What is carpet?

What is carpet?

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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, which all have a particular look and feel. There are so many styles and colours of carpet, it can feel hard to choose! A good quality carpet can last for years, and the trick is picking what type of carpet is best for your needs. Thanks to our many years of flooring expertise, we can help you decide if carpet is the right choice for you, and if so, which one is best for your home.


The main types of carpet are saxony, twist, woven, loop (also called Berber), and velvet. These fall into two categories: tufted and woven, which are so called because of how they are made.

How is carpet made?

Carpet-making is a traditional skill that’s been around for centuries. All methods begin with the yarn itself 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). If yours has flattened, have a read of our guide on how to lift up your carpet pile.
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 the 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. However, there are many patterned options for carpets that are not just woven.


Carpet is made from different types of yarn including wool, polypropylene, nylon, and a blend of different materials. 

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What 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 hard wearing.
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 hundreds of carpet colours to choose between, and all our carpets have a completely unique look depending on the type you choose. For example, a grey saxony carpet is soft 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!
There are also a variety of different carpet tog ratings to choose from. Carpet tog is the unit of measurement used to let you know the thermal insulating property of different types of carpet –, how warm it can help to keep your room. Carpet tog rating tends to range from 0.70 to over 3.00 – the higher the tog rating, the better it will retain heat and the warmer your room will be. The type of flooring that you pick will influence the tog rating: the denser and the heavier the weight of the pile of your carpet is, the higher the carpet tog value will be. 
If you have underfloor heating, you need to take a different approach. As the floor will be warm, you won’t need such a high tog rating with your carpet. Please ask one of our expert floorologists to advise you on the best carpet or smooth floor to suit your underfloor heating, either in store, one when you book a free home visit.

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 floor covering for many years!

  • Affordable - Overall, carpet costs less to fit than hard flooring like laminate, Luxury Vinyl Tiles or wood.
  • Warm - It helps to insulate the house and it’s also cosy underfoot
  • Comfortable - The cushioned surface is lovely to walk on.
  • Quiet - It helps reduce the sound of noisy feet by absorbing ambient sound in the room.
  • Safe - You’re less likely to slip and fall, especially if you spill something.
  • Stylish - Carpet ties the room together with other soft furnishings.
  • Versatile - Plenty of colours and styles to suit all tastes and budgets.
  • 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 - but don't worry, just have a read of our guide on the best carpet cleaners) to keep them looking fabulous.

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!) There is also the option of a carpet runner, a combination of a rug and a carpet. Rugs and runners are a wonderful way of bringing colour and texture into a room or softening up solid wooden floors.

Carpet runners for stairs and hallways keep the visual impact of wooden flooring with all the comfort of carpet. A stair runner is a strip of carpet fitted to the middle of your staircase, not as wide as your steps, leaving the wood of your stairs exposed.

We offer a carpet whipping service at Tapi, where you can get any carpet from our collection turned into a made-to-measure rug or runner. This involves a process sometimes known as carpet edging, which involves overlocking the edge of the carpet with yarn for a highly professional finish all the way round your custom rug or runner.

We also sell a selection of ready made rugs in store to take away, in a variety of styles, colours and patterns. A rug is the perfect compromise if you’re not sure whether to go for carpet or smooth flooring – why not have both?

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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 has that careful balance of comfort and durability. We love a hard wearing wool carpet on the stairs – it’s a classic look that will never date. Carpet is fabulous 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 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. There are hundreds of different styles, colours and textures to suit all budgets. Take a look at our collection of different types of carpets online, then head to your nearest Tapi store to get a quote.
If you’ve already chosen your ideal carpet from our amazing collection, and you’re not up for fitting it yourself, don’t worry, as we’ll arrange it all for you with our trusted fitting partners, who will take care of everything including removing your old carpet and fitting your new one perfectly. You just sit back and relax. Alternatively, if you're still struggling to decide which flooring to choose, why not take a look at our guide on vinyl vs carpet?

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Published: 02-03-2022

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