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What type of carpet to choose?

Many people ask us what type of carpet they should choose to carpet their home. This is a big decision as it is costly and you want your carpet to stay looking like new for as long as possible. Manufacturers say carpet should last about 10 years. With regular vacuuming, prompt attention to spills and periodic cleaning, it should last longer.

There are a few things to consider when looking for new carpet, not only the carpet but the environment it is being installed into. So what type you ask? Wool or synthetic?

Wool carpets are constructed from natural fibres, free of toxins and chemicals unless they're added later. Conversely, nylon is a synthetic, man-made fibre created from chemicals. Your choice of wool or nylon carpet should be determined by your specific needs, personal preference and allocated flooring budget.

Wool: It hides dirt and soil well as it is absorbent, however for the same reason it can stain more easily when something's spilled on it. It provides a soft look and rich feel. Its natural fibers make it extremely strong and durable, so wool carpets typically keep their appearance longer than synthetics, although they do need to be protected from the harsh Hawkes Bay sun which can tend to fade in areas where the sun is concentrated. A wool carpet is at the higher end of the price range.

Nylon: The most popular choice because it's soft and durable, and retains its original appearance well. Although it needs more regular cleaning than wool, it responds to cleaning well, and when steam cleaned a flattened nylon carpet 'bounces back' to its original state. These carpets also have a very high tolerance of moisture absorbency, therefore responding to a deep clean and water rinse extremely well. Nylon is a nonporous fibre that can resist most spill and stains, the solution-dyed nylon is a great for repelling stains. Special dyes used in manufacturing can make the colour of nylon carpets last longer when exposed to UV rays. Static can be a problem with nylon carpets, but most have an antistatic coating applied.

Polyester: It's strong and relatively inexpensive and holds colour beautifully - meaning the same colour carpet in polyester and nylon would look far more vibrant on the polyester. Being a closed fibre it doesn't have any open sites for stains to adhere to so is very stain resistant.


Pile is a carpet's visible surface, also called the nap or face. It comes in two styles: loop pile, where both ends of each yarn piece are anchored to the carpet back to form a loop, and cut pile, where only one end of yarn is anchored. Other styles are variations of the cut and loop.

Pile can vary greatly. A soft, velvety cut pile looks luxurious, but shows every footprint, and is best suited to formal rooms. Some cut pile carpets can flatten in traffic areas or shading (also known has ‘pile switch’) can occur, caused by bending of the pile at different angles which leaves the carpet looking lighter or darker in patches depending on where they are viewed from. A shorter, more tightly woven carpet works well in a high-traffic hallway or entryway.

The density is also important.  Check density by bending a carpet corner backward, toward the backing. If you can see very little backing through the tufts, the carpeting has a high density and will generally last longer.

If you are having trouble deciding we are happy to help.