Consider where the carpet is going - bedroom carpets are subjected to far less wear than stair carpets, for example. Also think about your household - do you need something hardwearing because you have children and/or pets, or do you live alone?
For busy rooms, go for a blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon - the wool will make the carpet look good and the nylon will help it perform better.
Carpet is like most things; you get what you pay for. “If you’re thinking long term, then an Axminster or Wilton construction will perform better and often add value,” says Jeremy Wilson of Ulster Carpets (www.ulstercarpets.com). “Going for a budget carpet may seem like a good idea in the short-term, but you may come to regret it in a few years.
“Ideally, you need a two or three-ply carpet yarn - single-ply yarns are cheaper and look fine for a while, but will flatten and wear much quicker than two or three-ply yarns. A better engineered carpet will last longer and be better value in the long-term.”
When you’ve found some carpets you think you like, ask the retailer for samples to take home. What looks good in the shop or online might change a lot when you put it in your home and see it in different lights and angles.
When budgeting for your new carpet, don’t forget to include the cost of fitting and underlay. New underlay is vital for the carpet to sit properly and wear evenly, and the quality of the underlay will affect the lifespan of the carpet.
Get your room professionally measured to ensure you order the right amount of carpet. It’s also important to get the carpet professionally fitted. And always buy from a reputable retailer - all 450 Carpet Foundation (www.carpetfoundation.com) retail members adhere to a code of practice approved by the Trading Standards Institute, which gives customers peace of mind.