A Guide To Carpeting Your Home
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A Guide To Carpeting Your Home

Suzi O'Shea

Suzi O'Shea

26/03/2021 • 5 minute read

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As we embark on a record-breaking heatwave across the country, you may be fantasizing about ripping up all the flooring and laying cool tiles on every surface in your home. We don’t blame you. However, if you are in the market for some carpet, we give a rundown of the costs involved, benefits, maintenance, and different options available.

What are the benefits of carpeting?

Let’s kick off with why you should choose to lay down carpet. Anyone who has built a new home, renovated, or moved into a place will know there are loads of flooring options available.

Health

There was once a time when people that suffered from allergies would remove carpets in fear of their allergies worsening. While that may be the case with longer fibre carpet, QUT recently conducted a study that proved carpet is a safer and healthier flooring option. Safer, as it is softer to land on in case of fall, and healthier, because they found that pathogens don’t survive as long as they would on a flat surface such as floor boards.

Cost

When looking at initial installation as well as cleaning, maintenance and upkeep, carpet can be a cheaper option over a longer period of time.

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The general lifespan of carpet flooring (if well maintained) is anywhere from 5 to 15 years, making it a long term investment. Something to bear in mind when looking for quotes.

Comfort

There’s nothing like taking your shoes off after a long day, and walking on a fluffy, carpeted, floor. Laying down carpet in a room that once had a hard floor brings a whole new atmosphere to the space. It softens the room and brings a sense of comfort that only a fluffy carpet can bring.

Maintenance

Compared to varnish, polish, or restain for a hardwood floor, carpets are quite easy to maintain. Regular vacuuming and once or twice yearly steam clean should do the trick.

Quiet

Carpets absorb sound, making it a popular choice for bedrooms, especially when you have children. When you have spent a solid hour and a half trying to put a baby to sleep and you try to ninja out of the room, one creaky floorboard is all it takes to have a screaming baby

Insulating

As well as looking and feeling good, carpet in your home can also save money through the insulation it can provide.

The thicker the carpet, the more insulation it provides.

Wools of New Zealand conducted research that showed how much could be saved on energy from cooling and heating a one room model house. The results are shown in the tables below:

Electrical Power Saving (heating) due to carpet installation:

Carpet Pile height mm Carpet thickness mm Total weight kg/m Energy saving heating %
Cut pile 5.0 7.3 1.72 8.6
Cut pile 7.0 9.2 1.96 11.3
Cut pile 10.0 11.7 2.25 12.8

Electrical Power Saving (cooling) due to carpet installation:

Carpet Pile height mm Carpet thickness mm Total weight kg/m Energy saving cooling %
Cut pile 5.0 7.3 1.72 8.0
Cut pile 7.0 9.2 1.96 10.4
Cut pile 10.0 11.7 2.25 11.7

What costs are involved in carpeting?

There are a couple of things to consider if you want to lay carpet in your home. We break down what they are below.

Ripping up old carpet

If you are considering replacing existing carpet, there will be an additional expense of getting the old carpet ripped up. Unless of course, you want to take a stab at doing it yourself. With the help of YouTube, your local Bunnings, and some elbow grease, it may be something you can knock out in an afternoon.

Carpet

One of the great things about carpet is its versatility. There are so many different options to choose from. Colours, fabrics, weaves, thickness, there are loads of different choices that impact your total cost. Carpet is usually priced by the square metre. The carpet choice itself can range from as little as $20 per s/m all the way up to $200+ for some Kardashian-style carpet.

Underlay

Depending on your choice of carpet, an underlay may not be necessary. According to Carpet Your Life:

“The type of fabric used on the bottom of the carpet strongly influences the need for a carpet underlay. If your carpet has a textile or latex backing, then an underlay is necessary in order to avoid uneven surfaces.”

However, underlay may be a good option to consider. That energy saving table we showed you earlier? That’s mostly thanks to some good underlay. It helps insulate from heat and cold, increases the lifespan of your carpet, and provides a noise barrier from the annoying neighbours downstairs that complain about your music.

While it is usually included in most quotes, be sure to get an itemized quote and ask if there are different options for underlay.

Again, this is potentially a job you can do yourself if you are looking to save some money. You can source underlay from hardware stores or source off cuts from manufacturers and lay it yourself.

Furniture Removal

You may be charged an additional fee for any furniture removal in the room before the carpet can be laid. Ask some friends over, roll up your sleeves, and move it all yourself to save some money. If it’s not an option, shop around on sites like Airtasker, Service Seeking, or Hi Pages to get some help.

Installation

There is an additional fee for installing the carpet in your home. Given the fiddly nature of stairs, they usually cost a little more for installation of the carpet and underlay. Bear this in mind when making your decision. It may be an option to forgo underlay for stairs to keep the costs down. The average cost of installing carpet is $35 per s/m.

What types of carpeting are there?

I know what you’re thinking, if only there was a completely independent body that could classify the quality of carpet and grade them accordingly. We’ve got you guys, they’re called the Carpet Institute and they have created the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme.

Carpets are awarded labels based on their durability and appearance.

Then you have cut piles and loop piles. Put simply in this illustration courtesy of United Carpets and Beds, cut and loop refers to the way in which the fibres are finished.

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Which type of carpeting is more suitable to you will depend on a range of different factors:

  • Which is more stain resistant
  • Whether or not you have kids/pets
  • If it is a high traffic area (hallway, front entrance)
  • Price range
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Carpeting materials

As with most things, if it’s financially feasible, natural fibres are always best, with wool being one of the better flooring options. It can also be on the pricey end. There are cheaper nylon or acrylic fibres and also blends available.

Whatever you decide to go for, be sure to shop around and get several quotes. We leave you with these handy tips from the carpet institute to help with your decision making process.

Want to learn more?

Check out our other articles on home loans and renovations.

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Suzi O'Shea

Written by Suzi O'Shea

Suzi O'Shea is a contributing writer for Oiyo. She has a Bachelor of Arts, Communications with honours from Southern Cross University. Suzi has worked in media for over 15 years and has been published in several online publications as well as print magazines. She has worked as a freelance writer, speaker, and change management facilitator.

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