Rugs & Flooring Buying Guide

Rugs & Flooring Buying Guide

Choosing the right rug or type of flooring for your home is made much simpler with our Rug and Flooring buying guide. Just click on the link below to jump down to further information about the rug, carpet, laminate or vinyl you are interested in.

Just click onto one of the links below to find out more.

Types of Rug

There are a number of benefits that rugs offer, from luxury and comfort to safety and sound reduction but there are a number of factors to consider before you buy, such as material, pattern, size and price. Adding a rug to an existing floor covering (e.g. carpet, vinyl, and laminate), will help protect areas where traffic is high, e.g. hallways. Rugs can provide the finishing touch to any room, and are an easy way to give your home décor an update.

TYPICAL CONSTRUCTIONS

Cut Pile

Tufted rugs where the loops have been cut to leave individual tufts of yarn on the surface of the rug

Flat Weave

Rugs which have no pile. They can be hand or machine woven, and are often reversible

Flokati

Flokati rugs are made from 100% wool, and are hand woven in Greece and therefore have a 'looser' construction than other rugs on the market. To achieve the natural, shaggy look they are finished in a traditional river washing method, and as a result there may be an inherent 'wool smell', which will be more obvious when the rug is first removed from the packaging, but which will disappear quickly when in use. Flokati rugs have a characteristic soft, shaggy pile and may be prone to some degree of fibre shedding. They can be hand washed in cold water using a mild detergent. Available in it's natural off-white colour or dyed options

Hand Carved

Rugs where the design is enhanced by carving or cutting the pile to varying heights, giving good design detail and a 3D effect

Looped Pile

Tufted rugs where the loops are intact on the surface of the rug

Shaggy

Shaggy rugs are tufted rugs with a characteristic longer pile. Longer pile rugs will have a tendency to shed fibres when new, however this should reduce over time

Sheepskin

Made from 100% wool with a long, fluffy pile. Available in double and single sizes in natural or dyed options

Tufted

Tufted rugs are made by pushing the yarn through a mesh/canvas base. The tufts of yarn form the pile on the front of the rug and are held in place with a latex backing. The rug is finished by attaching a plain backing fabric to the latex. Tufted rugs can be either hand tufted or machine tufted

Natural Fibres

Bamboo

Bamboo offers a great choice for heavy traffic areas. Bamboo is strong, durable and an eco-friendly material

Cotton

Cotton rugs are generally lighter in weight and are available in a range of colours. Cotton is often used in the production of flat weave rugs

Jute

Jute rugs provide excellent versatility. Jute is soft, resilient and an eco-friendly material, which also provides good durability

Wool

Wool is naturally soft and resilient fibre, with a natural ability to repel water. Wool can be dyed to a range of colours and is generally considered to be the most effective material for rugs. Wool rugs will shed fibres when new, but this should reduce during the first weeks of use. Wool rugs are hard wearing and if properly cared for will last for years.

Synthetic Fibres

Acrylic

A cheaper alternative to wool. Acrylic rugs can achieve the look and feel of wool rugs, and can be produced in a wide variety of colours. Acrylic is soft, durable and hard wearing.

Nylon

An excellent choice for heavy traffic areas due to exceptional resilience combined with the ability to be cleaned easily.

Polyester

Hard wearing and long lasting, a good choice for medium/heavy traffic areas. Polyester adds lustre or sheen to a rug's appearance and is available in a wide range of colours.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene is highly resistant to moisture and stains, and is also very strong and abrasion resistant, with little fibre shedding. Polypropylene is colourfast and does not fade over time. Polypropylene is available in two forms; Bulk Continuous Filament polypropylene (BCF) and Heat Set polypropylene. Heat Set polypropylene has a soft wool-like feel, with less sheen than BCF polypropylene, but is generally a little more expensive. Polypropylene is generally used in the production of machine made rugs.

Viscose

Viscose has a soft silk-like appearance and will often be referred to as 'faux silk'. The advantage of using viscose is to increase affordability and durability without losing the 'wow' factor. Viscose is generally used in combination with other fibres as it is not as durable as polypropylene, wool, polyester etc. Viscose can be dyed into a wide range of colours

Rug size guide

Rugs vary in size enormously, from small door mats to very large area rugs. Smaller rugs can be used to break up a room, whilst larger area rugs help to give an impression of space. Area rugs can also vary in shape; round, circular, rectangular and runner are available.

In general, common area rug sizes are as follows:

Note:some rugs are available in smaller and larger sizes than those detailed above, but dimensions are stated in the copy (e.g. 60x120cm)

Caring for your Rug

Prolong the life of your rug with our useful care tips:

* Once a week, we recommend using a cylinder cleaner to vacuum rugs, as this has a gentler action than upright cleaners. If using an upright cleaner, do not use the brush beater bar as this can damage the pile - use the tools instead

* Turn rugs on a regular basis if they are in direct sunlight to prevent fading. Rugs made from natural fibres in particular can fade with prolonged exposure to sunlight Stains and spillages should be blotted up and not rubbed. Rubbing can spread the stain and damage the pile fibres. Please note that some deep colours may have a tendency to stain when wet.

* Always follow the care instructions provided with the rug, particularly where specialist care is required e.g. wool, sheepskin, and cow hide

* Do not pull loose ends or snags; trim with scissors if necessary

* Some rugs may have creases when new due to being rolled for transit. In general, these should remove themselves once the rug has been laid out for a few days, however you could try laying the rug face down to aid the process. In addition rugs may not lie flat when first removed from the packaging. We advise that you unroll your rug and re-roll it in the opposite direction, then unroll and vacuum gently before leaving flat for 24 hours to allow the pile to recover

* Occasionally an odour may be experienced with a new rug, which can be down to various things, including the fibre (e.g wool) or the latex used on the backing of the rug. This odour will however disperse quickly once the rug is removed from the packaging

* Wool rugs and long pile rugs will shed fibres when new, however this should reduce during the first few weeks of use. Some rugs will however continue to shed lightly throughout their life cycle. Regular vacuuming will help keep fibre shedding to a minimum, and rugs which shed fibres should not be considered as faulty

* Always follow the care instructions provided with the rug

Rug Gripper

Rug gripper can help to increase the durability and comfort of your chosen rug. Rug gripper, as its name suggests, also stops the rug from slipping on hard floors, as well as helping to prevent the corners of the rug from rolling. Rug gripper will also help to avoid any colour transfer from deep dyed rugs (which can stain, especially when wet) on to the flooring underneath. Rug gripper can be cut to any size and is therefore suitable for most sizes and shapes of rug.

Types of Carpet

Carpets offer a range of benefits, from sound insulation and energy saving properties to providing a safe, hardwearing floor covering. Most of the carpets sold in the UK are either woven or tufted. All of our carpets are machine tufted and are produced by inserting loops of yarn through a primary backing fabric. The loops are held in place by means of a binding agent, and a secondary backing is applied, which can be either felt, foam or woven. The secondary backing increases the stability of the carpet. Tufted carpets can be made in a variety of patterns and textures and offer good value for money.

Cut Pile

Cut pile tufted carpets have cut loops, which leave individual tufts of pile. Cut pile carpets are very popular and can have a long pile which gives a luxurious feel or a twist pile. Cut pile can also be combined with loop pile in the same carpet for a different effect. Note: Cut pile carpets can develop light and dark patches in use, which is often called shading. Shading is caused by the pile flattening and lying in different directions which in turn reflects the light differently, giving the appearance of shading. Shading does not indicate a fault with the carpet however, and regular vacuuming with help to reduce this effect.

Loop Pile

Loop pile carpets are tufted in such a way that the yarn forms loops on the surface of the carpet. The loops can be level to create a uniform look or can be varying heights to give a patterned/textured effect. Loop pile can also be combined with cut pile in the same carpet for a different effect. Note: Loop pile carpets are best avoided if there are pets in the house, as their claws can snag the loops

Twist Pile

Twist pile carpets are made from yarns which are twisted to give a more textured surface, which is less prone to show footprints and vacuum cleaner marks. In a twist pile carpet, the pile tufts maintain a more distinct appearance. Twist pile carpets can be made in plain, solid colours or by using a combination of colours to give a marled or heather effect.

Carpets can be made from a variety of fibres and blends of fibres:

Polyamide (Nylon)

Nylon is hard wearing and resilient and doesn't tend to flatten as easily as polyester or polypropylene carpets. Nylon is colour fast, stain resistant and easy to clean. Nylon carpets or carpets made from nylon/wool blends are suitable for heavy traffic areas

Polyester

Polyester is hard wearing and is easily cleaned, but can flatten easily. Polyester has a more lustrous appearance than other synthetic fibres

Polypropylene

The majority of carpets in our range are made from polypropylene. Polypropylene is hard wearing and durable, very colour fast and highly stain resistant as well as being very easy to clean. Polypropylene offers good value for money.

Wool

Wool is naturally resilient and maintains its appearance well. Wool is warm and soft, easy to clean and resistant to abrasion and dirt. Wool is naturally flame-retardant and offers good insulation properties. Wool is commonly used on its own or as a blend with any of the synthetic fibres listed above

Measuring and Fitting Guide for Carpet

When purchasing a carpet, please take into account where the carpet will be fitted. Heavy traffic areas such as the hall, landing and stairs will be subject to the heaviest wear, and therefore it is advisable to invest in a better quality carpet and underlay. Heavy traffic areas are better suited to a hard wearing surface texture; whilst rooms with less traffic are suitable for longer pile carpets which have a plush look and feel.

Please take advantage of our FREE carpet swatch service to check for colour match and carpet weight/quality before ordering.

When measuring for carpet, draw a plan of your room and measure the overall width and length. Note these figures on your plan, and make sure you allow for trimming when fitting. Our carpets are generally available in room-width size pieces by specified lengths as follows (metric and imperial measurements):

Some carpet ranges are also available in 5m (16ft 5in) widths by the same lengths as indicated above

We recommend that, wherever possible, carpets are fitted by a professional carpet fitter.

Carpet Underlay

All of our carpets are manufactured with an in-built felt backing, and can be used without a separate underlay. However, a separate underlay is always recommended as it will help to improve cushioning and extend the carpet's lifespan.

Our carpet underlay is suitable for all rooms and offers protection against carpet wear. Our underlay is light weight and easy to cut, and offers good heat insulation, as well as prolonging the life of your carpet.

Caring for your Carpet

Follow our tips to maintain the appearance of your carpet:

* Vacuum carpets when first laid to remove any excess fibres and to restore the pile

* Carpets should be vacuumed regularly to prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the carpet fibres, particularly in high traffic areas. This will prolong the life of your carpet

* Loop pile carpets are best cleaned using the suction/nozzle head of the vacuum cleaner so that the loops do not become distorted or matted

* Use a doormat or utility rug to help prevent outside dirt from soiling the carpet, and rugs can be used to protect the carpet in heavy traffic areas (see our full range on-line)

* Do not pull loose ends or snags; trim with scissors if necessary

* Any spills should be dealt with immediately to avoid staining. Blot off any excess liquid with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel then use a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining stain. Solid substances should first be scraped off the surface of the carpet. Never use a rubbing action to remove a stain as this can damage the pile; always use a dabbing or blotting action, working from the edge of the stain inwards to prevent spreading.

* Ideally carpets should be professionally cleaned every couple of years, and a professional cleaner should be consulted for any difficult stains

All of our polypropylene carpets come with a manufacturer's 3, 5 or 7 year stain and wear warranty depending on the type of carpet. Full details are available but in summary, the conditions of the warranty are as follows:

* Residential use

* First purchase only

* Proper installation (carpet must be fitted by a professional fitter)

* Proof of purchase

* Proof of carpet as purchased (i.e. keep a piece of carpet left over from fitting)

Laminate and Wooden Flooring

LAMINATE FLOORING

Laminate flooring provides an affordable way of achieving the look of real wood or tiled flooring. Laminate flooring is made up of a series of layers:

* A backing layer creates a moisture resistant, stabilising base

* The laminate core is usually made from a high density fibreboard (HDF), which is designed to withstand wear and tear

* The laminate core is then coated with a decorative resin finish which consists of a photographic image of real wood or tiles, with a protective top layer which makes the laminate hard wearing and durable.

All of our laminate is FSC mixed sourced and is available in a variety of styles and surface textures:

* Wood effect plank (gives the look of floorboards)

* Wood effect 3-strip

* Tile effect

Our laminate is sold in packs which cover a specified square meterage of floor. The size of the boards, number of boards per pack and square meterage covered will vary depending on the style of the laminate. Full details are given in the product description. The laminate is easy to fit as the planks 'click' together, and there is also a supplier helpline number for any advice or queries - 0871 250 8090

ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING

Engineered wood combines the look and feel of real wood with the hard wearing properties of laminate. Engineered wood flooring consists of 3-5 layers of wood fixed together with a cross grain construction, with a real wood veneer on the surface. The cross grain construction gives the flooring better durability and stability than solid wood flooring.

SOLID WOOD FLOORING

Solid wood flooring has a characteristic look and texture and comes in a variety of finishes (oiled, stained, brushed, hand scraped). Solid wood flooring is more prone to dents and scratches than laminate or engineered flooring. Solid wood flooring is usually between 15mm and 20mm in thickness and is available in a variety of board sizes. Solid wood floors can be re-sanded and re-finished several times to restore the appearance.

Measuring and Fitting Guide for Laminate and Wooden Flooring

Our laminate and wooden flooring is sold in packs of varying square meterage. To determine how many packs you require:

* Measure the width and length of your room (in metres)

* Multiplying these two figures together to give the square meterage of the room

* Add on a minimum of 5% to the square meterage of the room to allow for trimming and wastage

* Divide the square meterage of the room (including the 5% allowance for wastage) by the square metre pack figure

* This will determine how many packs are required for the room (rounded up to the nearest full pack)

For example:

Square metre and pack prices are shown for our laminate and wooden flooring

Please take advantage of our FREE laminate swatch service (available for certain lines) to check for colour match and quality before ordering.

All Laminate and wooden flooring is supplied with full fitting instructions and in addition, there is a supplier helpline number for any advice or queries - 0871 250 8090

Caring for your Laminate and Wooden Flooring

Follow our general tips to maintain the appearance of your laminate or wooden flooring:

* Always follow the fitting and care instructions provided with the laminate

* Remove any loose dirt or dust with a vacuum cleaner or brush

* Spills should be dealt with immediately as, if left untreated, water may seep between the boards causing them to swell and warp over time.

* When mopping, always use a damp mop, never a wet mop

* Only use cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer

* Using a doormat or utility rug will help to protect your laminate or wooden floor as will felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs

* Avoid dragging furniture across a laminate or wooden floor to prevent scratches and dents Contact our supplier helpline number for further advice 0871 250 8090

Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is practical and stylish and is available in a range of wood effect and tile effect designs. Vinyl is made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which is a type of plastic which is strong and durable and also resilient to water. Vinyl flooring is made up of a series of layers:

* A back coat offsets any unevenness in the floor underneath and provides a cushion layer for comfort and insulation

* A carrier layer (typically a glass fibre web) is coated and printed with the desired design.

* A wear layer, usually 0.3mm thick is added to the carrier layer

* A final top layer gives the textured finish effect, which is resistant to dirt and stains as well as being slip resistant.

Vinyl flooring is particularly suitable for kitchen and bathroom floors.

Measuring and Fitting Guide for Vinyl Flooring

Our vinyl is available in 3 widths, by specified lengths as follows (metric and imperial measurements):

When fitting vinyl, always make sure that the sub-floor (e.g. concrete or floorboards) is smooth and well prepared. This will prevent any imperfections from showing through (and possibly damaging) the vinyl.

Caring for your Vinyl Flooring

Follow our general tips to maintain the appearance of your vinyl flooring:

* Remove any loose dirt or dust with a vacuum cleaner or brush.

* Keep your vinyl clean by sweeping, careful vacuuming or a warm water mop.

* Only use cleaning solutions recommended by the manufacturer.

* Using a doormat or utility rug will help to protect your vinyl floor as will felt pads on the bottom of furniture legs.

* Avoid dragging furniture across a vinyl floor to prevent damage.

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