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Buying Guides

 

Carpets

Choosing Carpet

Carpet is luxurious, comfortable flooring which is a great choice for any home. Its real beauty lies in its versatility – it is suitable for virtually every room in the house, is available in almost any colour under the sun, and provides a warm, tactile surface to walk, sit or play on. It absorbs more sound than any other types of flooring, and reduces heat loss more effectively.

Which Room?

When choosing a new carpet, it's important to think about where it's going to be used and what type of footfall it will have to cope with.

Bedroom carpet, for example, will not see as much traffic as a hallway or living room so you could choose a less hardwearing carpet. Or you could splash out and have a luxurious and expensive carpet in the knowledge that it will retain its good looks for a long time. In areas of high use, you can opt for a heavy domestic rated carpet. You should always use a doormat or rug in front of doorways, to prevent discolouration and damage from dirty shoes and heavy footfall.

Carpet Construction

Carpets are available in different construction styles, weights and composition, giving increasing levels of luxury to suit your requirements. All three factors will help determine the best carpet for your specific requirement. There are two main ways of constructing carpets – Twist and Loop piles. Other, less common constructions include woven carpets – a traditional method used in Axminster and Wilton carpets for a hard wearing, compact finish.

Twist Pile and Saxony carpets

Twist pile carpets are very popular in the UK. They comprise of twisted yarns which are cut to length, creating a textured, springy and durable surface. Saxony carpets are essentially twist carpets with much longer fibres to give a plush, deep pile finish.

Loop Pile and Berber carpets

Loop pile carpets are made of loop yarns. If you have pets, the claws can snag or pull on the loops. Berber carpet are loop pile carpets with flecks of colour and are often more textured and irregular.

Composition

• Wool carpets are considered the most luxurious and, as they are made from natural sustainable materials, have integral strength and stain-resistance along with and innate beauty. The perfect eco-friendly choice.
• Wool blend carpets are usually 80% wool/20% man-made fibres, providing greater durability and versatility.
• Polyamide/nylon is great for heavy traffic areas. It is colour fast, easy to clean and stain resistant. It also flattens less than polypropylene or polyester.
• Polyester is hard-wearing and easy to clean. It has a more lustrous sheen than other synthetic fibres.
• Polypropylene is hard-wearing, durable and easy-clean. Plus its colour fast and resist stains and moisture.

Pile Density or Weight

Pile densities are generally measured by traditional imperial weights – in ounces per square yard of carpet. These days weights are generally between 40 and 70 oz; the heavier the weight or pile density, the greater the luxury. Stairs and lounge carpets are usually 50 oz, and 60 to 70oz is generally considered a luxury carpet. Not all carpets will display weight – sometimes it's best to just feel the carpet you like to get a good idea whether it's right for your home and needs.

Underlay

We always recommend underlay when fitting new carpet, as it significantly improves the life and durability of your carpet.

Better look and feel - Underlay cushions carpet and stops pile from flattening so it stays looking like new for longer.

Insulates and protects - Underlay keeps in heat and reduces noise. It's also an excellent shock absorber, helping carpets to sit properly and become more durable.

Easier cleaning - By protecting a carpet's pile, underlay makes it easier to clean and more hygienic, helping your vacuum work more effectively. Our underlay range goes from 1 star to 5 stars depending on the thickness and density required and we will be more than happy to advise you on which underlay best suits your requirements.

Our professional and friendly staff are always on hand to give you the best advice for your needs.

Vinyl

Vinyl is one of the most resilient, versatile and affordable flooring options you can buy. Depending on the surface you choose, material costs can be up to 70% less than other flooring materials. Plus,

vinyl is available in more styles than ever before so it's ideal for the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room and entryway.

Vinyl flooring is hard-wearing, easy to clean, hygienic and resists water well. In addition, it's softer and warmer under floor than a tiled floor. If you're planning to use it in areas where splashes are frequent - the bathroom and kitchen, for example - you should make sure you buy vinyl flooring with an R10 slip resistance rating. This means a slip-resistant layer has been added to the top surface of the vinyl. Another important thing to consider is thickness. Get vinyl flooring that's too thin and it'll feel cold under foot. The thicker the vinyl your floor can take, the softer and warmer it'll be. You'll also find it offers better sound insulation, which is particularly useful in bathrooms. If you're laying vinyl flooring in high-traffic areas, you'll want a thicker wear layer (the part of the product which gives it durability).

Laminate

Laminate flooring is made by laminating an image of wood onto a board backing. Good quality laminate can be very convincing, and is a great way to get the look of wood at an affordable price. It's durable, chip-proof and scratch resistant, which makes it low maintenance. It is easy to install, especially the type that comes in interlocking planks and needs no glue.

When comparing laminates, the main things you want to look out for are the locking mechanism, materials and the thickness. How the boards lock together will affect how easy the flooring is to install, and the materials and thickness will have an impact on the durability and lifespan of the laminate.

Laminates consist of high a performance moisture resistant, backing layer that forms a stable base, a high density core designed to withstand dents and other wear (usually made from high density fibreboard (HDF), and a photographic layer which replicates natural floor types, topped by a protective scratch resistant layer for durability.

Laminate flooring generally comes in 3 types:

• Wood effect
• Wood effect strips
• Tile effect

Laminate flooring is ideal for use in all rooms of the home or office. When you are choosing a laminate floor you should consider the different grades and construction methods available. Its moisture and scratch resistance also make it very suitable for every room in your home, including the kitchen and bathroom. Laminate floors are resistant to scratches due to the tough melamine top layer applied. This means that everyday wear and tear should not be apparent on your new floor.

Laminate flooring is available in a number of different thicknesses and widths:

• Standard thicknesses for laminate flooring boards are: 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm.

Width comes down to preference, so choose the board that matches your interior design scheme best. The thickness of your laminate has more of an impact, and will affect the durability, comfort, insulation performance and lifespan of your laminate. You shouldn't ever lay laminate directly on top of the subfloor. You'll need to install a layer of insulation down first.

Whatever look you're trying to achieve, there's a laminate flooring to suit your style.

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT)

Luxury Vinyl Tiles are the most versatile, durable and custom designed floor coverings available. They allow you to be as creative or as simple as you want. You can use borders, features and design strips to create the exact look you want. You can customise your floor to look just how you want. They are easy to clean and maintain, durable, waterproof and very versatile. You can get the beauty of natural flooring products without the practical drawbacks.

They are available as self adhesive tiles which already have the adhesive on the backing, or as dry back tiles where adhesive needs to be applied to the sub-floor.

Benefits of luxury vinyl floor tiles include:

• Durable (Hard Wearing)

Luxury vinyl tiles are often preferred to their natural counterparts due to the durability they possess. Unlike solid wood floors, luxury vinyl tiles will not splinter or mark with high heels as they are extremely hard wearing, they will not expand and contract like laminate flooring therefore the use of expansion gaps is not required. Unlike ceramic or stone tiles, vinyl tiles will not chip or crack and therefore will stay in the same shape and appearance throughout their life span.

• Designer Appearance

Luxury vinyl tiles allow you to be as creative or as simple as you want. You can use borders, features, design strips to create the exact look you want, you can customise your floor to look just how you want it, unlike solid wooden floors or laminate, which is usually laid across the length or width of the room without features, vinyl tiles offer you the option of laying on a diagonal with a border highlighting the features of each room.

• Realistic

Luxury Vinyl Tiles are made to the very highest technical standard therefore are almost identical in appearance to their natural counterpart, whether you want a wood effect which looks distressed and worn or a rustic ceramic tile look, you will find a luxury vinyl tile which gives you what you want.

• Easy To Clean and Maintain

Luxury Vinyl Tiles are the easiest flooring product to clean and maintain on the market. Unlike wood floors, where you need to sand and seal every few years and cannot mop with water as water effects natural wood, you can mop vinyl tiles with warm water.

• Warm and Quiet Underfoot

Unlike ceramic, stone, granite or porcelain tiles, luxury vinyl tiles are extremely warm underfoot and will reduce heating bills as vinyl tiles act as a thermal insulator. You can even fit on top of under floor heating to make it even warmer. Also, unlike other products such as laminate flooring and solid or engineered flooring, luxury vinyl tiles do not have the noise factor. You can sneak around the house in your high heels and you will not make a sound. It's also good if you have kids running round making noise or live in a flat with bad noise levels.

• Waterproof

Luxury Vinyl Tiles are 100% waterproof - that is why they are a very popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms as water spillages will not affect the floor (within reason of course). Being a customised form of vinyl means it is impenetrable from water, however excessive water on the surface of the vinyl tiles for a prolonged period of time may affect the adhesive underneath the tiles, but this is in extreme circumstances.

• Versatile

Luxury vinyl floor tiles can be used in any room in the home or business. They are extremely versatile; they are water resistant enough for bathrooms and kitchens, hard wearing enough for hallways and living areas.

Rugs

Rugs and mats are an easy way to brighten your décor, and add a vivid focal point for any room. They provide comfort underfoot in a room with hard flooring, help divide rooms, and protect areas of heavy wear on fitted carpets and in hallways. With an impressive variety of colours, fabrics, shapes and sizes on offer, you'll soon find a rug that suits your style and budget.

To help you decide on the right rug for you, first work out where it's going to go. Hall runners need be able to withstand plenty of footfall while a dining room rug will last longer with a stain-resistant treatment. If you're planning to put your rug in direct sunlight, bear in mind that it might be more likely to fade. And remember, if you're putting a rug directly onto a polished floor, it's important to use an anti-slip underlay to help prevent accidents.

The quality and cost of a rug comes down to the material it's made from, its pile thickness and the way it's made, as well as the nature of its design.

Appearance, maintenance and durability are the main things to think about when choosing the right material for your rug.

• Wool rugs

are hardwearing and are a good choice for busy areas. They are environmentally friendly and can be either machine-made or handmade.

• Jute, sisal and coir rugs

are woven from natural grass fibres and are extremely strong and durable. And because the fibres are processed without any harsh chemicals, these rugs are also environmentally friendly.

• Polypropylene rugs

are usually machine-made. The man-made fibre has hardwearing properties and resists staining well. It doesn't fade and can be cleaned with bleach. It's low maintenance too, because unlike wool, polypropylene doesn't shed any fibres.

• Acrylic rugs

are usually handmade and the pile is sometimes hand cut to highlight the design and to create texture. Acrylic is another hardwearing man-made fibre but has a softer and more luxurious feel than polypropylene.

• Polyester rugs

have a silky feel. This man-made fibre is often used to produce thick luxurious pile rugs, either machine- or handmade.

• Viscose rugs

are made from a shiny man-made fibre which is great for creating interesting textures. It's often blended with other materials to add highlights.

• Chenille rugs

can be made in cotton, rayon or olefin. The fabric is created by wrapping short lengths of yarn at right angles around a core to create a uniquely soft look.

 

 

Carpets

• carpets to suit all budgets
• professional fitting
• from timeless twists to lavish loops
• warm wools and soft saxonys
• sophisticated stripes and pleasing patterns

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Laminate Flooring

• easy to fit
• very durable
• authentic wood appearance
• versatile

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Luxury Vinyl Tile

• easy to install
• heat insulation
• impact and slip resistance
• waterproof
• sound proofing

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Vinyl

• wood effect
• tile effect
• stone effect
• plain or patterned

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