Guide to getting carpets fitted, cleaned or repaired.

Page 1: Finding a carpet professional
Page 2: Carpet types
Page 3: Carpet cleaning
Page 4: Carpet damage

Hannah Shanks - Editor

When decorating your new property there are few decisions as important as choosing a new carpet.

A new carpet can revamp an entire room in a house or office. Although often under appreciated, carpet is the most visible and hard working part of any household furnishing.

Carpet is also important to consider if you have young children who will spend time crawling or playing on the floor as it is warmer, softer, and easier on their knees than hardwood flooring.

Fitting a carpet can also save you money on heating bills as it will insulate your floor, and in general, buying a carpet and getting it installed is much less expensive than other flooring types such as hardwood or tiled floors.

Why do I need a professional?

Fitting a carpet may seem like a straightforward job but a badly laid carpet will look bad, be more susceptible to damage, snagging, wear and tear and worst of all it will decrease the life expectancy of the carpet. That's why it is important to hire professional carpet fitters who know what they are doing when laying carpet in your new property.

How do I find someone?

The National Institute of Carpet and Floor Layers is an organisation that has approved members on their website with contact phone numbers and web addresses.

Some companies such as CarpetRite and John Lewis can also provide fitting if you buy carpets from them directly. John Lewis do not sell carpets on line so check the website for your nearest store.

What do I need to ask before I hire someone?

When hiring a carpet fitter it is important to find out whether the price they have quoted you includes:

  • All subfloor preparation
  • All installation costs
  • Removal of existing flooring
  • Moving of existing furniture and appliances (if needed)
  • All necessary materials for installation
  • Insurance for installation errors.

You should also find out if the installers are independent or contracted to the store where you bought your carpet. Be sure to get all quotes in writing, including the amount needed, and a rough diagram of how they will install the floor and where all seams will fall.

It is also worth deciding with a fitter before hire who is responsible for removing toilets, portable dishwashers and any other room fixtures. And always get all product information in writing, including the manufacturer's name, product name, style, colour, and how the product will be installed.

How do I choose a style of carpet that is right for my property?

Choosing a type of carpet is an important decision as errors can be costly and time consuming to correct. Before making any decisions visit several carpet shops in your area and take home samples which you can place in the room to see how they match existing furnishings like curtains and sofas or beds.

Make a note about how much natural sunlight enters the room as this will fade bright colours, and whether you have any sliding patio doors to a garden, which will bring mud or outdoor materials onto the carpet.

Also check what is under the existing flooring as this may affect the type of carpet that can be laid on your floor. Another top tip is to remember to look at the flooring in the rooms adjacent to the room you are about to carpet. The floors in these rooms may clash with your new carpet and disrupt the continuity of the house.

It's also important to consider factors such as the amount of human traffic the room gets per day. If the carpet is for somewhere like a hall or stairs then it is worth getting a hard wearing pile. More luxurious and soft wearing carpets are suitable for bedrooms or other less busy rooms.

Also take into account when choosing your colour that light colours will show up stains much more than dark or textured carpet. This is especially important if the room will be frequented by kids or pets.

 
 


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