Top Tips For Choosing Communal Carpets

When refurbishing sheltered accommodation, nursing homes, hospitals, communal corridors & lounges, etc. there are so many stresses, considerations and budget constraints that it can be hard to wade through the sales emails and calls to actually know what you are selecting will be best for the scheme, residence and longevity.  Below I have helped demystify one element for you to ease the pressure…

Which carpet should you be choosing? Well, in short, it all comes down to what the carpet is made from. The pilecomposition will directly determine: how long the carpet lasts, how the carpet feels, how well the carpet cleans, and, most importantly, how much the carpet will cost!

Nylon vs Polypropylene:


Nylon is one of the most expensive fibres to produce (second to wool) but it is one of the most durable & resilient. This basically means it has the ability to return to its original form after being bent, compressed or stretched, which is why a Nylon carpet looks better for longer!

There are 2 main types of Nylon – Type 6 & Type 6,6 both are great quality but please read up to make your own decision on which would suit your needs best.


Then we have Polypropylene carpet. Polypropylene is one of the cheapest fibres to produce; a carpet made from thick fibres may feel nice & soft but it is not a resilient fibre and, as such, will ‘mat down’ and not wear very well – not great for longevity. When you walk on a carpet, the fibres are bent or crushed. Once the Polypropylene fibres are crushed they won’t spring back to life unlike their rival Nylon. However, a Polypropylene carpet will not fade, even when exposed to intense sunlight, bleaches, atmospheric contaminants, or other harsh chemicals (which is sometimes needed with over-zealous cleaners who like bleach!).

Once the decision has been made as to which type of fibre to opt for then compare apples for apples. However, don’t compare a Nylon against a Polypropylene carpet – this is like comparing apples to bananas!

Either way, commercial ‘loop pile’ carpets wear very well as the loops tend to be small which leaves little room for the pile to become crushed. Wheelchairs easily roll over loop pile carpets that are directly glued to the subfloor which make them a good choice for hospitals, retirement homes, and sheltered housing. You may even consider using the same quality carpet for all levels of a retirement home but use a different colour for each floor for residents to be able to distinguish between the different floors (helpful for patients with dementia).

Once all of the above is decided it’s then down to us to plan the most efficiently for cost & waste – giving options on pile direction & joins, etc.

Need further support? Please call: 0161 749 8877 – we’d be happy to assist.

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