How to choose a rug and make sure it stands the test of time

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Hot, stuffy drafts, isolating the worst of thread-like slabs and gaping planks, there’s a lot to be said about carpet, aside from its striking beauty.

Its installation requirements are a cinch compared to wood or tile projects, and it’s easy to lift to solve sub-floor problems.

Children and vulnerable family members are much less likely to break bones from falling on the carpet. Before you let off steam on the scent of the new carpet in the showroom, read our guide to rolling a handsome tough competitor underfoot.

Material issues

Wool / wool blends

The ultimate bragging floor after hardwood. Wool at € 50- € 80 per square meter offers dimensional stability (will not flatten with wear, regains its shape perfectly), no static electricity, is soft to the touch, hypoallergenic when not not treated against stains and very durable (sheep wear it clings to the sides of windswept mountains).

Wool is naturally flame retardant and, when burned, does not release the toxic fumes of a petrochemical. Wool has been proven to regulate humidity and airborne toxins, removing nanofibers and dust. It is generally an environmentally friendly choice.

Stick to an 80:20 wool / synthetic blend in a tufted rug with good, rich pile and a brand name you’ve heard of before. Ulster Beaumont Inkstone, ulstercarpets.com.

That said, 80:20 woven and tufted wool and wool blends are available as cheap, lean, poorly produced rugs that will sag and fall for years.

Pay attention to the investment level, the herringbone weaves in 100% wool, from € 80 per meter and more. Paired with a good underlayment upstairs, a thicker product will dampen footsteps and by adding a spring and reducing slippage, will extend the life of this quality choice.

Synthetics

Starting at under $ 12 per square meter, the worst of the cheap, purely synthetic choices are easily detected by a rolled-back gaze for that artificial sheen. Polyamide (nylon) and polypropylene from 20 to 60 € per square meter are used to make a wide range of cheaper, soft and tufted carpets. They can wear colors that are simply impossible with wool. Their stain resistance is legendary and on a budget or in a house teeming with sportsmen, this is your best defense. Polyester is used in combination with wool to reduce the cost and improve the durability of wool rugs.

Made from recycled plastic, it also has environmental drawbacks, but like all rugs, it is considered toxic waste when you throw it away. If you insist on the ante-diluvium practice of carpeting in the bathroom, choose a nylon carpet with a rubber backing and a moisture resistant pad.

Durability

Get your hands on the job and explore the imperial way the trade judges the quality of carpets – ounces of fiber per square meter.

Don’t settle for a seductive caress, choose an area where the rug is supported by the roller or sample book, pressing your fingers firmly on the tuft or weave.

A resilient mat with good weight and density will instantly come back without leaving a mark when your fingers retract.

To explore the density further, gently bend the sample and see if you can see the backing between the fibers. The closer the fibers are to each other, the more resistant your carpet will be to physical stress.

Take a sample home. Move it around the room to judge the color and texture, and step on it heavily, again watching how the pile and texture react. If the carpet has a twist, the more tufts or folds, the stronger and more durable it is. Three to four is a good start.

Synthetic rugs tend to have poorer texture retention over time, especially with longer tufted patterns. Suction cups under the legs of your furniture will prevent dents from appearing when you move the sofas during a seasonal remodel. Remember that the way the carpet fibers are laid in the backing will determine the feel and performance, and should dictate what you choose for that space.

Glossary

Hoopoe: Twisted fibers perforated from behind, this is the most popular choice in mid-range household carpets. From cheap to glorious, they offer great value and are available in synthetics, natural and blends, with a market-leading 80:20 polyester wool blend. Relatively easy to vacuum and clean in high traffic areas, some synthetics can resist bleach. In a short heap they won’t show no steps like a richer and deeper Saxony

Berber: Think classic gnarled. Derived from the rugs of the Berber tribes, this rug has the knots facing upwards and can be textured or flat. It should be cleaned thoroughly to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating in the fibers, sawing and cutting knots. Popular in a wool blend in small, tight curls – a tough competitor. If you have small dogs or cats, do yourself a favor and reject knotted carpets or rugs

Flat weave: Low, formal, and great for stairs and hallways, the flatwoven rug has that continuous yarn composition that is less likely to fall out, and in the right product, it can handle high traffic areas with elegant ease. Without depth, Grot simply won’t be trampled deep into its fibers. Make sure your low carpet does not slip over the nosing of the steps.

Battery cut: With the trend of the 70s, the shag rug remains an eccentric dandy. However, cut pile is gorgeous to the touch and a sultry product underfoot for bedrooms. Fight off the cheap synthetic velvets that will literally spark under your feet with static electricity. For a shamelessly deep bedroom coat, try Saxony in a good wool blend.

Wilton and Axminster: British carpet brand names used as generic descriptions of quality carpets. Wilton, 100% wool, are a continuous pile rugs preferred by four star hotels for their feel and durability, while Axminster offers cut loops. Traditionally woven rugs, still more expensive, but remarkably durable. Axminster is famous for its intricate pattern possibilities.

Ulster Carpets in Craigavon ​​are among the most famous manufacturers of woven rugs in the world with solid colors, heather and intricate patterns. See
ulstercarpets.com for free samples and local suppliers. A free mailbag is provided for returning samples.

Moulting and allergies

Obviously, we don’t want to fill the vacuum bag with shaking and raking the new carpet, but the quality and type of carpet will determine how much it sheds.

This is not just a balding problem, it is a health concern for anyone with breathing problems and is not welcome with crawling babies and young children.

Some pile loss is quite normal for most rugs, including natural fibers, and you can expect your rug to shed for up to a year with average use.

Vacuum the carpet after it has been laid to remove that initial and inevitable shed that will otherwise spread over the surface.

If you don’t want a lot of shedding, look for a continuous filament yarn like a velvety Wilton, long sections of weave.

Any carpet with short cut tufts will give up some of its fibers.

Quirky B Margo, around € 88 per square meter;  alternativeflooring.com.
Quirky B Margo, around € 88 per square meter; alternativeflooring.com.

In the case of a quality carpet, the discount will cease over time. Looping Berber styles don’t have to be attacked with the threshing bar – you deconstruct them and simply barb them.

Most household carpets contain a range of VOCs in their composition which gives off gas.

This new smell is not good news, especially in a bedroom. Remove the plastic, roll it up, and let the carpet and underlayment breathe for a few days, preferably with the windows cracked.

Practical colors

Only you can decide what makes your toes shake in terms of tone, texture, and color, but here are a few things to keep in mind.

Lighter colors will amplify the space in general, and smooth, shaved rugs in one color have an easy formality.

Heather colored rugs in a mid tone with spots of alternating strand colors breaking up the solid and dominant background hue are fantastic for hiding light dirt and pet hair. This doesn’t mean that the carpet doesn’t have to be meticulously clean. A carpet that shows every thread and a hint of dust is a total pain.

Some textures also show the indentation, wear and direction of the vacuuming more easily, good if you demand neat parallel lines in your Axminster, but difficult for everyday family life. Very long locks like Saxe and very short velvets of a very dark or almost white color; high maintenance. Keep them for officer quarters only with light traffic.


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