Buying a Rug? Don’t Forget Your Rug Pad

These days, there is a wealth of rug styles and colours to choose from. The right rug, when placed in a room can add an entirely new layer of colour and texture. However, a lot of damage can be the result if you haven’t included a rug pad. But is having a rug pad really so important? The short answer is yes. The last thing a rug pad should be is an afterthought.

Rug Pads Increase Safety

Regardless of the type of rug you have, there needs to be a way to keep it in place. Not doing so will increase the risks of guests tripping, slipping and possibly sustaining injury. By including a rug pad, you can ensure that the rug will be held fast against your floor without sliding.

Another potential of not using a rug pad is that the corners may curl, or the rug may bunch, causing a dangerous – and unexpected – obstacle. But a rug pad can also prevent this. Those who love their rugs best when they’re on centre will also love the idea of a rug pad, as it can prevent the creeping that can occur when a rug is only kept in place by furniture.

Rug Pads Protect your Floor

Having a rug pad cushions your rug, preventing it from rubbing against your flooring and causing damage. But not all rug pads are created equally; floor damage can be the result if the wrong rug pad is chosen.

Pads made of either latex or natural rubber are the best choice for rug pads, as they allow the floor beneath them to ‘breathe’. Other materials like PVC or vinyl often used in rug pads may ‘sweat’ and keep moisture on the floor’s surface, causing damage.

What about Non-Skid Backing?

Many rugs will come with not an underlay, but a backing that prevents skidding. Whilst this does help to keep the rug flexible, it’s important to make sure that the backing won’t react with the finish of your flooring. A chemical reaction on flooring has likely occurred if the floor has yellowed.

Finding the right Rug Backing

The rug backing that is best for your application will depend on the weave, thickness and size of your rug.

If your rug is small, a thin pad that prevents slipping is best. If you are placing your small rug in a high-traffic area, this padding is even more important. If you have a large rug such as an 8×10 or larger, there may be a much smaller risk of slipping. If this is the case, you will likely not need much more than a felt pad underneath to keep the rug where it should be as well as protect the underlying flooring. 3/8 of an inch is the maximum thickness you should choose for your large rug pad.

For thick rugs, a thin rug pad is best, as one that’s too thin can actually cause a tripping hazard. Those with thin rugs already know about their tendency for corner curling. A rubber and felt combination rug pad is best for thin rugs like kilims, and up to ¼ inch thick is best.

Two of the most popular rug pads are made of 100% natural rubber or of felt that has been recycled. Indeed, natural materials are what you want to look for when choosing a rug pad. Some rug pads are made of wool, which is a sound choice. Natural materials like wool will not threaten your floor’s finish.

If some padding is preferred, a thinner rug pad will not offer this. But taking a good look at the traffic in the room your rug is in is a good place to start when looking for the right rug pad for use on bare floors or over carpets in your Bedfordshire home.

A Room by Room Guide to Choosing a Carpet

If you’re ready to have new carpets installed in your home, you will have a few decisions before you. Not only will you need to choose a brand, colour or pattern of carpet, you will also need to choose a pile and construction that suits those rooms you wish to outfit.

But rather than review seemingly-endless brand names for the right one for you, there is an easier way to choose your carpeting: you can go by the room.

The Bedroom

There’s nothing quite like a carpeted bedroom. Not only is it lovely to place your feet on during those chilly mornings, but you can indulge with a high-pile luxurious carpet, as the bedroom is one of the rooms in a home that receives the least foot traffic. You can also afford to choose a lighter colour.

If you are carpeting a guest room, it may be enough to purchase a felt-backed carpet. For children’s rooms, stain-resistant carpet may be the solution. When considering colour, it’s a good idea to think about how many years you want your carpet to last. If your children are a bit older, think ahead to what you might want to use the room for in the future, and then choose a carpet that’s appropriate.

The Living Room

As we all know, the living room in a home will often be the most seen and used. As such, it needs carpeting that is hard-wearing. But you also want it to be stylish, as your carpeting will also reflect the style and colours of your home.

If your living room is used for eating, consider a stain-resistant carpet, or one that’s made of at least 80% wool, as wool will resist liquids and is easy to clean. One thing that all living rooms deal with is the fact that there will be several pieces of furniture sitting on the carpet for long periods, which can cause wear. Therefore, it’s a good idea to shuffle these items around from time to time.

The Kitchen

Carpeting can definitely be used in the kitchen. However, it’s best to choose a brand designed for stain resistance. Carpet tiles can be another consideration here. Tiles are very mobile so that they can be moved about should a stain occur.

The Hallways and Stairs

Hallways are responsible, in large part for the impression they give of the rest of your home. In essence, your hallways are the first ‘room’ that a guest sees. But hallways also endure a lot of foot traffic. Therefore, carpeting that won’t show dirt and can be easily cleaned is ideal here. Stairs are another high traffic area that needs to have hard-wearing carpeting installed. In both cases, underlay is recommended, as is a carpet with a short and dense pile.

The Bathroom

Likely because of the advent of ceramics and vinyl flooring, the rubber waffle-backed carpet is becoming difficult to locate. The best idea if wanting to use carpeting in the bathroom may be carpet tiles which can be removed and dried. Or, you can purchase bathroom carpets or rugs at a discount and then replace them every 12 or 18 months, depending on wear.

As you can see, seeking the right carpets in Bedford for all of the rooms in your home can be far less of a chore when you consider the room’s use as opposed to the many characteristics that make one type of carpeting different from another. If you still find you’re having trouble choosing the right one, you may be able to get the advice you need from trained flooring professional in your city or town.

Understanding Carpet Construction Types

It’s true that there are many different brand names, styles and colours of carpet on the market to choose from. But what can make choosing carpets in Bedford that much more challenging is carpet construction type. Luckily, the types of carpet listed below can be easily identified by sight, making the one best suited to your needs much easier to locate.

Cut Pile

When the yarn of a carpet is cut and left to stand up, cut pile carpet is the result. There are two types of cut pile carpet: plush and hard twist. The yarn in plush pile carpet is loosely twisted, where the hard-twist version consists of yarn that has been tightly twisted.

Cut pile carpeting has a luxurious look, and is best suited for low-traffic areas due to their upkeep and maintenance requirements.

Loop Pile

Loop pile carpet is made up of uncut yarn that has been looped back into the backing fabric. Loop pile carpet exists in different heights: uniform height across the entire carpet, or in multi-level loops. The latter has a more textured appearance.

This type of carpet is best suited to high-traffic areas due to its durability and ability to handle hard wear. It should be noted here that loop pile carpet may not be the best choice for households with pets, as their claws can become caught in the loops.

Cut and Loop

As its name suggests, cut and loop carpeting combines both the cut and loop style. Cut and loop carpeting is available in several textures and patterns. Because of their varied construction, cut and loop carpeting can be placed in virtually any room and retain its durability and appearance.


Knotted pile carpet is created when supplementary weft rising at an angle from the weave surface is alternated with the weft threads.

Frieze and Flat Weave

Frieze carpet is very tightly twisted and features cut pile. Over time, its short fibres will curl in various directions, giving it a unique appearance. This type of construction is ideal for areas of high traffic.

The flat weave construction is most commonly found in the Orient. Its construction involves interlocking weft and warp threads. Flat weave carpeting can be seen in three styles: plain weave, soumak and tapestry weave.


A tufting machine constructs this carpet, which can be constructed with loop piles, cut piles or both. Tufted carpet can be made of a single colour of yarn. It can also be made with no colour and be printed or dyed after it’s been manufactured. This type of carpet is made by punching the yarn through the woven backing fabric using needles, and then applying a secondary backing fabric.


Carpets in the woven style, such as Axminster carpets, are considered to be the best on the market as far as quality is concerned. This may be because woven carpet is made using the traditional method of weaving the backing fabric and the yarn of the pile at the same time. An endless combination of colours can be used for woven carpets and then woven into intricate patterns. Other brands of woven carpet may only use a few colours and have a plainer texture. All told, woven carpets offer an attractive appearance that retains their look.

The construction of the carpet you choose will often speak to its durability. But durability of your chosen carpeting will also depend on other factors such as weight of the fibres, density of the pile and how many yarn stitches are present per inch.

Hard-wearing carpets will have heavy fibre weights, higher pile density and a high number of yarn stitches per inch. The latter will cause the carpet to be resistant to repeated weight being placed on it, also known as its crush resistance.

Pile Weight, Carpet Density and Noise

When you’re looking for durable carpet, you will likely be seeking methods to tell how well a carpet will handle the foot traffic you’ll be putting it through. The pile weight is one effective way to do just that. But carpeting also has sound-muffling properties, which can be important in households where there are a lot of members, or where privacy is desired.

Pile Weight, Defined

Pile weight refers to the amount of yarn fibres in one square metre of carpet. Pile weight will also speak to how dense the individual carpet strands are. Density is a characteristic of note because a carpet’s density – or the proximity of one individual strand to another – will affect how it performs under traffic, as well as how it will look over the long term. The higher the number of yarn fibres in a carpet, the more overall density it will have.

Usually, the density of a carpet is measured in ounces, with typical densities ranging from 30 to 60 ounces. Densities larger than 60oz are available, but are more costly due to the higher number of individual fibres in these carpets.

The Role of Pile Weight and Density in Noise Reduction

Any sound that originates from dropping objects on the floor, footsteps or when moving furniture is referred to as surface noise. The higher the density of a carpet, the better it will be able to convert loud surface noises to a more muffled variety. Carpeting will also cut the life of surface noise in half. In addition to choosing dense carpeting, you may also wish to consider underlay, as this can increase the sound absorption of a carpet by double its original number.

Noise annoyances are everywhere. But many have stated in surveys that the noise transmission from nearby flats was far more annoying than traffic and other neighbourhood noises. Better sleep and fewer disturbances are the result when high-density carpet and underlay have been installed.

The echo or noise transmission of a room can also be reduced with high density carpeting. Instead of noise in a room reflecting off of hard flooring and causing an echo, carpeting effectively absorbs this sound. This is possible due to the porosity of the carpeting.

Choosing the right Weight

Many times, the pile weight is available on the carpet label. But other times, companies like Westex Carpets will make carpeting in a number of weights and in the same colour ranges. This allows customers to choose the same brand of carpeting throughout their home. Homeowners wanting to use the same colour of carpet in every room can choose smaller weights for some rooms, which can save them money.

Although not all manufacturers will list pile weight on the products they produce, there are certain types of carpet which will. For example, the pile weight for carpets made with twist pile that are high in wool content will typically be available. Carpet pile weight is unlikely to be available for man-made, shorter pile carpets, as this is not the only factor which speaks to the quality of the carpet.

Where you find yourself considering more than one brand of carpet, it will be necessary to determine both the density and pile weight of each. You will also want to make note of the fibre that each is made of, as well as the backing type. Checking the warranty of all carpeting is also of great importance, as is checking to make sure the carpeting you choose has the right level of protection from stains for the room in which it will be installed.

Carpet or wood. Which flooring is right for you?

Whether it’s a matter of aesthetics or practicalities, choosing between carpet or wooden flooring can be a difficult decision. Whereas ultimately carpet or wood will always be a question of personal choice and preference it’s good to have a look at the pros and cons before rushing into a purchase.

We’ve compiled a list of facts to help you weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of both materials to help you make the right choice for your home.

Carpet Flooring

Besides excellent sound proofing qualities, a carpeted floor provides warmth and comfort to a room. Carpets have high thermal insulating properties that make them perfect for colder climes and can help you save on heating bills.

Available in a huge selection of colours and styles, carpets can be the more aesthetically flexible option when compared to a wooden floor. Their ability to absorb sound means that carpets can reduce noise levels and are generally considered the safer choice in a home with small children or elderly occupants, helping to soften falls and slips.

Wood Flooring

Wooden floors have become a key stylish element in the modern home and are considered an extremely desirable feature when buying or selling a property. Wood creates a pleasing visual impact, is easily maintained and has a high re-sell value.

Able to compliment most decors and individual tastes, wooden floors come in a wide range of styles and design options which are sure to meet your requirements.

Which adds more value?

If you’re thinking about selling your property, refinishing existing wooden floors is a savvy and relatively inexpensive way to increase the value of your home. Professionally fitted wooden floors which have been properly maintained and are in good condition can help to speed up the selling process. However, fitting wooden flooring with the sole idea of increasing the price of your property is considered a bad idea.

Carpets can be easily changed and quickly replaced and as such are not thought to affect a property’s value unless they are fitted immediately before a sale. And even then there’s no guarantee the carpets will match the new owner’s style and tastes.

Check beneath your carpets

If you’re thinking about changing existing carpets, have a quick look at what’s underneath. You might be pleasantly surprised to find a reasonably maintained wooden floor there already. Refinishing existing flooring can be a quick and easy method to transform your home and may be the financially sound option when compared to the installation of a new carpets.

Which is easier to clean?

Carpets can be havens for dust, skin and other particles that could lead to health issues. But a good carpet can turn this trapping effect into a benefit. Most modern carpets contain an antibacterial coating that attracts allergens and keeps them out of the air and can be easily removed with a vacuum cleaner. Yet even if you if you vacuum your carpet daily it will still need a professional shampooing once or twice a year.

Dust will stay on a wooden floor until it’s removed and it can be kicked into the air with every step. Sweeping wooden flooring is a lot easier than vacuuming a carpet. The floor should be dry mopped every three or four days and cleaned with a special solution every three to four weeks. We do not, however, recommend a water/vinegar solution as this can cause the finish to fade over time.

As you can see, both surfaces have their pros and cons and ultimately the choice of carpet or wood is an entirely down to personal preference. But it’s always good to remember that either surface will look great when it’s newly fitted, but after a few weeks of sweeping or vacuuming, you may have cause to reconsider your decision.


Get a Vintage Look with Shag Pile Carpet

The shag pile carpet has long been used as a status symbol. First known to grace the floors of wealthy family homes in ancient Greece, this unique carpet style made its way to the Western world where, in the 60s and 70s it took homes by storm, reclaiming its reputation as a status symbol. Shag pile carpeting could be found in many luxurious homes. When it finally went out of style, many breathed a sigh of relief, only to see it return when the 90s arrived. Today, the shag pile carpet has made a triumphant return, back with many choices as far as modern fibres and styles are concerned.

About Shag Pile Carpeting

Those famously-long fibres are woven into the carpet for increased thickness and a lush look. A lot of the carpets available today are made from wool. Wool is a great fibre for any carpeting because it not only naturally repels stains, but dries quickly.

Because of its luxurious underfoot feel, many choose to place shag carpeting in spaces of their homes reserved for relaxing activities like family movie nights or sleeping.

Shag carpeting can be placed in a room in rug format, or can be installed wall-to-wall. As a rug, shag pile carpet is great for drawing attention to a certain feature or part of a room. Placed underneath a glass-top coffee table, for example, the shag rug can add another layer of interest.

Winter is the best time to choose shag carpet, as it contains a thicker layer of insulation that can protect feet from cold coming up through the floor. As a result, this helps to keep an entire room warmer.

When a shag carpet is first purchased, some shedding will occur. Although this is normal and will greatly reduce with wear, it is definitely something to keep in mind.

Care and Feeding

Caring for shag pile carpets in Bedfordshire involves more of an effort than with other flooring types because of its longer fibres and thicker construction. Whilst a regular carpet may only need a quick going-over once in a while, shag carpet benefits most from frequent vacuuming. Twice per week is advised for vacuuming shag carpet, and there are raking tools available just for this carpet type which allow you to ‘groom’ the long carpet fibres.

If installing shag carpet all over the floor of one or more rooms in your home, it’s important to consider its thickness. Shag can interfere with the proper closing of doors, especially when there is underlay added to the already-thick carpet construction.

If spills occur once in a while, as they tend to do, quick action is the best solution. Any spills should be soaked up as soon as possible, either with an absorbent paper towel or cloth. The spill should be dabbed gently until the majority of it has been removed. Stains from deep-coloured items like red wine can be lifted with the addition of tepid water.

You can also steam clean shag carpeting with the same machines that some supermarkets rent. However, any machines with rotating heads that touch the carpet should be avoided at all costs. Rather, choose a machine that has an attached nozzle or suction power head.

Another thing to mind is the shampoo you use on the carpet; non-foaming shampoo is best, unless you wish to be endlessly rinsing out suds. Once cleaning and shampooing is done, it’s best to air out the carpeting or rug for a long period of time so that all those long fibres have time to dry thoroughly and properly.

Although the shag carpet has a reputation for being more work than other carpet types, there is no doubt that it adds style and flair to any room in which it is placed.

Carpet and Flooring – How Green Are They?

We’ve already covered which carpet types are the most environmentally-friendly. But what about carpet and flooring in general? Indeed, there are many lovely choices out there. But if the environment is important to you when choosing flooring for your home, you may want to consider that some forms of carpeting and flooring are more eco-friendly than others. There are many reasons for this; some are treated or manufactured with harsh chemicals, and others are not environmentally sustainable.

Hardwood Flooring

Standard Hardwood Floors

Where it comes to the standard hardwood floor, there are several things that should be taken into consideration. The first is that all hardwood floors use wood from trees. But some stands of trees are better ecologically managed than others. Therefore, it’s important to trace the source of the wood used in the hardwood floors you wish to purchase. Ensure that all wood used in the manufacture of the flooring you want has not only been grown for harvesting, but has been responsibly harvested. It’s also a good idea to ensure that these sources engage in sustainable forestry practices.

Engineered Hardwood Floors

At the other end of the spectrum, engineered hardwood flooring actually help to solve the issue of waste disposal, because they are manufactured using wood that’s been left over from other projects. In addition to having more eco-friendly sources, engineered hardwood floors can be cleaned without having to use chemicals.

Vinyl Flooring

Whilst vinyl floors are great because they don’t require the use of chemicals to clean them, and they offer several benefits to people with allergies, many of these types are manufactured using new PVC. And unfortunately, the production process of PVC carries its own threats to the environment because of the significant toxins it creates. These toxins include dioxin, which is one of the most toxic compounds in existence.

Cork Flooring

Cork floors are one example of a stellar product where friendliness to the environment is concerned. Material for these floors comes from the cork oak tree. This tree can live as long as 200 years and when cut down, grows back in just nine. Not only that, but cork floors are constructed from champagne and wine cork leftovers. These completely renewable and sustainable materials are also able to be reused, meaning no additional stress on landfill sites.


Bamboo, although quite woody is a grass. Because it only takes 5 years to grow bamboo, this is a very sustainable source for the creation of flooring. There are two types of bamboo flooring available; regular and strand-woven. The latter is actually made from the leftovers of regular bamboo flooring, and tends to be tougher and stronger than the regular option, as it is woven together and fused to form a durable product.


Some of the carpets available in Bedfordshire and beyond can contain chemicals, especially if they’ve been shipped from overseas locations. These chemicals can trigger severe reactions in people with sensitivity and allergies to various chemicals. Not only that, but in order to clean carpeting, additional chemicals may need to be used, as well as special machines for deep cleaning. As well, electricity is needed to power the machines that clean carpeting. Overseas shipping also means more spent fuel.

Regardless of the flooring you choose, keeping the above considerations in mind can definitely help you if your goal is to redo the floors in your home in way that’s easy on the environment. You may even find that environmentally friendly flooring comes in at far less money than you were expecting to pay. Whichever flooring type you desire, always be sure to try and learn about every step in the company’s manufacturing and shipping processes.

The Stain Repellent Carpet: Is It Worth It?

The entire look and feel of a room can be altered if stains are allowed to sink into your carpeting without proper treatment. Over time, carpet can become dull and dingy in appearance as a result. But when stain-repellent carpeting comes to the rescue, there’s no need to worry about unsightly carpet stains again. Or is there?

What is Stain Repelling Technology?

Carpet is available in a number of different materials, some of which repel stains naturally. However, this is different from stain-repellent carpeting. The technology involved with stain-repellent carpeting is of a chemical nature; a carpet with nylon fibres, for example can include any number of chemicals to make it resistant to stains. Not only that, but material like nylon will not look any different once it has been treated to repel stains.

Of course, nylon is available in several forms, as each carpet manufacturer will use their own preferred manufacturing method and materials. But nylon stain-repelling carpet will either have their fibres infused with chemicals, or will have their fibres coated with them after they’ve been manufactured.

Advantages of going Stain-Repellent

In addition to the fact that this type of carpet keeps stains at bay, there are several benefits to going the stain-repelling route. One of these is the money savings. Replacement is the only alternative for a carpet that’s become inundated with stains over the years. But stain-repellent carpet can help you avoid the cost of frequent replacement.

Along the lines of saving money, stain-repellent carpet is also one of the more economical to purchase. As well, this type of carpet retains its look, feel and colour. This may be due to the chemicals applied to the carpet, which may also insulate it against fading and help it resist wear and tear.

As far as design is concerned, those who are unsure about choosing a light carpet colour will find they have a host of choices they can be comfortable with in stain-repellent lines of popular brands like Weston Hammer carpets, as well has not having to sacrifice their desire for carpeting in a lighter colour.

Because even the tiniest dirt and liquid particles can be easily cleaned up with a stain-repellent carpet, there is no need to worry about the growth of bacteria. For liquid, because it can all be removed there is no reason to fret that mould and mildew will develop. Not only that, but the cleaner and more hygienic a carpet is, the less attractive it will be to critters like mites and other bugs.

Always Read the Instructions

Although caring for a stain-repellent carpet is virtually effortless, some care is still required. For example, just because a carpet is stain-repellent, doesn’t mean that you can just leave a soiling agent on the carpet for a long period of time without staining the carpet fibres. Some liquids, like acidic lemon juice and ketchup may eat through fibres or the chemicals which coat them, which can reduce the overall stain resistance of your carpets.

Besides foods which can damage carpeting, harmful cleaning agents like bleach should also be avoided. Not only can bleach work through chemical coatings, but depending on the chemicals added to a carpet, may react with them. This could cause harmful fumes to be released into the air, or may have a corrosive effect on carpet fibres.

Depending on the unique needs of your household, stain-repelling carpet can offer a solution that not only stays clean for a long period of time, but maintains its lush appearance and feel. You may even be able to get this type of carpet on sale if you happen to be in the right place at an opportune time.