No. All carpets, except woven carpets, are made with spaces between the tufts (ends). Remember, except when used on stairs, carpet is laid flat on the floor. You can feel the thickness or density of different carpets by sticking your fingers into the pile, but make sure you do it on a flat surface. As a general rule, thicker, tighter, denser carpets perform better.
Using technical specifications of a product can give you a guide, but there are many other factors that can alter the comparison. For example, two carpets made to the same specifications but made with different fibres will perform, look, and feel differently in the same environment.
A rating system developed by a manufacturer is their own evaluation of products based on their set of standards and “testing” methods. These rating systems can’t be compared across manufacturers since most are based on opinion and not strict testing methods.
Twist is the number of turns put into the carpet fibre or yarn. Almost all carpets have twisted yarns. As a general rule, the more twist or turns on a fibre, the better performance you can expect. Yarns that are twisted tighter have a different feel compared to those that are looser.
A plush pile carpet is very luxurious and comfortable to live with. A twist pile carpet has the added benefit of minimising the appearance of tracking or foot marking. We recommend that you select products depending on your lifestyle and the foot traffic in your home.
A broadloom metre is actually 3.66 square metres, i.e. 1 metre cut from a carpet roll, which is normally 3.66 metres in width. It’s always a good idea to compare the square metre cost of carpet against other floor coverings such as ceramic tiles, vinyl or timber as they are specifically priced by the square metre and you can determine a better comparison of value.
Shedding results from the type of fibre used in the manufacturing of the carpet. Carpet that is manufactured with staple fibre has shorter fibres in the yarn and will shed for a short time depending on the amount of foot traffic and how often you vacuum. BCF, or Bulked Continuous Fibre, is the other type of fibre used in the manufacturing of carpet. In terms of durability there is little difference between the two. Wool is naturally a staple fibre; nylon and polyester can be either staple or BCF and olefin is usually BCF.
No it doesn’t. Spot cleaning is recommended because a stain is harder to remove if allowed to dry—don’t rub into the carpet, rather use pressure to soak up the liquid as soon as you notice a spill.
While nylon carpet is treated with stain resistance, it’s still recommended to clean up spills as quickly as possible—again, don’t rub into the carpet, rather use pressure to soak up the liquid.
Wool is a natural fibre and is great for insulation, i.e. it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer. Recommended if you have an open fireplace.
Nylon is a man-made fibre that can be solution dyed, i.e. the colour is right through the fibre like a carrot, or just nylon i.e. colour coats the outside of the fibre like an apple
Depending on the size of your home, most installations are completed within one day. However, your local Choices Flooring store can give you a better idea once they see a plan of your home or following a free measure and quote.
New constructions can generate a lot of new odours so it’s hard to tell what is specifically causing a reaction. The best way to eliminate all the new odours is to open the windows and ventilate the premise for approximately 48 to 72 hours.
Preparing for installation may differ from Choices Flooring store.
The basic requirements are:
Remove all breakables including computers and televisions etc.
Unmake all beds
Take out the drawers from bedside tables or chest of drawers etc.
Wardrobe floors to be cleared up to one metre off the floor.
Choices Flooring can arrange to move billiard tables and pianos with an outside contractor or you may organise it yourself. Any cabinets/wall units requiring dismantling or that have electrical wiring need to be organised by the customer.
The biggest drawback associated with laminate wood flooring is that it cannot be refinished. Because the top layer of each board is made of paper instead of wood, the floor cannot be sanded or stained to give it a new look, or to refresh a dull, worn surface.
Laminate floors closely resemble those made from real hardwood, yet cost just a fraction of the price. They often contain an integral foam underlay that adds insulation to the floor while making it more comfortable to walk on. Laminate is also considered a “green” alternative to exotic wood species.
Laminate is a photo image of timber under a melamine coating applied on top of a medium-density fibre (MDF) or high-density fibre (HDF) backing board. Unlike natural timber, the pattern in Laminate is repeated consistently. Planks click together making for easy “do it yourself” installation. Unlike veneer, laminate cannot be sanded.
Veneer varies in thickness—a layer of timber veneer generally measuring between 4 mm and 7 mm is applied to a backing board. The overall thickness of the combined products is typically 14 mm.
Unlike laminate, veneer is real timber and can be sanded several times. Veneer comes in one, two and three-strip planks. One-strip planks attract a higher price, while two and three-strip planks are a little cheaper as they use off-cuts of the single plank timber. Because the backing board and veneer is applied at cross grains, there is added stability compared to natural timber.
Typically, the colour of your carpet will look lighter once it is installed. Most carpet selections are made from smaller carpet samples, so seeing the colour in a large amount in an entire room or home will make it appear lighter. This is especially true if there are bare walls, windows and no furnishings.
Areas in the home that have high activity such as family rooms, hallways, stairs etc. would benefit from a durable carpet such as a textured, loop, berber, cut and loop or pattern. These styles will also help disguise the appearance of footprints. Be sure to also select a colour that will minimize the appearance of dirt (i.e. stick to medium-to-dark neutral colours).
A breathable underlay that’s specifically designed for use on hardwood floors is recommended for use under a rug. Typically, these come in mesh or grid patterns and will help “grip” your floor and hold the rug in place.
Depending on the fibre, you would treat most rugs as you would carpet. A shag pile rug hides more footprints etc. than a plush style rug. All rugs can be vacuumed or you can take them outside and shake any grit out.
A slip rating is a standardised rating covering four different test methods for tiles to indicate the level slip resistance performance in various applications and conditions. The main methods used to test slip resistance in Australia are the ramp (‘R’ rating) and pendulum slip testing classifications. Based on the test results, manufacturers will classify tiles for use in specific locations.
Remember, some ceramic tile products will require more post installation maintenance than others. In some instances these treatments and a variety of other factors may change a product’s slip resistance performance such as:
Poor cleaning practices
Build-up of grime or cleaning material residues
Exposure to chemicals which may affect the surface of the tile
Surface wear which abrades the surface of the tile and reduces its natural slip resistance.
Tilers generally will have a fixed rate for fixing standard ceramic and glazed porcelain tiles. Most tilers will however, charge additional rates for handling large format tiles (600 x 600 and 800 x 800) including glass, patterns, or hard structural tiles like vitrified porcelain. The extra rates are usually for things like time and use of wet saws. Always ask a registered tiler up-front what additional costs there may be and provide details on the type of tile you’ve purchased (e.g. size, tile type, tile edge etc.).
Yes. External tiles are exposed to harsher conditions than indoor tiles. For this reason, outside tiles need to be resistant to the elements. Depending on the level of exposure to the elements, tiles suitable for external applications will require a “Ramp Test Slip Rating” of R10 or higher (e.g. R11, R12 commercial grade). Outdoor tiles should be unglazed.
Only porcelain tiles (either full-bodied, vitrified or glazed porcelain tiles) can all be used on floor and wall applications. Some ceramic tiles can also be used on floor applications, but not all. This will be detailed within the product lists and labelling on the tile.
Tiles with a floor suitability indication can also always be used on walls.
Glazed tiles (glazed porcelain and glazed ceramic tiles) are already stain-proof and do not need to be sealed.
Polished porcelain tiles however are unsealed, and by the nature of the polishing method, become even more porous and absorbent of stains and require regular sealing to avoid staining.
Innovative manufacturing of porcelain tiles has resulted in the creation of “nano” and “double loaded” pre-sealed tiles in all finishes. These polished, honed and matt finishes do not require sealing (although manufacturers recommend a sealing application beyond 10 years, depending on the level of foot traffic).
Glazed tiles are coated with a liquid glass, which is then baked into the surface of the clay. The glaze provides an unlimited array of colours and designs and protects the tile from staining. Unglazed tiles are much the same, except their surface is not coated.
Full-bodied porcelain tiles do not show wear because their colour extends throughout the tile, which is ideal for high traffic areas.
Firstly, there are two types of porcelain tiles: full-bodied/vitrified porcelain and glazed porcelain.
Full-bodied/vitrified porcelaintiles are dense and incredibly hardwearing. The colour and pattern is present throughout the entire thickness of the tile.
Glazed porcelain tiles are also dense and hardwearing in comparison to ceramic tiles.
All porcelain tiles are denser and can be quickly identified from a ceramic tile by their weight (when holding similar sized tile). Porcelain tiles are much heavier.
Ceramic tiles are usually made using red or white clay and are almost always finished with a glaze. They are lighter, softer and easier to cut than a porcelain tile, and usually carry a PEI zero to three rating.
Another quick test to determine a ceramic tile is by wetting it slightly on the back—you’ll find the water will absorb into the tile very quickly.
Yes. Porcelain tile is more expensive because it is a higher quality product. Porcelain is an extremely hard and non-porous product. It has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5 per cent making it very stain resistant.
Ceramic tile is a very durable flooring product when installed correctly. What will most likely happen is the item you drop, like a plate or glass, will break while the tile may just suffer a chip or crack.
Yes, different species have different molecular structure and different hardness. All species are subjected to a Janka test. This test measures the force required to embed an 11.28 mm steel ball into wood to half the ball's diameter. This method leaves an indentation; the more force required, the harder the timber and the higher the Janka rating.
Yes, but while this may save you money in the short term, installing timber yourself will invalidate the manufacturer's warranty. Only floors installed by professional installers will carry a valid warranty.
Installing timber flooring requires a small gap (expansion gap) to be left between the timber and the walls, which is generally covered by skirting board, or Scotia , so ideally skirting boards should not be present prior to installation. If skirting already exists, installers may leave a gap between the floor and the skirting and later cover it with a Scotia .
Some products are produced as one strip, two strip and three strip formations. The more strips used, the easier it is for the manufacturer to source product as they can use smaller off-cuts which lowers the cost.
Floating floors are held down by their own weight so they aren’t nailed down (they can be glued) but instead are laid on a thin layer of foam underlay. In effect, they are floating on underlay, not attached to the sub floor.
Some products, such as Pine, are from plantation timbers that can be readily grown and sourced, and generally have a fast growth cycle. Timbers such as Merbau, Jarrah, and Tasmanian Oak, have longer growth patterns and are more difficult to source, and subsequently, are more expensive.
Timber floors are not suitable for wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries as moisture may cause joins to expand and buckle. If timber is installed in these areas it will invalidate the manufacturer's warranty.
Yes, you can lay timber over concrete. If the concrete slab is less than five years old, a membrane between the slab and the timber can be applied so the moisture from the slab doesn't damage the timber.
Yes. As long as the existing floor is level, you can lay a new timber floor over the top. However, bear in mind that the new flooring will raise the total floor level from between 12 and 19 mm (depending on the thickness of the flooring type you have chosen).
Floating timber can be glued down but can cause problems if boards are damaged and need replacing. The other problem with gluing is that it does not allow the boards to move as floating floors are required to. Customers are generally concerned with the hollow sound of floating floors but we would recommend using acoustic underlay.
There is no question that a good cushion is critical to carpet performance, but remember that you walk directly on the carpet so you want carpet constructed to suit your lifestyle. If you buy a cheaper carpet that doesn’t meet your needs, you’ll have a cushion that feels great, but you may not be satisfied with the look or wear of your carpet.
Consider a thicker, plusher carpet cushion for a luxurious feel in bedrooms, the study and living rooms, where comfort is a priority. Higher weight or higher density products will help your carpet look newer for longer. Many carpet cushions are available that combine the best of both worlds—durability and ultra-plush comfort.
You may save on your initial carpet cushion purchase, but you’ll pay for it in the end by shortening the life of your carpet. Plus, you may be giving up some of the benefits that keep your investment looking and feeling good.
Generally, cushion vinyl is laid loosely so any imperfections in the floor don’t show through over time. It can also be glued down, but the flooring needs to be completely level. Vinyl tiles or planks are glued down so the surface needs to be completely level, which is done by applying a self- leveller to the floor if required.