- What aspect for your soil?
- Natural or synthetic?
- The hidden face of the carpet.
- Good benchmarks for the right choice.
- Allergic to the carpet?
- Green carpet.
The carpet has adapted to changing tastes and trends to offer a multitude of textures, colors and patterns to meet all desires. But the choice of a carpet is not as innocuous as it seems. If you want it to fully meet your expectations of comfort, investment, aesthetics or durability, many criteria will be taken into account during your purchase. This week, Handyman On Sunday helps you find your way around the vast world of carpet so that your choice is the right one.
There are three categories of carpet: woven, tufted and needled.
The woven technique is the oldest but also the most expensive. This mode of design, similar to that used for carpets, is to manufacture at the same time the backrest and velvet. What makes this coating certainly particularly comfortable but also difficult to access modest scholarships (average price per m²: 20-25 euros), or novice handymen, since this type of carpet should be stretched on underlay.
Tufted carpets or tufted are the most common because they offer a very good compromise between aesthetics, strength, ease of installation and price. Their method of manufacture, similar to that of the sewing machine, facilitates the production of wide coatings, which make it possible to limit or even avoid the connections.
Finally, the so-called needled carpet is the one that will give the most affordable product financially but which, from an aesthetic point of view, will be more suitable for passage rooms as an entrance or corridor than for living rooms.
What aspect for your soil?
With the evolution of manufacturing techniques and materials, the rendering of carpets (or velvet) has also changed significantly. Thus, according to the French Union of Carpets and Carpets (UFTM), you have the choice between many "finishes":
Curly appearance: the carpet consists of fibers attached directly to the backrest giving a rendering of continuous loops. These carpets are considered the most resistant to the wear of time.
Cut aspect: The manufacturing is identical to the previous one but the balls are cut which allows to obtain a coating softer to the touch and visually more regular.
Saxony appearanceit is also a cut velvet, but including a twisted thread which allows him to break the uniform rendering of the cut aspect by "individualizing" the fibers by creating a surface density effect.
Curly appearance: it is also a cut carpet whose thicker threads have been curled by the overvoltage principle, generating a relief effect and a visual impression of extra comfort.
Structured aspect: It's a mixture of curly and cut threads. This finish is used for carpets whose patterns are obtained by relief effects.
Also note that the finer the thread is, the more the carpet will tend to recover easily after crushing.
Natural or synthetic?
Historically wool, carpets are increasingly made of synthetic fibers to follow the trends of decoration. Nevertheless, the carpet is not only a decorative product, the comfort it has to give is also very important. It is for this reason that the choice of the fiber is also essential criterion.
From this point of view, wool offers exceptional strength that makes it possible to make its higher purchase cost more profitable. In addition, this natural material combines comfort with the touch and aestheticism. Synthetic fibers allow for more "madness" in terms of finishing and visual rendering. The most popular of these is polyamide fiber which offers the same benefits as wool for a more affordable price. Polyamide is mainly used for tufted carpets, so this is the type of fiber you will encounter most commonly. There are other fibers, made of polypropylene or polyester that are much more sensitive to crushing and less resistant.
Nevertheless their low cost, makes them interesting to cover the floors of rooms with low passage as the bathrooms. Quite often, just like the fabrics of our clothes, manufacturers combine the different types of fibers in order to make the best use of the qualities and properties of each. So do not be surprised if you come across a polyamide-polypropylene or wool-polyamide blend.
The hidden face of the carpet.
Whatever the type of carpet, each has a back, also called folder. This part of the coating is not negligible because it can enhance the comfort of the fiber layer or facilitate your installation. There are four types of folders: foam, felt, needle felt and jute.
Latex foam backings are the most common, they can be placed free (just placed on the floor) or glued. Know that the thicker the foam, the more comfortable your carpet will be. Textile files are certainly a little more expensive but offer many advantages. For the same comfort as the foams, the felt backings are much easier to use and can be placed "free", glued or stretched. For novice DIYers, there is a type of folder needle felt. More comfortable and especially more insulating than the other back, this type of folder comes with self-gripping bands that make his pose accessible to all. Finally, there are carpets with the underside is jute. The reverse jute, also called "action tray", are strong and resistant but less comfortable to the touch.
Good benchmarks for the right choice.
Since 1976, the "International Carpet Classification Organization" has created the "T" ranking which provides reliable and objective information based on performance in use and resistance. T-indexes allow you to quickly and easily identify whether the chosen carpet matches the room in which you want to put it:
T1-T2: for a low use, like the rooms.
T3: for moderate use, like the living room.
T4: for a major use, like the office.
T5: for a very important use, like public places.
The ICCO has also set a comfort index that will give you an indication of the well-being that the carpet will give you to the touch.
To complete this information, be aware that a carpet can meet certain standards including fire resistance and cleaning products. To make sure that your choice is the right one, check also that the CE and UPEC markings are present because they are quality guarantees as well in the manufacture as in the resistance of the coating.
Allergic to the carpet?
Nowadays, the choice of a floor covering can be motivated by the fear of allergies. Some prejudices tend to say that carpets are mite nests and thus cause respiratory allergies, especially in children. This apprehension is logical but studies in Sweden suggest that carpet is not an aggravating factor for asthma. On the contrary, the textile fiber structure of the carpet makes it possible to better maintain dust on the floor than smooth surfaces.
Thus, when moving in a room, a carpet will limit the air circulation of these particles by more than 50%. Respiratory allergies have certainly increased in recent years but this growth is multi-factorial: pollution, lack of maintenance, partitioning, smoking. Do not be afraid to buy a carpet for your rooms; if you maintain your home, there is no reason that it does not protect you in turn. Especially since more and more carpets are treated against mites.
Carpet manufacturers have long since put in place rules and standards to ensure that their products respect the environment and the consumer. In 1990, European carpet manufacturers came together to form the GUT to apply a sustainable development policy at all stages of the carpet's lifecycle. More than 75% of European producers choose raw materials and fastening systems based on environmental criteria. As a result, the carpets are certified free of toxic substances and can be recycled more easily thanks to the solutions put in place by the GUT.
In addition, it should be remembered that, compared to other floor coverings, carpets provide better thermal and acoustic comfort as they contribute significantly to heat preservation and sound insulation, while at the same time limiting energy costs. energy in winter.
For more information UFTM