Before you buy

Carpet buying guide

Carpet buying guide

So, you have found your perfect sofa with the help of our handy sofa buying guide, now it's time to find the ideal carpet to complete your room. At ScS, we understand that finding a new carpet can be a confusing process, from measuring your room correctly, to finding the right type of carpet for your lifestyle. This is why our flooring experts are with you every step of the way, to give you the best advice to make the process as easy as possible.

In our easy-to-use carpet buying guide, we'll cover the basics from different types and styles of carpets and underlay available, through to what accessories you need. We'll also explain the delivery process and everything you need to know about getting your new carpet fitted. Buying a new carpet for your home has never been easier.

Different types of carpet

One of the first and most important factors to take into consideration before even choosing a pattern or colour is what type of carpet is best suited to your home. If you have any small children or pets, you need to look at different carpet 'piles' or the way the carpet is constructed, as well as durability and resistance to stains, so you can find the perfect carpet type and ensure a long lifespan.

Patterned carpets

For a luxurious choice, Patterned Carpets, including contemporary striped carpets, would add a stylish touch to bedrooms, dining and living rooms. Patterned carpets are available in a wide choice of designs, and tend to have a velvet finish with the added benefit of being hardwearing, meaning they will look good for many years to come.

Saxony carpets

If you are looking for the ultimate in luxury then Saxony carpets are the perfect choice. Sink your feet into the long, deep pile of this cut pile carpet, for a super soft feel and added warmth underfoot. Saxony carpets are ideal for all areas around the home, excluding kitchens and bathrooms. Be sure to give your Saxony carpet some extra care and attention, to avoid any flattening and ensure a long lifespan.

Twist carpets

Another popular choice of carpets for busy homes are twist carpets, made from twisted fibres which are then cut, to create a deep texture and coarseness to the carpet. Available in two styles - plain and heathered - twist carpets are hardwearing and suitable for high-traffic areas. Heathered twist carpets help to disguise stains with their 'mottled' appearance, making them an ideal choice for hallways, stairs or dining rooms.

We wouldn't recommend using striped carpets on twist stairs, but a surveyor will be happy to assess your stairs and advise on the best option for your home.

Cut pile carpets

Softer underfoot and to touch than loop pile, cut pile carpets start their life as loop pile and these loops are then cut and usually contain a twist - the tighter the twist, the more durable your carpet will be. Also available are stain resistant cut pile carpets to protect your home from everyday stains and spills, ideal if you have children or pets.

Loop pile carpets

Made from uncut loops of yarn adding extra durability, loop pile carpets or berber carpets are an ideal choice for busy family homes, being both easy to clean and maintain. Loop pile carpets are suitable for use in high traffic areas around the home, including hallways, stairways or living rooms, but we wouldn't recommend using them in kitchens or bathrooms.

While they are practical and durable, we wouldn't recommend loop pile carpets for homes with pets as the loops can get caught in their claws and shorten the longevity of your carpet.

Choosing a carpet style

Once you have decided which type of carpet pile is best suited to your room and lifestyle, now comes the fun part of choosing a colour or pattern. Whether you've already got a style in mind or you are open to experimenting with vibrant designs, here at ScS we have a wide range of plain and patterned carpets to choose from in store and online.

Just like deciding which type of carpet is best suited to you, the room itself should play a role in choosing which colour or pattern will look best in your home. Neutral or plain carpets add a classic look and offer more flexibility if you decide to change the décor of your room, as well as making living spaces look larger. However, they can show up any dirt or stains, so if there's going to be lots of footfall on your new carpet, opt for a hardwearing, stain-resistant carpet.

We wouldn't recommend using carpets in bathrooms or kitchens, excluding our Cosy Bathroom carpet, which has been specifically manufactured for your bathroom with added waterproof gel backing.


Patterned carpets are perfect to create a stylish focal point in any room, as well as helping to disguise stains or marks, making them an ideal choice for rooms with busy footfall. Be sure to pick a design that you will still love in years to come to avoid having to update your flooring too often. If you don't want to commit to a patterned carpet, look for textured carpets such as a heather twist carpet, which will enhance your room subtly. For more interior inspiration and information, take a look at the ScS blog.

Measuring your room

Once you have decided on a type and style of carpet, it's time to measure up for your new carpet, so you know exactly how much you will need. This might seem like the most difficult part of the carpet buying process, but it's actually quite simple.

Measure the length and width of your room in metres and simply add 10cm to both of these measurements to allow for cutting around doorways, as well any fixtures or fittings. If you don't feel confident taking measurements yourself, call our dedicated Carpet Hotline on 0800 731 0048 for more advice, alternatively you can arrange for a ScS carpet specialist to visit your home and measure your room for you.

Many of our carpets are available in a range of widths from 1m to 5m, but if you require more carpet for your room please call our Carpet Hotline on 0800 731 0048 and speak to one of our flooring experts.

Carpet samples delivered to your door

Here at ScS, we understand that you want to see the look and feel of a carpet before you commit to buying, that's why you can request a free carpet sample online for many of our carpet ranges. Simply click the 'Request this Sample' link on each carpet product page, complete your details and a carpet sample will be sent direct to your doorstep within a couple of days.

Alternatively, you can visit your local ScS store and view our wide range of in store carpet samples.

Carpet underlay

At ScS, we want you to get the best value for money out of your carpet and that's why we always recommend buying or replacing underlay along with your new carpet.

Adding extra comfort to your new carpet underlay acts as a shock absorber providing extra cushioning underfoot, as well as helping to reduce noise in busy homes. Carpet underlay can also help to retain heat in your property, which in the long term could lead to lower energy bills. Poor quality underlay can lead to the risk of voiding your carpet warranty, but our carpet specialists are happy to help you determine which type of underlay will provide the best support for your carpet.

At ScS, we offer four types of underlay for different flooring and usage including:

Comfy deluxe- 11mm thick with a 145 density, this underlay is suitable for heavy domestic and contract use, or rooms with concrete floors
Comfy lux - 11mm thick with a 100 density, this underlay is suitable for heavy domestic use, or rooms with concrete flooring
Comfy step - 10mm thick with a 90 density, this underlay is suitable for all rooms with medium wear use and under wood flooring
Comfy lay - 7mm thick with an 80 density, this underlay is suitable for general domestic use in bedrooms only.

Simply order your underlay in the same length and width as you carpet and when calculating the price of your carpet, you will be given the option of Comfy Deluxe, Comfy Lux, Comfy Step or Comfy Lay underlay to add to your basket, depending on the thickness and density you require.

Carpet accessories

Once you've chosen your carpet and determined how much you will need for your room, your thoughts will probably turn to carpet accessories and at ScS, we've got all your flooring needs covered.

Gripper rods

Gripper is used to hold your carpet in place and must be used all around the room, except doorways where door bars are used. The gripper rods need to be to 2/3 the depth of the carpet away from the wall, if in doubt, call our Flooring Hotline and one of our experts will be happy to discuss how much gripper will be needed for your room.

Door bars

Door bars are used to separate and hold your carpet in place, as well as finishing the end of the carpet in the doorway. Available in aluminium or brass, one of our personal shopping advisors will discuss if you need a Cover Strip, Single Edge, Double Edge or Z Edge:

Cover strip - soft backed carpets i.e. rubber or foam
Single edge - carpet to floor or vinyl
Double edge - hold 2 carpets
Z edge - hold carpet to laminate or ceramic tile.

Laminate, wood and vinyl flooring

At ScS, we also sell a wide range of wood, laminate and vinyl flooring, perfect for use in kitchens or bathrooms where carpet is not recommended. Our range of wood and laminate flooring includes realistic hardwood stone textures, as well as solid and engineered wood flooring, which is highly durable and perfect for high traffic areas around the home, excluding stairs. Our range of vinyl flooring is available in a range of finishes, including wood or stone which is perfect for use in kitchens or bathrooms.

If you are looking to use wood or laminate flooring in living rooms or bedrooms, why not browse our range of plain and patterned rugs to add extra warmth and create a stylish focal point.

Frequently asked questions:

  • How can I pay for my new carpet?

    At ScS, we accept all major credit and debit cards in-store and online, including Visa, Mastercard, Maestro and American Express, as well as payment by PayPal. In-store, you can also pay with cash, cheque or banker's draft.

    Alternatively, apply for finance and take advantage of our 4 years' free credit offer, 0% APR representative, available on all sofa and flooring purchases over £250. Choose the 'Pay Monthly' option at the basket. One of our personal shopping advisors will then call you to walk you through the credit application and process your order.

  • When will my carpet be delivered and how much will it cost?

    As each order is tailor-made to your requirements, we will let you know when you should expect to receive your new carpet at the point of purchase. You can find out more information on our delivery times page.

    There is a £29 delivery cost for carpets, but this may increase if you live outside of a 30-mile radius of your nearest ScS store. For homes within the M25 corridor, there is a £45 delivery cost for carpets and you can find out more about our carpet delivery charges here.

  • Who will fit my new carpet?

    The fitting of your new carpet is not included in the carpet delivery cost, and we do not fit flooring ourselves. However, we can arrange for an independent fitter to fit your carpet for you. If you are buying online call our Carpet Hotline on 0800 731 0048 after you have placed your order.

    Payment will be made to your carpet fitter on the day of installation and the contract for the work is between you and the fitter. The current fitting rates for carpet are:

    • £3.25 per square metre, with a £45 minimum charge for halls, stairs and landings, or £35 for all other rooms
    • £5.00 additional surcharge per stair for fitting carpet on open plan or wrap around stairs
    • £3.75 per square metre, with a £60 minimum charge inside the M25 corridor, with an additional £5 surcharge per stair for fitting carpet on open plan or wrap around stairs
  • How long is my carpet guaranteed for?

      At ScS, we offer a 12-month guarantee on any parts and labour should anything go wrong when fitting your new carpet, but many of our carpets carry wear and stain guarantees of up to 20 years. Further information on guarantees can be found in the product information when you view any of our carpets online.

  • How can I care for my new carpet?

      Buying a new carpet is an investment and we understand that you want your carpet to look good for years to come to get the best value for money. That's why we would always recommend buying our SOS Carpet Care Kit to help remove any stains when they occur.

      New carpets can shed fibres and flatten after fitting, but with regular vacuuming to remove excess yarn and help to lift carpet fibres back up, your carpet will stay fresh and fluffy for longer. For more advice and tips to care for your carpet, please read our carpet care guide.