Many people ask us what type of carpet they should choose to carpet their home. This is a big decision, as it is costly and you want your carpet to stay looking like new for as long as possible. Manufacturers say carpet should last about 10 years. With regular vacuuming, prompt attention to spills and periodic cleaning, it should last longer.
There are a few things to consider when looking for new carpet, not only the carpet, but the environment it is being installed into. So what type you ask? Wool or synthetic?
Wool carpets are constructed from natural fibres and are free from toxins and chemicals unless they're added later. Conversely, nylon is a synthetic, man-made fibre. Your choice of wool or nylon carpet should be determined by your specific needs, personal preference and allocated flooring budget.
Wool: It hides dirt and soil well as it is absorbent, however for the same reason it can stain more easily when something is spilled on it. When cleaned a wool carpet 'bounces back' to its original state. It provides a soft look and rich feel. Its natural fibres make it extremely strong and durable, so wool carpets typically keep their appearance longer than synthetics, although they do need to be protected from the harsh Hawkes Bay sun, which can tend to fade in areas where the sun is concentrated. It is also important to note that wool carpets are a natural, sustainable product that is produced in New Zealand.
Solution dyed Nylon & Polyester: These carpets are a popular choice because they are soft and durable, and retain their original appearance well. Although they need more regular cleaning than wool, they respond to a deep clean and water rinse extremely well, as they have a very high tolerance of moisture absorbency. Synthetic carpet is a non porous and is a closed fibre, which doesn't have any open sites for stains to adhere, so is resistant to most spills and stains, and the solution dyed nylon carpet is great for this. If badly soiled or stained, these carpets will respond very well to cleaning. Special dyes used in manufacturing can make the colour of these carpets last longer when exposed to UV rays.
The pile of the carpet is also something to consider. Pile is a carpet's visible surface, also called the nap or face. It comes in two styles:
Loop pile, where both ends of each yarn piece are anchored to the carpet backing to form a loop.
Cut pile, where only one end of the yarn is anchored to the carpet backing.
Other styles are variations of the cut and loop.
Pile can vary greatly. A soft, velvety cut pile looks luxurious, but can show every footprint, and is best suited to formal rooms. Some cut piles can flatten in traffic areas or shading (also known as 'pile switch'), can occur, caused be bending of the pile at different angles which leaves the carpet looking lighter or darker in patches, depending on where they are viewed from. A shorter, more tightly woven carpet works well in a high-traffic hallway or entrance way.
The density is also important. Check density by bending a carpet corner backward, toward the backing. If you can see very little backing through the tufts, the carpeting has a high density and will generally last longer.
If you are unsure, we are happy to give independent helpful advise to help you choose the perfect carpet for you.