It’s easy to get confused in the carpet store. The variety of carpets, fibres, yarns and colours can get you a bit bamboozled! Do not despair, though! We have compiled a whole article’s worth of tips to help you stay on track and focus on the things that are important before purchasing a carpet.
Table of Contents
Density and durability
The denser your carpet is, the better. Density in carpets is estimated by yarn weight, pile thickness and pile height. Look for the labels and pick a carpet with a higher density score. Denser carpets are more durable, but that’s just part of the story.
The quality of the fibre and the quality of the carpet construction are also important. When you are in the carpet store, you should look for the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme (ACCS) label. Most major carpet manufacturers and providers are labelling their products using this classification. The star rating is used to show how well the carpets performed on different quality checks and tests.
- Carpets for domestic use are defined using a star rating out of six;
- Carpets for commercial use are defined using a star rating out of four;
It is important to know what you are going to use the carpet for before you purchase it. This way, you will know how durable you will need it to be. Obviously, public places, restaurants, cafes and other high-traffic areas will need something that ranks higher on the density and durability tests.
When you buy a carpet for your home, it is essential to know that carpet underlay could be handy if you want to insulate your home, absorb sound, cover flooring defects (bumps and holes) and ensure your carpet lasts longer. Choosing a carpet with quality underlay is important. A nice thick pad will also help insulate our home and make it a quieter place.
Try Before You Buy
Take samples home and see how they look placed near your furniture, curtains and walls. The carpet in the store will always look slightly different. Try how the samples look in natural daylight and under artificial light. If the samples are yours to keep, you can even experiment with stains and cleaning methods.
When you decide on a carpet, ask at the store whether they offer installation. Sometimes they might give you a discounted rate, or the purchase might come with free installation. Ask if this is the case. (Note: It will probably not include the moving of any furniture)
Modern Carpet Installation
Carpeting is more than just the single item: “carpet”. It is actually a system consisting of the carpet itself, the carpet backing (usually latex-made), the cushioning underlay and the method of installation. In terms of installation, there are a few ways to approach carpeting.
Carpet tiles (not the same tiles you have on your roof) are an excellent choice for commercial settings and buildings that see a lot of traffic. The ’tiles’ come in 50 cm squares and are affixed using a pressure-sensitive glue to ensure they stay fixed. The benefits of carpet tiles are that they are easy to remove, and if a tile gets stained or damaged beyond repair, the entire tile can easily be removed. This method of installation also allows arrangements of carpet tiles to spread wear. For instance, every other year, you can rearrange the carpet tiles in your home or office, and this way, those tiles exposed to more traffic and sun can ‘take a break’.
Carpeting that covers an entire room is usually called ‘wall-to-wall’ or a ‘fitted carpet’. Fitted carpets are still among the most preferred flooring types for quite a few reasons. They have noise and warmth insulating qualities and provide a sense of luxury and safety. Not only do they reduce the chances of slips and falls, but even if someone ends up falling or dropping something, the carpet will soften the fall. Additionally, wall-to-wall carpeting can open up a place visually, unlike any other flooring type.
Carpet Cleaning Methods
When properly cleaned and taken care of, your carpeting will maintain its life and beauty for many years. Know your carpets and take good care of them accordingly. Different yarns and fibres require separate handling. For this reason, it is crucial to be familiar with the proper cleaning methods for your carpet or rug. Read the manufacturer’s labels and directions.
Vacuum clean thoroughly and treat stains and spills with a mixture of water and vinegar (which keeps colours from running) or water and mild dishwashing liquid. If you are trying a DIY carpet cleaning recipe, test it on an area that’s not visible. See how the carpet ‘reacts’ and only after that apply it on the visible surface. Vacuum clean often as accumulated dust, crumbs and particles can rub against the carpet fibres and ruin them for good. When a spill occurs, make sure you tend to it immediately.
There are plenty of steam cleaners that are being advertised, but what exactly is steam cleaning? When it comes to carpet cleaning, it is often mistaken for the hot water extraction cleaning method, which is slightly different. However, steam cleaning, by definition, is cleaning using steam.
However, there’s no rinsing using this method, and rinsing is essential to remove the soil and clean detergent residue. This gives carpet cleaning through hot water extraction a significant advantage.
Hot Water Extraction
There are a few reasons why hot water extraction carpet cleaning is superior in comparison to other methods, but one of the most important advantages is that it rinses the carpet. During the hot water extraction cleaning, hot water mixed with a cleaning detergent is sprayed on the carpet, which immediately kills bacteria and germs.
Simultaneously the water is vacuumed up together with all the grime, dislodged dirt, residue and moisture. This makes the final step: the extraction, the most important of all. Our professional carpet cleaners highly recommend this method for invigorating and prolonging the carpet’s life as well as promoting the health of your household.
During dry cleaning, a moist absorbent cleaning detergent is spread evenly over the surface of your carpeting and is brushed or scrubbed in. Occasionally professional cleaners use a dry foam which is 90% air and 10% liquid. For the purposes of dry cleaning, a foam machine consisting of a pressure tank is used. Dry cleaning is used for carpets that can be damaged by high temperatures and water. Such carpets include needle felt and other types whose construction inhibits sufficient water extraction. As you may already know, moisture inside carpets is problematic as it leads to mould and promotes bacteria.
Interesting carpet facts
- The term ‘carpet’ comes from the old French and Italian words ‘carpite’ and ‘carpita’, which means ‘to pluck’;
- The term “sweep [something] under the rug/carpet” is an idiom in the English language figuratively describing the act of hiding something embarrassing;
- The largest carpet in the world is located in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi (UAE). It measures 5,630 m² and weighs 35 tons;
- The world’s most expensive carpet is the Silk Isfahan Rug of central Persia. It was sold in 2008 for a mind-boggling $4,450,000 USD;
- The oldest carpet in the world is the Pazyryc carpet, found in a tomb in Siberia. It’s dated back to the 5th century BC;
- When properly cleaned and maintained carpets improve indoor air quality. There have been studies suggesting a household without carpets gets sick four times more than a household with carpets. Carpets and rugs serve as filters, trapping dust, bacteria, allergens and germs;
- There is ongoing research that aims at developing carpets with sensors. This new generation of ‘smart carpets’ will be able to recognise footsteps, hazardous falls, fires and chemical contaminations;
- Vegas carpets and the carpets in most casinos employ the craziest designs. Some claim this is to mask stains and spills. Others go as far as to suggest that the patterns encourage you to gamble or mask dropped chips. When a gambler drops a chip, it’s challenging to locate, and he gives up on looking.
Buying the right carpet for your home can be challenging, but with our guide, you’re equipped with the essential information to make an informed decision. Remember to consider factors like density, durability, underlay, and installation. Additionally, maintaining your carpet is crucial to ensuring its longevity, so regularly vacuuming and cleaning your carpet is essential.