We are often being contacted by consumers enquiring about the expected life of a carpet. Our response to this question is always the same: it depends! Some of the key factors that can influence the life-span are:
- Room usage: carpet installed in a busy living room is obviously going to face more wear than one installed in a bedroom. Bear this in mind when considering the quality of carpet to purchase.
1. Members of the household: a carpet installed in a home with a young family is clearly going to be subject to more traffic than one installed in a house with just one or two people. In addition, don’t forget the impact pets can have on the wearability of the carpet, both in terms of foot traffic and the level of staining that the carpet will endure.
Underlay: never underestimate the importance played by a quality underlay beneath the carpet. A good underlay will support the carpet, making it comfortable to walk on, as well as providing a degree of sound absorption and insulation. Some people ask if a 10-year old underlay will need replacing when changing the carpet: our response is, if you were to buy a new car, would you consider taking the tyres off your old car and fit them to the new one??
- Maintenance Programme: it is important to have a regular maintenance programme for your programme. Follow the care and maintenance guide issued by either the retailer or the manufacturer, and always look to have it professionally cleaned on a regular basis, usually every one to two years based upon the level of wear it has encountered. If you purchase a wool carpet, the WoolSafe Organisation is a great source of cleaning tips, and it has a database of local, professionally-trained carpet cleaners – for more information go to www.woolsafe.org.
- The initial cost of the carpet: as is the case with many products around the home, buying a cheap carpet may end up costing you money in the long run. Provided your initial decision is based around the criteria outlined above, a good quality, wool carpet should provide at least 8-10 years of performance before you may need to consider replacing it. If you choose to save money upfront, a cheaper product may only last 2-3 years before its appearance changes dramatically and you are then forced to either go back and buy another carpet, or buy a couple of rugs and move the furniture to hide the stains and the places where it has flattened.
Think also about the cost spread over the lifetime of the carpet. A good quality wool carpet, professionally installed with new underlay, should cost you in the region of £50 per square metre. Based upon a minimum 8 year life cycle, for an average 18m2 room, this equates to just over £2 per week for the life of the carpet – not a lot to pay for such an important addition to your home.
In short, take time to think of the key criteria when considering your purchase of a new carpet. A bit of time taken before your purchase will help to ensure you buy a product that will meet your expectations.