How to choose a quality carpet

When buying a new carpet there’s more to consider than just colour and size. After all, it’s an investment in your home that you want to enjoy for as long as possible. The amount of styles and materials available on the market might seem overwhelming and confusing, so here are a few tips on how to choose a quality carpet.

Carpet Styles

Carpet is made in many different styles, the main ones being cut pile and loop pile. Which one to go for depends on your personal preference and the kind of usage your carpet will have to endure.

Cut Pile

This plain or two-tone carpet style is more popular at the moment due to its simple and modern elegance. However, all cut pile carpets will have some signs of “shading" or "tracking" such as showing footprints or marks from the vacuum cleaner on the carpet. The softer the carpet, the more likely this tracking will occur which is not a sign of bad quality. The best way to minimise this is to choose a denser carpet. Long loose piles, soft touch and plush pile carpets will track the most.

Cut pile carpets are perfect for residential homes, especially if there are pets around. Unlike loop pile carpets, these ones don’t have any threads that can easily be pulled out.

Loop Pile

Made by forming a loop in the thread, loop pile carpets offer a lot more variety through patterns, texture and colours. They do not shade or track like cut piles. However they do not feel as soft underfoot as a cut pile carpet. Loop piles do tend to show the joins more and are prone to having threads pulled from pets.

Carpet Fibre

We recommend carpets that are a 100% blend rather than mixed fibres. Mixed fibres are generally cheaper, but of less quality. The most common fibres are Solution Dyed Nylon, Polyester, Polypropylene, Wool and Triexta.

Solution Dyed Nylon

We mainly sell and recommend 100% Solution Dyed Nylon carpet.

It’s colourfast very resistant to sunlight, fading and stains. 

It is a great choice for many applications. Usually cut pile carpets, these varieties will keep looking fresh for years to come.

Wool

New Zealand wool has the highest quality and makes excellent loop carpets. Wool is generally resistant to stains and soiling, keeps bad smells at bay and doesn’t melt when in contact with fire. It’s also great for people with allergies and known for its durability, resilience and luxurious look.

Unfortunately wool will fade over time with the harsh U.V rays from the New Zealand sun.

Triexta

A derivative of Polyester, Triexta carpets usually feel rather sumptuous and soft. They are stain resistant and colourfast.

Polypropylene

These carpets offer good fade and stain resistance for a reasonable price. Once considered a poor man’s choice, they are reliable and easy to clean.

Polyester

Another good choice if you’re on a budget, Polyester carpets are especially colourfast and offer a soft touch. However, it’s more suitable for homes with low traffic as it is not as resilient as other fabrics.

Carpet Density

The denser the carpet, the thicker the fibres have been packed together. Carpet density is measured in ounces per square yard, ranging from 24 oz to 72 oz (or 3kg to 9kg). Depending on your budget and the requirements of your carpet, aim for a density between 28 and 48 ounces. Denser carpets are less likely to show signs of tracking.

Colour

The colour of your carpet is mostly up to personal preference, though various shades of grey, beige and brown are today's most popular choices.

Carpets should also match the light or darkness of your house, so getting a few samples beforehand is highly valuable.

As a general rule, carpet will look slightly lighter in full size, than it will in a small sample size. Black carpets, for example, tend to show a lot more fluff and require more regular vacuuming.

Houses in residential areas such as rentals, especially where children are present, are better off with mid to darker colours to avoid fading and staining due to high traffic.

Underlay

Having a quality underlay is very important and should not be overlooked. Not only does it help with noise reduction such as footsteps on upper floors, a dense underlay also acts as insulation, keeping your floors warm and adding comfort for your feet.

Underlay is measured in both thickness (9mm to 12mm) and density

(75kg/m3 to 130kg/m3). 10mm 90kg/m3 should be the bare minimum to use.

We recommend choosing an underlay 11mm 110 kg/m3 or higher.

A premium underlay is designed to offer increased levels of comfort due to their thickness and density. It will also rate higher in acoustic and thermal insulation performance.

General Tips and Maintenance

  • Depending on the traffic they endure, each carpet will show signs of wear and tear over time. To minimise the impact and keep your carpet in shape, it needs to be cleaned regularly. In addition to vacuuming we recommend annual professional cleaning or steam-mopping.
  • Always refer to the carpet manufacturer specifications for carpet maintenance procedures.
  • When choosing a carpet, check for the ACCS Rating. (Australian Carpet Classification Scheme).
  • We recommend purchasing carpets with a 6-star-rating for “Residential – Extra Heavy Use”.