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How to Specify Carpet for a Contract Installation

Advice & Guidance from BCFA member Brintons

When specifying carpet for a contract installation, there are a number of important factors that must be considered. It can be appealing to make a buying decision based purely on price, particularly in the current financial climate. But that often leads to a compromise on product versatility and performance, as well as product quality and appearance.

Carpet can be used to bring striking design into the interior space. Brintons recently collaborated with Erdem to create this attractive carpet design that is being used to support Wool Week 2011 

Of all the flooring types that are popular in the contract sector, carpet is consistently the most adaptable when shaping an interior. Not only does carpet offer a superb blank canvas for making a striking interior design statement and creating a unique atmosphere, it also brings other tangible benefits that make a meaningful difference ­ in both the short and long terms.

Firstly, carpet is often specified over hard flooring because it is safe ­ a feature that’s particularly important in a bustling interior space like a hotel, cruise ship or conference centre. The composition of carpet ­ both in terms of the materials used in its manufacture and its construction ­ make for a reliable non-slip product that ensures peace of mind.

Carpet is also an appealing floor covering because it absorbs noise and therefore reduces sound pollution. Hard floors can be extremely distracting when specified in areas of high pedestrian traffic. The level of noise that can be created inside an interior space should always be given important consideration during the specifying process because it can have a seriously adverse effect on the functionality of the space and the atmosphere created.

When specifying, it’s also strongly advisable to consider how a floor covering will feel underfoot. This can be vitally important in hospitality environments where guest comfort and satisfaction is everything and you only get one opportunity to make a lasting impression.

By its very nature, hard flooring has a distinctly clinical feel and doesn’t offer much in the way of comfort. But carpet is very different. If the specification of the fibre mix is correct and appropriate for the installation, carpet can be used to give an unrivalled feeling of luxury and comfort underfoot. If the fibre mix is compromised after failing to evaluate the precise requirements of the installation, it’s likely that the specified carpet will be too thin and will rapidly degenerate under normal conditions.

Therefore, the optimum fibre mix that is recommended for today’s contract carpets is an 80% wool and 20% nylon Axminster blend. The properties of these fibres ensure the carpet remains bouncy and soft underfoot ­ guaranteeing that lasting first impression.

Specifying an 80/20 blend of fibres in a contract carpet also guarantees outstanding product performance.
The fibres used in a wool-rich carpet like an Axminster are instrumental in helping the product to look cleaner and fresher for an extended period of time. Wool fibres naturally absorb indoor air contaminants and wool’s natural resistance to dirt and soiling make for easy maintenance.

Furthermore, wool is a strong and durable fibre and its natural crimp gives carpet a built-in resilience to crush. This ensures the carpet retains its longevity and looks good for many years into the future, something that is extremely attractive to commercial customers who are keen to save time and money on regular refurbishments.

The construction of an Axminster contract carpet is also worth noting during the specifying process because it offers a distinct advantage over other types of carpet, such as a tufted product.

In an Axminster carpet, each tuft of yarn is woven into the backing material and is securely locked into place by shots of backing material to create a three-dimensional support structure. The strength of this type of weave ensures that an Axminster carpet is less likely to de-laminate than any other type of carpet under normal conditions.

The outstanding performance of Axminster carpet has been clearly illustrated at Hong Kong International Airport. A wool-rich Axminster carpet that was installed in one of the terminal buildings was subjected to footfall of 25 million passengers each year for a period of 10 years without a single complaint during its lifetime. That’s an impressive feat of endurance.

Specifying a premium-quality carpet like Axminster can also bring added warmth to an interior space. The wool and nylon fibres that are used in the construction of the carpet trap the warm air in the environment and help the room to retain its heat. Tests have shown that a good-quality Axminster carpet will give an insulation value of between 1.5 and 1.8 Togs.

Finally, when specifying a contract carpet, it’s vitally important to consider the credentials of your chosen supplier. By working with a supplier that is proficient in understanding your precise requirements, project shaping, design, planning and estimating, manufacturing, installation and aftercare, not only will you be safe in the knowledge that you have specified a great product that will stand the test of time, but you are also likely to benefit practically and therefore financially. 


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