Carpets are used extensively throughout homes worldwide. In the UK most properties have one or more carpeted rooms, making carpets an essential household item. Knowing the cost of carpets can be tricky as so many factors affect the price, however having knowledge of what affects cost and looking at average prices will help you narrow down any expected expenditure to help budget.
Although carpets have been around for centuries, some types still retain original styles, whereas some are completely modernised. Knowing the difference in styles, materials and designs plus the advantages and disadvantages of each will narrow down what you want and how much it is likely to cost.
Factors to consider
Deciding how much floor space you want covered with a carpet is the first step in approximating costs. This is a big deciding factor as
Type of carpet
There are two main types of carpet sold in the UK, Tufted and Woven. Tufted carpet is made by punching the pile yarn into a pre-formed woven fabric using needles. One of the advantages of a tufted carpet is that a good range of textures and patterns available.
Woven carpets come in two types; Axminster and Wilton. These are made the traditional way by weaving the front and back of the carpet simultaneously. Axminster carpet is usually patterned and has excellent colour potential through high definition. Wilton tends to be used for more plain carpet designs.
Woven carpets also have an excellent appearance retention which is one of the benchmarks that carpet quality is measured by. Due woven carpets being the more labour intensive, they tend to be higher in price than their tufted counterparts.
Another less commonly used type of carpet is a Needlefelt carpet. This is used in commercial buildings such as bars and hotels as the durability and toughness is better than other types, ideal for places with high volumes of traffic and usage.
Carpet style and material
As well as carpet types, there are also various carpet styles. These are the surface textures that affect the appearance, feel and performance of your carpet. Shorter carpet piles usually last longer and need less maintenance than longer shaggier piles. Twist, velvet, loop, Saxony and patterned are all carpet styles. It should be noted that loop piles are not recommended for cat owners as they will easily become hooked and damaged on the animal’s claws; an expensive mistake to make.
Wool, nylon, polypropylene and polyester are all types or carpet fibre. Deciding a suitable fibre is essential as each has certain advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of using wool fibre:
- It is naturally flame retardant
- Has a low propensity to soil and so has good appearance retention
- Very good wear properties
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Environmentally friendly and sustainable fibre
Advantages of using nylon:
- It is extremely hard wearing
- Easy to clean
- Very high abrasion resistance
- Excellent stain and soil resistance
- Multiple colour choices
Advantages of polypropylene:
- It is hard wearing
- Stain resistant
- Easy to clean with very good colour fastness
Advantages of polyester:
- Light and bulky with good wear properties
- It has lustrous appearance
- Good stain resistance
Choosing between a plain carpet and a patterned carpet is a dilemma usually decided by colour combinations or fashion trends. However it is also wise to remember that some colours hide imperfections caused over time better than others.
Wear and tear is a problem with all carpets eventually, so choosing one which will look the best for longest is a good idea. This often comes down to colour. For example a clear cream coloured design will show up all marks and wear much more easily than a dark patterned one.
Also remember you do not want a carpet that will need changing every few years as fashion trends change. A timeless plain carpet is less likely to become dated and undesirable.
Costs to consider
Apart from figuring out the carpet you want and how much of it you require, and having it fitted, there are other costs involved in having a carpet. Every carpet should have an underlay. This is the material that sits underneath a carpet so that it provides a sturdy base. It helps a carpet sit evenly and therefore wear evenly, also improving the feel of the carpet underfoot as it provides more cushioning. Insulation is also improved both for sound and heat, saving energy costs.
The carpets appearance will be retained for longer with an underlay, as some surveys suggest by up to 40%. A new underlay should always be replaced at the same time as a carpet, rather than relying on an old one. Purchasing underlay separately from the carpet can save money, as purchasing directly from ebay or Amazon can be materially cheaper.
Fitting a carpet can be tricky, whilst this is a potential DIY task, the risk of getting it wrong could be pricey. Companies selling carpet will offer a service to fit, however you do not always have to utilise that service. Independent fitters can offer better value for money as they do not have the same overheads as large chains.
|Budget carpet||£5 – £12 per sqm||2022|
|Mid-range carpet||£15 – £22 per sqm||2022|
|High-end carpet||£25 – £45 per sqm||2022|
|Underlay||£4- £12 per sqm||2022|
|Fitting||£40 – £90 per room||2022|
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