Carpet options buying guide

The basics of buying a wall-to-wall carpet.
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  • Updated:1 Jul 2008



In brief

  • No one material or style is better than another overall
  • What's best for you depends on where the carpet will be, who will be using it, how much traffic it will get, and the size of your budget.
  • Good-quality nylon can now mimic the luxurious look of wool, with the addition of stain resistance.
  • Don't buy a new carpet without also buying new underlay.

Buying the wrong carpet can be a costly mistake if you don’t choose wisely. This guide will arm you with all the info you need before you take the plunge.

Please note: this information was current as of July 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market.

Why carpet?

Carpet is versatile, keeps your home cooler in summer and warmer and winter, is slip-free (particularly beneficial for the elderly), provides a quieter indoor environment and is relatively easy to maintain. The jury’s out, but there is also some evidence to suggest that it helps allergy sufferers by trapping dust mites (see allergies).

What’s the cost?

Carpet is usually priced by the broadloom metre, which is 1 m x 3.66 m. Remember to convert to square metres when comparing carpet prices to other floor coverings, such as tiles or timber.

One retailer we spoke to said that a nylon carpet can range from $125 up to $300 per broadloom metre, wool carpets can range from $140 to $500 and polypropylene carpets from $90 to $180.

No one carpet fibre is inherently ‘better’ than any other. Each fibre comes in a variety of qualities and price ranges. The most important point is to choose a fibre, style and construction to suit your lifestyle and budget, that’s suitable for the room in which it will be placed.

What about colour?

Carpet comes in every colour and pattern imaginable. When choosing a colour, ask yourself — do you want a natural colour that blends in, or do you want a vibrant colour that reflects your personal style?

  • Lighter colours are great for small rooms as they will make it seem larger, but they will show stains more readily than darker shades.
  • Dark colours are prone to show lint.
  • Cool greens and blues will provide a calming effect.
  • Reds yellows and browns will warm up a room.


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