Nothing stays the same underfoot so South African home-owners should study new trends and innovations – and be bold enough to ask suppliers lots of questions when selecting flooring, advises Brandon Park, CEO of leading flooring supplier, KBAC Flooring.

Park says although the choice of domestic flooring for specific areas of the home generally depends on personal design preferences, volume of foot traffic, ease of cleaning and maintenance, the bottom line always is how much the home-owner can afford – or is prepared – to pay. But above all, the home-owner should know what kind of quality he or she will get for their money.

“The performance of carpeting, to a very large extent, depends on its yarn system. In South Africa, there are generally four primary types: at the top-end are relatively pricy 100% wool carpets, or ‘wool rich’ carpets which are typically 80% wool and 20% nylon blend; then there are 100% nylon carpets; followed by acrylic blends; and, lastly, pure polypropylene carpeting which is the cheapest, but not always the wisest selection.

“Although polypropylene flooring has become almost the norm for South African home flooring because of its lower price, nylon carpets now developed locally offer competitive pricing and have become economically viable alternatives to polypropylene. Durable and resilient nylon carpeting, ideally, should be every home-owners’ preferred choice when it comes to lifecycle costing. It resists flattening and retains pile depth far better than polypropylene and consequently looks good for much longer than other man-made fibres.

“When considering nylon flooring, the home-owner should establish if the carpeting was produced from solution dyed nylon (SDN), which is superior to other yarn types in terms of colour retention, durability and performance. For the SDN process, pigment is used to colour the yarn as it is extruded, melting the pigment directly into the nylon fibre. Pigmentation is inherently more bleach-resistant than other dyeing processes, and by directly colouring the yarn in this way, SDN carpets offer greater resistance to colour-depriving bleach cleaning products.”

Park says SDN yarn resists abrasion and stains better than most other fibres and is easier to clean. Nylon carpets also retain their colour and have UV stabilisers added during production to help withstand exposure to direct sunlight.

When it comes to choosing rugs for flooring, it is now also possible thanks to glue-free installation systems to connect carpet tiles and planks to form innovative custom-made rugs to add warmth to cold floors in winter. The rugs can then be lifted for storage during summer. – Property Writer.