Last time around, we looked at how carpet is put together and what impact that can have on its suitability for use in hospitality and leisure locations. You can read that first article here. But of course, whether a carpet is woven or tufted is just half the story, and there are a few other factors to consider when choosing carpet for your hotel. So, in this article we’ll highlight what to look out for and how best to find the right carpet for the task at hand.
First and foremost a lucid attempt to identify and clarify your needs, or indeed expectations, should be made. You want your carpet to last, so if you are looking to renew carpet in a public area, such as lounge or reception you should almost certainly choose a woven axminster. By contrast, if you are selecting carpet for bedrooms you may not need the pattern and colour intricacy of axminster, which opens up the option of lower cost tufted carpet. The rule of thumb goes: choose woven axminster for high-wear areas and anywhere you need complete design flexibility. While some customers want to stick with the quality and performance of axminster for their guestrooms as well, you have the alternative of lower cost tufted as bedrooms are invariably low-wear or low pattern intensity areas. Getting your specification right is more complex than this, but it is a good place to start.
As the most hard-wearing of carpet constructions, woven axminster carpets are the most sensible choice for these busy areas where high-levels of foot and wheeled traffic are commonplace. Wear is the primary concern here, so always choose a quality that suits your need; this is best judged by the size of your establishment and occupancy rates. Outside environment and the entrance matting employed can also have an impact, so will need to be factored in. In public lounges and bars, often experiencing reduced and less-consistent traffic, it might be possible to reduce quality.
As they say, first impressions count and so it is important to consider the demands of your space and the impact that has on the design you should choose. A carpet with any kind of pattern will hide marks better than a plain carpet and of course, darker colours are better at hiding dirt than lighter ones. Steer clear of pale neutrals (unless you are prepared to increase the frequency of full cleaning!) and try to include pattern, particularly if the area is busy. Small geometrics will go some way in alleviating the appearance of dirt, but bold patterns will do a better job. If you’re worried about the design not working in other areas, then choosing the same base colour and altering the pattern is a great way to get around this.
When it comes to fibre choice, wool is the best bet as it offers great resilience in high-wear areas and will stay looking good for longer, responding really well to a proper maintenance regime. Here at Wilton and in common with all leading carpet suppliers to the hotel and hospitality industry, we mix wool with 20% nylon, providing a blend that delivers favourable performance benefits and that’s great for all-round use; in public areas as well as corridors and guest bedrooms.
By the time guests reach these areas, shoe soles are often bereft of dirt and grit; but that is not to say that they do not experience high-wear. Indeed, with a much narrower and more concentrated traffic lane, they can often show signs of wear readily, if not soiling from the external environment. Budget allowing, a woven axminster construction is recommended for the very fact it is the best at absorbing footfall and the wheeled traffic of luggage and maid’s trollies. Again, with the flexibility of axminster construction, quality can be adjusted depending on requirement, so it’s possible to deliver a carpet that is fit-for-purpose while still regarding budget.
In terms of design, corridors require careful thought. The same rules apply in dirt hiding, with pattern helping greatly, but the narrower width of corridors and the lack of features of the space means that running a single design wall-to-wall can often look uninteresting. At times, it can even look just plain odd. Designs that incorporate features such as bordered panels or other infill/outfill configurations eliminate this problem and should be a consideration. With good planning by an experienced contractor working in collaboration with our design team, these pattern treatments can often be woven integrally without seams, and can also help to deal with awkward corridors or lift lobby junctions,
Here is where tufted carpet can shine, as with lighter foot traffic, guest bedrooms can make more of the value that comes with this faster and easier method of making carpet. That said, while the appeal of ‘going-for-it’ and selecting low-cost stain-resistant fibres – such as polypropylene – might be tempting, it is a route best avoided as they ‘dirty up’ relatively easily and begin to look tired surprisingly quickly. Push forward with a tufted carpet for bedrooms by all means, but try and stick to wool-rich blends. Another plus of using the same fibre throughout is that maintenance techniques are the same; clearer for cleaning staff with less risk of damaging the carpet permanently with the wrong treatment.
One of the limitations of tufted carpet is its ability to replicate intricate pattern, but this is of less consequence in hotel bedrooms, where bold pattern can sometimes give too brash an ambience and become far from restful. Tufted carpet design is often a simple affair of linear or geometric styles. Fortunately, these are a great way of adding pattern and soil-hiding capability while still being ultimately restful. As already mentioned, sharing the base colour with the corridor carpet is a great way to keep the sense of flow going if that’s a concern.
Here at Wilton, we manufacture woven axminster and tufted carpets in the UK, and offer both stock designs and a custom service, so we are more than equipped to find the right solution for your hotel. Our library is extensive and is likely to hold a suitable design and the Ready-to-Weave service allows for easy re-colouration in one of our stock colour palettes. With Ready-to-Weave, you can achieve a look that flows, or indeed one that doesn’t, in a colourway complementing your interior. It’s a popular service that brings a custom-touch on a short lead-time and with the reassurance of proven designs.
If your design ambition demands unique custom carpet, then the Wilton design team is hugely experienced in collaborating to achieve the desired end result. Thanks to a British-made philosophy, bespoke design can be realised across woven axminster and tufted carpets, ensuring seamless colour transition where appropriate and retaining quality throughout. Successful carpet design takes knowledge of the limitations of manufacturing as well as the constraints of the location in question. With this quite extraordinary results can be achieved; head to the Wilton Carpets gallery on our website to see just how custom carpets have transformed hotel interiors in styles from heritage country to modern urban. https://wiltoncarpets.com/gallery/listing
With woven and tufted capability, all from the same wool-rich blend, and with the attention-to-detail and quality that comes with UK manufacturing, Wilton Carpets can deliver hotels a first-class carpet solution; right for the specific demands of the establishment and with great design at its heart.
You can also view the other articles in this series: