Choosing the Right Carpet for Your Lifestyle
Choosing a carpet for the home isn’t as simple as it might seem. That’s because the home typically consists of several different types of ‘area’, and each one will have different requirements.
Rooms with Heavy Footfall (Living Rooms, Hallways, Corridors, Playrooms) – These are the rooms in the house that will see the most ‘action’, with different people constantly walking backwards and forwards across them. Entrance halls, living rooms, corridors and playrooms will all feature highly on this list. High levels of durability are a must, or the carpet will quickly deteriorate. Dirt and stains are likely to be significant issues too (particularly in living rooms and playrooms), so you’ll need a carpet that can deal comfortably with mess.
On the face of it, wool would be a good choice. Hard-wearing and able to regain its shape quickly and easily, it’s also very good at repelling dirt. Unfortunately, wool carpets are expensive, and places like the living room and hallway often require a lot of carpet. For price reasons, then, we’ll eliminate wool as an option, although a quality blend of wool and sisal or hemp might be an option.
Almost certainly, you’ll be looking at a synthetic fibre. Acrylic won’t be suitable, due to the yarn untwisting with heavy use. Polyester will be a very cheap option that’ll look good initially, but you will need to replace it fairly soon. Nonetheless, it might be a good choice for a playroom, where you’ll probably be intending to redecorate the room after a few years. Polyester is lovely and soft when brand new, and that’ll help make it a great room for leisure.
For living rooms, corridors and halls, though, the best choice is likely to be nylon. This fibre doesn’t have the softest feel, but it certainly has the ability to stand up to punishment. It’s generally good at resisting stains, although oil and grease are to be avoided where possible. Nylon is also highly flexible, so a full choice of styles and textures should be open to you. A textured cut pile style will probably be best. This will be relatively soft, yet still reasonably durable, and the tightly twisted threads are good at keeping the carpet clean. You can also find some interesting patterns that will add a little variety to the floor. You could also opt for a loop pile texture, if you’re hoping to increase the durability, although you should be careful to choose level loop rather than Berber – the latter has fibres that tend to catch on the claws of dogs and cats.
The colour of the carpets will depend on the atmosphere you’re trying to create. Paler colours reflect light, and so make a room seem more spacious. They do show up stains, though. A darker colour will be easier to keep clean, and will give the room a more atmospheric feel. Your wallpaper and furniture is likely to be a dominant factor in deciding which colour you opt for.
Rooms with Low Footfall – These will mostly cover the the bedrooms. As adults, we tend to go to those rooms to sleep, but will visit them less frequently during the day. Youngsters, on the other hand, will use them quite a bit during the day too. Even so, none of the bedrooms are likely to see excessive footfall on a daily basis. Durability, then, is less crucial. Comfort, on the other hand, is likely to be key. Many us will walk across our bedrooms bare-footed, so we want carpets that are warm and soft to the touch.
Bedrooms tend to be smaller spaces, so the creamy softness of wool might be affordable. Certainly a good wool/jute or wool/hemp blend would give you a soft and comfortable carpet of relatively high luxury. If price remains a concern, look for acrylic. This synthetic fibre is much more affordable than wool, but still offers a lovely look and feel.
You might well want to select a carpet with long fibres, and a nice cut pile will work well here. A textured cut pile will be a good choice for youngsters’ bedrooms. Soft yet still moderately durable, this is a very safe option. If you want increased comfort, a shag or saxony cut pile will do brilliantly.
Dining rooms will also fall within this category. Here you’ll be looking for a more formal finish with short fibres. A cut pile frieze texture would be a good choice, and would also allow for a subtle pattern that might add a bit of variety to an otherwise austere room.
Damp Rooms – Areas that are little used, but that have significant amounts of moisture, such as basements, will benefit from a carpet that can cope with the damp. You won’t want to spend much money on a carpet for such a place, so polyester or olefin (polypropylene) will be the best choices. Olefin is the obvious pick, as this synthetic fibre is particularly good at resisting water.
Living Rooms, Hallways, Corridors – Wool or Nylon with a textured cut pile or level loop pile
Playrooms – Polyester
Dining Rooms – Wool or Acylic with a frieze cut pile
Bedrooms – Wool or Acylic with a shag or saxony cut pile
Basements – Olefin (Polypropylene)
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