Is it time to Rekindle your Romance with Wall to Wall Carpeting?

How long has it been since you had wall-to-wall carpeting? You may have happily ripped up and thrown away your carpeting in favour of hard flooring. And let’s face it; there’s nothing like the look of wood on your floors. The same is true of stone, which can add a real rustic feel to any home. With great looks like these, why on Earth would you ever want to go back to wall-to-wall? You may be surprised to learn that there are many reasons to fall in love with carpets again.

Affordable Luxury, Your Style

Today’s carpeting is as luxurious as it is stylish. And it doesn’t matter if your tastes are conservative, creative or in between; there are enough colours, piles and patterns on the market to please even the most discriminating tastes. Anything goes these days; your carpet can be the focal point of your room, or just provide a lovely neutral foundation for bold colours and patterns placed elsewhere.

There are many affordable carpet brands and styles on the market as well, with many suppliers offering discounts on bulk purchases, making it incredibly easy to get in on great deals.

A Safer Home

Carpeting can make risky areas like stairs and corners far easier to navigate. The addition of carpeting can provide the soft and yielding surfaces that children need, whilst providing added security and traction to elderly residents. And pets no longer have to worry about hitting the walls when they take a corner a little too fast.

A Lower Energy Bill

In these days where the price of heating your home seems to get higher each year, wall-to-wall carpeting can be a budget saver. This is due to it’s insular properties. In the winter, carpeting and underlay trap precious heat, giving your home’s heating source a break. The less times your heating system has to turn on, the better off your pocket book will be.

Closer Quarters Call For Better Noise Reduction

Carpeting may be something to reconsider if life has gotten noisier in your home. Small children don’t need to quiet down as much with carpeting in place; instead, they can play to their heart’s content without fear of disturbing the neighbours. The same is true in condo situations where neighbours may be able to hear your radio or television. It absorbs the vibrations from sound, even more so when you use a quality underlay beneath. Between floors, carpeting acts as a barrier, reducing the transmission of sound from the floors above to rooms located below.

Maintenance just got Easier

Yes, your hard floors have shine and incredible texture. But how much work are you doing to keep them looking that way, especially if you have pets? With wall-to-wall carpeting, all the maintenance that’s needed is to vacuum and give it the occasional cleaning. Furthermore, the stain-proofing available with products like Brockway carpets make stain removal a job which takes only a few seconds. When you compare this with the constant sweeping of dust and hairballs on a hard floor, the benefits of wall-to-wall carpeting become easier to see.

Make Your Space Look Bigger

Nothing adds expansiveness to a room like carpeting. Of course, area rugs and hardwood do have their charm. But they also have their place. With wall-to-wall, your room can enjoy a feeling of undisturbed openness that rugs and other flooring simply cannot match.

The Best of Both Worlds

If you want the look of wall-to-wall but keep the benefits of your existing hard flooring, consider an ‘almost wall -to-wall” option. This type of carpeting can be laid right over existing flooring, but with the edges exposed. This will leave a hard-floor border to frame your room in style.

How Important Is Your Flooring’s Underlay, Really?

If you no longer love your underlay, it might be time change things up. But before you go and purchase the first underlay you see, you need to know that they are not all created equally. Different types of underlay perform different tasks, and choosing the incorrect underlay for your flooring can result in a lot of money wasted.

When looking for underlay, the object of the game is to get the right one for your flooring type.

Types of Underlay

There are several types of underlay on the market. However, for the home, underlay is available in PU (polyurethane) foam and rubber. Polyurethane foam underlay is characterised by its light weight. PU foam tends to recover more quickly from weight, making its springy nature ideal for areas of high traffic. It also offers a high degree of sound reduction as well as being a heat insulator.

Rubber underlay has been on the market a long time, and where springiness is needed, a higher quality rubber underlay is best. However, in areas like an office where soft carpeting is not a requirement, lower-cost underlay will usually do the job. The percentage of rubber content usually determines the cost of this type of underlay. The benefit of rubber underlay is that it can cost less, which can mean that more can be purchased to cover larger areas.

Does TOG Rating Matter?

The TOG rating of underlay does matter, and for several reasons. First, it tells you how well a particular underlay will insulate your flooring. A low TOG rating on underlay indicates that it will be better at allowing heat to rise, making it ideal for floors with underfloor heating. A high rating will indicate that an underlay is best for thicker flooring such as carpeting.

The Ideal Carpet Underlay

If you are looking for underlay for your carpeting, then the first thing that must be considered is where in your home the carpeting is located. A flight of stairs will benefit most from underlay that is thin, where you may desire the more soft and luxurious feel that thicker underlay can provide in a bedroom.

Underlay for Wood, Vinyl and Laminate Flooring

It is just as important to have underlay for your wood, vinyl and laminate flooring as it is for under your carpeting. This is because underlay provides the insulation needed to keep cold air from coming up through the floor. As well, adding underlay to your wood, laminate or Karndean wood flooring will protect it from the potentially-damaging effects of moisture, traffic, and everyday mishaps.

Other Benefits of Underlay for your Floors

In addition to the sound and heat insulating benefits, underlay can also help keep your flooring looking newer for longer. Its shock-absorbing quality allows for the quick recovery of floors from applied weight, but it also helps even out the height of flooring for a cleaner and newer-looking appearance.

Contrary to popular belief, carpet underlay can actually help reduce allergens. It works to trap dust before it becomes airborne and irritates the eyes and nasal passages of allergy sufferers.

When looking for the right underlay, it’s a good idea to remember that the higher the density of foam used, the higher the quality it will be. Foam density can be determined by consulting the weight per cubic metre. A high value will indicate a denser foam.

The thickness of the underlay is another consideration. For areas needing flooring that lasts, consider a foam underlay having both a high thickness as well as a high-density weight value.

Purchasing underlay will increase the overall cost of the flooring in your home. However, it should be looked upon as a worthy investment that will save you the cost to purchase new flooring every few years.

Here’s how to Get The Floors You Want, Even If You’re On a Budget

Getting new flooring can seem like a distant dream to some, especially during times of economic instability. But a shaky economy doesn’t have to mean that you have to wait for new floors; with a little careful planning, you can get your dream flooring without breaking the bank to do it.

Consider both Cost and Quality

When you’re on a budget, cost is the main worry when considering investment into new flooring. However, this doesn’t mean that quality should not be thought of. In fact, the quality of your flooring is what will actually save you money in the long run.

Be sure to get the required info on flooring specifics, such as what it’s made of. Then, research the individual components to determine which ones will last for the time you need them to.

Buy Enough

There’s nothing more frustrating than thinking you have enough flooring, only to discover that you need to go out and buy more. But this can be completely avoided, simply by measuring and re-measuring to make absolutely sure you know exactly how much flooring you need before you buy it. When doing this, don’t forget the amount of flooring that will become wastage once its been fit.

Plan for every Eventuality

In addition to ensuring you have enough flooring to cover your required area, you will also need to ensure that plans have been made for other potential costs. If you are installing flooring yourself, then you may want to leave a cushion that allows for extra wastage in case mistakes are made. This will be of great assistance to you, as it will save you from having to go back to the store in the middle of your installation for additional flooring.

Another item to plan for are potential additional charges. These can include any extra delivery costs, installation charges (where you’re having someone install your flooring for you) or double charges from a flooring fitter if not enough flooring is available for them to fit.

Pick and Choose your Rooms

In prioritising which areas need flooring most, you can have the best of both worlds: new flooring without having to spend a lot of money at the outset. Sit down and decide which floors you can live with for the time being. This will allow you to spread the cost of new flooring out over time.

Don’t Sacrifice Looks for Price

You can get the look you want without paying a high price. This is thanks to the large number of low-cost alternatives to real wood, stone and tile flooring. For example, If you love the look of wood, but find the cost of real or engineered wood prohibitive, you may benefit a great deal from a product like Karndean flooring. This flooring offers the luxurious look of wood but is made of cost-effective vinyl. Similarly, there are many types of hard flooring that look just like stone when installed, but come in at a fraction of the price.

Use Cheaper Underlay

Everyone wants a luxurious feel when they walk across their floors. But often, this feel comes with a higher price. If you can deal with less cushion underfoot, choosing a lower-cost underlay can add up to extra savings on the cost of your flooring. And you can always install new underlay at a time when you have more in your budget to spend.

You can also install flooring yourself to save money. But you may need to do a bit of research if it’s your first time. If you’re hiring a fitter, be sure and compare prices before you choose so that you can get the most affordable option.

Flooring, Underlay and TOG Rating

In your search for flooring, you may have heard the term “TOG rating”. The definition of this term is important to understand when choosing underlay for your flooring.

The TOG rating is actually a unit of measurement used in the textile industry to indicate a product’s ability to hold heat. The higher the TOG rating of a product, the better an insulator it is. For example, a duvet with a high TOG rating would trap a large percentage of body heat and be best for winter use, where a duvet with a low rating would work best for summer months.

TOG Ratings and your Flooring

The TOG rating of any material will have a significant impact on your purchasing decision. Of course, another factor will be how much area you need to cover. And remember that there are two TOG ratings to consider here: that of the underlay, and that of the flooring which will be placed over it.

All carpets sold in Bedfordshire have a TOG rating. Again, the higher the rating, the better carpeting will be at trapping heat. Underlay is the same. The type of underlay with the most insulating properties is made of felt, and usually has a TOG rating of 1 or higher.

Which TOG rating you will need your flooring and underlay to have will depend on many factors. First, you will need to consider the environmental conditions in the room you plan to install your underlay and flooring. If the room is already warm enough, then you may only need products having a lower TOG rating. But a room that may be damp or tends to have a lot of air flow may need the added insular properties of products with a higher TOG rating.

Another important consideration is where your flooring is located. For example, you may not wish to use a thick underlay of high TOG rating in a musty basement, as it may trap moisture in addition to heat.

TOG Ratings and Different Flooring and Heating Systems

In areas where underfloor heating will be installed or already exists, underlay can be suitable. However, it must have a low TOG rating, typically no higher than 0.35. The reason for this is because this rating of underlay will allow for heat to be transferred from the system to the floor covering itself, where it is needed most.

For carpeting, the TOG rating of underlay is set at a recommended level of 2.5 TOG and above. Where hardwood flooring is considered, a rating of 1 TOG or higher is suggested.

If you have a concrete floor, you will need some kind of moisture barrier, which underlay can provide if it’s of a type suited to this purpose.

Additional Considerations

Some additional items may need to be considered that go beyond the TOG rating itself. For example, there are some situations where underlay should not be used, such as when an uneven sub floor needs to be levelled, or where moisture must be allowed to escape. Where either of these is a concern, other products such as membranes and floor levelling compounds will provide the needed result. One moisture levels have been controlled and/or the floors levelled, this can be the ideal time to consider your flooring and underlay options, and the TOG rating of each.

In cases where you wish to keep existing flooring but increase the TOG rating by using double the underlay, proceed with extreme caution; underlay should never be doubled up, regardless of the circumstances. Doing so can actually cause your floors to sustain much damage because two layers of underlay will slide against one another, and ultimately, cause your floor itself to slide.