Renovation tips: what carpet should I install?

Put your business hat on. A rental property is a business, and it’s important to remember this whenever you are about to embark on renovation work.  

what carpet should I install

Practicality and colour neutrality is key – you want the décor to be appealing to most tenants, but you can also expect the carpet to receive a fair amount of wear and tear, so it will need to be of reasonably good quality. However, with your business hat on, you’ll want to keep a tight rein on how much you spend on new carpet, though what you spend will vary depending on how much floor you need to carpet and what type of carpet you install.  

Any carpet you install should ideally be practical, durable, easy to clean, hard-wearing and cost-effective. However, it’s important to redecorate in such a way that the property will appeal to your target tenant. If, for example, you want to rent to a child-friendly family, hard-wearing carpet is a good option. For working professionals, vinyl or laminate flooring might be a better option, especially in high-traffic areas, but you can always stick to carpet in the bedrooms and living room.

The pros and cons of carpet

Carpet is a good insulator that aids heat retention. This helps to bring down energy bills. Carpet also helps with noise reduction and the absorption of sound, so it is the ideal flooring solution in multi-tenant dwellings. As well as providing warmth and comfort to a property, carpet can be long-lasting if looked after, and a quality carpet should last for some years.  

However, the carpet does have a reputation for being hard to keep clean. Regular vacuuming is vital to maintain the health of the carpet, but a professional cleaning will be needed occasionally to prolong its life. Staining can occur on carpets, which can prove hard to remove completely, while the fibres are also a trap for allergens, dirt, dust and odours.

What type of carpet is best?

The best type of carpet will depend on where the carpet will be positioned in the property, how much traffic it will receive, and what your budget is. The types of carpet available include: 

  • Wool carpet – this is best for areas where you want a carpet which provides a lot of warmth and luxury, such as a living room. It can prove more expensive than other carpets, so is better to fit over a smaller area. If you invest in wool carpet, get a good quality wool carpet. Wool carpets have a good bounce-back quality, respond well to cleaning, and are known for their durability.
  • Polypropylene carpet – this is a man-made synthetic fibre which is relatively hard-wearing, stain resistant and affordable. However, synthetic carpet doesn’t respond as well to cleaning over time as the fibres can become damaged. It is typically used in garages or spare rooms.
  • Nylon carpet – this is especially hard-wearing, stain resistant, and is ideal in high traffic areas, such as hallways and on stairs.

What colour of carpet is best?

When decorating a rental property, always stick to neutral shades of carpet. A pale grey or cream-ivory usually works best. Aim for continuity in the colour if you are installing carpet throughout the property.

Carpet durability

Durability is determined by the quality of the fibres, the density and the carpet’s construction. It pays to invest in a carpet with better durability, as you shouldn’t need to replace it as frequently.

Carpet density

The density of a carpet relates to the pile weight and how close the fibres sit together. When looking for carpet for your rental property, aim to get as dense a carpet as possible. The denser the carpet, the more durable it is and better at withstanding wear and tear.