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A step-by-step guide to choosing, buying and fitting a new carpet

  1. Choose the room
  2. Choose your material
  3. Choose your colour and pattern
  4. Measure the room
  5. Choose your underlay
  6. Get costs (don’t forget about extra costs!)
  7. Choose where you want to buy your carpet
  8. How to fit your carpet

1. Choose the room

The choice of material you need should be based on the room you are fitting.

  • High-traffic areas such as hallways will require a more durable carpet.
  • Low-traffic areas can afford a more luxurious underfoot experience.

A shaggy carpet might be nice in the bedroom but not so practical in the hallway.

Here is a quick guide to best carpet types for each room in a house:

Room

What to consider

Our top pick

Living Room

  • Likely the busiest room in the house.
  • Will require a durable carpet
  • If food/drink is consumed here choose a stain resistant carpet.

Ultimate Temple Deep Pile Saxony

Price: £21.52m2

Hallway

  • Very high traffic.
  • Potentially mud from shoes.
  • Usually the first room a guest sees.
  • The carpet will need to be a balance between style and durability.

Highland Wilton

Price: £19.99m2

Bedroom

  • Often a shoe-free zone.
  • Less worry about staining or cleaning.
  • Can choose thicker, more stylish carpets.

Lush Twist Pile

Price: £7.99m2

Dining room

  • Food consumption increases staining chances.
  • Chairs frequently scraped across carpet.
  • Short, sturdy carpet is recommended.
  • Combine durable carpet with a stylish pattern to add a luxurious look.

Xtron Grandeur Twist

Price: £23.99m2

Bathroom

  • Carpet will need to be liquid resistant.
  • The best carpet for the bathroom will feature waterproof backing.

Aqua Bathroom Carpet

Price: £16.99m2

Stairs

  • Walking up and down stairs can wear out carpet quicker.
  • Carpet for stairs need to be very durable.

Gala Berber Loop

Price: £12.55m2

Room

Living Room

What to consider

  • Likely the busiest room in the house.
  • Will require a durable carpet
  • If food/drink is consumed here choose a stain resistant carpet.

Our top pick

Ultimate Temple Deep Pile Saxony

Price: £21.52m2

Room

Hallway

What to consider

  • Very high traffic.
  • Potentially mud from shoes.
  • Usually the first room a guest sees.
  • The carpet will need to be a balance between style and durability.

Our top pick

Highland Wilton

Price: £19.99m2

Room

Bedroom

What to consider

  • Often a shoe-free zone.
  • Less worry about staining or cleaning.
  • Can choose thicker, more stylish carpets.

Our top pick

Lush Twist Pile

Price: £7.99m2

Room

Dining room

What to consider

  • Food consumption increases staining chances.
  • Chairs frequently scraped across carpet.
  • Short, sturdy carpet is recommended.
  • Combine durable carpet with a stylish pattern to add a luxurious look.

Our top pick

Xtron Grandeur Twist

Price: £23.99m2

Room

Bathroom

What to consider

  • Carpet will need to be liquid resistant.
  • The best carpet for the bathroom will feature waterproof backing.

Our top pick

Aqua Bathroom Carpet

Price: £16.99m2

Room

Stairs

What to consider

  • Walking up and down stairs can wear out carpet quicker.
  • Carpet for stairs need to be very durable.

Our top pick

Gala Berber Loop

Price: £12.55m2

2. Choose your material and texture

There are several popular carpet materials available:

  • Polypropylene – affordable, soft and practical. Polypropylene is a great all-rounder as it’s easy to maintain and stain resistant. Great for high traffic areas and great value for money.
  • WoolNaturally soft and durable. Wool provides a beautiful appearance and style. Whilst slightly more awkward to clean due to the natural fibres, wool can still hide dirt and withstand some medium usage.
  • PolyamideKnown for it’s comfort and durability. Polyamide is a synthetic fibre which is great for family homes with young children. It can withstand heavy usage and is stain resistant.
  • PolyesterVery stain resistant. Whilst originally considered less durable than other synthetic materials, Polyester can now stand up against some heavy usage. Polyester is also known to be great value for money. For more info, have a look at Polyester FAQs

To learn more, have a look at How to Choose your Carpet Material

Pile

The pile of a carpet refers to the tufts of material that are attached to the backing cloth. Thick, shaggy carpets are known as deep pile. These are often seen as more luxurious. Short pile is usually more hard-wearing.

Texture

The texture of the pile will affect where it is most suited in the home. The following are some examples of different styles:

  • The yarn is literally looped over when sewn into the back cloth. It maintains softness over time but is not great for pets, as the loops can catch in their claws.
  • Hardwearing texture made using tightly twisted yarn. This is the best-selling type of carpet in the UK.
  • Another hardwearing carpet. The yarn is straighter than ‘twisted’ and has the appearance of a loop pile with the loops cut.
  • Shag. The length of the pile is such that the fibres do not stand up straight but rather bend over, creating a ‘shaggy’ look and feel.

For more information of carpet textures, click here.

3. Choose your colour and pattern

When choosing your colour and pattern there are a few factors to consider:

  • Likelihood of stains – If you live with children or are naturally a bit clumsy, you will want to look for darker colours as they can hide stains easier than lighter ones. You can also purchase stain resistant carpets.
  • Décor and atmosphere – If you’ve already bought furniture before replacing your carpet, you will need to ensure they match well together. Carpet colour also affects the atmosphere of the rooms, for example, Grey carpet creates a modern feel whilst red can create a warm feel.
  • Space – Colours can affect the perceived size of the room. Darker carpets can make larger rooms feel cosier, whilst smaller carpets can be made to feel larger by using light carpets.

Still stuck? Check out our full guide: Carpet colours and how they can be used in the home

4. Measure the room

United Carpets and Beds offer a completely free measure and estimate service. Our estimators are trained experts able to provide you with the best information.

Room measuring tips and tricks:

  • Roughly draw a plan of your room.
  • Find the longest and widest parts of the room (diagram numbers 1 & 2) and measure from the furthest skirting board.
  • Measure to the back of any door frame (diagram number 5), as this is where you want the carpet to come up to.
  • Measure any indentations in your room plan, such as bay windows or fireplaces (diagram numbers 3 & 4). This allows you to be as efficient as possible.
  • To calculate the area, multiply the width of the room by the length.
  • Patterned carpets will need to match where they join (if areas are cut out and fitted together). Keep this in mind when ordering your amounts, as if it is not done correctly it can look mismatched and odd.

5. Choose your underlay

Underlay is soft foam or rubber material that sits between your carpet and the floorboards.

It is highly recommended that you have underlay with your carpet as it:

  • Cushions the carpet, making it softer underfoot
  • Protects the carpet by reducing friction between the backing and the floorboards
  • Insulates the room for heat and sound by adding an extra layer of material between the carpet and the cold floor below
  • Evens out the lay of the carpet and allows it to settle into position

If your existing underlay is old and worn you may wish to purchase a new underlay. This is often the best option, as worn underlay can create ridges and uneven surfaces in your carpet.

6. Get costs (including the extras!)

So you’ve got the price of carpet for the size of your room, but remember that won’t be the final costs. For more information, have a look at carpet costs and finance options

Be sure to know the price of:

  • Taking up the old carpet/underlay
  • Carpet fitting
  • Underlay fitting
  • Installation Products
  • Delivery
  • Removal and disposal of old carpet/underlay from your property
  • Furniture moving

If you purchase underlay from United Carpets & Beds you will receive:

  • FREE delivery
  • FREE underlay fitting
  • FREE carpet fitting

To find out more about our amazing free fitting offer (terms and conditions apply).

7. Choose where to buy your carpet

Choosing where to buy your carpet is an important decision. Here is some things to consider:

  • Purchasing online is a convenient way to shop for your carpet. You will find some great deals on websites. However, the carpet make look different than the images on the website. You can order up to 4 free samples from us before you purchase any carpet.
  • If you would rather talk to a professional in store, you can simply find a store near you
  • Ensure you place the sample in the room so you can check it against the rooms light levels, as well the overall décor.
  • Find out if they will fit the carpet for you and whether this will include an extra charge. Have we mentioned we will fit your carpet for free* if it is purchased with underlay?

8. How to fit your carpet

  1. Clear the room: make sure all furniture has been removed and any ornaments on mounted shelves etc. are also removed. The clearer the room, the quicker the fitting.
  2. Arrange the fitting: Choose a convenient time of the day for you. Try to be there, if you can. Otherwise try to have someone you trust, just to oversee the job.
  3. Check whether the fitter will take up your old carpet and underlay. This may be a chargeable service.
  4. Remove the old carpet if necessary
    1. Vacuum the old carpet to cut down on dust
    2. Use a pair of pliers to pull up the edge of the carpet, near any wall.
    3. Use a utility knife to slice the carpet into manageable strips
    4. Pull up the underlay with the carpet if you can. It may be stapled, but can be easily removed.
    5. Roll the carpet as you go along
    6. Place the rolled carpet out of the room
  5. Clean the floor with a vacuum or brush in order to remove any leftover debris

Related content

The benefits of choosing carpet for your floor

Carpets: General FAQs

Underlay FAQs

Back to Buying a carpet

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