Walking on the Soft Side: Your Guide to Types of Carpet

As far as floor coverings go, carpet has long been the choice for Australian homes. From Axminster designs in the 1800s, the 60s shag pile and the beautiful feel of the sisal-style which is extremely popular today, carpet is an excellent choice for insulation, as well as being soft underfoot, durable and super stylish.

Whether you are thinking of replacing your old flooring choices or decorating your new home, we know it’s easier when you have a guide of different materials and colours. Choosing the wrong carpet is costly, so read on and learn how to make a smart choice for your home.

Fibres to Inspire

When deciding what material works best for your home or business, you will need to consider:

  • Where you are laying it
  • How much foot traffic there will be
  • Who will be using it
  • Budget

The following are the most popular choices among consumers:

1. Wool

Wool is luxurious, warm and long-lasting, but it’s also quite a bit more expensive than other choices. Its naturally stain resistant qualities make it an excellent option for living areas, but it’s the softness of it that makes it perfect for the master suite.

2. Nylon

Nylon is a popular carpet choice. It’s tough and durable synthetic fibre that is extremely resistant to stains and fade. This makes it a perfect choice for large families with high foot traffic or indoor pets. Best of all, it’s considerably cheaper than wool.

3. Polypropylene carpet

Polypropylene carpets are made of a synthetic fibre that is inexpensive, highly water-resistant and durable, making it a top choice for garages and playrooms. Unfortunately, it has a small downfall as it does not look as luxurious as other carpet choices.

4. Blends

When it comes to blends, a wool/nylon option is quite popular as it gives you the benefit of both and is cheaper than just choosing purely wool. This will allow you to still feel the luxury at a lesser cost. However, you will still need to consider carefully which blend you use as some products could use inferior quality wool.

Other Must-Know Information Before Buying Carpet

Before you hit the carpet shop, take the time to really know what type of pile you want and what colours might best suit your space. Keep in mind that it isn’t just about aesthetics; your carpet also needs to feel right underfoot and suit your lifestyle.

Carpet Colour Recommendations

When making your colour choice, it’s essential to remember that colours online look considerably different in real life, so consider this.

  • Light shades – These colours can help small rooms seem more spacious however stains will easily show. If your home has little ones or pets that might cause spills, light shades might not be the right choice for you.
  • Dark shades – While they hide stains, lint can easily show.
  • Speckled – The combination of light and dark colours is one for the win when it comes to staining and lint. However,  some may view these colours as mottled and prefer solid colours.

Pile Choice

When choosing a pile for your home or business, there are a few options. Some have a combination of looped and cut yarns and give your carpet a sculptured effect which is an excellent choice for hiding footprints and dirt.

  • Loop pile  – this is looped yarn that has a casual look and is suited to high traffic areas of the home such as hallways, stairs and living rooms.
  • In cut pile – In cut piles have cut loops so that the fibres stand up straight. This is a much more luxurious option however it can easily show footprints and vacuum tracks.

Showroom Considerations

When you head to the showroom to make your decision, there are some essential checks to make on your list before finalising your choice.

1. Density

When we talk about density, we are referring to the thickness of the pile and the closeness of the tufts. Bend a sample carpet – the less backing you see, the denser it is. In terms of quality, the denser the carpet, the better.

2. Durability

The quality of the fibre and how it is constructed is how you know the carpet’s durability. While it can be hard to identify for the average person, The Carpet Institute of Australia has a classification scheme that grades carpets by fibres that you will find at all major suppliers and showrooms.

The grading system gives a rating based on how it wears and what sort of foot traffic it can withstand. This is a great way to see which carpets are more durable than others.

3. Carpet Samples are highly recommended

Showroom lighting and your home’s lighting can be extremely different so what you see in the store could vastly differ from what it would look like after installed. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to take home samples and check them in the different lighting conditions of your home including:

  • Natural daylight
  • Artificial lighting
  • Any other type of light you use in your home!

4. The right type of underlay

Underlay can go a long way towards how well your carpet works for you – the right choice can help your carpet last longer, cover minor bumps, absorb sound and provide insulation. The two most popular choices are foam or rubber underlay, but even these can vary in quality. Stand on them in-store and test how comfortable it is. The rule of thumb is if you can feel the floor under your shoe, then it’s not the right choice.

5. Installation

It’s usually best (and cheaper) to get your carpet installed by whoever you buy it from. Ensure this is sorted when making your purchase, and check that it includes moving furniture if you need things moved to lay it on your new carpet.


Need extra help making your decision on which carpet best suits you? Come into our showroom for a personalised consultation where we can help find your dream carpet.