Written by Persephone Nicholas
When you’re thinking about installing new carpet there are lots of things to consider in addition to price. Do you have a young family? Do you have indoor pets? Do you have a busy household with lots of foot traffic? Will carpeted floors get a lot of sunlight? All these factors can influence your choice of carpet. There are many to choose from, so here’s our guide to choosing a carpet that suits your needs and lifestyle as well as your budget.
What are the different types of carpet?
Most carpets are cut pile, loop pile or a combination of both. Cut pile is a classic choice that is soft and warm underfoot and available in plush (short, gently twisted pile) or twist (strongly twisted more durable pile). Plush carpet typically feels luxurious and may show marks from vacuuming or foot traffic. Twist has a smooth, hardwearing surface that’s less likely to show footmarks or vacuum tracks.
Loop pile is usually durable (the tighter the loops, the more hard wearing the carpet), easy to clean and crush resistant, so is less likely to show marks and works well in high traffic areas.
Cut pile and loop carpets are both available in man-made fibres as well as wool. Man-made fibres, such as solution dyed nylon (where the fibre is dyed all the way through during production) are usually cheaper than wool, but it’s also possible to buy carpets that are a blend of the two at a lower price than pure wool.
What are the advantages of carpets made from man-made fibres?
Man-made fibres are generally significantly cheaper than wool, but quality varies markedly. Polypropylene carpet, for example, is inexpensive and often used for rental properties, but can look cheap. Solution-dyed nylon is a better quality option but costs more.
‘Solution dyed nylon is a popular, cost-effective choice for new homes around here because it’s easy to maintain and keep clean,’ says Nadine Daly of Carpet One in Tamworth, NSW.
What are the advantages of wool carpets?
‘Wool is a natural fibre, that’s fire resistant, soft and luxurious. It’s also easy to maintain and clean, but you have to be a bit more careful with it than solution dyed nylon. There’s nothing like it, but you do pay a higher price for it,’ says Nadine.
What’s the best carpet for a home with young children?
If you have a young family you’ll probably want a carpet that combines durability and softness and is easy to clean. For example, Stainmaster’s EverSoft® SDN Gingko carpet range is made from a fine denier nylon fibre that creates a soft, warm surface that’s stain resistant and durable too.
What’s the most pet-friendly carpet?
Choosing carpet for a home with indoor pets is similar to choosing carpet for a home with young children. Durability and stain resistance are important and you may want to avoid carpets with looped pile, which can catch on claws. Also bear in mind that anti-static options are less likely to attract pet hair.
Refresh suggests pet lovers consider carpet tiles, which are easy to move around or replace if they become damaged or stained.
How do I choose the right colour carpet for my home?
Nielen Prince of Refresh Renovations says it’s important to take the time to choose the perfect shade of carpet.
‘If you want a grey carpet, make sure you know whether you’re choosing a warm grey (with red undertones) or a cool grey (with blue undertones) in keeping with the rest of your home. It’s worth getting a sample so you can see it in your home’s lighting conditions and check it complements other finishes.’
Nielen also says that carpet can appear lighter when laid on a large surface and that metal trims between rooms should be chosen to complement your colour scheme.
Some companies, such as Carpet Call, offer a shop at home service which includes measuring the space to be carpeted plus the opportunity to view a selection of samples. It may be worth contacting your local retailer to see if they do this as it allows you to see several carpet options in the light and context of your own home.
How can I minimise the effects of UV light on my new carpet?
If your home is particularly sunny or has a lot of glazing, be aware that solution dyed nylon is less prone to fading than pure wool. It may also be worth investigating products like Stainmaster’s SolarMax® that are specifically designed to be fade resistant.
Is underlay essential?
Nielen says good underlay is vital. ‘Quality underlay helps bring out the best in your carpet. It will look and feel better beneath your feet and will also enhance its insulation and noise reduction benefits.’
How much does installing carpet cost?
Nadine says most people choose to install carpet in three or four rooms (typically three bedrooms plus a media or living room). She advises that solution dyed nylon carpet for an 80sqm home costs $4-4,500 for an entry level product, $4,600-5,200 for mid-range and upwards of $5,300 for a premium product.
For wool carpet for an 80sqm home, Nadine advises allowing $5,680- $6,200 for an entry level product, $6,300-6,900 for mid-range and at least $7,000 for premium quality.
All prices include underlay and installation, but may vary according to product, retailer and home location. Pattern matching costs more too.
Are there any other costs involved?
Existing carpet or other floor coverings must be removed and disposed of. Your carpet installer or renovation specialist may be able to organise this, but it will normally be an additional cost.
If you would like to discuss home renovation options for your next renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Refresh Renovations specialist. All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.