If your floor is looking tired, worn or stained beyond redemption, it may be time to take the plunge and invest in a new one. You may think that choosing a new floor covering is as simple as deciding between wood, laminate, stone, tiles or carpet, but you would be wrong. There is a whole world of carpets out there to explore, and before you make a considerable investment, it is a good idea to do some research so that you know your tufted from your woven and can make an informed decision about what will be best for your home.
Visit a retailer
The best way to understand the different options available to you is to visit your local carpet centre and take a look at the different ranges available. Take note of texture and colour in store, as well as, of course, price per square metre (m2). Speak to someone in the shop and tell them the size and nature of the room that you are looking to carpet, so that they can advise you on the best types. And don’t consider buying until you have taken a sample (a piece as big as you can get, even if it is just to borrow with a deposit) so that you can see what the carpet looks like at home, in your lighting.
Don’t forget the underlay
Pricing up the carpet is not the end of your spending by any means. The underlay is as important as the carpet if you want your new flooring to wear well. Underlay prevents uneven wear and helps your carpet to sit well on the floor. Not only does it increase the lifespan of your new carpet, but it will feel better to walk on while providing additional heat and sound insulation. Don’t be tempted to keep your old underlay and just replace the carpet; underlay wears out and the chances are that if the carpet needs to be replaced, the underlay does too.
The cost of carpeting includes your carpet, underlay, trims and fitting. Measure up before you start looking so that you know the approx. square meterage of your space as well as the number of door trims that you will need.
Cost it out
It is easy to get carried away when choosing your new carpet, and forget the little extras that can have a big impact on cost. If you are getting a quote, make sure that the carpet specialist includes all elements of the work including lifting and disposing of your existing flooring (and underlay), moving furniture, all fixings and trimmings such as grip rods, door fittings and fitting to alcoves and doorways, as well as carpet and underlay. It can help if you ask for your quote to be broken down so you can see how the costs add up.