Carpet Buying Guide

Ranging from classic to contemporary, in our showroom we offer a huge selection of carpets in a variety of designs, colours, textures and prices to suit every pocket. Many of our carpets are in stock, so you can enjoy your new purchase in next to no time.

Famous brands include Axminsters, Brintons, Brockway, Cavalier, Kingsmead, Mayfield, Penthouse, Westex, Abingdon Stainfree, Flotex, Associated Weavers, Crucial Trading, Victoria, Cormar to name but a few.

Visit our extensive showroom in Exeter, Devon, and experience the full Queenstreet service including free measuring and estimating, professional advice at every stage of the process and samples to take home. We offer a vast choice of carpets available to view in our showroom as well as a carpet fitting service.

We have our own carpet fitters who are probably the most experienced in the south west, and most of whom have worked for us for many years. If you are looking for a DIY service, then we can easily supply the flooring only and have it delivered within days, wherever you live in the UK.


Buying a carpet - top tips


While it is fair to say that carpet hardly ever completely wears out, appearance retention does vary according to the quality. It is essential to buy the best you can afford and the most suitable for the use to which it will be subjected. Factors to consider include:

Having answered these questions, you are ready for the next step:

  1. Which room is it for and how much wear will it receive? A hall, stairs and landing, for example, will need a heavier wearing carpet than a bedroom
  2. Are there any particular fabrics or existing décor to be matched? What are your future decorating plans? Remember to choose the carpet first and install it last!
  3. Do you want a plain carpet, patterned carpet, one with texture or a border? You have a large choice so experiment with colour and design
  4. How long do you reasonably expect your new carpet to last? Is it a ‘quick fix’ or a long term purchase?
  5. How much do you want to spend? Don’t forget to include the cost of fitting and underlay and other materials (where applicable)
  6. Contact us to organise our free no obligation measuring service. Doing it yourself, could cause over or under ordering
  7. Choose from samples in the comfort of your own home or borrow samples after visiting our showroom in Exeter. It is always preferable to see the sample in your own environment and in your own natural light
  8. Buy new underlay. It will prolong the life of your new carpet as well as giving added comfort
  9. Use our professional fitting teams to lay your carpet. Usually we can lay your flooring within two weeks of ordering, subject to stock availability


Types of carpet


Carpets are produced in a variety of surface textures which affect the feel, appearance and performance of the carpet. The location of the carpet needs to be considered when choosing the type of pile, as all are designed for different degrees of wear.

Tufted carpet

A tufted carpet is currently the most popular type of carpet, as the manufacturing process makes this a great value choice. It is made by a row of needles punching the pile yarn into the backing cloth. This type of carpet is springy, and comes in a great variety of finishes and colours.

Woven carpet

A woven carpet is made using the traditional loomed method, creating a more premium finish. This carpet is made with all patterns and colours woven in rather than printed on the carpet. A more premium product than a tufted carpet, it is made either in pure wool or a blend of wool and man-made fibres, normally 80% wool 20% nylon. Choose from Axminsters, which tend to be patterned, or Wiltons, which are more likely to be plain or have cut and loop styles.

Twisted pile

A twist pile carpet is a cut pile made from twisted fibres, and is the most commonly used style of tufted carpet. The twisted fibres have a coarse finish which creates a textured surface to the carpet. Twist carpet comes in two styles, either plain or heathered (slightly mottled). Heathered carpet is perfect for busier areas as marks are less likely to show.

A twist carpet is generally less likely to fluff or show footmarks, particularly compared to a velvet. However, some twists are so fine that they can exhibit shading similar to a velvet. It’s a hard wearing carpet, and suitable for most areas in your home, including hall, stairs, landings and main rooms.

Loop pile

A loop carpet is made from uncut loops of yarn which can be flat or textured. They generally have a rugged appearance, similar to natural flooring like sisal, and look particularly good in hallways or on stairs. This type of carpet is great for busy rooms as the weave bounces back really easily and is great at hiding footprints.

We do not recommend loop pile carpet if you have pets, as the loops can get pulled by their claws.


A Saxony carpet has a deep pile of twisted yarns which is popular for bedrooms as it has a sensuous feel and a look of luxury. The long pile is more difficult to clean though and can flatten easily, so it is not recommended for hallways, stairs or main rooms where it is likely to take the heaviest wear.


A Berber carpet is a loop pile made from a random blend of coloured yarns to give a multi-coloured, flecked and slightly textured look, and is exceptionally durable. The yarn used is quite heavy and wide, and the loops can be made at either one height or at different heights to enhance the textured feel.


A Velvet carpet is a softer, smoother and more luxurious version of a cut pile carpet. The fibres are straighter than a twist pile and can show areas of light and dark shading. A velvet carpet will look great in all rooms, but particularly in formal rooms and bedrooms as it creates an effect that looks rich and indulgent.


Types of fibre in your carpet


The look, feel and quality of a carpet is largely dependent on the type of yarn fibres used to make it. Carpet suffers harsh treatment from shoes, furniture etc. and the pile must retain its looks and density, and so must be hard wearing.


Wool is recognised as the best fibre to use in carpet as it is naturally flame retardant, durable, easy to clean, offers softness and retains its appearance well. In addition it recovers quickly from foot traffic and furniture marks. It has natural insulation properties which help reduce heat loss and noise. Wool is a sustainable fibre and so an eco-friendly choice.

It is recommended that wool should be used for carpet either in a pure 100% form or in a blend with other man-made fibres with at least 50% wool. The most common blend is 80% wool and 20% synthetic fibre, as this combines the best properties of both and helps keep the cost down compared to a 100% wool carpet.


The use of polypropylene in carpet has grown dramatically more recently as it is extremely resistant to stains, fading and moisture. Polypropylene, a value-orientated fibre, is also notably colourfast because it is solution dyed, which means the colour is added during the fibre production and not dyed later.


Polyester is warm, wears well and is easily cleaned. It is common in a Saxony carpet with its long pile, as it has a glossy appearance and offers exceptional softness. It has excellent colour clarity, colour retention, strength and abrasion resistance. It is often used in small quantities in a wool/synthetic blend to help provide tuft definition and to reduce fibre shedding. Carpets made from polyester are easily cleaned and they resist water soluble stains.


Nylon is soft yet very strong, wears well and retains its texture well. It is highly stain resistant and easy to clean. Nylon shows colour brilliantly and has exceptional resilience. Nylon is often added to wool to create wool rich carpet with increased wear resistance.


Caring for your carpet


We all want our new carpet to look good for as long as possible but the reality is dirt and grit are a fact of life and spills and accidents are inevitable. There are, however, some basic measures that can be taken to extend the life of a carpet and help it look good for longer.

  1. Use a doormat as that will significantly reduce the rate at which the carpet will soil. Use a remnant or off cut from your new carpet
  2. Vacuum your new carpet regularly. This will prevent dirt and grit from matting the fibres. An upright vacuum cleaner fitted with a beater bar and/or brushes is recommended for cut pile carpets. A vacuum only model is best for loop pile carpets to prevent pilling
  3. Always vacuum new carpet. When a carpet is first laid there may be some fluffing or shedding of loose fibres but this is perfectly normal
  4. Carpet care treatments should be Woolsafe approved as that means they have been scientifically tested and are safe and effective for cleaning wool rich carpets
  5. Ordinary detergents such as washing up liquid or soap should not be used on carpet


Dealing with stains


The key with any spillage is to act quickly - preferably the moment they occur. The sooner a spill is tackled, the better the chance of avoiding a stain.

  1. Liquids should be soaked with clean white absorbent cloth, white kitchen roll or tissues
  2. Stains should be blotted and never rubbed
  3. Stains should be worked on from the outside in so as to avoid them spreading
  4. Solids should be scraped up
  5. The pile should be brushed up after cleaning
  6. Cleaning agent should be applied to a cloth and never directly to the spot
  7. Stains should always be rinsed thoroughly with water afterwards if spot cleaners have been used, but never wet excessively
  8. Use a hair dryer to dry the spot
  9. Only use a spot cleaner that is Woolsafe approved

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