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Which is the best carpet for homes with cats?

If you have feline family members, you will know that cats just love to scratch. It is vital that cats have somewhere to scratch, as this helps them to relax and is necessary for keeping their claws in tip-top condition. They also have glands in their paws and like to leave their scent on their territory. Adding a couple of scratching posts to your home can help to direct your cats to scratch-appropriate surfaces, as it is not ideal when your beloved cat starts scratching your carpet. There are also the issues of grubby paws traipsing in from outdoors and the hair that gathers in your pet’s favourite chilling-out spots, so let’s take a look at the best carpets for homes with cats.

Choose cut pile, not loop

Loop carpets are not a great match for sharp claws, as there is much more scope for the claws to get caught. Cut pile carpets don’t have this problem. While cats might still scratch at cut pile carpets, there is much less danger of the snagging that will ruin the appearance of your carpet. If your cat does attack a section of carpet – stairs are often popular spots – and it looks a little dishevelled, you can often pull out any loose fibres or snip off pulled threads with a pair of sharp scissors. Dense pile carpets are much more forgiving.

Steer away from light colours and embrace patterns

It goes without saying that a light cream carpet will quickly start to look dirty if your cat is walking over it with muddy or wet paws. Darker colours are far more forgiving; however, if you don’t want a dark carpet and are set on lighter colours, a patterned carpet with a variety of different shades can be a great compromise. Patterns such as stripes are excellent at disguising grubby patches and are less likely to show cat hair, which is perfect if you don’t have the time or inclination to vacuum every couple of days.

Opt for synthetic fibres

Synthetic carpets are great for homes with cats, as they tend to be tough, durable, and easy to maintain. They are available at a range of price points and the quality today is excellent, no matter what style you are looking for. Tough synthetic fibres stand up well to scratching, with many brands also offering great stain resistance.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

What is the best flooring for your new conservatory?

You have recently taken the plunge and decided to add a conservatory to your home. You have done the hard work of choosing the style and extras, and now it is time to finish it off before you can enjoy it. You might have ideas about how you want the flooring to look, but which type of flooring is the most practical? Let’s take a look at three of the most popular conservatory flooring options and the pros and cons of each.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is an excellent choice for a number of reasons. It looks attractive, perfectly mimicking the appearance of wood; it is available at a range of price points; and it is hardwearing and low-maintenance. It is also resistant to UV rays, which is important in a sunny conservatory. If you want a cosier vibe, simply add a rug. Laminate is available in a huge range of finishes and colours, meaning you will have no trouble finding your perfect style. Laminate doesn’t have many cons, although you will want to ensure you choose one that can cope with high levels of moisture if you are worried about wet feet coming in straight from outside.

Vinyl

Another excellent choice, it is hard to find a more durable and low-maintenance flooring. Vinyl flooring is available in a limitless variety of colours and styles, meaning you can replicate anything from real wood to stone or opt for a more contemporary and vibrant finish. It is easy to clean and will be able to cope with all the muddy and wet footprints you can throw at it. While it is not warm to walk on in cooler months, you can easily add a rug for a cosy touch. There aren’t many cons when it comes to vinyl – it just comes down to your own preferences.

Carpet

Carpet’s main advantage is that it instantly adds warmth and a welcoming feel. Carpets are soft and warm to walk on all year round, which is perfect if you intend to use your conservatory even in the depths of winter. It also creates the feeling that you are in another room of the home rather than an ‘outdoor room’ – if this is what you want, carpet is a great choice. One negative aspect of carpet is that it is not the best option for conservatories that are likely to have a constant stream of feet – and perhaps paws – traipsing in from the garden. Be sure to add a sturdy doormat outside and another inside the door, and encourage everyone to remove their shoes.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Home Office Flooring

Whether you’re creating a new home office from scratch or just refreshing your existing space, the right flooring can make all the difference. We take a look at the pros and cons of various flooring types you might be considering for your home office.

Carpet

If you want to create a comfortable, welcoming feel in your office, you can’t go wrong with carpet. Patterned carpets or very brightly coloured designs can be distracting in a workplace and might look dated quickly, so you will probably be better off with a plain carpet. Neutral colours are generally calming and will complement a wide range of furnishings and decor styles. When it comes to carpet pile, it’s important to think about how you use your office. If you tend to work in slippers (or bare feet!), you can get away with more luxurious deep piles. If you wear shoes in your office, you’ll want something more hard-wearing and practical. Likewise, if you have a wheeled office chair and tend to scoot back and forth between your desk and printer or filing cabinet, a shorter pile carpet will create less resistance and won’t be flattened. Remember to add protective cups to furniture legs to prevent damage.

Vinyl Flooring

A less homely option than carpet, vinyl flooring is a practical and durable option. This is a great choice if your office is located in an outbuilding and you’ll be walking directly into it from outdoors. Vinyl is incredibly easy to clean and is difficult to damage. You can get vinyl flooring in a huge range of designs, including wood and tile effects. The colour options are endless too, meaning you’ll always find something to suit your taste. If your furry friends tend to accompany you into your home office, vinyl is an excellent practical option – muddy paw prints can be wiped away easily with a damp cloth or mop.

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is another practical option, although it can be cold underfoot in the winter. If you want to add a bit of warmth, you can easily lay a rug over laminate flooring. Laminate offers many of the same benefits as vinyl, but if you’re installing it in an out-building office, make sure you choose a laminate that can handle moisture, as there will be times when you’re walking over it with wet feet on rainy days. Laminate is very hard-wearing and provides a smooth surface for wheeled chairs or other office furniture. You can add protective felt to the legs of furniture to prevent scratches on your floor.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

How to Choose a New Carpet for Your Stairs

The carpet on our stairs suffers probably the most wear and tear of any flooring in the home with constant foot traffic on a relatively small space. It also needs to be able to cope with dirt and debris well, from shoes and grubby paws – if you have pets! For this reason, it’s important to choose the right carpet for the stairs. You need something that can withstand heavy traffic and that also provides a safe surface suitable for stairs. Here we take a look at some of the best types of carpets for your staircase and what you should take into account when choosing.

Which Fibre Is Best?

Synthetic nylon is a great choice for stair carpets because it is strong, durable and hard-wearing. Wool is another good option because it can repel stains and dirt. It is often a more expensive option, but the price needs to be balanced out against how long your carpet will last for. Another popular choice for stairs, Berber carpets feature a looped pile that can withstand heavy foot traffic. If you’re working to a strict budget, nylon might be the best option, and you’ll find a huge variety of styles and colours to complement your hallway decor.

Consider Patterned Carpet

While you might have your heart set on a stunning cream carpet to brighten up your hallways and landing, this might not be the best choice in a busy home. Dirt will show quickly, and you might find your light-coloured carpet needs a lot of TLC to keep it looking its best. While dark colours will not show dirt and wear and tear less, a patterned carpet is a great option if you still want lighter colours. Stripes, for example, will disguise dirt and wear well, and you can still choose a carpet with lighter colours in it.

Don’t Go Too Thick

You might love the idea of a thick, bouncy carpet on the stairs, but carpets that are too thick are difficult to lay on stairs. The carpet has to be fitted very closely to the nose of each stair in order to provide a safe – and attractive – finish.

Trust the Manufacturer

When choosing a new carpet, it’s vital you check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Look for a carpet that is labelled as being suitable for use on stairs. This will indicate that it is durable enough to withstand the heavy wear and tear a stair carpet will be subjected to as well as letting you know that it is a safe option.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

What are the benefits of laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring has enjoyed massive popularity over the past couple of decades. It is now one of the go-to floor coverings for millions of homeowners, but what are the benefits of this type of flooring for you and your home?

Huge range of styles and colours

The almost endless variety of colours and designs is a massive bonus for anyone with a fixed decor scheme in mind. As laminate flooring has become more popular, manufacturers have expanded their lines to offer just about every colour and style possible. From bleached pine to darkest ebony, you will find the exact finish you want.

Versatile

Laminate can safely be used in any room of the home, meaning it has never been easier to create a pleasing and smooth flow between spaces. Ensure your laminate is suitable for high moisture rooms if you want to install it in a kitchen, bathroom or utility room. Laminate can also be used in conservatories and hallways for a seamless look.

Low maintenance

If you have ever had hardwood floors, you will know just what a nightmare upkeep can be – not to mention how much it can cost! Laminate provides the same classic look as hardwood but without the need for specialist polishing, repairing, varnishing or waxing. You can rely on laminate to last you for years, and even if anything does happen, it is pretty easy to simply replace one plank with another.

Great for allergy sufferers

One of the biggest plus points of laminate flooring is that it is great for anyone who suffers from allergies. As laminate is smooth, there is nowhere for pesky allergens – such as pollen, dust or animal dander – to hide. Compare this with a carpet where there can be countless particles trapped deep in the pile.

Easy to clean

It couldn’t be easier to keep your laminate looking clean and brand-new. In most cases, vacuuming is the easiest way to remove any dust or debris; however, if your floor gets dirty or needs a little refresh, most laminates can be mopped or wiped with a damp cloth. Ensure your cloth or mop is only damp and not sopping wet, as water can get between the floorboards if left sitting on the surface for too long. You can also sweep it using a broom or brush if there is a lot of debris.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Laminate Flooring

Is it time for a new carpet?

Are you unsure as to whether your carpet needs replacing? This quick checklist will help you to decide whether it is time to say out with the old and in with the new.

Does it show signs of wear and tear?

There are different levels of wear, ranging from slight flattening all the way to frayed edges or threadbare patches. Some flattened patches that have borne the brunt of foot traffic or have been under furniture for an extended period will be easy enough to fluff up again with a little TLC; however, if you are starting to notice areas that just can’t be rejuvenated even by a good going over with your vacuum’s brush attachment, it is probably time to look for a replacement.

Is it discoloured?

Sunlight can dramatically affect carpet over time, which may be more noticeable on brightly coloured and patterned carpets. It is up to you to decide how much fading you can live with; for example, fading in bright and sunny rooms may be fairly uniform and only really noticeable when you move your furniture. In rooms where only part of the floor is hit by bright sunlight, fading can be far more prominent and can make the room look uncared for. If you need carpet for a room that is exposed to strong sunlight for long periods, opt for one that is more fade resistant. Venetian blinds can also help to direct the sunlight away from the carpet.

Is it stained?

Assuming you treated any stains as soon as possible after they occurred and in the correct manner, the only thing for it, if they are stubborn and just can’t be removed, is to replace the whole carpet. If there are stains you have been ignoring for a while and haven’t tried specialist products on, it is definitely worth having a go before ripping the whole thing up. Make sure you always check any stain removing products are suitable for the type of carpet you have.

Does it smell?

It shouldn’t be a surprise that carpets pick up and cling onto all kinds of smells over time, but many of us don’t realise just how whiffy they can get! Smells of food, pets, smoke and damp can be difficult to remove. If you have tried to freshen up your carpet but the bad smells always return, it is probably time to cut your losses and replace it.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

What are the biggest interior trends for 2022?

If you are planning to makeover your home in 2022, you are probably wondering what the big trends in interiors are going to be. Over the past two years, most of us have spent more time at home than ever; therefore, it is unlikely to be a surprise to learn that comfort has become much more important when it comes to interior design. This can be seen in flooring by the fact that carpets are making something of a comeback after losing ground to wood, laminate floors and vinyl flooring in recent years. What else is on the horizon for our home decor?

Colour trends

Green is the biggest colour of 2022, with everything from deep emerald to lighter grey-greens making a big splash. We are not suggesting that you lay green flooring throughout your home; instead, if you opt for green decor, you will find wood or laminate complements it well. Deeper greens look striking with dark, rich wooden tones, while softer greens work well with pale wood. Grey is still popular, as it has been for a while now, although warmer neutrals are expected to take over this year. The colour and type of flooring you opt for in a warm neutral colour scheme will depend on the colour family you have chosen and what sort of feel you want to create in your room. For a rustic-luxe finish, warm wooden laminates are hard to beat, while a sumptuous deep-pile carpet in cream or mushroom is perfect for a luxurious bedroom.

1970s influence

The 70s have been inching their way into our interiors and are going to be everywhere this year. The colours associated with the 70s, such as mustard and terracotta, will be big news, especially as they work very well with the warm neutral trend mentioned above. In the world of furniture, expect to see sleek 70s-style legs and lots of teak. When it comes to flooring, you will be spoilt for choice if you want to embrace this trend. Traditional shag carpets will be top of many people’s lists when they picture 70s flooring, with patterned vinyl also set to be popular.

Bring the outside in

With our homes becoming so important as sanctuaries over the past two years, more and more of us are trying to bring elements of the natural world into our homes to help us relax and stay mindful. Natural fibres or materials, such as wood, sisal and coir, are favoured for their eco-credentials, appearance, and the ambience they provide.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Does your carpet need a spring clean?

Everyday wear and tear can soon leave your carpet looking less than its best, so it is essential to give it a thorough clean every so often. The start of the year is a great time to deep clean your carpet and leave it looking fresh and new – you might be surprised what a difference it makes! Here are some ways you can give your tired-looking carpet a new lease of life.

Remove stains

Nothing ages a carpet or makes it look uncared for like stains. It is always best to remove stains as soon as they appear; however, there will be times when life gets in the way, or you don’t have the right products or equipment to hand. Give your carpet a once-over and identify any stains that need working on. There are countless products on the market to treat all manner of stains, so try a couple if the first doesn’t work. Many stains can even be removed with a simple mixture of warm water and laundry detergent, so try this before you move on to specialist formulations. It can even remove chocolate!

Use a vacuum powder to remove odours

They might have fallen out of fashion a little in recent years, but traditional vacuum powders are a great way to refresh your carpets and leave them smelling fantastic instantly. Sprinkle the powder over the carpet, leave it for the length of time directed on the packaging, then vacuum it. These powders come in a range of fragrances and are an excellent way to eliminate any lingering smells you have noticed clinging to your carpet.

Use your vacuum properly

If you are usually in a rush to finish vacuuming your carpet, you might not always use the correct brush attachments; in fact, many of us use the same attachment for our whole home, no matter what flooring we have. Take the time to learn which attachment is specially designed for carpet and give your floor a good going over. Using the correct attachment can make a huge difference, getting deep into the fibres of your carpet to remove dust and dirt. It will also leave your carpet looking fluffed up and bouncy as opposed to flattened.

Hire a carpet cleaner
If your carpet needs a deeper clean than you can provide, it is worth hiring a carpet cleaner. You will get a professional deep clean that will leave your carpet looking good as new, and it won’t break the bank.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Could your business benefit from safety flooring?

Although we often associate safety flooring with hospitals and schools, there are many other environments where safety flooring is required. Care homes are probably the most obvious example, with commercial kitchens, children’s play areas and accessible bathrooms other locations where safety flooring might be necessary. Here we take a look at some of the most popular types of safety flooring and the benefits of each.

Cushioned flooring

Cushioned flooring is frequently found in leisure and sports facilities and children’s play areas. It provides a cushioned landing for anyone who falls and can help prevent serious injury in some cases. Cushioned flooring is generally manufactured from tough vinyl, which means it is durable and easy to clean.

Non-slip flooring

Non-slip flooring is vital in a range of settings, especially where the floor might sometimes be wet. Bathrooms and sports changing rooms obviously spring to mind when talking about non-slip flooring, as these rooms can often have water on the floor, but what about all the commercial properties that have doors facing directly onto the street? In wet weather, it is all too easy for your floor to become a wet and muddy mess with slipping potential. Commercial kitchens are another example of where non-slip flooring can be extremely beneficial. Non-slip flooring can help put your mind at rest and prevent avoidable accidents on your premises.

Hygienic flooring

Flooring with anti-bacterial or anti-microbial properties is becoming increasingly popular and efficient. Such flooring often contains, or is coated with, a special antimicrobial component. This helps provide protection against bacteria, fungi, mildew and other elements by restricting microorganism growth.

Accessible flooring

It is vital for all commercial premises to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, which obviously includes wheelchair users, mobility aid users, and anyone who has difficulty walking. The type of flooring you install can have a huge impact on the accessibility of your premises; for example, going back to the non-slip flooring mentioned earlier, generic flooring types can be very slippery when wet – and even when dry in some cases. In addition to the type of flooring, you need to consider the joins in the flooring. Small ‘steps’ between different types of flooring might be barely noticeable to you but could cause a tripping hazard for someone with mobility issues or an impediment to a wheelchair user.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

What is your carpet style?

Are you in the market for a new carpet but confused by the different terms and weaves? Here is a simple guide to the most common carpet types to help you choose.

Twist pile carpet

This is basically what it sounds like – the carpet pile is twisted to produce a textured finish that is great if you want a more rustic, homely vibe. These carpets are hardwearing and work well in busy rooms of the home. They are available in a wide range of colours, including solid shades and heathered finishes that create a subtle flecked appearance to break up the base colour. Twist pile carpets are extremely popular and are a practical choice that also looks great.

Loop pile carpet

This carpet also offers a textured finish with the additional benefit of being extremely hardwearing. Loop pile carpets are perfect for all rooms in the house, especially high-traffic areas such as hallways and landings. The nature of the pile means that this type of carpet is great for disguising foot tracks, which are the flattened patches of carpet that can appear on the busiest thoroughfares in your home such as the stairs. Loop pile carpets are great for eliminating foot tracks and look attractive too.

Saxony carpet

One of the most luxurious carpets, the Saxony is made up of twisted fibres that stand upright for a soft, cushioned feeling underfoot. These carpets are dense, making them perfect for most rooms, especially those where you might often be walking barefoot. Saxony carpets are available in a huge variety of colours, meaning they will fit in with any decor.

Woven carpet

The ultimate traditional carpet style, woven carpets have been around for hundreds of years and remain popular today. They are often made from pure wool or a combination of wool and synthetic fibres, giving them excellent longevity. Rather than cheaper carpets that have the pattern simply printed onto the surface, the pattern is woven into the carpet. Traditionally, woven carpets consist of deep, rich colours, making them perfect for traditional or period homes. Woven carpets are known for their ability to bounce back after being stood on or having furniture placed on them.

Tufted carpet

This type of carpet involves the fibres being pulled through a base, either by hand or machine. This is a highly durable carpet and is great for most rooms of the home. You will also find this method used in the manufacture of rugs. Tufted carpets are dyed after the fibres have been added and you will find them in an endless array of colours and tones.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

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