Carpets offer a wide range of style choices; from modular (tiles) to wall to wall carpets. A variety of carpet materials are available for both commercial and domestic spaces. Whether the focus is on comfort and relaxation, or durability and economy, there is a carpet to suit every need.
Type of carpet
There are different types of manufacturing techniques which are used to manufacture carpets. These produce tufted, needled, and woven carpets.
A traditional process where the pile and backing yarns are woven together, offering unrivalled strength and stability. The colour and pattern are woven into the carpet rather than printed on top. Woven carpets are an ideal choice for the leisure industry used for hotels, bars, function rooms, etc. The most well-known manufacturers are Axminster and Wilton; their names being synonymous with this type of carpet.
Needle punched carpets are made by the process and technique called “needling “. Laid fibres are first intermingled and entangled by means of needles, then additional needling makes the final structure of the product. These are tough, low-level carpets which tend to be used in commercial or educational environments, rooms, corridors and offices.
The majority of carpets produced today is tufted. The tufting method means that hundreds of yarn-threaded needles are pushed through the backing fabric to form loops or tufts, which may be left as is, or cut and form a cut pile finish.
Modular Carpet /Tiles
Most carpet tiles are of a tufted construction and traditionally used in commercial and leisure environments.
Some of the qualities of carpet tiles include:
- Easy access to cabling, ducting and under floors.
- Design opportunities: including logos and branding.
- Long lasting and easy to maintain: If some parts of the carpet get worn or dirty it is easy to replace the damaged tiles with new ones, rather than the whole floor. The tiles can be also re-arranged for even wear.
- Fits awkwardly shaped rooms and reduces waste.
- Better for indoor air quality and allergies: The low pile creates a more hypo allergenic environment.
- Better for the environment: As most carpets come in 4m or longer rolls, for a typical office of 1800 square metres this could mean a 13% waste material. The same space covered with standard carpet tiles would mean a less than 4% waste.
- Water resistance: specialist impervious backed carpets are produced for hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Manufacturers include: Forbo (Flotex), Danflor, JHS and Gradus.
Type of pile
There are two types of carpets within both the modular and wall to wall categories: twist pile and loop pile.
A twist pile carpet is made from yarn that has been tightly twisted and set to form a pile with a slightly textured surface. This pile type is most commonly used for tufted carpets.
A loop pile carpet is made from uncut loops of yarn. This type of carpet is great for high traffic areas because the weave bounces back really easily. But it’s not ideal for pets because the loops can get pulled by their claws.
Polypropylene is a synthetic fibre which makes it extremely durable. It is easy to clean even with a bleach mix so it is a great choice for busy homes with children and pets. Polypropylene carpets dyed with a matt look can look identical to wool in appearance and cost a fraction of the price. Polypropylene twist carpets can be susceptible to flattening over time, more so than wool or nylon, so for heavy use areas, short pile carpets are better.
Polyamide is also a synthetic and durable fibre but slightly less strong than polypropylene. The fibres don’t flatten easily so the carpet “bounces back” into shape, maintaining its look. It is also stain resistant, but sensitive to heat.
Wool, being a natural fibre, is environmentally friendly. It is easily maintained, dirt resistant, and as it repels surface spills it responds well to cleaning. However, wool cannot be cleaned with a bleach solution. It is safe: slip and fire resistant. Because wool is capable of bending thousands of times without its fibres being damaged, it will also maintain its shape. Other benefits include its moisture balancing properties and excellent sound absorption. It rapidly removes common air pollutants caused by cars, etc. such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide. The only downside is that it can be more prone to moths and insects than synthetic fibres. However, certain manufacturers, we work with use glue for the carpet backing which repels moths.
Natural carpets are made out of natural fibres from renewable sources making this type of material biodegradable and very environmentally friendly. Natural carpets don’t contain artificial dyes and chemicals and don’t hold onto dust like carpets made out of synthetic material, which make this material a better choice for those prone to allergies and asthma sufferers. It is also extremely strong, durable and a natural sound insulator. The most popular natural fabric types are sisal, coir and jute.
The most common type of carpet backings are felt, hessian and gel. Hessian backed carpets tend to be more hard wearing than felt and gel backed ones.