Buying Guides

Carpets

Selecting the Right Carpet
Carpet is sumptuous, comfortable flooring that can be a great choice for your home. The real beauty of carpet lies in the fact that not only is it suitable for virtually any room in your home, but is available in a myriad of colours that is are only really limited by your imagination. Carpet reduces heat loss more effectively, absorbs sound more than any other type of flooring and provides you with a soft and warm surface to walk, sit or play on.

Which Room?
It is important to consider where the carpet will be laid and what the amount of traffic it will have to cope with. For example, bedroom carpet will not have as much footfall as a hallway or living room, so therefore you could go for a less hard wearing carpet. You could splash out on a luxurious more expensive carpet knowing that it will retain its attractiveness and thick pile for a long time. In areas of high traffic, you could opt for a more heavy domestic rated carpet to account for the extra usage. It is always worth investing in a rug or doormat in front of doorways to prevent damage and discolouration from dirty footwear and constant footfall.

Carpet Construction
Carpets come in all sorts of different weights, composition, construction styles, materials and backings. All of these will help determine the right carpet for your requirements. Carpets are generally constructed in two ways – twist piles and loop piles. There are other less common types such as woven carpets (typically used in Axminster and Wilton carpets).

Twist Pile and Saxony carpets:

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Twist pile carpets are popular in the UK. They are made from twisted yarns which are cut to length. These create a springy, textured and durable finish. Saxony carpets are basically twist pile carpets but with much longer fibres that result it in a plusher and deeper pile finish.

Loop Pile and Berber carpets

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Loop pile carpets are made from looped yarns. Berber carpets also have a loop pile, but with flecks of colour and they tend to have more textured and irregular piles. With loop pile carpets you need to be wary if you have certain pets, as their claws can snag or pull on the loops.

Composition

  • Wool carpets are generally the most luxurious and are the perfect eco-friendly choice. They are made from natural sustainable materials and have integral strength. They are stain resistant and have a certain innate beauty about them.
  • Wool blend carpets most commonly come as 80% wool/20% synthetic fibres. They provide greater versatility and durability.
  • Nylon/Polyamide is ideal for high traffic areas. It is stain resistant, colour fast and easy to clean. It is also subject to less flattening than polyester or polypropylene.
  • Polyester is hard wearing and easy to clean and possesses a more lustrous sheen than many other synthetic fibres.
  • Polypropylene is durable, hard wearing and easy to clean. It is also colour fast and resistant to moisture and stains.

 

Pile Weight/Density
Pile weights/densities are normally measured using traditional imperial weights. These are given in ounces per square yard of carpet. Most weights nowadays are between 40oz and 70oz. The heavier the weight/density, the greater the luxury of the carpet pile. You will find that stair and lounge carpets are generally about 50oz, whilst 60oz to 70oz carpets are commonly a more luxurious carpet. The weight is not displayed on all carpets and sometimes you can’t beat actually feeling the carpet to decide what best fits your needs.

 

Underlay
We highly recommend getting underlay when fitting your new carpet. It significantly improves the durability and life of your carpet.

Better look and feel – Underlay cushions your carpet and it will help prevent the pile from flattening. Hence your carpet looks like new for longer.
Insulation and protection – Underlay not only reduces noise but it also keeps in heat. Not only does it act as a great shock absorber, but it helps carpets to sit properly and become more durable.

Easier cleaning – Underlay protects a carpet’s pile and makes it more hygienic and easier to clean. It will also aid your vacuum in working more effectively.

Our great range of underlay goes from 1 star through to 5 stars, depending on the required thickness and density. We are more than happy to advise you on the underlay that best suits your requirements.

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Rest assured that our
professional and friendly
staff are always on hand
to give you the best advice.

 

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring (also known as linoleum) is one of the most versatile, resilient and affordable of flooring types. Material costs can be up to 70% less than other types of flooring materials. Vinyl is now available in more styles than ever, and is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, entryways and anywhere else you want to lay it.

Vinyl flooring is easy to clean, hygienic, hard wearing and resists water well. It is softer and warmer under floor than say a tiled floor. If you are going to use it in an area where splashes are frequent (such as a bathroom or kitchen), then you need to buy vinyl flooring with a R10 classification. This means that the top surface of the vinyl has had a slip-resistant layer added to it.

Thickness is another important consideration when selecting vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring can feel cold under foot if it is too thin. The thicker the vinyl you lay, the softer and warmer it will be. You will also benefit from better sound insulation. In high traffic areas you’ll want a thicker wear layer on the vinyl (the part of the vinyl that gives it durability).

 

Laminate

Laminate flooring is constructed by laminating an image of wood onto a board backing. Good quality laminate is an excellent way to get the look of wood at an affordable price and can be very convincing. It is relatively low maintenance flooring due to its scratch resistant, chip roof and durable nature. Installation can be very easy, especially if the laminate comes in interlocking planks which do not require any glue.

The main thing to look out for when comparing laminate flooring is the material, thickness and locking mechanism. The materials and thickness will have an effect on the durability and lifespan of the flooring. How the laminate boards lock together will impact on how easy to install the laminate is.

Laminate flooring has a high performance, moisture resistant backing layer which forms a stable base for the flooring. It also has a high density core that is designed to withstand dents and other wear. This is commonly made of High Density Fibreboard (HDF). There is also a photographic layer that replicates the look of natural floor types. On top is a protective and scratch resistant layer for durability.

There are generally 3 types of laminate flooring:

  • Wood effect
  • Wood effect strips
  • Tile effect

Whether in the home or in the office, laminate is ideal. Its moisture and scratch resistance make it suitable for virtually any room in your home or office, including a kitchen or bathroom. Due to the tough melamine top layer applied to it, laminate floors are resistant to scratches. Hence everyday wear and tear should not be as apparent on your new laminate flooring.

Important points to consider when choosing laminate flooring are the different construction methods and grades available. It is available in a number of different thickness and widths:

  • Standard thicknesses for laminate flooring boards are: 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, 10mm and 12mm

Width generally comes down to your individual preference, so choose a board that best matches your interior design scheme. The thickness is a lot more relevant. The thicker the laminate, the more durable, comfortable, insulation performance and lifespan it will have. Laminate should never be laid directly on top of a subfloor. It is vital that a layer of insulation is put down first.

Whatever look you are trying to achieve, there is a laminate for you.

 

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT)

Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) come in a huge range of different colours, patterns and designs so you can really be as creative as you want. They can incorporate lots of stylish elements such as design strips, borders and features to give you the exact look you want. LVT is 100% waterproof, very durable and easy to care for. Let our expert fitters create some amazing designs for your home and give it that unique finish. LVT gives you the beauty of natural flooring products but without the practical drawbacks.

LVT can come as dry back tiles where adhesive needs to be applied to the subfloor, or as self adhesive tiles which already have the adhesive on the backing.

Advantages of LVT include:

  • Hard Wearing

Due to the durability it possesses, LVT is often chosen of its natural counterparts. LVT will not mark or splinter with high heels (unlike solid wood floors) as it is extremely hard wearing. LVT doesn’t expand or contract like laminate flooring can and hence there is no need to use expansion gaps. Stone or ceramic tiles can tend to chip or crack. This doesn’t happen with LVT and therefore you can expect it to stay in the same shape and appearance throughout its lifespan.

  • Designer Appearance

You can be as simple or as creative as you want with LVT. Create the exact look you want using borders, design strips and features. For example, you can lay LVT on a diagonal with a border to highlight the features of your room. In this respect, solid wood and laminate flooring can be limited as they are usually laid across the length or width of a room without any features.

  • Realistic

LVT is constructed to the very highest standard and initially started out as commercial flooring due to its hard wearing nature. Whether it is a worn and distressed wood effect, or a rustic ceramic tile look, you will be able to find the right LVT for you.

  • Easy Cleaning and Maintenance

LVT is the one of easiest flooring products on the market to clean and maintain. They can be mopped with warm water and are resistant to spills and stains.

  • Warm and Quiet Underfoot

LVT are extremely warm underfoot unlike ceramic, stone, granite or porcelain tiles. They can therefore help to reduce heating bills by acting as a thermal insulator. LVT can even be fitted on top of under floor heating to make it warmer still. Unlike products such as laminate flooring or wood flooring, luxury vinyl tiles do not have the noise factor. This is useful especially if you live in a flat with bad noise levels or have children running around.

  • Moisture Resistant

Due to their moisture resistant nature, luxury vinyl tiles are a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms. They are impenetrable from water, but excessive surface water left for a prolonged period may affect the adhesive underneath the tiles. However, this would be in extreme circumstances.

  • Versatile

LVT can be laid in any room in the home or business. It is an extremely versatile type of flooring which is hard wearing enough for hallways and living areas, and also water resistant enough for kitchens and bathrooms

 

Rugs

Rugs and mats are a great way to brighten up your décor and add a striking visual feature to any room or area. They help to divide rooms, provide comfort underfoot in areas of hard flooring and can protect areas from heavy wear. There is a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colours and materials when it comes to rugs and it isn’t hard to find the rug to match your requirements.

The first thing you need to decide when purchasing a rug is where it is going to go. A dining room rug will need stain resistant properties whereas a hall runner needs to be able to withstand plenty of foot fall. Bear in mind that placing a rug in direct sunlight may make it more likely to fade. If you’re putting a rug on a polished floor, remember to use an anti-slip underlay to help prevent accidents.

The cost and quality of a rug is determined by its pile thickness, the way it is made, the nature of its design and the material it is constructed from.

Some of the key considerations in your choice of rug material should be durability, maintenance and appearance.

  • Wool rugs are a good choice for busy areas as they are hardwearing. They are made from natural fibres and environmentally friendly, and will be handmade or machine made.
  • Jute, Sisal and Coir rugs are extremely strong and durable as they are woven from natural grass fibres. These rugs are also very environmentally friendly as the fibres are processed without any harsh chemicals.
  • Polypropylene rugs are made from synthetic fibres that have stain resistant and hard wearing properties. They can be cleaned with bleach and don’t fade. Unlike wool rugs which can shed their fibres, polypropylene rugs are low maintenance as they don’t shed their fibres.
  • Acrylic rugs are commonly handmade and the pile is sometimes hand cut to create texture and highlight the design. Acrylic is a hard wearing synthetic fibre that has a more luxurious and softer fell to it than polypropylene.
  • Polyester rugs have a silky feel to them. These rugs are either machine or handmade, and create thick and luxurious pile rugs.
  • Viscose rugs are constructed of a shiny synthetic fibre which is excellent for producing interesting textures. They are commonly blended with other materials to add highlights.
  • Chenille rugs can be made from rayon, olefin or cotton. The fabric is produced by wrapping short lengths of yarn at right angles around a core to create a uniquely soft appearance.

 

Mattresses

The correct mattress with the right divan base or bedstead can mean the difference between sweet dreams or sleep deprivation. A good quality mattress promotes deeper, more refreshing sleep by giving you better support. This guide will help you make an informed choice to get the right mattress for you and your partner. Remember – we spend approx a third of our lives in bed so the right mattress is crucial.

A good mattress can last up to 10 years, so it’s a serious investment. But you should buy the best you can afford:  when you think that every £100 you spend on a mattress represents just 2.7p a night over 10 years, it’s a small price to pay.

Match mattress to divan base
Our mattresses and divan bases are designed to complement each other. The right mattress and divan base combination will promote the correct posture and provide support where you need it most. If you already have a bedstead in good condition you may only need a mattress. However, if you have a divan, a new mattress alone won’t give you the full benefit. It’s advisable to replace both.
Divans act as bases for mattresses and either have springs which allow the mattress to adapt to the body’s contours, or a solid top which provides firmer support. A divan base is useful if you are tight for space in your bedroom as they often have drawers for storage – or you prefer a more neutral look.

Mattress design and technology has never been more innovative. We offer a wide range at prices to suit every pocket.

 

Open spring mattress

  • The most commonly-used springing system in the world for budget-priced mattresses
  • Border rod or wire gives the mattress a firm edge and helps retain its shape
  • Sides are machine stitched rather than hand-stitched.

 

Pocket spring mattress

  • Recommended if there’s a size difference between you and your partner, as it minimises the risk of you rolling towards each other during the night
  • More luxurious, with individual small springs housed in separate fabric pockets.
  • Springs work independently to respond to individual body weight.
  • Stitched sides for strong, stable edges – hand stitching is a sign of craftsmanship and quality.

 

Memory Foam

  • The mattress moulds and re-moulds to your body’s contours as your body heat softens it
  • Provides support and enables natural movement during sleep
  • Helps to maintain correct posture and align spine horizontally when lying on your side
  • Hypo-allergenic with anti-microbial properties.