There are a few things to consider if you're thinking of investing in a new carpet, whether it's for a busy living room or a calm bedroom.
When it comes to choosing a carpet, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice out there. Budget, space, use, style, material, pile, weight and colour all factor in finding the right one for you and it can be difficult to know where to begin.
There are a few important things you should consider to ensure that you love your carpet from the day it's installed and for years to come.
Related: Here's what you need to know about buying kid-friendly flooring
Don’t rule out pattern
Most people feel that choosing a carpet or flooring is a pretty big decision, financially but also in terms of establishing your interiors aesthetic. It will outlast the paint on the walls and probably be around longer than much of your furniture. As a result, there’s a tendency to play it extra safe and pick the most muted tone with no pattern to ensure it doesn't clash with your current or future interiors.
However, there are some advantages to choosing a patterned carpet, particularly in areas of high traffic like a front hall or stair runner where stains are most common. A pattern, even a relatively pale and subtle one, will help to blur the marks that are inevitable in a busy home.
Think of your overall interiors, not just your wall colour
Try not to let the colour of your walls completely dictate the colour you choose for your carpet. If a carpet fits in perfectly with your furniture and artwork, but perhaps your paint colour is just a shade or two off, that’s okay. The carpet and sofa will be around far longer than your paint choice and painting a room is a much cheaper and faster job than ripping up your carpet or trying to tweak your interiors taste to fit.
Underlay is important
Most carpets are designed to be paired with an underlay as it protects the pile and extends its lifespan. Not installing underlay with your carpet can undercut your initial investment as the carpet will look tired faster and probably need to be replaced sooner. A good underlay will not only improve the longevity of your carpet, but it will also improve heat insulation and noise reduction. When you settle on the right carpet, speak to the expert staff in store. They will be able to advise you on the best underlay for your carpet.
Consider the location
Each carpet has an ideal location. Lush, long piled carpets are perfect for a bedroom or dressing room, so you can feel cosy while you pad around in your bare feet. However, for other spaces, it might not be the right choice. For example, in a kid’s room where spilt juice, mucky shoes and paint splashes are likely, choose something that cleans easily. While in high-traffic areas such as the front hall or landing, Nichola O’Connell from TC Matthews advises a short, tight pile that will stay looking sharp regardless of your stream of visitors.
Check what it’s made of
Like any large item in your home, a carpet is an investment and you should see it as such. While wool carpets may seem the most expensive, they can be a cost-effective choice as they will withstand the test of time and look good doing it. However, if you can’t quite splash out for 100% wool, there are plenty of wool and synthetic fibre options out there that don’t sacrifice too much on quality. Synthetic carpets are great for busy family homes as they are hardy and can be cleaned quite rigorously. However, these fibres don’t have the same structure as wool and will flatten over time.
Think carefully about what you need from your carpet before diving in.
Don’t forget about the sales
Unlike fashion and home accessory sales that seem to be happening every other month, you can still get an absolute steal at a home furnishings sale.
The TC Matthews sale is underway until August 31 and there are plenty of great deals to be had, with their stock carpets also coming with free underlay too*. Pop into any of their 11 shops nationwide to see their full selection or speak to one of their expert staff.