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Can anyone give me the pros and cons of sisal, coir, jute etc. for large rugs and runners?

(21 Posts)
Issy Mon 21-Jul-08 17:17:54

We have dark 'wood' laminate in our hallway, study and playroom. It is of course an offence to aesthetics, ecology and the Victorian vibe of our house, but it's damned practical with one wheelchair, one 'off-road' wheelchair currently in residence in the study, two children, two cats and a lot of general traffic. Also after five years of constant abuse it is still in excellent condition. Eventually we'll replace it with a wood floor, but in the meantime I'm thinking of breaking it up/disguising it with some natural rugs and runners. That way we can shove them to one side when DH decides to roll in from an off-road excursion. What are the pros and cons of the various natural fibres? Are any of them flatter than any others and therefore easier for DH to manage in his ordinary wheelchair? Any general top-sisal tips?


Issy Mon 21-Jul-08 18:11:04


butwhybutwhy Mon 21-Jul-08 18:13:40

When we were looking at carpeting our hallway, I quite fancied a seagrass carpet but when we spoke to a few carpet places they said it was not a good choice for kids and "heavy traffic".
He said it can stain quite easily and wears quickly.


Issy Mon 21-Jul-08 19:38:55

Thanks butwhy - seagreass is out then.

Anybody else?

pgwithnumber3 Mon 21-Jul-08 19:45:52

I had sisa carpetl in my last 2 homes but although I love the look of it, I would never buy it again - it is a NIGHTMARE to get stains out of. A runner though would probably be okay but be warned, if someone drops a drink on it (even water) it will stain and will never come out. You would probably be better with a wool runner, my mum has a nice wool one from Next.

pgwithnumber3 Mon 21-Jul-08 19:46:30

sorry should say sisal not sisa

stroppyknickers Mon 21-Jul-08 20:10:10

Ok - just asked dh who is carpet type job person. 'They don't lay very flat. They tend to stretch and bubble. They shd be fully stuck to the floor for best fitting. They are quite difficult to clean. They are hardwearing but hard to maintain. If they are not fixed they will slide.' Hope that helps.

janmoomoo Mon 21-Jul-08 23:20:19

Also very uncomfortable for crawling children or even in bare feet.

mazzystar Mon 21-Jul-08 23:25:45

we have seagrass all through upstairs - and up the stairs
it looks gorgeous
its a wee bit hard if you kneel on it bare legged - fine for bare feet
it is extremely tough- wearing and four years old looks like new
the only but is that liquid stains it very easily though it fades in time.

harpomarx Mon 21-Jul-08 23:28:17

I have always imagined that cats will rip it to pieces. That's why I've never had it, much as I like it.

harpomarx Mon 21-Jul-08 23:29:05

and can you imagine trying to clean ingrained cat sick off it? bleeurgh.

pgwithnumber3 Tue 22-Jul-08 10:01:05

Dh wanted it in this house, so glad we never got it as DD2 was quite a sicky baby, I would have been picking out bits of milky sick with a pin for years. hmm

Issy Tue 22-Jul-08 11:14:07

Right - I am rapidly going off the idea of sisal!

melrose Tue 22-Jul-08 11:22:00

Terrible! We ahve a sisal/coir carpet in our dining room and i was horrified to be told by carpet cleaning companies (after DS split paint on iot!) that it cannot be cleaned, at all as it will shrink! Also very textured so anything that gets split on it just gets rubbed into the textured bits if you try to wipe it up.

(if anyone does know a way to clean it please shout!)

Bink Tue 22-Jul-08 14:46:07

We have lovely lovely herringbone jute in most of our rooms - not as runners, but as default flooring (so here & there there's a rug on top). It was not too scratchy for crawlers, solid enough to have lasted about 10 years (though there are patches, mostly by door sills, which are starting to look bald) & has been quite satisfactorily stain-resistant.

The few times there've been problems (black-soled trainers can leave scuff marks, eg) I found one of those heavy-duty plastic artists' erasers was better than conventional cleaning methods.

BUT I think ours are Scotch-guarded in a way that is somehow no longer allowed (CHEMICALS); and we are in a flat up many stairs where we generally don't wear shoes - I think the dirt-tracking issue would be utterly different in a house (with a garden envy yet).

Issy Tue 22-Jul-08 14:57:30

Hello Bink! That's interesting. I wonder if jute might be more substantial and stain resistant than sisal. Definitely worth looking at.

By the way, I sent you an email an hour ago asking if you're interested in free Prom tickets for tonight or Thursday night in the T-R corporate box?

naturelover Tue 22-Jul-08 21:46:34

We have a sisal/coir runner (not sure which) on the stairs, it's rough on bare feet and knees. Cat fur sticks to it like velcro. And cat sick cannot be removed as far as I can tell. I hate vacuuming it, takes forever to get the cat fur off.

daemo Thu 14-Mar-13 20:37:20


First post here.

I've been reading some of the comments and I disagree with a few. If you have animals such as a bored playful cat in your living quarters then I agree that many types of natural flooring may not be for you smile

Probably the most important point is that natural floor coverings don't like 'the wet'. They aren't suited to the outdoors or high moisture places such as bathrooms.

Fortunately most crises can be averted by simply looking after natural flooring and using the correct cleaning methods - most stains can be removed effectively and safely using just soap & water gently. Don't run for the vanish power shampoo or a steam cleaner if the SHTF. You won't achieve a pleasing result.

Nowadays many reputable suppliers of natural flooring will apply Intec/Scotchguard to their products to add another layer of protection.

As for the materials themselves-

Seagrass is very strong and actually has a natural stain resistance.

Sisal is also very strong and hard wearing but doesn't take too kindly to liquid stains that are not cleaned off fairly quickly with a bit of soap and water.

Jute is less strong, but lovely and soft on the foot. Great for bedrooms and low traffic areas.

Coir has a rougher texture and super hard wearing. Not too soft of the foot though! think doormats. Perfect if you gave the right type of pad though.

Good luck!

PigletJohn Thu 14-Mar-13 22:50:36

AFAIK they all shed dust and fibres

Leedsfan247 Fri 21-Mar-14 18:00:43

Daemo pretty much has it covered. Seagrass is naturally waxy so resists stains better although sisal is made from cactus (Agavae) so it's pretty tough. If you have it treated with Intec in advance it gives you a chance to get to liquid stains before they sink in. The supplier will sell you a care and cleaning kit for emergencies but you can have it professionally cleaned. The Host dry powder system is really good and won't shrink the product. The thing is, cat vomit, red wine etc can also be an issue with wool carpets so if you want to stay with natural products, look after them. Avoid vanish, it just bleaches the flooring. Some manufacturers are offering a 12 month cleaning warranty on wool carpets called WOW. If you do go down the bleach cleanable, polypropylene route, your carpet will go flat within 18 months (but they don't tell you that). As with all things in life's some positives some negatives but if you look after it - no real problems. Best thing to do is talk to a natural flooring specialist, have a look at they have been supplying it for years.

sarita123 Fri 10-Oct-14 08:35:02

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