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What is the best carpet design for wall-to-wall carpets?

By: Mehdi Oveisi – Design Consulting Associates

What is a Wall-to-Wall Carpet?

Wall-to-wall carpets, also known as “fitted carpets” or “broadloom carpets”, is a type of carpeting which covers a given space in few pieces – or even one single piece – as opposed to several pieces laid out to create your flooring. This is what creates the seamless look for which wall-to-wall carpeting is known. Wall-to-wall carpets can be designed to stick directly on subfloors, but more often, they’re laid on underfelt over the substrate flooring and attached using small tacks.

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Wall-to-wall carpeting earns its title from the way it’s manufactured: in long, wide rolls of carpets. Often thought of as the high-quality solution, wall-to-wall carpets works best for projects with big design ambitions or for large floor surfaces.

The memory of icky midcentury shag and synthetic cut pile has left many skeptical of broadloom carpet. But advances in technology are changing some minds.

“One of the biggest developments in the industry has been the rising popularity of hand-woven broadloom carpet that incorporates naturally occurring irregularities normally found in hand-knotted rugs,” said Haynes Robinson, senior vice president of product development at home furnishing retailer ABC Carpet & Homes. “This has contributed to an explosion in materials, constructions and textures in the wall-to-wall format.”

Photo: Ege Carpets

For even more of us, we happen to like the way soft flooring feels under our feet. I’m reminded of how nice it is to walk around barefoot on something soft and cushy.

A striped rug (at a diagonal) to create a separate seating area in the living room. Rugs layered on top define smaller spaces within the room well, too. Layering rugs on top of carpet is a great way to define space and bring some extra detail into a room without changing the full floor.

Just like any kind of flooring, you can achieve your ideal look and feel with a little research. It can provide a sense of luxury or simplicity, excitement or comfort, and sometimes it’s a better option over the more ubiquitous rug. Wall-to-wall carpet also assists with the flexibility of furniture placement within a room. The advantages of carpets are many. For one, wall-to-wall carpets offer many practical benefits, such as superior comfort, attractive acoustic and thermal qualities as well as greater safety compared to hard surface alternatives.

The material and color are always based around the concept of the home and the lifestyle of the homeowner. Domestically, natural fibers are always a must. Think natural, organic fibers like knobby, knotted wools, mohair, jute or sisal and lush, lustrous cottons, linens, cashmeres and silks.

Unlimited Plushness

Selecting wall-to-wall carpeting means gaining access to a wide variety of different carpet backing and yarn options, allowing for a degree of plushness other options simply can’t offer. This is attractive, not only for underfoot comfort but also because it reduces back pain from standing and absorbs the impact of foot traffic, allowing the fibres to look better and last longer. And neutral isn’t the only way to go: Never say no to color, if that’s what your heart desires.

Wall-to-wall carpeting often blends into its surroundings on purpose—but making a design statement might actually be the safer route to a stylish look. The floor is your first physical interaction with a space – it matters!

On top of that, flooring often accounts for a major portion of your project budget. You need to be sure you’re making an informed decision that your clients will be happy with for years to come.

The underlay of wall-to-wall is also one of the most important factors, Always opt for a deluxe double-thickness underlay to provide a further look and feel of luxury.

 

Advantages of wall-to-wall carpets

Wall-to-wall carpets can be a vehicle for expression. Carpet design can be likened to storytelling. Through your carpet selections and the way you employ them, you set the mood of a space, creating an environment that tells occupants how a space should be used. The colours, patterns or custom designs of your wall-to-wall carpet support your unique story.

As there are no modular requirements or unsightly seams that will interfere with your design. When it comes to designing your wall-to-wall carpet, the options are seemingly limitless.

  Using wall-to-wall carpeting to reinforce a brand image.

  It can express the personality of a space.

  Allude to the history of a space

  Wall-to-wall carpets are a must for large-scale patterning or custom designs.

    Wall-to-wall carpets generally have that extra touch of quality that you can feel when walking on them and see when looking at the seamless surface.

The design of your carpet

You’ll choose between three options: tufted, woven or needle punched carpets. While most wall-to-wall carpets are tufted.

Tufted carpets

Tufted carpets account for 95 % of all commercial wall-to-wall carpets on the market and with a fast production time, lower price and a large variety of different designs, it’s no wonder. Tufted carpets are applicable to most projects, but when superior quality and endurance are of top concern, they might not be the best option.

Woven carpets

Woven carpets – or carpets produced on a loom – were the only option on the market a little less than 70 years ago. While technological advancement has provided us a sea of other options, woven carpets are still selected today because of their superior quality and durability, particularly with natural materials. Woven carpets are a good choice for a high-end project.

Needle punched carpets

Needle punched carpets, most often used for things like entry mats, are colorfast, dry quickly and are resistant to sunlight and fading. While practical, they lack versatility regarding look and feel.

 

Wall-to-wall carpet styles

Loop pile carpeting achieves a soft and smooth look and feel, through looping yarn. With loop pile carpeting, you can combine higher and lower loops to play with texture and pattern.

Cut pile carpets achieve a more formal, or luxurious look and often appear darker than loop pile carpets comprised of the same yarn type. Cut pile wall-to-wall carpets are created by cutting yarn loops to create an upright pile.

Cut and loop pile carpets, made up of a combination of cut and looped yarns, allow for sculptured effects – such as squares or swirls – and a wide range of patterns and styles.

Wall-to-wall carpet fibres

Wool is generally considered a price option. It’s a natural fibre, known for being strong, stain resistant and incredibly luxurious. Soft yet dense, wool provides the utmost in comfort, but also maintains reliable structural integrity. Due to its cream color, wool has a more understated look than fibres, such as nylon.

Polypropylene (Olefin)

is a synthetic fibre with a similar appearance to wool. It shares similar stain-resistance properties with wool and is highly resistant to fading but is lacking regarding durability.

Nylon is the more cost-effective option for your wall-to-wall carpet. A polyamide, nylon, is known for resilience, durability, and comfort. Nylon is static-free, resistant to staining and maintains its fibre height very well. As such, it’s not hard to understand why it’s such a popular option. Nylon is easily identifiable by its sharper, glossier finish.

Polyester, also known as a less expensive option, is another kind of synthetic fibre. Rather versatile, polyester has a long history of being used in carpet manufacturing but is generally considered to be a lower-quality choice, compared to nylon. Technological advancements, however, have increased the fibre’s durability to an extent.

Recycled materials

Fibres made from recycled materials, such as fishing nets and other forms of industrial nylon waste, are increasingly gaining in popularity. Generally thought of as a mid-range price option, recycled materials are a sustainable, durable and attractive option if you want to improve your environmental footprint with wall-to-wall carpeting.

A major consideration for many projects is acoustics. For projects such as offices, restaurants, school, hotels, etc., acoustics are a top concern. With its natural sound absorptive properties, wall-to-wall carpets are a great choice when it comes to cutting down on noise. The acoustic performance of a carpet, though, is also dependent on the padding, or carpet backing used beneath it.

For projects where sound absorption is a main concern, it is important to know about acoustic properties and consider the following:   

Carpet can be paired with heavy-duty carpet backing, namely, acoustic-optimised carpet backing to bolster sound absorption properties.

The more permeable the carpet backing, the higher the noise reduction coefficient (NRC). Cushion underlays with greater thickness and higher weight also improve the NRC.

Carpeting for hospitality projects

Whether designing for hotels, restaurants, bars or clubs, designing for the hospitality industry means designing for experience. Designing for hospitality means captivating patrons from the moment they enter – and what better way to do this than by designing the surface or carpet they step on to.   

Carpeting for office projects

A top priority is creating an attractive acoustic environment. This is especially important in open office plans, where excessive noise can impede productivity. For many offices, though, designers are going beyond the functional and are even using wall-to-wall carpeting to increase brand awareness – as a means to increase morale and align goals.

Further, carpets for offices can be used as a cue to employees on how the space should be used, delineating break-out areas or facilitating wayfinding. Google’s European headquarters, for example, features different carpet zones with specific moods and uses, in order to stimulate innovation.   

Wall-to-Wall Carpet Trends and Design Inspiration

Wall-to-wall carpets have experienced a resurgence in popularity. Designers are using carpets as the anchor of their design, building out around it. While hard surfaces were once a must for high-end design, we see more and more that designers are trading in wall-to-wall carpeting for the color, comfort and warmth that carpet can provide.

About Author:

Mehdi Oveisi is (Master of Arts Textile Design) an experienced textile and product designer from various industries Textile and fashion brands (including Ploucquet Textiles and Sympatex Technologies) and the automotive industry (Racemark International) for high-quality transportation interiors, especially in the field of floor coverings, have been active in this sector for more than 16 years.

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