Find the best carpet for your home
6 April, 2022
There are so many different types of carpet and it can be hard to work out which is the best carpet for your home. There are a wide variety of cuts, materials, colours, wear, textures and even considerations like your health and allergies. Not to mention different carpets that work in different settings.
So our interior stylist Lauren Keenan has put together a designer’s guide for finding the best carpet for your home. It includes the different options and how you can achieve that plush under-foot feeling all year round.
LISTEN TO MY PODCAST ABOUT FINDING THE BEST CARPET FOR YOU
As well as being a leading interior stylist for homes up and down the east coast of Australia, Lauren Keenan is an award-winning podcast host. And in this episode of At Home with Lauren Keenan you can hear Lauren’s expert tips on finding the best carpet for your family and your home.
Keep scrolling now to read more info or click play and stream the show here or wherever you get your podcasts.
Thanks for listening to the show. This episode of the podcast is proudly sponsored by the good people at Flooring Xtra, Australia’s fastest growing flooring retailer with expert service and a beautiful product range in over 90 stores. There’s bound to be one near you. Flooring Xtra has an extensive range of quality timber flooring and a large range of natural Australian colours to suit any palette and style of interior.
BEST CARPET CUTS AND TEXTURES
Lauren told her podcast listeners that there are three main carpet cuts that she recommends and that interior design clients most often ask about. There’s cut pile, loop pile and cut-loop pile.
“Cut pile means that the wool or nylon fibre is cut and you walk on the end of the fibre. It feels quite plush underfoot, especially the ones that are cut a little higher,” Lauren said.
“It tends to look a little more traditional and formal. The sort of thing you might see in a formal seating area, period homes and government buildings. It is also often seen in bedrooms because it feels so nice under foot.”
Lauren usually recommends loop pile carpet because there are so many options and it tends to fit in with the way we live in our modern Australian homes.
“Loop pile is more contemporary and tends to look more casual, which is how we usually style our homes and live these days. It’s also the best carpet for busy areas where there is high foot traffic. Think stairs, casual living or family rooms,” she said.
“Generally speaking, tighter loop carpets are easier to maintain because you’re not seeing footmarks or fluff accumulating. And it’s more difficult to pull on the loops or get something stuck. That’s something you should consider if you have kids or pets that like to scratch.”
The third type of carpet is cut-loop pile, which is essentially a combination of the two styles. Some of the fibres are looped and some have been cut off. You don’t see it as often these days, but choose a cut-loop pile for a more textural look. Or if you’re looking for that plush feeling from a cut pile while also getting the durability of a loop pile.
BEST CARPET MATERIALS
There are a range of materials. But I think the best carpets are made from wool or from nylon, if you’re looking for something more cost effective.
Lauren told her podcast listeners that wool is a very robust choice that lasts if you look after it.
“Wool is considered the most premium and prestigious of the fibres. It can come with a slightly higher price point, but it’s a natural fibre which is important. It is naturally soft and doesn’t need chemicals to make it feel that way. Wool is also stain-resistant, which is so important if you have kids, pets or a spill every now and then.
“There’s a misconception that wool is delicate. But wool carpets are very durable. And wool has a memory to the fibre, which allows it to bounce back after you’ve moved heavy furniture like a table or bed. Synthetic carpets are much less likely to be able to bounce back.”
Lauren also recommends nylon carpet from time-to-time. It is very popular and there are a variety of choices and price points. It can be used in high-traffic areas in your home with confidence. And Lauren usually suggests a solution-dyed nylon carpet which locks the colour and will wear better over time.
CHOOSING CARPET COLOURS
There are a number of things you have to keep in mind when choosing a carpet colour.
“I always say borrow a carpet sample. So you can check it against the light in your own home and how it will work with your furniture and fittings. And how it will match up against flooring in adjoining rooms too,” Lauren told her podcast audience.
“Carpets tend to look lighter on the floor, so make sure to put carpet samples on the floor when you’re in the shop. Same goes when you’re at home with your carpet sample. Larger pieces will also look lighter than smaller swatches.
There are flat colours and some carpets have different colours in a carpet weave, which provides more depth and provides versatility. Lauren says those textured colours are also a bit more forgiving when it comes to cleaning and maintenance.
“There is no right or wrong answer with carpet colour. As I always say, it’s your house so you’ve got to love it and live with it.
“If you go for a dark carpet, with a light wall, you’re really going to show up the footprint of the room. If you want to make it more cosy, you might also go with a darker colour on the walls to bring it together.
“Lighter coloured carpets will make the room feel more expansive, especially if your walls are also light and bright, blending them together and giving you that feeling of space and scale.”
OTHER KEY CONSIDERATIONS
Always aim to shop with a reputable carpet store, like Flooring Xtra. You ideally want to go somewhere with a wide range and that offers a good warranty for their products.
If you or your family suffers from allergies or asthma, there are lots of great options to consider.
Scotchguard and those protective products are built into carpets these days. So the store shouldn’t need to ‘up sell’ you on another product to protect your carpet.
Carpet is sold per lineal metre rather than per square metre. And the more you spend, the better quality carpet you will get. The same goes for underlay – always get the best carpet underlay you can afford. Because a lovely carpet will feel flat without a nice support underneath. That goes for hardwood floors or even on a concrete slab.
MORE ABOUT OUR PODCAST ‘AT HOME WITH LAUREN KEENAN’
Our award-winning interior design podcast, hosted by Australian interior stylist Lauren Keenan, is now in its seventh year, helping you with useful advice to help you create a home you love.
Get in touch if you have a question or topic you want us to talk about on the show. Rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. And subscribe there or on Spotify or iHeartRadio so you never miss an episode.
If you want Lauren to get started on a project in your home, email firstname.lastname@example.org. It could be building, renovating or just updating your favourite room.
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