1. Consider the way you live
If you have a young family and pets then look for a hardwearing carpet in a forgiving colour, such as a textured loop pile or a quality hard-twist cut. If you’re a couple looking for a touch of luxury, you might opt for a plush pile in a flat colour. If you’re an entertainer, a combination cut and loop pile in mid-to-dark tones or a stippled cut pile would suit.
2. Think about plush piles
Cut piles include plush piles, which are super soft and look like velvet. If you want that squishy, luxurious feeling then dense, plush-pile carpets are lovely, but bear in mind they show footprints.
3. Take a look at loop piles
Loop piles are exactly that; the yarn is formed into loops. There are lots of variations: some have a formal, linear look, some have a ribbed pattern, giving them a sisal look. Random loop piles give the carpet a textured, casual look.
4. Mix it up
Combination cut and loop pile carpets, where the contrasting textures create a light and dark pattern are less likely to show footprints and have a lovely texture underfoot.
5. Understand how carpet colour works
Darker colours help make a room appear cozy. Lighter colours make a room appear larger. A popular option is to choose a carpet that combines two colours in a subtle, neutral blend. It’s more forgiving when it comes to stains.
6. Anticipate a fade
Carpet will appear lighter once installed and will fade over time, so choose one that is a shade or two deeper than you planned.
7. Consider your preferred fiber type
Carpets are available in 100-per-cent wool, wool-nylon mixes and myriad synthetic fibers. Wool is cool in summer and warm in winter – and it’s not necessarily more expensive. Of the synthetic fibers, solution-dyed nylon is the pick. It’s generally fade resistant and soft to touch.
8. Lie on it
If people in your family like to lounge on the floor, make sure you buy a heavy weight, dense carpet. The heavier a carpet sample, the more yarn it's likely to have.