already there. Do you want the carpet to be a focal point, or blend in?
Do you have children or pets, in which case darker colours will conceal marks and stains. Perhaps the space will be used for TV watching, in which case there will be specific traffic patterns around furniture, and the floor surface under the carpet may need to be protected from mildew resulting from moisture and drink spillage. Usually, the place where most people start is the colour.
How to choose a colour
The colour of the floor covering can set the tone and mood for the whole room. Traditionally this may have been achieved with wallpaper, or paint colour, but new trends in carpet give you the opportunity to play with floor colour to achieve that perfect look.
The right choice of colour can make a room feel cool or warm, spacious or intimate, and capitalise on any natural light. Neutral tones will blend and complement any colour scheme, and lighter colours tend to make a room feel more peaceful or restful. Renaissance colours, or Monet colours (pastels) will help calm a bedroom or retreat.
Lighter coloured carpets won’t compete with your furnishings, and will brighten a room with limited light. Picture the room at various times of the day, and try a sample if available.
Many modern styles dictate more lively colours, which will work well in a higher activity area like a kid’s playroom. Darker colours tend to be more popular in areas with children and pets, and patterns and multi-coloured designs are better at hiding stains and soiling. Darker colours may need vacuuming more regularly as lighter coloured fluff and pet hair may be more visible.
Vibrant colours can add warmth and character, and if you’re cautious you can always add accents, or try a smaller area like an entrance area or stairs. A splash of colour can make a big impression.
Lighter shades of carpet can make a small room feel more spacious
Dark shades of carpet can make a room feel cosy
Questions to consider
There are three main questions you should consider when choosing the style of carpet.
How do you want your new carpet to look?
Is it a formal setting, informal, or do you want to bask in luxury?
How do you want it to feel underfoot?
A smooth surface, textured, or like thick, soft spaghetti?
What is the frequency of traffic?
Infrequent use, medium (e.g. a lounge room that might be used for a few hours a day), or heavy use where traffic occurs continuously (e.g. stairs)?
The pile refers to the fibres that make up the carpet structure. A flat carpet would have a short pile, and a long pile would be referred to as shaggy. Both achieve very different styles, and when combined can create different patterns. The thickness of a carpet is measured from the fibre or yarn surface, to its backing.
The weight of a carpet refers to the yarn or pile density. Generally a heavy weight implies more pile and will yield a longer lasting product.
Carpets are available in loop pile, cut pile, or a combination of the two to create cut and loop pile.
All carpets are initially manufactured with loop pile, then the loops can be cut during manufacture to create cut pile.
TIP: If you have pets, consider choosing a cut pile carpet. Loop pile carpet could get caught in your pet’s claws and become damaged.
Carpet Pile Types
The quality of the carpet and how well it performs depends on the amount of twist in the pile, and pile density.
In cut pile construction, the fibres are cut at the top surface of the carpet rather than looped back into the backing. This results in tufts of yarn that stand up. Quality carpets use tufts comprised of two or three strands of yarn that are tightly twisted together and heat-treated to prevent unravelling. The tighter and denser the tufts, the better the performance of the carpet.
The number of yarn tufts installed in one row of one inch of carpet, known as stitches per inch, will vary with the quality of the carpet. In general, the higher the number of stitches per inch, the higher the quality and the greater the durability of the carpet.
In loop pile construction, individual strands are looped through the backing. Loops can be the same level or set at different levels to create patterns. When the loops are subjected to pressure, they flex and return to their previous position. This rebounding ability makes them well-suited for use in high traffic areas.
Carpets with short, tightly packed loops are effective dirt-blockers, giving good performance in areas with high traffic levels. Loosely packed loops are better used in areas with moderate traffic. Carpet made with multi-level loops works well to hide traffic patterns.
In general, cut piles are not as durable as looped piles.
Fibre is threaded through the carpet backing and back again again to form a series of loops. It has a more informal appearance, hides footprints and is well suited to high traffic areas.
Level Loop Pile
Level loop pile carpet features loops at the same height. It has a distinct loop finish with low and tight loops.
Multi-Level Loop Pile
Loops are incorporated into the carpet at varying heights giving a textured finish, hence multi-level loop pile. This style is also referred to as high-low loop pile or modulated loop pile. It is extremely durable and is available in random or sequenced patterns.
Sisal carpet features multi-level loops that run in straight rows to create a pattern. The tighter loops create a stiffer feel, making this carpet suitable for high traffic areas. Loop heights can vary to create a variety of different textures and patterns.
Berber carpets can have a level or multi-level loop construction. They are typically made from thicker yarn which features flecks of colour variation. The tight weave of the loops means Berber carpets are extremely durable and have good stain resistance.
Fibres are threaded through the carpet backing, the tops of the loops cut leaving upright tufts. Cut pile is a more traditional look, and generally found in a formal or luxurious setting.
Cut Pile Plush
Sometimes called velvet or velour, cut pile plush carpet is short and slightly twisted. The pile stands upright but can lean in any direction.
Light is scattered by the pile creating texture and depth. It has a soft velvet texture, creating a more formal look.
Cut pile plush is susceptible to shading, and easily shows footprints and vacuuming. For this reason it is more suited to medium to low traffic areas.
Cut Pile Twist
Cut pile twist carpet has more twists with slightly longer yarn, resulting in a more random pile direction. It is less likely to show traffic patterns, plus it is hard wearing making it ideal for high traffic areas in your home or office.
Cut pile twist has a luxurious feel.
Frieze carpet has long, twisted yarn, resulting in a textured look which will conceal dirt, footprints and vacuum marks. It gives the room a cosy feel and casual look, making it ideal for bedrooms and lounge rooms, but it is also durable enough for use on stairs, hallways and other high-traffic areas. The loose pile unfortunately makes it more difficult to clean, so make sure to choose a fibre with good stain resistance.
Saxony pile is dense and tightly twisted. The pile is heat set straight for an even, elegant look. It is thick and luxurious underfoot, with a formal appearance. Unlike with plush pile carpets, the tips of the strands remain intact, giving more texture and durability. It will show footprints and vacuum cleaning so it is best suited to formal and occasional use rooms.
Combination Cut and Loop Pile
Cut and loop pile carpet uses a combination of cut and loop pile, the two contrasting to create a textured and patterned appearance.
Cut and loop pile carpet displays a stylish finish with a soft, smooth and textured feel.
It is a popular combination since it minimises soil and vacuum marks, making it an ideal choice for areas involving children and pets.
Patterns in cut and loop pile carpet can also be used to create the illusion of space.
The carpet fibre you choose will determine the texture, the look and longevity of your carpet. Consider your lifestyle, where the carpet is laid, who will be using it, foot traffic and budget.
In a wool carpet, each yarn or strand that comprise the pile is made from natural fibre. Wool is renewable, warm, luxurious and durable. It is also hypo-allergenic and biodegradable
Wool fibres are strong, hard-wearing are naturally stain resistant, and easier to vacuum. Wool has very good stain resistance due to its hard external fibre.
Wool carpets absorb noise, are naturally flame resistant and the insulation properties keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer.
Wool is 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable.
The luxurious finish makes wool ideal for living areas, bedrooms and family homes.
Wool has excellent pile crushing resistance, static resistance, and absorbs airborne particles
A wool carpet is likely to be at the higher end of your budget, but will provide you with an exceptional quality floor covering.
Nylon is a synthetic fibre that is resilient and durable.
The resilience of Nylon make it ideal for family rooms, living areas, hallways and stairs.
It has excellent pile crushing resistance, making it ideal for higher traffic areas.
Nylon can easily accept dye allowing a much greater colour choice, though can stain easily if left untreated. Stain resistant options are available, making Nylon an excellent option for families with children and pets.
Nylon is versatile, affordable, and can be constructed into any type of carpet.
100% Nylon is referred to as White Nylon.
(Also known as PET)
Polyester carpet is synthetic material with a smooth, velvet-like appearance.
Polyester is a more affordable synthetic fibre.
It is colourfast, fade and stain resistant, and suited to low traffic areas such as a guest room, study or a child’s room.
Polyester fibre can reproduce some of the most beautiful colours available.
It provides excellent resistance to stains and is extremely fade resistant.
Polyester is susceptible to crushing at low density and carpet pile weights, which reduces as pile weight increases. Loop pile performs better than cut pile.
Compared to nylon, polyester carpets are less durable but more stain-resistant.
Evergreen Flooring stock a range of eco-friendly polyester carpets that utilise recycled PET plastic bottles.
(Also known as Olefin or PP)
Polypropylene is an inexpensive synthetic fibre, ideal for people on a budget. Its affordability makes it ideal for rental properties or play rooms.
Polypropylene has excellent stain resistance to water based stains, but poor stain resistance to oil based stains.
Polypropylene fibre has excellent colourfastness, static resistance, and is easy to clean if treated immediately. It is hydrophobic, so it resists mould and mildew and is ideal for damp environments.
It has lower durability than other fibres, for this reason Polypropylene is generally manufactured into low-pile loop style carpets and is more suitable for low traffic areas.
How your carpet is put together and what to look for
Colour, style and fibre type are all important factors in choosing the right carpet, but there are additional characteristics that will determine how well your carpet will perform and last in a given application. These include dyeing methods, processing, and the type of backing.
Colour can be added to carpet fibres by solution dyeing or stock dyeing.
Colour pigment is added to the polymer chips during yarn extrusion, resulting in colour that extends throughout the yarn material. This gives the fibres excellent colour stability and outstanding resistance to fading, making them well suited to applications where the carpet may be exposed to sunlight, bleach or harsh detergents.
Pigments are added during the dyeing process of white staple fibre before they are turned into spun yard. It is a lower cost process than solution dyeing due to the lower colouring batch sizes required, with only slight decrease in fibre performance. A wider range of colours is available for carpets that have been stock dyed.
Carpet performance is also determined by the type of backing used, which provides strength and stability.
Yarn is woven through a primary backing, and set in place with latex. A second backing is also added to the primary stitched or tufted layer to provide additional strength. This secondary woven polypropylene backing is heat stabilised, and can contain material that acts as a moisture barrier. This can be particularly useful in preventing spills from soaking through the carpet, causing damage to the sub floor and acting as a catalyst to the growth of mildew. Moisture barrier backings are useful in areas with a high propensity for spills, such as eating areas.
Jute is also a widely used carpet backing material, being the most widely used natural fibre after cotton. It is sustainable, biodegradable and recyclable. Furthermore it is strong, flexible and resilient.
Some manufacturers use a foam backing instead. While foam backing is not as strong as polypropylene or jute, it allows the carpet to be glued directly to the flooring material without the use of underlay.