Nothing beats the cosy feeling of soft carpet when getting out of bed on a cold morning and touching the floor with your bare feet. I mean quality carpet, of course. In my job as Interior Designer, I always direct my clients towards what’s best for their specific needs, as there are many products on the market all differing in performance, durability and budget. This also applies to floor products and that's why the advice of a flooring expert is the solution to ensure you select the right carpet to suit your unique family needs... but, if you’re curious about the basic differences, let me give you a heads up...
Natural fibres such as wool are mostly preferred because of its softness and natural looks; and although this carpet might release pell and fluff for a few months, it will finally settle into the ultimate statement of style and luxury. It has natural insulation properties meaning it helps keep cool in summer and warm in winter, is fire-resistant, and importantly it’s a healthy product being sustainably sourced, a 100% renewable resource and it’s also biodegradable, making it good for the family and the environment.
Synthetic carpets, being nylon or polyester, are made from man-made fibres that provide a hard wearing flooring option copes well with a lot of traffic. These fibres hold colour and treatment on their outside, while solution-dyed-nylon (another man made fibre) has the colour and treatment through the fibre providing harder resistance to stain and are easier to maintain.
Plush, has tall straight fibres sitting upwards, sort of like cut grass to give you an idea, and is the softest to walk and lie on, however as these fibres do flex as we walk on or vacuum it, tread marks will be visible, which might not be to everyone’s liking.
Twist Pyle, offers the feel of a plush carpet with tall fibres and its softness benefits, but being twisted means it's harder to bend, dramatically reducing the visible tread marks; it also has a better 'memory’ (the ability to coming back to original shape after being squashed under the pressure of furniture).
Loop Pyle, is made of fibres which may be short or long but loop back over themselves into the weave, (like an upside down “C”); in synthetics they aren’t as soft as a plush or twist pile but will show almost no tread marks. I often select loop pile, but in wool as it ticks many boxes: I love the look of its texture, it’s still super soft to walk on and offers great 'memory' quality.
Loop & Cut Pyle, offers both softness and reduced tread marks, whilst being available in many patterns to choose from. This may be a way to add texture to your floor in an easy to maintain finish.
Not only good for bedrooms, carpet flooring is the perfect choice for home theatre rooms and also brings all its aesthetic and performance qualities to living rooms too. There are many homes where carpet proves to be the best flooring choice, particularly in cooler climates. Also, some homes were not structurally built for the addition of heavy flooring, and when renovating for example, adding a stone or tiled flooring will require laborious floor preparation, which comes at great expense. Another important point, which is particularly good for the renovators is that carpet flooring is fast to lay and a great way to disguise any subtle flooring unevenness or when wishing to unify different flooring types, such as timber and tiles, making renovations an easier and affordable experience. Finally, carpet flooring is non-slip, comes in a great variety of colours and styles, and is perfect to add a unique cosy look & feel to our homes.
With so many options... I’m happy to share my favourite range at the moment, which is COPENHAGEN, from the Urban Instinct range by Flooring Xtra: this 100% undyed pure wool carpet, comes in a beautiful range of neutrals, and they are all natural. Imagine this: the wool is sorted into its colour ranges based upon the true colours of the sheep. This healthy natural product has no additional dyes added, allowing for the natural beauty of the fibre to be on show, with its delicate variations added to the rich texture of the thick loop pile. There are NINE colours in the range, from light greys, to medium wheaty tones and rich deep charcoals. I’m in love with this range, let me know what you think!!
Some people prefer hard flooring over carpet worrying about maintenance and dust, and as an asthma sufferer myself I understand this issue very well. But recent research supports the reasoning that hard flooring can allow for the continuous lifting of dust into the air as its sits on top, whereas carpet allows it to settle, until a thorough vacuum cleaning lifts and removes the unwanted allergens once and for all.
When selecting your carpet, the choice of quality underlay is almost as important as the carpet itself, for health reasons as well as performance. A quality underlay provides additional insulation benefits positively effecting both temperature and sound, and of course comfort to walk on, but in addition to these benefits it also adds longevity to the carpet itself especially on high traffic areas like stairs and hallways. Flooring Xtra offers quality underlay that is made of 90% recyclable product and is 100% recyclable when removed. This product is endorsed by PlanetArk, Australia’s leading non-for-profit organisation that looks out for our planet's well being... another important bonus for the carpet flooring, don't you think?
However, if you’re unsure which flooring finish is best for your home, Flooring Extra offers a great range of products to choose from, be it carpet to timber flooring, to high performing hybrid flooring and quality vinyl choices. To help you choose, their brand new Lookbook is out now and full of practical advice. Request your copy HERE to explore their flooring range and get inspired for your styling and décor. But remember, you really need to see your flooring first hand, to touch and feel it, so your next step will be to visit any one of the Flooring Xtra stores around Australia. There you are guaranteed great expertise and friendly customer service, whilst presenting you with a selection of quality products all individually created to suit your unique needs, taste and budget. Tell them I sent you, you won’t be disappointed!
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.