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Signs you need to replace your carpet

If your carpet is looking a little tired and worn, it might be time to replace it; however, how do you know whether it needs pulling up or if a little TLC can restore it to its former glory?

It looks flat and worn

If your carpet simply looks flat, giving it a good going over with your vacuum’s brush attachment might be enough to give it a new lease of life. Depending on the type of carpet, the action of brushing up the pile and removing ground-in dust and debris might work wonders; however, if it is heavily worn and vacuuming has little to no effect, it is time to replace it.

It is frayed in places

There is no easy fix for fraying, so your carpet will need replacing. Pets with sharp claws can cause fraying in carpets, so opt for something durable – and preferably with a short pile that can withstand busy paws – if you have furry friends in your home. You can disguise small patches of fraying with rugs or move your furniture around, but the only real fix is replacing the carpet.

It is stained

Many stains can be removed using specialist carpet cleaners or traditional home remedies; however, if you have tried everything and stubborn stains remain, replacing your carpet is the only real option. Professional carpet cleaners might have better results than home remedies; however, there are no guarantees. Unless it is a very expensive carpet, the easiest option is often to buy a new one. For rooms such as dining rooms in which spills are common, it is a good idea to opt for a carpet that comes pre-treated with a stain-resistant product.

Your allergies are getting worse

This one might come as a surprise, but carpet fibres can hold on to common allergens such as animal dander, pollen, and dust, even with regular vacuuming. If you find your allergy symptoms worsen, it could be time to give your carpet a deep clean. If this doesn’t help or is not possible, it could well be time to replace your carpet. While smooth flooring such as laminate or vinyl is preferable for allergy sufferers, choose a low pile carpet so there are fewer places for the allergens to cling to if you can’t bear to give up carpeted floors.

It is faded

This is common in rooms that experience a lot of sunlight, and the only option is a replacement. Fading tends to be more noticeable when you move furniture that has been in place for a long time.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Make a small room feel more spacious with these flooring tips

While small rooms can feel cosy and inviting, sometimes you will want to create the illusion of more space. Flooring is a simple way to do this and can make more of a difference than you might think. Here are our top tips to open up a small room and make it feel and look larger.

Opt for light colours

No matter what type of flooring you choose, go for lighter colours to create a spacious feel. Vinyl flooring, laminate flooring and carpets are available in such a vast range of colours that there is bound to be the right light shade for your room. Off-white shades are a great choice and instantly brighten a room, making it feel more spacious. If you are worried about stains or dirt, go for vinyl or laminate rather than carpet, as this is far easier to keep clean and much harder to stain.

If anything in the white family is a little light for your tastes, neutrals are another great choice. Be sure to stick to the lighter end of the spectrum and avoid anything too dark, as this can make your room feel even smaller.

Don’t be afraid to add shine

A gloss finish is another excellent way to create a spacious feel in a small room. The glossy surface will reflect light, making space feel larger and airier. Even if you prefer to go for a darker floor than the colours mentioned above, choosing one with a shine will make your room appear larger and brighter than if you opt for a matte surface. If gloss is a bit much for you, a gentle sheen will have a similar effect. Another advantage is that floors finished with a gloss or sheen tend to be easier to clean, as they have a smoother surface than textured alternatives.

Use pattern to create length

It is commonly known that laying planks of wood, laminate or vinyl across the room’s width creates the illusion that it is wider, which works exceptionally well in smaller spaces. The eye is drawn along the edge of the planks, making the room appear larger than it is. You can similarly use patterned vinyl or carpets; for example, laying a striped carpet so that the stripes run across the width of the room will create the same illusion.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

What is the best flooring for shops?

When buying new flooring for a shop, you need to be confident that it can withstand heavy foot traffic and lots of wear and tear; what’s more, you want it to look great and stay looking new and clean even after months of footfall. Here are some of the best flooring options for shops and the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl flooring for shops

Vinyl flooring has long been a popular retail choice. It is hard-wearing, hygienic and versatile; even better, it looks great and is available in a wider range of styles and designs than ever before. Whether you want flooring that looks like wood, tile or something completely different, you will find the perfect vinyl for your needs. It is also a good budget option, and you will find vinyl flooring at a huge variety of price points.

What about the cons? Well, there aren’t really any cons with vinyl flooring unless you have a high-end store and want a luxe finish, in which case vinyl probably won’t be the best option for you.

Hardwood Flooring

A luxurious choice and one that works incredibly well in exclusive shops, it is difficult to beat the warmth and beauty of hardwood. If properly treated and cared for, hardwood floors can be very durable and last a long time.

The downside is that they are always going to be susceptible to damage from sharp objects and water. It might not be the best idea if your shop is directly on the street, as debris being trampled in from outside all day long can soon take its toll. You will also need to consider rainwater on wet days, whether dripping onto the floor every time the door is opened or from your customers’ clothing, shoes, and umbrellas.

Laminate flooring

Laminates are an excellent choice for shops as long as you choose the right one. You will need a heavy-duty laminate that has been manufactured to deal with lots of foot traffic and wear and tear. Laminate flooring can look just like hardwood, so you should have no problem finding a laminate that works for you even if you want a luxurious appearance. Laminate is easy to clean and requires very little maintenance, making it suitable for most shops.

It is not as susceptible to water damage as hardwood, although you will still want to avoid pools of water sitting on the surface for long periods of time.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Commercial Flooring

How to choose the perfect summerhouse flooring

After the past 18 months, our homes have become our sanctuaries, our workplaces, our beer gardens, and the settings for our staycations. As a result, many of us have built summerhouses or renovated existing garden structures to make them more pleasant to spend time in. The right flooring in your summerhouse can make all the difference, with the best option for you depending on how you primarily use your summerhouse.

While some more basic structures will have a wooden base that it is not possible to add much in the way of flooring to, except perhaps a rug, more permanent structures offer several options. Let’s look at what you should consider when choosing summerhouse flooring:

How do you use the summerhouse?

Is your summerhouse purely a place for sitting with a cold drink on a warm day, or is it used in a variety of ways? Many people use summerhouses for yoga or another exercise. Do you have small children who are more at home playing on the floor than sitting on a chair? If so, you might prefer carpet in your summerhouse. Carpet tiles are great for this purpose because they are easy to lay and can be very hardwearing. It is also simple and cheap to replace the odd tile if it is damaged or stained.

If you use the summerhouse for more strenuous exercise or for hobbies that might make a mess, such as painting, a floor that is easy to clean might suit you better. Vinyl flooring is an excellent option in this case, as it can be mopped or wiped regularly to keep it free of dirt.

Do you need waterproof flooring?

If you like to use your summerhouse all year round, whatever the weather, you are likely to need water-resistant flooring that won’t be damaged by the constant stream of wet or muddy footprints; likewise, if you have cats or dogs who like to curl up in the summerhouse on rainy days, the chances are that they will leave wet and dirty pawprints on the floor. Vinyl is great for a summerhouse floor that needs to be durable and water-resistant. Laminate flooring might also be suitable in some cases, but make sure you check with the manufacturer first.

What style do you want?

If the overall look of your summer house is more important to you than durability, you will simply want to go for the flooring option that suits your decor best; however, always check that your chosen flooring is suitable for laying in a summerhouse.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

The best type of mop for your vinyl flooring

You might think you can use any type of mop on your vinyl flooring; after all, vinyl is famously tough and water-resistant, so why does it matter? It is true to a certain extent that vinyl is durable and pretty easy to care for and clean, but there are some things you should bear in mind when selecting a mop to use on your flooring.

Be wary of steam mops

Steam mops have become increasingly popular in recent years because homeowners like the idea of a deep clean they can easily do themselves; however, steam mops are not always the best choice for vinyl flooring. Although vinyl flooring is water-resistant, it is not necessarily steam resistant; in fact, steam can penetrate the flooring and cause lasting damage. If you have on occasion used a steam mop on your vinyl floor without outwards signs of damage, you might have got away with it so far; however, you should avoid doing so in future unless the manufacturer of your flooring specifically states that it is OK or you have a steam mop designed for use on vinyl floors.

Microfibre mops tend to be the best all-round option for vinyl

Microfibre mops are great for vinyl flooring because they can pick up dirt and dust at the same time as they clean. This means you don’t need to worry about sweeping or vacuuming first unless there is a lot of dirt and debris on your floor. You can even use many microfibre mops dry before wet-mopping, meaning you can get rid of excess dust beforehand and without using separate equipment. Microfibre is also soft and gentle and won’t cause scratches on your flooring.

Avoid mops that deposit too much water

As already mentioned, vinyl is a water-resistant floor covering but you should still avoid leaving pools of water on your floor for long. Traditional string-style mops are fine if they are used damp but can leave pools of water on your floor when used sopping wet. If water sits on the joins in your vinyl flooring for too long, or at the edge of the room where the flooring meets the wall, it can seep through and cause water damage. You should use any type of mop damp rather than dripping wet, so always wring your mop out well before using it on your vinyl flooring.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Is it time to replace your carpet?

How do you decide when it is time to replace your carpet? While you should expect to get several years’ wear out of any quality carpet, some rooms are subjected to more wear and tear than others and might need replacing sooner. Here are a few things to look for when deciding whether your carpet needs replacing.

Stubborn stains

While many stains can be successfully removed if treated correctly and immediately after they occur, others are more stubborn and even professional cleaning might not be able to help. If your carpet has unsightly stains that you simply can’t shift and they are not in locations where they can be hidden with furniture – we have all tried this! – the only thing left to do is replace your carpet. In rooms that tend to suffer a lot of splashes and spills, such as dining rooms, you might consider choosing a carpet with stain protection next time to minimise stains in the future.

Wear and tear

If your carpet is starting to look a little threadbare in places, it is time to replace it. Stair carpets tend to experience the most foot traffic in the home, and most of us tend to step in the same spot each time we go up or down the stairs. This often leads to a visible difference between the carpet in the middle of the stairs and that at the edge of the stairs where no one ever steps. When choosing a new carpet for your stairs, make sure it is labelled as suitable for this purpose and choose an extra hard-wearing one if your stairs are pretty busy!

Wear and tear can also result in frayed patches in places. If you have pets with sharp claws, such as cats and dogs, they can also cause fraying.

Fading and discolouration

Direct sunlight for several hours a day can dramatically fade your carpet after a few years. In some rooms, this might not be noticeable enough to bother you; however, if the discolouration is very obvious, the only remedy is to replace your carpet. If you have problems with fading in certain rooms due to large windows that get the sun for most of the day, try to factor this in when buying a new carpet. You might be better off choosing lighter colours so that the fading isn’t so obvious next time.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Laminate or vinyl: which is best for your bathroom?

The days of carpeted bathrooms are thankfully long gone. Modern bathroom flooring is hygienic, water-resistant and easy to clean, but is it better to use laminate or vinyl? Let’s weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Laminate bathroom flooring

Laminate now features heavily in every room of the home and shows no signs of losing popularity. It used to be the case that there were only a few laminates able to withstand the high levels of moisture in the bathroom; now, there are hundreds of designs to choose from. This makes it easier than ever to find a colour and style you like and that complements your bathroom’s decor perfectly.

If you are tempted by laminate in the bathroom, just be aware that it needs to be properly installed to ensure it is as watertight as possible. Even correctly installed, laminate isn’t 100 per cent waterproof and you should still mop up any splashes and spills as soon after they occur as possible. If water is left on the floor for long periods of time, it can still seep into the joins between the boards and cause swelling and discolouration. If this is likely to be a problem, such as if you have a very busy multi-person household, you might prefer to opt for vinyl instead.

Vinyl bathroom flooring

Vinyl has long been a popular choice for bathroom flooring because it is hard-wearing, tough and water-resistant. It has also long been a great choice if you are on a tight budget. Vinyl flooring is available in so many different finishes that it is possible to get just about any look you want, so don’t worry about being limited to the same few designs that everyone seemed to have in the past!

Like laminate flooring, vinyl needs to be installed properly to ensure it is watertight and long-lasting, but it is often the most practical choice in busy homes. Vinyl is very easy to clean and you can use a number of general-purpose household cleaners on it – but always check the label first. Vinyl is generally warmer to walk on barefoot than laminate, so bear this in mind if you have a cold bathroom and will be glad of the extra warmth in winter. Although vinyl is a hard-wearing flooring, some very cheap brands might not be as durable as you would like, so always choose a reputable retailer.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

Five common carpet myths debunked

Carpets are loved for many reasons, including their comfort, appearance, and luxury; however, various myths persist about this type of floor covering that make some customers think twice about investing in a beautiful carpet for their home.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common misconceptions:

1. Myth: carpets are tough to maintain

Reality: Absolutely not. Today’s modern carpets last beautifully, and you can extend their natural lifespan by vacuuming areas of high traffic in your home. If you do this regularly, it will stop dirt and soil from embedding themselves under the surface pile. Additionally, get your carpet cleaned by a professional every year to keep it looking its best.

2. Myth: you can ruin your carpet by over-cleaning it

Reality: Again, this simply isn’t true. The more you clean your carpet, the better it will look for longer.

3. Myth: carpets emit dangerous chemicals

Reality: there is growing awareness about the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) found in various interior decor materials. There have been news stories in the past that talk about the chemical dangers of that famous ‘new carpet smell’; however, there is nothing to worry about with today’s carpets. These are one of the lowest materials for VOCs in the home, ranking below wall paint; furthermore, extensive research has been carried out into carpets, but no evidence has linked VOC emissions from carpets with ill-health effects. You can enjoy your carpet without health fears.

4. Myth: thicker carpets are best

Reality: thicker carpets indeed provide a cushiony feel, but thinner carpets are often denser and last longer. If you are looking for resilience, choose a dense carpet. The ‘best’ carpet is the one that meets your unique needs. We can help you to identify the right carpet or alternative floor covering for every room in your home.

5. Myth: carpets will ‘bring out’ your allergies

Reality: Again, studies have shown that this is simply untrue; in fact, a carpet can help if you experience airborne allergies, as the fibres help to trap allergens and immobilise them. Rather than going into your lungs, you can simply vacuum them away. Again, we can advise on the best possible carpet materials for your circumstances and your family lifestyle.

Are you ready to find out more about carpets? View our latest flooring collections for inspiration on how to transform the look and feel of your home.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

Three flooring trends for 2021

Interior designers lookout for hot new trends each year, with our homes often taking nuanced inspiration from the styles and fashions that filter down from the haute couture catwalks. Flooring is no different, with new directions constantly emerging that define how we see our homes and how we want them to look.

Are you looking for a fresh new aesthetic? After all, even the most patient homeowner is likely to be keen on a change after a year of being largely stuck at home! Try some of these ideas for size as you plan your next interior project.

1. Wood trends for 2021

Wood is still going to be one of the most sought-after flooring finishes, although many people will opt for hard-wearing alternatives such as laminate or vinyl with a wood-effect finish. Look out for hot shades such as versatile light brown, the full spectrum of greys, coastal-inspired whitewashes, and atmospheric darker browns. This year will focus very much on cool-effect and desaturated trends without warm undertones. These cool shades are perfect for instilling a sense of peace, tranquillity and sophistication in your living space.

2. Textured finishes in 2021

Texture will be a huge trend this year, appearing across carpets, wood, vinyl and laminate flooring alike, with patterns used to suggest texture. For wood and carpets, look for finishes that suggest a reclaimed or distressed effect. Artfully faded or desaturated colours will be popular for carpets; however, a concurrent trend is likely to see contrasting, bold and highly saturated colour choices for a rich, sumptuous finish. These jewel-like colours will bring warmth, energy and vibrancy into an interior and work beautifully in a mixed flooring home to provide visual interest and flexibility.

3. Combined flooring in 2021

The third trend we are currently seeing is a big demand for is mixed or combined flooring. Our customers are looking to create zoning within smaller homes and apartments especially, using flooring and other interior design techniques. Try quality vinyl flooring or laminate flooring in your high-traffic areas such as hallways and kitchens, and invest in warm and cosy carpets for relaxing spaces such as lounges and sitting rooms, bedrooms and perhaps even your home office. We are likely to be working from home for some time yet, so it makes sense to invest in a beautiful, inspiring space that makes the experience as enjoyable as possible.

Which flooring trends are you keen to try in your home in 2021?

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Flooring

How to choose the best carpet for your home office

The home office has come into its own in the past year, with millions more of us working from home. If you have been making do with your existing home office space but want to freshen it up after a year of heavy use, you will no doubt be thinking about painting or papering the walls and replacing the flooring.

Carpet might not be the most popular choice in commercial offices with heavy foot traffic and frequent spills of drinks and food; however, it is a great option for a home office. It muffles sound, so will help to keep your workspace quiet, which is particularly helpful if you live with family members who are also spending more time in the home. Carpet can help to create a quieter and more relaxed ambience, enabling you to stay calm, focus on the task at hand and be as productive as possible.

What type of carpet is best for a home office? There is no right and wrong answer, with the best type for you depending on several factors. Here are a few important things to think about before you choose a new carpet:

What type of office chair do you use?

If you have a wheeled chair and are constantly rolling yourself back and forth to the printer or other equipment, you won’t want a carpet with a deep pile. A short pile carpet with a firm surface is best for wheeled furniture and won’t restrict your movement.

Do you need to brighten up your office?

If the answer is yes, a neutral carpet is a great way to do so while keeping the space feeling calming and professional. If your office is already bright and well-lit, you might choose a darker carpet to create a warmer feel.

How formal do you need your office to be?

If you want your office to have the feel of a formal place of work and like to create a real boundary between your home life and your work life, you will require a different office to someone who prefers to feel relaxed and at home in their office. If your office is used as a place of both work and leisure – perhaps you sit and relax in there sometimes or share it with other family members – a deeper pile carpet can create a more homely feel.

Posted on by Paul Smith | Posted in Carpets

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