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Help choosing carpets

(28 Posts)
mynd82 Tue 15-May-18 15:04:46

Hi all,

I've found so much useful information on the site over the years that it's about time I signed up and joined the fray.

We're currently renovating our house and are now at the carpeting stage. We have a master bedroom to do and the stairs and landing.

Having browsed many samples at various stores in Shropshire, we had settled on Cormar Soft Focus in Starlight colour for the bedroom (it's a light grey polypropylene carpet that's lovely and soft) and Cormar Malabar Two-Fold in Llama colour for the stairs and landing (a nice beige-ish loop carpet that is 100 per cent wool and in a weave pattern).

We'll be using Cloud 9 Cumulus 11mm underlay in the bedroom and Cloud 9 Cirrus 9mm underlay on the stairs (as advised by previous forum threads).

Since picking the carpets, we've spoken to a trio of installers who have all shed doubt. Two of them categorically state not to use a wool carpet if you value long-term durability. The thought of moths, stains, or catching the loop with the hoover is off-putting, yet while reason is telling us to skip the wool, the carpet has so much character that we're wondering if it really would be that bad an idea.

The third installer suggested that we don't go for Cormar carpets at all, claiming that they are poor quality and prone to problems.

Feel like we're back at square one, so we're hoping to get some feedback from people who've bought carpet before. Our questions are:

* Is wool carpet a bad idea on a staircase and landing? We want something hard wearing and likely to retain its appearance in the long term, plus with a bit of luck there will be kids using it in the near future.

* Does anyone have any experience of Cormar carpets - any feedback good or bad would be appreciated. Similarly, any recommendations of other well regarded brands wouldn't go amiss.

* How much is a reasonable price to pay for a good quality carpet? The ones we've chosen are around £25 per square metre from the showrooms, or about £18 per square metre if we order from an online supplier.

We're a no-shoes household and tend to keep things clean, with no pets and no smokers. The renovation has taken a long time, and now that we're nearing the end we want to make sure we make the right choices regarding carpets.

Thanks in advance for any help!

OP’s posts: |
Whitesea Tue 15-May-18 15:19:10

I had wool carpet throughout my old apartment (pre kids). It was a natural colour with a weave. I really liked it for the reasons you mentioned, it was soft and pleasing and calming to the eye but I ended up replacing with wooden floorboards as I seemed to be constantly washing it as the high traffic areas looked dirtier in comparison to the rest of it.

I then moved into a house where the previous owners had a cheap patterned dark carpet down on the stairs and I am only now finally getting around to looking at replacing it. While it looks worn and the dark colour shows up its need to be vacuumed, it doesn’t show up dirt, stains etc of which there must be loads.

I recently popped into a showroom and was again automatically drawn to the plain natural wool carpets. With children I know I could not put it down without adding a lot of work to maintaining it and it just wouldn’t be worth it.

That said, my old carpet was easily washed but due to frequent cleaning, it looked worn which would be my fear with the stairs. I would use it in bedrooms though.

Fozzleyplum Tue 15-May-18 15:34:06

OP, I am making the same choice at present, and I'm sitting here looking at three Cormar sample books to try and choose new carpet for my stairs and landing.

If I could choose a carpet simply for the aesthetics, rather than practically, I would either have seagrass, which I have now decided is completely impractical and probably unsafe on stairs, or, failing that, a natural weave looped carpet in a pale colour. My much – trusted carpet supplier, whom I have been using for decades, has recommended against a loop and against wool for the stairs and landing, particularly because I want quite a pale colour. He is recommending Cormar; the one which I think I prefer is in the Primo Choice range.

The carpet that I'm replacing is also polypropylene and has lasted very well, considering that it was down when we bought the house 12 years ago, was not new then. However, it is a darker colour and so has been easy to keep looking clean. This time I'm going to take a bit of a risk and have a much paler carpet, having resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to have to have it shampooed professionally, much more frequently than I used to.

wowfudge Tue 15-May-18 23:52:55

80:20 wool: synthetic carpets are much more hard wearing than pure wool and a better choice for stairs. If your stairs get a lot of traffic then your looped carpet could go fluffy on top fairly quickly. A cut pile carpet is a better bet. I have heard that Cormar are over-rated compared to others but I've no personal experience of them.

I'd go for a heather carpet on stairs as it will be much more forgiving in terms of showing any dirt.

Whitesea Wed 16-May-18 00:22:07

ETA the carpet in my old apt was wool and looped and now that a PP has said it, I remember it did go fluffy in parts. I had forgotten that happened. I think, although beautiful to the eye, they simply aren't suitable for high traffic areas.

NotMeNoNo Wed 16-May-18 01:06:02

Loop pile wool carpets pill and bobble very badly. Don't do it, we are arguing with carpet shop. DS bedroom carpet was £300 and looked shabby and worn out in days.

NotMeNoNo Wed 16-May-18 01:09:04

Like this. To do with the natural variation in fibre length. Poly carpets or cut pile don't suffer the same way.

NotMeNoNo Wed 16-May-18 01:09:31

Duplicate post

NotMeNoNo Wed 16-May-18 01:09:58


mynd82 Wed 16-May-18 09:50:27

Thanks for all the feedback everyone. It really looks like a wool loop carpet is out! We had looked at some manmade loops as an alternative (one was called Gala) but they aren't anywhere near as soft and feel quite abrasive by comparison.

Fozzleyplum - always nice to hear someone else is in the same boat. Having ruled out the Malabar Two-Fold, it looks like Cormar Primo is going to be our backup choice. Need to get back to a store to revisit the samples, but Primo Ultra in the Bamboo colour was one we liked.

wowfudge - seen lots of mentions of an 80:20 blend, but with so many in-store reps advising us against wool, I'm now leaning toward 100 per cent PP. The general consensus is that manmade has come along way, and to be honest, I personally found some of the artificial carpets looked and felt nicer than the 80:20 blends.

OP’s posts: |
wowfudge Wed 16-May-18 10:11:19

Polypropylene carpets have a tendency to flatten in high traffic areas. I think the reason they are pushed by carpet salespeople is because there are lots of them and there's probably a higher margin in them. Last time we were shopping for carpet there was a limited choice of wool compared to synthetic. It's your choice but unless it was a bedroom I wouldn't choose polypropylene.

mynd82 Wed 16-May-18 10:20:25

I definitely agree with you regarding the amount of choice - almost every store we visited had a limited selection of wool carpets, citing less call for them nowadays. We have seen the flattening of a polypropylene carpet in action in one of the existing bedrooms, but we're hoping the effect will be less severe on the stairs if we choose a thinner twist.

Would also be interested to hear people's thoughts about carpets shedding. I think the carpets at my parents new house are an 80:20 blend and there always seems to be fibres everywhere; is that usually the case with all carpets, or is it more noticeable with wool?

OP’s posts: |
Fozzleyplum Wed 16-May-18 18:45:49

OP, the bamboo primo ultra is v nice (I have the sampe book for that one!). I'm going for the primo choice in golden sand. I'm thinking that I'll get them to put that down in our bedroom, too.

bellsbuss Wed 16-May-18 18:50:10

I have polypropylene carpets and love them, been down 3 years and still look like new. It's great that you can pour neat bleach on stains and they come out straight away

mynd82 Thu 17-May-18 09:07:46

Fozzleyplum - Primo Choice Golden Sand looks very nice too. We've asked our fitter if he can get more of the Primo sample books for us to look at - we've only seen the Ultra so far but there seem to be lots of nice colours in the Plus, Choice and Excellence range.

All this thinking has led to us completely changing our original plan - isn't that always the case? We had planned for a wool loop carpet on the stairs, and a plush manmade carpet in the bedrooms. But while we did love the look and feel of those, we're now trying to approach it all more sensibly. The wool loop is risky, and the thick, super-soft carpet is likely to flatten in rapid fashion. Plus there's the risk of it all looking a bit mismatched with different carpets in different places.

Taking all of that into consideration, as well as all the very useful posts above, we've now settled on a twist polypropylene carpet (most likely the Cormar Primo Ultra in Bamboo) throughout the stairs, landing and bedrooms. It'll give the whole place some continuity, should make some areas look bigger, ought to be resistant to flattening as it's quite short to begin with, will be super easy to clean, and won't shed everywhere. A light, neutral colour will give us flexibility when it comes to decorating, and if we do want a little more luxury in the master bedroom, well, then, we'll just get a nice rug! least, that's the current line of thinking. smile

OP’s posts: |
GreenHatHacker Thu 17-May-18 19:25:33

We put the Cormar Malabar Two Fold in Oatmeal colour down across the whole of our upstairs, including landing and stairs, about 18 months ago and have been very happy with it - so much so that we've just laid it in the living room too! Admittedly there's just two adults who are good at taking shoes off living in the house & no children or pets.

Hovered regularly, no problem, so long as you don't use a beater bar - I have a cylinder rather than upright Hoover anyway, so that was not going to be an issue for us.

I love the looped effect, massages feet nicely & you don't get a stripey pile when hoovering. The slight tweediness in colour is good at hiding bits of sock fluff too!

Fozzleyplum Thu 17-May-18 19:35:18

Have just had a look at the Malabar. That is exactly the look I was after, but we have children and 3 cats, one of whom is a carpet plucker, so I daren't risk a loop.

Mrsramsayscat Fri 18-May-18 09:20:10

I've switched 18 months ago to a good quality polypropylene twist carpet after many years of wool. What a snob I was previously!

It looks as good as new, even with teens and their mates, and despite being light beige. The very expensive wool ones I had previously would have been trashed by now, and ruined further by cleaning.

I'm not going to suggest a brand as I can't remember mine. I avoided Carpetright, though! I spent about £20 metre.

Mrsramsayscat Fri 18-May-18 09:20:58

Also quite a short pile- apparently this is important so they don't flatten. Mine certainly hasn't.

mynd82 Mon 21-May-18 15:36:24

Update: carpets ordered!

Had a final look at all the samples with the fitter on Saturday and, in a moment of weakness, we ended up ordering the Cormar Malabar Two-Fold for the stairs and landing. Yep, said we would rule out a pure wool carpet in fear of stains, moths, durability, etc, but it was the one carpet we really liked the look of and the temptation proved too strong. We may regret the decision further down the line, but time will tell.

To compliment the landing, we've gone with a Cormar Primo Plus in Cloudy Bay colour for the bedrooms. It's a nice short pile so shouldn't flatten easily, the Plus range is good value, and the colour is sort of between grey and beige, so goes quite well with our décor.

Being fitted next week. grin

OP’s posts: |
mynd82 Thu 31-May-18 10:56:57

Update: carpets fitted!

For anybody else in the same boat, I know we had (and still have) reservations about the long-term durability of the wool carpet, but it has to be said, the Cormar Malabar Two-Fold in Llama colour looks absolutely gorgeous on our staircase and landing. We're so pleased with the result, it's exactly the look we wanted and, though we'll need to be careful in terms of staining etc, we're delighted with our choice.

The Cormar Primo Plus in Cloudy Bay also looks lovely in the bedrooms. Glad we went for a shorter pile in the end, as it still feels luxurious with Cloud 9 11mm underlay beneath it.

OP’s posts: |
Blackgrouse Sun 03-Jun-18 21:17:38

I wanted either the Cormar Avebury or Malabar on our stairs but was advised not to as we have a dog and young children. We ended up going with Cormar Oakland on our stairs and in the family room, it's a 80/20 mix. It's been down nearly 4 years and looks as new.

I still love the Avebury and Malabar, I might get it when the carpet needs updating.

Lindsay88 Sat 16-Feb-19 20:31:20

Would really like to know how you’re getting on with the malabar now it’s been down a few months. Am going through exactly the same indecision about look vs durability. I really like the look but worry about stains and fluffing. Currently choosing for bedroom but ideally would like the same down stairs and landing so want to make a good choice...

nonicknameseemsavailable Sun 17-Feb-19 21:42:27

our lounge had a looped wool carpet when we moved in - we knew the previous owner so knew how long it had been down too and it really didn't wear well, we ended up with a large threadbare patch in it, it was difficult to keep it looking nice even before that as looped go fluffy. When we were getting it changed two shops told us to avoid that sort. We now have a £13 a metre synthetic one which seems very good.

Igletpiglet Sun 10-Mar-19 00:11:05


HAllo! Do you still love your carpet, a few months on? I think it is the kids of thing i would be looking for. thanks!

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