If you want to know where you'll really find fifty shades of grey, it's in a carpet shop. The choice of colours, never mind the more important issue of fibres and styles, is perplexing to say the least. Follow our guide to keep you in the loop!
Where you’re planning to lay your carpet, and what sort of footfall it will have to endure, will help you narrow down your options. You can afford to treat yourself to a bit of luxury in the bedroom, where a softer pile will withstand slippers or bare feet, but you’ll need something with a dense, tight, low-pile tuft in those high-traffic areas.
Firstly, assess the durability of the carpet you’re going to buy. Look at the thickness, resilience, material and weight of a carpet’s pile. Do this by pressing your thumb firmly into the pile. The more quickly it springs back and recovers, the denser and more resilient it should be.
The density of your carpet should be a key consideration, particularly if you are looking to lay it in a high-traffic area, such as a hallway or stairs. The density is determined by how closely knitted each fibre is to another, rather than the depth of the carpet. Take a look at the back of the material to see how much space there is between the tufts. Large gaps mean the carpet will loose its resilience more quickly.
Check the weight of the fabric on like-for-like styles, for example by comparing one Berber with another. Weights should be printed on the back of the sample. As a rule of thumb, short, dense-fibre carpets are the most durable. You’ll find that carpets with longer loops and strands look bulkier, but weigh less. As for colour, darker colours work best in well-trodden thoroughfares, but you could opt for a lighter shade for a bedroom.
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