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Buying Carpet – Where To Start

21 August 2020

a 4-minute read

Having a showroom that is stocked floor to ceiling with carpet choices, we understand that there is an overwhelming number of differing carpet types available – you’d certainly be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the choices. 

At Donnelly Watson, we understand that for every need, there is a carpet type; for every style there is a colour; for every room, there is a recommendation and it can be hard to know where to start!

We’re here to guide you through the process of purchasing new carpet for your home, from the initial idea through to purchase and even to the maintenance of the finished carpet. 

Know the Basics 

There are a couple of key terms that you should get acquainted with if you’re deciding on a carpet. The term ‘pile’ refers to the fluffy loops of the carpet; a high pile carpet is taller and looser, whilst a low pile carpet is lower with a tighter weave. 

Also, an underlay is a thin layer of padded material that provides cushioning and insulation for your floor. It 

Now you’re up to speed, let’s get shopping.

living room

Consider your Space

First things first, it’s essential that you consider the practical use of the room that you want to carpet. You should ask yourself questions like: is it a high traffic area? Will I be wearing shoes or slippers on this carpet? Do I want my carpet to make a statement or blend into the surroundings?

If you’re carpeting a bedroom, which is often low traffic and only trodden by slippers and bare feet, you can afford a more luxurious carpet with a higher pile. If we’re talking about a downstairs hallway in a family home, it’s better to go for a natural fibre or loop pile carpet which is more hardwearing. For more information on the requirements of different rooms, read our Living room and Dining room flooring guides.

Do your Research and Set a Budget

The next step is to familiarise yourself with your options. At Donnelly Watson, we offer over 50 brands of carpet in a range of colours and styles. From loop pile, to twist pile and wool, it’s important to acquaint yourself with our carpet types. If you know what type of carpet you want, and have a realistic budget, it’s much easier to narrow down your options. 

Measure Up

When you’re budgeting it’s essential to have accurate measurements so that you can approximate the cost of your carpet and underlay. At Donnelly Watson we can arrange a home consultation where we will safely measure your space before discussing carpet options. 

Get Some Samples

Once you’ve decided on a style and colour you enter the nitty-gritty decision making stage. All the cream carpets look similar, but which one to choose! At Donnelly Watson we make this process easier by offering a bespoke home selection service where we bring the samples to you, allowing you to visualise each sample in your home. You can also book a private appointment in our showroom.

When you’re deciding, It’s important to feel the carpet and it’s weight; heavier carpets are often more durable as they are short and dense underfoot. It’s also worth placing the sample in different areas of the room so that you can see how it works in lighter and darker areas. Make sure to keep a note of the weight and the serial number on the back of each sample so you don’t forget which is which. You’d be surprised how easy it is to get bogged down in colours and weights! 

Listen to Advice

When you’re making these decisions don’t forget to listen to the experts. Our team has been finding the perfect carpets for our customers’ homes for over 30 years, they know all that there is to know about pile, shade and weave! 

Choose an Underlay 

Choosing an underlay can often be as confusing as choosing a carpet, with so many different underlay options offering you a huge range of benefits, from insulation to antimicrobial protection. Since you have budgeted at the beginning of the project, the simple answer is to purchase the best underlay that you can with the money left in your budget. The more you pay, the better the underlay. 

Our expert team can find the perfect underlay for your carpet, and fit it with the carpet efficiently. 

Cost it and Fit it

Once we’ve costed your project within your budget, it’s time to get fitting. This is the easy bit! The Donnelly Watson team have decades of experience fitting carpets in domestic settings. We arrange a convenient time with you and fit your carpet safely and efficiently.

Spare Carpet

Once the job is completed your fitters will hand you any spare carpet, make sure you keep it! You can use it as a sample if you’re heading to another property. Or, if  you’re feeling creative it can be made into a matching doormat.

Keeping your carpet clean


Your carpet is installed but the job is not over. A key to a long living carpet is maintenance. This includes regularly vacuuming your carpet and protecting it from the sun. Be sure to check out our Carpet Care Guide for more information about how to love and care for your carpet! 

Conclusion & CTA

There is a lot to consider when buying carpets for your home. If you are looking for free advice or need samples, please not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Donnelly Watson.

Contact us today!