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educationHelping you choose the perfect floor… 

Learn about Carpet Pile

Learn about Carpet Backings

Learn about Vinyl

Learn about Wooden Flooring

level-loopLevel Loop Pile is made by weaving even loops of yarn into carpet backing at both ends.  This type of carpet is very durable and track resistant as well as having a natural, casual appearance even when made from synthetic fibres. Higher loops create a more luxurious appearance.  Level loop piles with short and densely packed loops are easy to clean and so offer a good blend between luxury and practicality.  This type of carpet is ideal for high traffic areas. The loops can be vunerable to pulling from pets claws etc.

multi-level-loopMulti-level Loop Pile is like level loop pile except that the loop heights vary (usually two to three different loop heights) creating an informal, random textured apperance.  This type of carpet is very forgiving for marks and stains and therefore ideal for high traffic areas and family rooms. The loops can be vunerable to pulling from pets claws etc.

These carpets combine fibres that have been cut with ones that have been looped. This provides great scope for creating surface textures and patterns in both solid and multiple colours. The multi-level finish is excellent for hiding footprints and stains making it ideal for high traffic areas.

saxonySaxony Carpets are tightly twisted cut piles that are heat-set straight.  They consist of two or more fibres twisted together in a yarn. The tips of the fibres remain very distinct, rather than blending together creating a soft texture and elegant finish. Saxonies show every footprint and vacuum-cleaner mark so are ideally suited to more occasional rooms in the home. Choosing a more textured variation will improve the practicality. These carpets have medium durability.

The best-selling type of carpet is textured cut pile. Cutting looped carpet fibres at the top creates cut pile with yarn bundles standing straight. Cut pile is less resistant to crushing than other types of carpet.

velvet-plushVelvet Carpets (sometimes called ‘velour’ or ‘plush’) have a sheared surface pile giving a smooth, soft, luxurious finish. The yarn contains very little twist enabling the ends to blend together, further enhancing the overall finish. Velvet carpets tend to ‘shade’ with heavy use. Footprints show easily and the colour looks different from place to place because fibres lying in different directions reflect the light differently. They are a beautiful luxury – but perhaps best kept to occasional rooms.

(pronounced free-say) is a highly, tightly twisted cut pile carpet with a dense, low pile surface. Its coarse, pebbly texture is very durable and perfectly suited for high traffic areas. The short fibres tend to curl in different directions at the surface hiding footprints, dust and vacuum marks.

Shag Pile
is making a come back from the 70’s. The pile can be up to 50mm long and casual in texture, creating a truly deep, luxurious feel. The surface flattens easily and can lack durability.

With so many variations of carpet there are different types to meet all requirements and budgets. Most carpets are now available in more than one backing option so weather your needs require a short term solution, budget based decision or a carpet with a higher wear and durability there are now options available to suit your every need. Knowing which type of carpet you require for your specific needs therefore is highly important so this guide has been created in order to help assist you in choosing the flooring that meets your specific requirements.

Felt Backed Carpet 

Felt backed carpet was originally designed as a cheaper alternative to Hessian backed carpet or Action backed carpets that both require fitting on underlay and gripper. The carpet pile on felt backed carpets is generally made of synthetic fibres and the felt backing on the carpet is designed to act as a built in underlay which helps to improve comfort and reduce costs as underlay is not required for the installation of carpets with this type of backing. Felt backed carpets were designed to be fitted directly to the sub floor using either spray adhesive or double sided tape. Customers are often misled on the correct installation methods of fitting felt backed carpets. This type of backing is not suitable for fitting on underlay and gripper for obvious reasons. Barbs on the gripper rods and teeth on the carpet stretcher can pierce through the felt backing on the carpet. When the carpet is then stretched out flat it is possible for the backing on the carpet to be torn, felt is only a fabric material and is not specifically designed to stretch in the same was as an action backed carpet would do. Carpets with this type of backing can help reduce costs and are ideal for use in rented accommodations where a shorter term solution is required or where there are budget limitations.

Secondary / Action backed Carpets

Secondary or Action backed carpets are the two main backing types that come on the vast majority of carpets. This type of backing is ideal for fitting on underlay and gripper due to the specific design of the backing. Pile is typically punched (using needled machinery) into pre formed woven backing fabric. This is then bonded to a second stabilising layer using latex. During installation the carpet is fixed to the gripper rods, these rods have barbs which are set at a 45 degree angle when stretched out in the opposite direction the backing of the carpet grips on to the barbs which in turn pulls the carpet tight and flat to the floor. This type of backing is a lot harder wearing than felt backed carpets and as a result carpets with this type of backing generally last a lot longer than carpets with a felt backing.

Jute / Hessian backed carpets

Manufactured in a similar way to secondary backed carpets, Jute is applied as a stabilising layer to a pre tufted primary layer. Second only to cotton, jute is an environmentally sustainable naturally sourced vegetable fibre from the Asian continent. One drawback is its biodegradable potential to brown and rot if poorly treated or installed in the wrong environment. Yet thanks to its organic origins its initial pliability helps ensure a secure and tight fit and stiffening over time helps aid the stability of the pile fabric. Jute shares all the same advantages as secondary backed or Action backed carpets and is installed in the same way using underlay and gripper. Carpets with this type of backing are very durable and generally more desirable due to organic origins being in keeping with organic wool fibres and usage with sisal and seagrass weaves.


Woven  Often referred to as Wilton carpets due to their particular construction, Wilton Carpets were among the first & few to begin and continue this method of manufacture. Simultaneously weaving the front & back of a carpet intensifies labour, but yields a supremely strong material. Using a majority of wool content, Axminster remains a luxurious and expensive choice with virtually limitless patterns and colours. Wiltons & Belgian-Wiltons however are typically highly defined tufted polypropylene available in limited patterns with 4-5 colours.

Although typically expensive, its advantages are:

  • Unique range of available patterns.
  • High tuft definition & density.
  • Superior durability and appearance retention.
  • Polypropylene varieties are also stain resistant.

Gel/Latex & Bitumen

Gel/Latex & Bitumen  These are both pre-made and man-made backing formats. Pile-fibres are literally stuck to the backing of choice. These are typically more suited to contract/commercial environments but also very well suited to domestic areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, or utility areas.

The main advantages include:

  • Backings being impervious to moisture.
  • Contract/commercial specifications cater for heavy traffic environments.
  • Bitumen backed carpet-tiles are installed/replaced with relative ease, leave little waste, and are easily maintained.
  • Like felt-backed carpets, these can be adhered to the floor or excluding carpet tiles, fitted above an underlay although using underlay requires a double-stick fitting where underlay is adhered to the floor and the carpet adhered to the underlay.

Luxury Vinyl Tiles

Luxury Vinyl Tiles are hardwearing high quality flooring products that come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and designs . They have a multi-layered construction that is designed to increase the durability and appearance of each tile. These tiles are perfect for design flooring and they can be laid in various different ways with either patterns or borders or strips included to suit each individual. Market leaders such as Karndean have several different design books which come in a variety of different effect finishes such as wood,stone,marble and many more. The choice of effect and various different ways that these tile can be laid gives a huge choice to the customer and almost any design can be catered for. Prior to installation of these products sub floor preparation is required at all times on both wood and concrete floors. This is for both atheistic and adhesion purposes.

Cushion Floor Vinyl
Cushion Floor vinyl is a sheet vinyl that comes in a variety of different designs, thicknesses and widths 2,3 or 4 meters wide. Material used to construct the cushion floor layer of the vinyl varies slightly between different manufactures. This product is recommended for light traffic areas in domestic properties only such as kitchens or bathrooms as this is a water resistant product. The cushion floor layer of the vinyl does have an effect on the durability of this product. They can be marked, dented or burnt fairly easily due to the cushion floor layer. As this is a sheet vinyl if this happens the floor is ruined so care must be taken at all times to help increase the life expectancy of the floor and avoid costly replacements of the whole floor.

Commercial Vinyl
Commercial vinyl is a hard wearing highly durable sheet vinyl that comes in 2 meter widths. It comes in a large variety of different designs both for visual and performance purposes. Markets leaders such as Altro and Polyfloor have created slip resistant vinyls that are suitable for high traffic areas in commercial premises. These vinyls have been designed to be heat resistant so that the vinyl can be welded together using weld rod which comes in a variety of colours to match the vinyl floor. This nessary for larger areas as the vinyl only comes in two meter widths. This vinyl can either be laid flat or it can be used for cap and cove flooring such as wet room areas or in doctors surgerys where certain requirements of health and safety and hygene must be met. This vinyl is highly versatile and can be used anywhere in commercial premesis. Sub floor preparation is required at all times with this product on both wood and concrete floors for athestic and adhesion purposes.


Laminate Flooring

laminateLaminate wood construction is made of four layers of materials, that when fused together create beautiful durable floors.

Wear Layer – A clear top layer that provides resistance to stains fading and scratches.

Design Layer – A high resolution, highly-detailed photographic image that realistically captures the look of genuine wood.

Inner Core – High density fiberboard (HDF) made from wood fibres fused with resin. HDF is an engineered wood product that’s strong , hard and dense and keeps the laminate board stable flat and moisture resistant.

Backing – A moisture barrier backing that protects the floor from warping.

Laminate flooring is a highly popular product at the moment as improvement in technologies means that laminate flooring looks and feels like solid wood flooring but at a fraction of the price! Market leaders such as QuickStep have designed a unique fitting system called Uniclic that increases the strength and durability of laminate flooring even further. Laminate flooring is refered to as a floating floor as it requires no glue or nails to install. It is held in place by the tongue and groove locking systems on the planks and laid on a specially designed laminate flooring underlay which is designed to reduce movement and noise in the floor. Sub floor preparations are not required for this product due to the installation method.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered-Wood-FlooringEngineered hardwood is a versatile alternative to solid hardwood. Unlike solid hardwood, which is one piece of wood millled from a tree, engineered wood flooring is actually made up of several wood plies (layers) that are fused together under heat and pressure. The finishesd surface of an engineered wood floor consists of a thick layer of solid hardwood that shows all the natural beauty of the selected wood species. Below this layer is an inner core of high denisty fiberboard (HDF) layers followed by a hardwood backing. These bonded layers create a board with enhanced structural integrity. Wood planks come in a variety of widths some are less than 3 inches but other are as wide as 5 inches ( the wider planks show off the character of the wood grain better than the narrower planks do) The size of the plank makes a big difference in the overall look of your room . Narrow planks are typical for a room with a more formal traditional style. While wider planks convey a more casual relaxed atmosphere. Wide planks are popular right now for contemporary rustic or urban settings.