Carpet: Expectations Vs Reality.

Carpet: Expectations Vs Reality.

Carpets have a wide variety of price points, starting at £2.50, up to £100+ per square meter of flooring. Like most products there is an element of “you get what you pay for”, however, it is possible to get some excellent flooring products for competitive prices. Here we will look at carpets, the different price points and how the technology of flooring has evolved meaning that the carpets are higher quality than in the past, cheaper and if you are prepared to pay a premium will typically last longer. Carpet: Expectations Vs Reality by Herts Carpets.

Oxford 9814 plain carpet in Dark Beige, fitting in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

Let’s start with the entry-level carpets and discuss the features of these. Cheap carpets are typically manufactured used polypropylene, which is a synthetic fibre. This has a number of different features and benefits:

  • Polypropylene is effectively a by-product of plastic it is not porous, this means that the carpet will not absorb fluids, and will not normally pick up smells.
  • Stain resistance – as above as polypropylene carpets are not porous they will typically not stain. This means that even when the dreaded red wine is dropped, with bleach cleaner this will come out.
  • Strong colours – if you are choosing a bright carpet this will not run out of a polypropylene carpet, even if in the bright sunlight.
  • Long lasting, these carpets will typically last for a long period of time.

Polypropylene however does have some drawbacks:

  • Bounce – after a period of time polypropylene carpets will reduce the amount of bounce that they have in their fibres. New technology which is often called “spring” or “bounce back” technology has been introduced with more expensive carpets, however for cheaper carpets this will not normally apply. What does this mean? Well, in high traffic areas such as corridors and walkthroughs in your house you may notice that the fibres begin to get compressed after a period of time.
  • Oil based stains – these will cause problems. As the carpets are made from a form of oil, they are vulnerable to oil based stains, therefore you will typically need to get the carpet professionally cleaned if you do encounter an oil based stain. Therefore it is not recommended to carpet your kitchen with polypropylene carpets.
  • Polypropylene carpets are manufactured using toxic chemicals, so when they are first installed they can leave a chemical smell. Don’t worry thought these will go away.
Salamanca Platinum Carpet
Salamanca Platinum Carpet fitted in Tring, Hertfordshire

Polypropylene carpets look great, and provide an affordable option for luxury in the home. There are now some super-soft fibres which mean additional comfort, which are mid-range carpet options.

Carpet backing: Historically the backing of carpets, particularly those at the lower end of the market was made from felt or other materials, most carpets are now available in either a felt-backed, meaning that it is more flexible, and can be stuck down directly onto the sub-floor, or alternatively an “action backing” also known as a “hessian backing”. Action-backed carpets offer a robust backing which is long lasting, but will need to be laid with underlay.

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Wool Carpets

Wool carpets tend to be mid-range to high-end carpets. It is possible to get 80/20 combinations between wool and other synthetic fibres, using a combination of fibres this allows the great feeling and insulation of wool, along with the non-porous elements of the synthetic fibres, this way carpets are able to be stain-resistant. This is one of the key issues which wool carpets have, being the absorption of fluids spilt on to them.

Wool carpets have the following benefits:

  • Great looking
  • Long lasting
  • Natural materials
  • Inflammable
  • Excellent Insulator
  • Responds well to cleaning

In terms of negatives for wool carpets:

  • Expensive
  • Can loose colour
  • Can get fuzzy after a long period of time
  • Issues with stains

In terms of luxury and high-end carpets, silk carpets are the main option, these are extremely expensive and Herts Carpets offer a limited range of these at the current time.

In summary for most properties synthetic carpets are absolutely perfect, if you want something a little bit more expensive then you can go with wool options or a combination wool and synthetic fibre, finally if you want the ultimate in luxury then silk carpets may be for you.

Herts Carpets offer literally hundreds of different carpet options, book a free estimate with our team, we will come to you bringing our full range of samples and materials to you in your home. Book a free estimate today!