Buying a new carpet is a once-in-a-blue-moon affair, but your choice of carpet will decide the comfort of your living and working space for as long as it lasts.
Spending a generous amount of time at home during the circuit-breaker must have gotten you to staring long and hard at your worn-out domestic carpets. With offices sparse and workers working from home, did it also strike you that this is the best time for an office renovation?
2020 may have gotten off to a rough start, but we’re about to sweep you off your feet with some fresh furnishings to wrap up this year of changes.
Picking the right carpet, however, can be overwhelming for anyone. Facing an array of choices that feature various colours, patterns and textures, you must be thinking: Where can I start?
Don’t worry, for we have collated some of the best advice from carpet professionals to help you pick the best carpet for your home and office. In this article, we will first introduce you to different types of carpets, then pinpoint a comprehensive set of criteria that you need to check off your list when you make your final decision.
Choosing A New Carpet
For any new carpet buyer, your eyes must first dart to the rugs with the most attractive colours and designs, just like the ones you see on your Ikea catalogue. However, we have to remind you that the material of the carpet will be the ultimate game-changer.
We would like to urge you to value comfort over anything else when purchasing a rug for a living or working space that you frequent. Not only your feet, but also your wallet will thank you for that, because the material of the carpet will determine the ease and costs of future maintenance. As you can see, the best carpet must be a worthy investment.
So, here is a simple proposal: Let’s look past the patterns and colours, and start first by categorising carpets based on their material and build.
Common Carpet Materials
Nylon carpet is the most commonly-used carpet made out of synthetic fibres that is the best choice for high-traffic areas, such as hallways, stairs, and offices. It is strong and able to keep its shape and quality better than other fibers.
It is also very stain-resistant and does not absorb fluids and dirt easily, making cleaning via vacuuming a lot easier. Most importantly, nylon is affordable and widely available. Its ease of manufacturing allows it to come in a large variety of styles, textures and colour options that can fit any space to your liking.
Polypropylene carpet is also a popular synthetic carpet as it is very affordable. It is often used for garages or playrooms, and well-loved among parents and pet-owners alike. Made to handle extreme weather, messes, and scratches, polypropylene rugs are very resilient and can easily recover from wear and tear.
It is made of synthetic fiber that is water-resistant and easy to clean. Being bleach-cleanable, it is easy for one to remove spillages and stains from the carpet. However, it is less durable over-time under heavy footing.
The greatest benefits of polyester carpeting is the synthetic fabrics can have vibrant colors that last a long time. When it comes to water-based stains, polyester is a great repellent as it has low absorbency and durable colors where you can wipe a lot of spills right off. However, it is less durable as compared to other synthetic counterparts.
Wool carpet is luxurious, warm and long-lasting. It is perfect for settings that require a soft and plush touch. While expensive high-grade wool can be easily dusted and cleansed of liquid-based spills, low-grade wool is more susceptible to staining.
Pure wool carpet is made of natural fibres without additives, which makes it a great choice for those with allergies or sensitivities to chemicals. Moreover, it traps dust and allergens excellently until you vacuum them up, making it an ideal choice for people with allergies to dirt.
However, wool can be susceptible to molding and is not a good choice for areas exposed to high humidity and moisture.
5. Wool and Synthetic Blends
A blend of wool and synthetic fibres can give you the benefits of both and is less expensive than a pure wool carpet.
1. Carpet Style
Carpets are created by looping yarn style material through a backing, and this can affect the carpet’s appearance as well as durability. Generally, there’s loop pile (i.e. berber) and cut pile (i.e. saxony).
Loop pile carpets are rougher and bumpier on the surface, but extremely durable against wear and tear. On the other hand, cut pile carpets are easily identifiable by their smooth and fine fiber ends, creating a soft and lush look.
In addition to your carpet pile, you also need good padding to go in between the subfloor and the base of the carpet. The material must be soft and flexible.
A baseboard material is a trim attached to the ends of your carpet. This is to create a nicer overall appearance where the carpet is smoothed out and neatly arranged.
Picking a Carpet for your Home
Before buying a carpet for your home, it is important to first picture the space – is it designed for comfort or functionality? What kind of colour scheme and furnishing style does it have? Most people leave the most comfortable and attractive looking rugs for the hallways, living rooms, dining areas and bedrooms.
On the other hand, bathroom and kitchen rugs must be anti-slip, fast-drying and long-lasting in nature. Like tapestries, smaller rugs can be used to embellish the space too. For this, you will require highly detailed pieces.
Gazing at the decor, is it modern, classical or oriental? Which continent and time does it most resemble? For instance, a modern Mediterranean themed room will go well with muted colours and minimalistic carpet designs.
Consider antique silk and woolen rugs if your home is spacious and grand, following a classical or oriental design. If you’re looking at a chic yet inexpensive makeover, consider purchasing cheaper and less durable synthetic rugs that offer you more versatility.
Now, also picture the kind of activities you will engage in within the space. A quiet reading room, for instance, can accommodate fine and less durable carpets that maximise comfort and appearance. On the other hand, a children’s playroom would require easily cleanable, eco-friendly and sturdy materials that does not pose a great risk to the children’s health and can withstand wear-and-tear.
Also, consider how much time and effort you will dedicate to the maintenance of the carpets. Depending on the quality and usage, rugs made of synthetic fibre can survive for a longer time than wool. Traditional rugs must be cleaned by professionals at least once in eight months.
Picking a Carpet for a Commercial Space
A good office carpet is one that can optimise the working conditions in your workplace. Firstly, find out what the office carpet’s life expectancy should be. Normally, the longer the lease, the higher quality of carpet required. Next, decide how much each office area will be used based on foot traffic and furniture movement.
For instance, conference rooms may not require carpets of greater resilience as compared to areas like hallways and lobbies. Pantries, on the other hand, may require more stain-resistant and easy-to-clean carpets against beverage and food spills.
Here we would also like to address a blind spot – that is office acoustics. Heavy footfalls on the walkways may prove to be very distracting for everyone in the office. To create better sound insulation, we suggest that you pick a good carpet padding that adds extra comfort and thickness to the surface carpeting.
To maximise thermal comfort and energy efficiency, pick carpets that are made of natural fibres. This material is known to act as natural insulators, meaning the floor feels warmer and does not draw heat away from feet as quickly as hard flooring options do.
Office carpets should also provide a safe environment against slips and falls. Carpets act as adhesive friction, lightly grabbing the soles of the feet and increasing stability, unlike smooth flooring types. For that, we recommend using carpets woven in rough and sturdy loop styles. They should also have soft and springy fibres that are comfortable for the feet and joints after a long workday.
Retail and Public Spaces
Moving on to retail and public spaces, you can combine the tips given on picking the right carpets for your home and workplace, but this time with just one extra piece of advice: that is to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience.
Unlike the home and workplace, retail and public spaces are meant to cater to your customers and patrons. For instance, a start-up meant to attract young and socially responsible customers should consider using eco-friendly carpets with neutral yet inviting colours, such as beige, light green and powder blue. Picking the right carpet can give your store the right aesthetic display and attract your natural audience.
With all that, we would like to conclude by saying that good carpeting should be one that supports and enhances your daily routine.
Here at De Hygienique, Singapore’s leading indoor hygiene service provider, we offer the best carpet cleaning services. Being among the first companies in Singapore to promote dry carpet cleaning, we have had years of experience handling carpets at homes, offices, retail and public spaces.
Dedicated to serving our customers to the best, we do not only offer furnishing advice but also offer our professional cleaning services where it is needed. We hope that this article proves to be helpful for new carpet buyers and here’s to getting off old carpets on the right foot.