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What is carpet?

What is carpet?

Carpet is a textile floor covering, designed to provide warmth, comfort, and softness underfoot. It can be made from different natural or synthetic materials selected for their unique properties, like stain-resistance or durability. There are various types of carpet such as saxony, woven, twistand loop pile, which all have a particular look and feel. There are so many styles and colours of carpet in our collection, it’s hard to choose! A good quality carpet can last for years - the trick is picking the right one that does what you want it to do. Thanks to our many years of flooring expertise, we can help you to decide if carpet is the right flooring for your home, and if so, which one to choose.

How is carpet made?


Carpet-making is a traditional skill that’s been around for centuries. All methods begin with the yarn itself - whether that’s wool, polypropylene, nylon, or a blend – being spun and dyed, then each type of carpet is made in a slightly different way to create its distinctive look and feel (what we call the pile). The main types of carpet are saxony, twist, woven, loop (also called berber), and velvet. These fall into two categories: tufted and woven.

Using a tufting machine is the quicker and more modern way to make a carpet. To make a tufted carpet, the yarn is threaded through the primary backing then pulled by a looper underneath until it’s the right pile height. For cut pile carpets like saxony, twist, and velvet, the looped yarn is cut and separated at the top to create a lovely soft texture. In the case of loop or berber carpets, the yarns are left as a loop, which makes them a bit firmer and stronger than a cut pile carpet. The secondary backing is then attached afterwards.

Woven carpets are made on a loom in the traditional way. The yarn is woven all the way through both the primary and secondary backing, creating a strong, hard-wearing carpet that feels firm underfoot. The two types of woven carpets are called Axminster and Wilton, whose special production methods allows for the creation of incredibly detailed and colourful patterned carpets.

Which type of carpet is best?
 

There’s no carpet that’s better than the rest; they all have their pros and cons. It’s a bit like Cinderella’s glass slipper - the best type of carpet is the one that’s the right fit for your home and your needs! The first thing you need to consider is what room the carpet is being fitted in as this will determine what type of carpet you choose. Certain carpets are classed as heavy use so they’re a better option for high traffic areas in your home like stairs and hallways because they’re more hardwearing.

Across the different carpet types, you’ll find varying degrees of softness, texture, density, firmness, durability, and stain-resistance – as well as a wide range of price points. There are also hundreds of carpet colours to choose between and they all have a completely different look depending on the type of carpet you choose. For example, a grey saxony carpet is smart and luxurious, whereas a grey berber carpet feels more rustic and relaxed. A cream twist carpet is perfect for a modern living room, whilst a cream wool loop carpet would work well in the lounge of a period property. The possibilities are endless!

What are the benefits of carpet?
 

There are so many benefits to having carpet fitted in your home – there’s a good reason it’s been the top floorcovering for many years!

  • Affordable Overall, carpet costs less to fit than hard flooring like laminate or LVT
  • Warm It helps to insulate the house and it’s also cosy underfoot
  • Comfortable The cushioned surface is lovely to walk on and provides a bit of shock absorption for your joints
  • Quiet It reduces the sound of noisy feet and absorbs ambient sound in the room
  • Safe There’s no chance of slipping over if you spill something
  • Stylish Carpet ties the room together with other soft furnishings
  • Versatile You can completely change the style of a room just by the type of carpet you choose
  • Flexible Carpet can disguise imperfections in uneven subfloors
  • Easy to maintain Compared to a real wooden floor, most carpets require little more than a weekly vacuum (and sometimes, an annual deep clean) to keep them looking fabulous

How do you fit carpet?
 

Fitting carpet is a job best left to the professionals, and that’s something we can arrange when you buy your carpet from Tapi. And whilst the carpet might be the star of the show, there’s a few other accessories you need to have before fitting your carpet. Just like the lead singer needs backing vocals, a well-fitted carpet needs underlay, grippers, and door bars. Carpet underlay offers support for your carpet to help enhance its performance and comes in different materials and thicknesses. Grippers make sure the carpet is fitted securely to the floor, and door bars stylishly cover the join in a doorway where two floors meet.

A professional fitter will take care of everything, from making sure the subfloor looks good, to installing carpet underlay, to positioning the carpet pile in the right direction, to seamlessly joining two bits of carpet together in a large room. These are things that you might overlook if you install the carpet yourself, which could cause further issues down the line and cost you more in the long-run. For hassle-free fitting, speak to a member of the Tapi Team in-store.

What’s the difference between a carpet and a rug?

The main difference between a carpet and a rug is that a carpet is fitted wall-to-wall, whereas a rug is smaller and can be moved about. (Although to make matters confusing, traditional handwoven rugs are sometimes called carpets!) Rugs are a great way of bringing colour and texture into a room or softening up solid wooden floors. We offer a carpet whipping service at Tapi, where you can get any carpet from our collection turned into a made-to-measure rug. A rug is the perfect compromise if you’re not sure whether to go for carpet or smooth flooring – why not have both?

Which room is best for carpet?
 

Because of its soft, bouncy texture, carpet is best for rooms where you like to kick your shoes off and go barefoot, such as the bedroom, the living room, or the stairs. Go for a super soft, deep saxony carpet in the bedroom if you’re feeling indulgent. A short pile twist carpet is good for the living room as it’s that careful balance of comfort and durability. We love a hardwearing wool berber carpet on the stairs – it’s a classic look that will never date. Carpet is also the best flooring for a child’s bedroom, nursery, or a playroom – just make sure you choose a carpet made from a stain-resistant fibre like polypropylene so you can clean off those sticky finger marks easily!

How much does it cost to carpet a room?
 

As with anything, you can spend as little or as much as you like on a carpet. You’ll often find that the more you spend on a carpet, the more choice you’ll have when it comes to colours, designs, widths, and qualities. Our cheapest carpets start from £4.99 per m2 and with fitting £4.49 per m2, it costs less than £225 to carpet a small 3x4 metre room (including underlay, door bars, and grippers). Take a look at our collection of carpets online, then head to your nearest Tapi store to get a quote for your new carpet.

How do you clean carpet?
 

You won’t be surprised to hear that we’re often asked how to clean carpet. There’s no denying that smooth flooring is easier to clean than carpet, but modern carpets feature clever yarn technology designed to improve stain-resistance – some carpets even come with a stainfree for life guarantee! Carpets made from polypropylene are 100% bleach cleanable for complete peace of mind, and stain-resistance is just one of the many good things about a wool carpet.

When it comes to removing stains, the trick is to act fast and follow these steps:

  1. Scoop up any solids, working from the edges to the centre of the stain so it doesn’t spread out any further.
  2. Blot up any liquid spillages with a white cloth or towel.
  3. Apply carpet cleaner to a white cloth and blot the stain. Don’t scrub it and don’t apply carpet cleaner directly to the carpet!
  • Tapi Top Tip Before applying carpet cleaner, test it on a hidden area of the carpet first.
  1. Repeat with clean water to remove any residue until the cleaning agent is removed.
  2. Dry the area with a clean white cloth or towel.
  3. Vacuum the area when it’s dry.

Regular cleaning is key to keep a new carpet looking amazing; we’d recommend vacuuming your carpet a minimum of once a week (or twice a week for softer piles). You can buy our carpet care kit in-store, but every now and then, treat your carpet with a professional deep clean to leave it sparkling!

For a more detailed guide to getting stains out of your carpet, take a look at our carpet care guide.

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