laminate flooring in living room

Carpet vs. Rugs – Which is Best for Your Home?

Whether you are moving into a new property or you want to update your current one, your choice of flooring will have a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your home.

If you are currently unsure about whether to make a long-term investment in carpet or choose a selection of more versatile rugs, you have come to the right place. From size to shape, maintenance to cost, keep reading to find out the pros and cons of carpets vs. rugs. Plus, discover which one is best for your home.

1. Size

Easily the most obvious difference between a rug and a carpet is size. You can find rugs in a wide variety of different sizes, offering the ability to cover the majority of floor space in a room or just a small section. Carpets, on the other hand, cover the total surface area of a room and are installed firmly to the ground.

2. Shape

Rugs come in many different shapes, from circular to rectangular, square to runners. This makes them incredibly versatile for any room in your home. Carpets, however, typically come cut up in the shape of the room in question and can be easily customised to fit any room shape.

3. Purpose

As a general rule, carpets are seen as more a practical necessity in the home rather than a decorative item, although they do come in a wide variety of patterns, textures, and colours. Rugs, although they do also offer protection and insulation, are predominantly picked based on how they look and the added aesthetic appeal that they bring to a particular room.

4. Portability

One of the main advantages of rugs over carpet is that they can easily be moved from one room to another. They are compact and easily portable, meaning they can be stored away in the summer and easily cleaned.

Carpets, once laid down by professional Balham carpet fitters, are a long-term choice of floor covering that will last for many years to come.

5. Maintenance

As briefly mentioned above, as rugs are portable, they can be cleaned more easily than carpets. That being said, as long as you keep on top of your carpet cleaning routine, you can make sure that any carpet in your home stays in optimal condition for longer.

6. Price

As you would expect, rugs are usually cheaper than carpets but this is because they are typically smaller. However, this will be dependent on the type of material that you choose for your carpet, with real wool costing a considerable amount more than synthetic alternatives.

Furthermore, carpet should be seen as a long-term investment that will add value to your home, whereas rugs will not do this.

7. Durability

Although the exact durability of a rug or carpet will depend on the material they are made of, carpet is generally more long-lasting and durable than most rugs due to the way it is constructed.

Making Your Decision

Choosing between carpet or rugs for your home is not an easy decision to make. If you are still unsure after reading the above, it can be a good idea to think about the people living in your home. Rugs, although versatile, can pose a slipping hazard to young children and the elderly, whereas certain carpets can prove problematic for those with allergies.

What is the Best Type of Carpet for Allergy Sufferers?

If you suffer from an allergy or have asthma, you will know only too well how dust, pollen, and mould spores can wreak havoc with your health, all of which can be exacerbated by your choice of home furnishings.

Fortunately, you don’t have to forgo the warmth and comfort of carpet in your home, even if your allergies are severe. You need to know what type of carpet to pick that will not aggravate your condition.

Keep reading to discover what carpet materials are the most allergy-friendly. Plus, make the most of top tips on how to clean your carpet to minimise dust and other provoking particles.

Woollen carpet

Wool is one of the best choices in carpet materials for people with allergies, as well as asthma and eczema sufferers. This is because it has natural hypoallergenic properties and the ability to absorb common airborne contaminants such as smoke, cleaning chemicals, and deodorants, all of which contribute to better air quality within your home.

You should also know that wool is resistant to bacteria, mould, and mildew due to both its lack of natural moisture and the coil-like shape of its fibres. This, in turn, makes it more difficult for dust mites to survive on.

Nylon carpet

If woollen carpet is a bit out of your price range, there is a cheaper alternative for allergy sufferers that is equally as effective at keeping your allergies at bay. Nylon carpets are much more affordable than wool but still have the same dirt and mildew-resistant properties.

Furthermore, low pile nylon carpets are super easy to keep clean and free of any irritants, meaning even less likelihood of you succumbing to an allergic reaction caused by your carpet.

If you are looking for some top professional carpet fitters South London has to lay your new allergy-friendly carpet, you may want to ask them for further advice on laying and caring for carpet to minimise any issues with irritants in your home.

How to clean your carpet to control allergens

Even if you choose one of the above allergy-friendly carpet types, you still need to take action to keep your carpet free of any allergens such as dust and dust mites.

Aim to vacuum any carpeted areas daily if possible as this will prevent dust from settling and flaring up your allergies. It can also be a good idea to consider wet-vacuum cleaning when possible as this not only helps to remove allergens but also cleans the carpet at the same time.

Finally, try to steam clean your carpet at least once a month, as the heat of the steam will kill any present dust mites.

Although it will take a bit of effort, if you really want carpets in your home, you shouldn’t let your allergies hold you back. As well as choosing the right type of carpet to minimise your risk of aggravating your allergies, you will also need to implement a consistent cleaning routine and be vigilant of any dust, mould, and mildew on your new carpet.

Do’s & Don’t of Choosing Carpet

You may think that choosing carpet for your home is a fairly stress-free and straightforward process. That is until you start looking into all the different carpeting fabrics and styles, not to mention the varying manufacturer’s warranties.

Fortunately, if you are already feeling more than a little overwhelmed when it comes to picking the perfect carpet, the below do’s and don’ts are exactly what you need.

DO Learn About Different Types of Carpets

There are many different types of carpets for you to choose from, each with their own advantages and drawbacks. When determining what type of carpet you need for your home, you will want to consider the below factors:

  • How long will it last
  • How resilient it is
  • How it reacts to staining
  • How much it costs

Don’t forget to also think about where the carpet is going in your home. For example, is it going in a high footfall area such as the stairs or hallway? If you are not sure which type of carpet is best for each room in your home, pop into our local carpet shop Balham for further advice.

DON’T Go to Your Nearest Big Brand Retailer

Although you may be tempted to head to your nearest big brand carpet retailer with the belief that these offer the best deals and the most convenience, you should know that smaller, local retailers often provide a far more superior service.

Keep your focus on the quality of the carpet in question and how your questions are answered during the buying process rather than over-the-top advertisements and promotions.

DO Understand the Manufacturer’s Warranty

The warranty of your chosen carpet is nearly as important as the carpet itself, providing peace of mind that your purchase is protected. Make sure that you check the warranty thoroughly and that it fits with the application for the carpet to avoid any issues further down the road.

If a particular warranty seems too good to be true, don’t be afraid to ask the retailer more about it. A trustworthy retailer will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

DON’T Compare Quotes on Different Products

If you are getting quotes from several different retailers, make sure that they are providing them for the same carpet or at least the same quality of carpet. This will help prevent you from getting drawn in by a cheap but inferior choice of carpet.

DO Take Samples Home

Trying to choose the right colour carpet in-store can be a challenge as you are not able to compare it with other colours in your home. Plus, the colour of carpet can appear different under various lighting conditions, so the way it looks at the store may differ from how it looks in your home.

Avoid choosing the wrong shade by asking for samples to take home. Even a small off-cut will do the job.

DON’T Make an Impulse Buy

Standing in a carpet shop surrounded by hundreds of different carpeting options, many of which look very similar, can result in you making a rash decision if only to get out of the shop sooner rather than later.

However, more likely than not, you will regret this impulse buy. Instead, if you are still unsure about what carpet you want or you have more questions that need to be answered, take a few days to think things over and come back when you are in a fresh frame of mind.

How to Find a Reliable Carpet Fitter

If you want your brand new carpet to look its best in your home, then you need to make sure you find the right carpet fitter. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done.

As with most trades, there are a lot of cowboys circling the internet, and it can be extremely difficult to separate the good from the bad. Unless you know what to look out for, that is. Our latest blog will help you know how to find a reliable carpet fitter in your area.

Opt for a dedicated carpet fitter

When you start looking for carpet fitters online, you will find that there are a lot of general builders and handymen that offer carpet fitting services. These may be cheaper than dedicated carpet fitters, but they will not have the same level of experience and expertise.

Therefore, it is always best to opt for someone who is a carpet fitter by trade rather than someone who lays carpet as an additional service.

Check their experience

If you are searching for carpet fitters South London based, you will be given many different companies for you to choose from. So, how do you weed out the bad apples from the true gems?

The simplest way is to look at a company’s experience. You can check out pictures of their work on their website, read any online reviews, and reach out with any questions you may have about their services.

Determine their qualifications

As well as experience, it can be a good idea to also find out about what qualifications a carpet fitter has. There are several trade associations and accreditation schemes that carpet fitters may belong to, including:

  • The Contract Flooring Association (CFA)
  • The National Institute of Carpet and Floor layers (NICF)
  • The Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA)

It is worth noting that although being a member of these bodies indicates that a tradesman is competent and working to industry standards, you can find high-quality, experienced carpet fitters who do not belong to any of the above.

Go with your gut

You want to pick a carpet fitter that you feel comfortable working with and allowing into your home. Even if someone has all the relevant experience and qualifications, if you do not have a good feeling about them, then go with your gut and don’t hire them for the job.

Warning signs that you may want to look out for include:

  • Not being polite on the phone
  • Not showing up to scheduled meetings
  • Not asking enough questions about the project
  • Being evasive when it comes to the total cost of the project

Work out a payment plan

Most reliable and trustworthy carpet fitters will not ask or expect you to pay for their services upfront. Furthermore, not many will ask for a deposit either, although this can be dependent on how big the project is.

Once you have agreed to a price, you then need to put a payment plan in place that you feel comfortable with. You will find that most carpet fitters are happy to be paid in cash upon completion of the job, but the vast majority will also accept cheques or bank transfers.

6 Tips for Choosing the Right Carpet

Making the decision to have carpet fitted in your home is the easy part; the more difficult one is choosing which is the right carpet for you! Which style, material, colour, and pattern should you get? How do you know you’re making the right choice, and which carpet would best suit your home? Well, here are six tips to help make the choice easier!

  1. Choosing the Best Material

Carpets come in many different materials, so it’s a good idea to research your options before committing. The choice of material also needs to factor in your budget, as some materials may be out of your price range. Synthetic carpet is a popular choice for many different budgets, but you can also get natural fibres, such as wool, which is also a beneficial choice.

  1. Choosing the Colour

When selecting the colour of your new carpet, it isn’t just about the carpet itself, but the room as a whole. You should take into account the existing colour scheme of your room, the colour of furniture or soft furnishings (like your sofa), and also any plans to change the colour in the future.

This ensures that you can then select the best colour carpet for your room. When it comes to carpet colour, it’s important to think about contrast. If you already have a bold-coloured room in dark shades, you may then want to balance it out with a light-coloured carpet. Likewise, if you have a highly neutral room, you may want to opt for a bold carpet to bring out some colour.

However, neutral carpet shades can work very well in many different spaces, so neutral carpet can still work with neutral walls, too.

  1. Choosing the Length of Fibre

When you think about your new carpet, you may dream about long and soft fibres tickling your toes! Or, you may want the most manageable and thin carpet possible, which is going to be easy to maintain. Longer fibres can attract more dust and need more attentive cleaning, but it’s really about what you prefer in regard to look and feel. If you’re ever unsure, consult with carpet fitters local to you for the best advice and options for your space (as some carpet lengths may struggle if they’re going under doorways, for example).

  1. Carpet vs. Rug

If you’re looking for a softer finish to your flooring, be sure that full carpet is the right option for you. It may even be that you can look for the perfect carpet runner instead of a full carpet, as soft runners can be perfect for hallways and long spaces if you’re looking to add more layer and warmth.

A rug can be a great choice for popping over hardwood flooring in a room, too, so it’s a good idea to compare all rug, runners, and carpet options.

  1. Think About Your Lifestyle

If you’re spending time and money on installing a beautiful carpet, then it’s also important to make sure it can be properly appreciated and cared for. Think about your lifestyle and the activity of your household before selecting your carpet. If there are lots of pets, lots of feet, and lots of potential for mess, you may need a more durable carpet and one which is easier to clean.

  1. You Don’t Have to Play it Safe

As a final tip: be bold! There are so many great carpet patterns out there that it’s worth browsing all available style options to find something that truly appeals to you.

7 Benefits of Having Carpet in Your Home

When it comes to choosing the right flooring for your home, there can often be some debate; while some people are die-hard laminate floor lovers, others may prefer a softer touch underfoot. There’s no doubt that there are many benefits to every floor option — but what are the benefits when it comes to choosing carpet?

1. It Can Help to Reduce Noise
This can be particularly beneficial if you have a top-floor apartment or if you have a household filled with noisy feet. Carpet can help to soften the blow of any heavy footsteps and movement and keep your home a little quieter with a softer approach to moving around!

2. It Can Be Great for Pets
Pets are going to love playing on the floor, rolling around on the floor, and lounging on the floor. If you provide them with a soft, squishy carpet option, compared to a hard and cold wooden floor, you might find they do it even more. It also helps to make pets more comfortable and keep a room warmer for them.

3. It Can Have Your Home Feeling Warmer and Cosier
There’s no doubt that even just the appearance of carpet can have a home feeling warmer. Thick and cosy carpet options can help you to avoid bare feet coming into contact with a cold, hard floor and also help to insulate a room and give it an overall softer appeal. Be sure to use local carpet fitters to help fit carpet in your home, exactly the way you need for optimum cosy levels.

4. It Can Add Much-Needed Colour
There are so many different colour options when it comes to carpet that you really are spoiled for choice. In comparison to laminate flooring, you can use much bolder and brighter colours with carpet. This means a great option for those who like a bold colour scheme or would like to use colour in their rooms using the flooring rather than the walls.

5. It Can Be Fun to Use Quirky Designs
In addition to a great many colour choices, there are also an abundant amount of quirky designs you can find for carpet. Whether it’s bold geometric shapes, stripes, or spots, there are plenty of quirks to choose from. This can be a great choice for focal points or feature points, such as a large stairway or hallway, for adding interesting designs to your home’s décor.

6. It Can Be a Safer Option
Choosing carpet means there is less chance for slipping and falling. Even if you do take a tumble on the carpet, you can then have more cushioning to break your fall. Especially on staircases and hallways, carpet can provide essential grip under your feet compared to slippy and shiny laminate floors.

7. It Can Be Cheaper
Depending on the carpet option you go for and your personal requirements, of course, but you may find that carpet can be a lot cheaper than hardwood flooring options, especially if you’re kitting out every room of your home or a large space.
So there you have it! Seven reasons why carpet is a fantastic choice for any home.

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Flooring

Whether you are thinking of having hardwood flooring fitted throughout your home or just in one key room such as the kitchen or bathroom, there is no denying that this is a decision that requires careful planning and consideration.

Any new flooring will impact your home’s overall look, but with hardwood flooring, this is magnified even more as it’s not exactly a subtle option, now is it?

That being said, when used correctly, hardwood flooring can completely transform the overall look and feel of your home, whether it is a modern or traditional property.

Not sure where to begin when choosing hardwood flooring for your home?

Keep reading to find out the top five things that you need to consider getting the most out of this flexible and fabulous flooring option.

1. Footfall

One of the most important aspects of choosing any flooring for your home is the flow of traffic in the room you intend to lay hardwood floors. For example, if you are planning to have hardwood flooring throughout the whole of the downstairs of your home, including the hallway and kitchen, you will need flooring that is designed to be fairly resistant to wear and tear.

If you are not sure which type of hardwood flooring to choose from your home, why not ask your local flooring suppliers for advice?

2. Room size

When choosing the shade for your hardwood flooring, it can be a good idea to think about the size of the room you intend the flooring to go in. As a general rule, lighter shades work best for smaller rooms with less access to natural light, whereas larger spaces can accommodate darker hues.

A darker floor is also a good option if you are looking to create a cosy atmosphere.

3. Style

As with any design choice for your home, you need to think about your property’s overall style. Ensure that you consider all interior elements of your home, including the furniture, trim work, light fixtures, and any other design features that need to match your chosen hardwood flooring.

More traditional homes tend to suit a combination of darker and lighter styles, whereas modern homes favour a light wood.

4. Lifestyle

Another factor when choosing hardwood flooring for your home is your and your family’s lifestyle. For example, if you have pets or young children, you need to choose durable flooring, easy to clean and stain resistant.

However, if you can be more careful when it comes to walking on your floors, you can safely opt for real wood floors without fear of scratches or damage.

5. Installation

The ease of installation will depend on the type of subfloor you already have in your home. Most properties have plywood, particle boards, or concrete slabs underneath their flooring.

If you have a plywood subfloor, you can install either solid or engineered hardwood floors. However, if you have a particleboard subfloor, you will need to replace it with plywood before fitting either solid or engineered hardwood flooring.

For homes with concrete slabs, if you want to add solid wood floors, you will need to install plywood first.

How to Decorate a Staircase Hall

Are you looking for some stylish and original staircase wall decorating ideas?

If yes, then you have come to the right place.

Often overlooked when it comes to focal points within your home, staircase walls can easily be transformed into a stunning interior design feature.

Plus, with a little bit of careful planning, you can inject a bit of your family’s personality onto the walls without spending hardly any money at all.

Ready to get started?

Consider the design of your staircase

Before you start choosing items to hang on your staircase wall, you first need to consider the staircase wall’s actual design.

Does it have a window?

Is it a straight or curved wall?

Is the wall painted or wallpapered?

Furthermore, it would help if you took into consideration the staircase itself.

Are your stairs carpeted?

Have you used stair runners?

All of the above will help to determine what type of designs you choose for your staircase wall.

Plan a focal point

Whether you want to display family photos, your children’s artwork, or pop culture posters, it can be a good idea to choose one focal item that you want people’s eyes to be drawn to first.

Once you have this piece, you can then build the rest of your display around this, ensuring that everything ties in with the original concept.

Pick your frames

The right frames can transform your staircase wall from uninspiring to breath-taking, so make sure you take the time to choose ones that really add something to your wall’s overall look.

If your home is a bit eclectic in its design, don’t be afraid to mix and match different frames’ styles. However, if you favour a more minimalist vibe, you can better stick to simple and elegant coordinating frames.

Decide on the layout

You can choose to arrange your chosen wall art however you want and use as many different pieces as you see fit. That being said, in terms of how high you should hang your pictures, there is a general rule that you should abide by.

To get maximum impact from your staircase wall, measure the wall at roughly 56 inches from the bottom stair and then repeat this process on the top step, as well as a few spots along the mid-stairway landing. This height marks your staircase’s average eye level and, therefore, should be where you hang your focal piece.

Get measuring

If you want your staircase wall to have the wow factor, then this stage is crucial. You need to make sure that you accurately measure the space between each piece of wall art before you start hammering, or you run the risk of your design looking chaotic and sloppy.

Don’t forget to measure the back of your chosen frames so that you know exactly where to hammer the nail holes to ensure a straight-hanging picture.

Staircase wall decorating ideas:

  • Children’s art gallery wall
  • Statement wallpaper
  • Family portraits
  • Wall decals
  • Black and white prints
  • Vintage pictures
  • Bold door shots
  • Nautical prints

5 Stair Runner Ideas for Your Modern Home

Are you thinking about transforming your staircase with a stylish and sophisticated stair runner, but you are not sure how to pick the right design for your modern home? If yes, then you have come to the right place.

With the ability to completely change the look of your staircase (in a great way, of course!) and to minimise the sound of footsteps running up and down the stairs multiple times a day, choosing the right style for your stair runner is crucial.

From timeless stripes to vibrant shades, even zebra print, keep reading to discover five stair runner ideas that might just be perfect for your modern home.

1. Pop of pattern

Patterned carpet stair runners are extremely popular and come in a huge variety of colours and designs, meaning you are guaranteed to find one that complements your existing interior design style.

When choosing a patterned stair runner, if you have a straight staircase, you can pick any precise pattern such as diamond, square, or another geometric design. However, if you have a curved or winding staircase, you will find that matching up the pattern will be near impossible.

2. Unleash your wild side

If you love a bit of animal print in your home or even just in your wardrobe, you will be pleased to hear that you can find many different animal print stair runners, including zebra print and leopard print.

Furthermore, if you want a more understated look, then you could choose a stair runner that has an animal print border and a more neutral colour for the centre of the runner.

3. Vibrant reds

If your home has a fairly neutral colour scheme, then perhaps a bold red stair runner is exactly what it needs. Not only will a vibrant red runner create an unforgettable first impression of your property, but it will also add warmth to your home and make your entire entrance feel more luxurious.

4. Stunning stripes

Another hugely popular choice when it comes to stair runners, stripes have the ability to complement both modern and more traditional type home. From timeless vertical to horizontal classics to zig-zag chevron, stripes are anything but boring when it comes to adding style to your staircase.

Whether you want understated elegance or you would prefer to pick an eclectic range of colours, you are guaranteed to find something you love in the world of striped staircase runners.

5. Neutral finesse

If all of the above options are just too out there for you, then you might be better suited to a more neutral staircase runner. Choose from a bang-on-trend grey stair runner with a dark grey border or a soft pink shade that will add warmth and elegance.

Alternatively, if you want a stunning hallway that is even more neutral, opt for a natural runner made from jute or sisal that is punctuated by a few subtle black accents such as balustrade.

bedroom with grey carpet

How to Care for Your Carpet

Whether you are thinking about having a new carpet fitted in your home or are you are considering the benefits and drawbacks of this type of floor covering, it is always a good idea to know how to extend the longevity of your carpet and keep it looking lush for longer.

From cleaning it regularly (and not just with a vacuum cleaner), to making sure it was fitted perfectly in the first place, to concealing any carpet runs, keep reading to discover how you can care for your carpet properly and ensure it stays and feels fresh and soft.

Don’t attempt DIY installation

If you want your carpet to look like it’s been laid by a professional, then you need to enlist the services of a reputable carpet fitter. No amount of YouTube Do It Yourself videos will suddenly turn you into a pro at fitting carpet. Yes, it may save you a little bit of money in the short run, but you will be left with an inferior finish and also be much more likely to suffer problems with your carpet in the future.

Instead, look to a professional who has glowing reviews online and one that you feel you can trust.

Vacuum frequently

This may seem like a such a simple task but vacuuming your carpet regularly is one of the best things you can to maximise the life of your carpet. Aim to vacuum at least once a week and high-traffic areas such as the hallway and stairs twice a week if possible.

You also need to make sure that you are vacuuming your carpet correctly. You should have it raised to its highest setting and go as slowly as possible as to not damage the material and to ensure all the dirt is lifted.

Hire a pro carpet cleaner

If you can afford to do so, hiring a pro carpet cleaner to carry out a hot wash extraction once a year can work wonders for your carpet. To avoid unforeseen costs, make sure that the estimate you receive includes everything from moving your furniture to routine spot removal to deodorising as part of the service.

Alternatively, you could choose to use rented carpet cleaning equipment and do it yourself, although be warned you won’t get the same results as with a pro cleaner.

Repair carpet runs

Snags are perfectly normal in carpets but can look unsightly and make your carpet appear older than it actually is. Fortunately, all you need is a pair of scissors, some tape, and carpet adhesive to make a snag miraculously disappear.

Gently tug the loose yarn to locate the point where it is still firmly attached to the backing of your carpet, and then snip it off. Protect the surrounding carpet using the tape and apply a bead of carpet adhesive into the run.

Treat stains immediately

Two of the most common stains on carpets are wine stains and pet stains, both of which need to be cleaned immediately to avoid long term staining.

For wine stains, use a cloth to blot, not rub the stain and focus on soaking up as much excess liquid as you can. Then pour a small amount of water onto the stain. Blot again. Finally, make a baking soda paste by mixing a three-to-one ratio of water to baking powder and applying to the stain — once dry, vacuum.

Pet stains need an enzyme-based cleaning solution that is suitable for your particular carpet fibre type.