The love of comfortable carpets

Carpet for comfort is multifaceted.  Carpet is comfortable because of the way it looks, the way it regulates temperature and air quality, the way it insulates noise and most importantly the way it feels.

When you have a carpet that looks good your mental state becomes more relaxed.  Having a well-designed and well-chosen carpet with appropriate patterns and texture to match your décor, will be the first step in ensuring your carpet not only looks great, but feels great too.

Carpet is also an effective insulator against the cold of winter and the heat of summer and aids in air humidity.  Combine this with air conditioners and you can have a consistent ambient temperature of 22 degrees for maximum temperature comfort.  As mentioned in more detail in previous articles, carpet acts as an air filter by trapping particulate matter and reducing dust thus making it significantly more comfortable to breath.  Carpet also reduces noise.  Excessive indoor noise has been linked to increased stress and thus a decrease in mental well being.  This added stress also reduces the body’s natural ability to heal and impairs your concentration and ability to work.  When it comes to comfort, people need to choose a carpet with the most important facet being the way the carpet feels under foot and we would also suggest laying down on the carpet.

There are two main aspects that contribute to the comfort of your carpet, the carpet itself and the underlay. Carpet has different textures of comfort; these will depend upon your needs and the needs of the room it will be in.   For example a loop carpet pile is comfortable, a cut carpet pile is more comfortable, and a plush carpet pile is the most soft and luxurious.  Then there is also the different degree of comfort in the fibres of the carpet.

Wool is known to be high on the list when it comes to comfort, then you have the other different fibres that provide slightly less levels of softness.  The best way to work out what level of comfort you are prefer is by visiting your nearest Andersens showroom and testing them yourself.

With the underlay, there are three traditional types that will again vary on what the room is used for and what would best suit what look and feel you are after.  One is known as the felt underlay, another is a foam underlay, and then there’s also the rubber waffle underlay.

Felt is very rarely used in homes these days because of the superiority of foam and rubber.  Foam underlay varies in quality and price.  Rubber waffle underlay provides superior strength and durability which not only provides extra comfort but also increases the life of your carpet.

Each home is different and each family has different needs when it comes to which carpet would best suit and is most comfortable.  So, when deciding which carpet is best for you, your family and your home, talk to an Andersens consultant to help guide you through all your comfort options.

Blinded by Choice: A Buying Guide

Are you sick of those daggy old curtains, of the sun glaring through your windows, or having the neighbours see right into your living area? A simple solution may be adding blinds to your home. Blinds are a great way to revamp the look of your home, give it a fairly inexpensive face-lift, naturally control lighting, as well as add privacy and style. With so many varieties in the market, it can be hard to decide what to get, especially if you don’t know much about the different types.

A number of Andersens stores now supply a large range of blinds including Roller, Venetian, Vertical, Roman, and Panel Glide blinds. Here are some quick facts that may make your shopping experience a little bit easier.

Roller Blinds

A Roller blind does not have slats but comprises a single piece of material that drops from the ceiling, window cavity, or door. It rolls down from the top and rolls back up into itself. These little blinds are very versatile and are great if you want to block only the top half of the window during the day. They are modern, streamlined, and come in a variety of sizes.

Roller blinds

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are a practical option, providing directional privacy and sun control by the angle of the slats. The slats are connected via the track at the top and are usually connected or weighted at the bottom so they don’t flap around too much in the wind. The whole unit can slide horizontally along a track within the door frame and open right up like a curtain. They’re great for areas with sliding doors. Although these aren’t really fashion blinds, they can look very stylish and generally come in a variety of colours and materials.

Vertical blinds

Venetian Blinds

Venetian blinds are perhaps the most commonly found blinds in a home. Think horizontal slats, one above the other. Venetian blinds are slatted blinds made of either metal or plastic; wooden slats are sometimes used but in most cases, these are now usually referred to as wooden blinds or cedar blinds. The blind operates by a cord mechanism, by which all slats can be rotated in unison nearly 180 degrees, again offering either full or partial block-out. This cord also allows you to drop the blind down or move it up within the window. At once extremely practical and very stylish, these tend to be the “go-to” blinds for less adventurous home decorators.

Venetian blinds

Roman Blinds

Perhaps one of the most popular options at the moment for the really fashionable home, Roman blinds are different from standard window coverings in that they stack up evenly when being opened, however when they are open they are visibly smooth, not bumpy or ribbed like typical vertical blinds. Generally you will find these in fabric rather than wood, plastic or metal, and as such, they come in a variety of colours and patterns. These blinds make an amazing addition to the modern home.

Roman blinds

Panel Glide Blinds

Panel glide blinds are constructed of flat panels of fabric which slide across the track. The expansive size of these blinds make them suitable for larger doors and windows. The excellent coverage panel glide blinds provide also mean they’re perfect for home theatres as fewer sneaky shafts of light can get in. The large panels create a clean, fuss-free look that will speak to the sensibilities of any decorating minimalist.

Panel glide blinds

For more information on the features of the different blinds available, visit an Andersens store and see the variety we have in stock. Visit your nearest showroom and our friendly, experienced consultants will help you choose a suitable blind solution for your home.

Wool, the best carpet choice for Allergy and Asthma sufferers

There are many benefits to natural wool fibre.  Not only is it incredibly soft and comfortable, there is also the benefit of natural wool fibre being fire retardant, eco-friendly and biodegradable. Above all of this, the biggest benefit of natural wool fibre is to your health.

The two main health issues that seem to affect a person’s decision on floor coverings are allergies and asthma and both of these health issues are influenced by the quality of air we breathe.  There has been a long held perception that carpet has a negative impact on air quality and that perception has led people to make drastic changes in their flooring and avoid carpet all together.  So, it was great news to finally have this perception put to rest when in 2005, The German Asthma and Allergy Foundation (DAAB) released their findings showing conclusively that carpet reduces dust in the air to more than half that found above hard surfaces.  Some people with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as Eczema react to synthetic fibres but for allergy and asthma sufferers, it is the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and overall particulate matter (small particles of matter that float in the air we breathe) which is of main concern.  So whether it be sensitive skin or sensitive airways you can’t go past natural wool fibre for optimal health.

How does natural wool fibre help those with allergies?

For those that suffer allergies the biggest issue seems to be the dust that is generated. It is not so much the dust itself, it is this little creature called a dust mite and it is not so much the dust mite itself that is the biggest cause of the problem, it is more their waste.  It is the faeces of the dust mite that contains proteins that when we breath it in, we absorb these proteins which a significant percentage of our population are allergic too.  Now whether or not you are allergic to dust mite poo or not, I’m sure most people are not fond of the idea of absorbing in anyway, another creatures faecal matter.  For hard floors the dust is kicked back up into the air, for carpet the dust it trapped.

Natural wool fibre is also non-synthetic, so it is easy on your skin.  Through its coil like fibres it dissipates moisture making it hypo-allergenic. It is resistant to bacteria, mould and mildew which is another trigger for many people with allergies.  The lack of moisture in wool makes it harder for dust mites to survive and thrive.

How does natural wool fibre help those with asthma?

Although wool carpet will reduce the dust mites population, if there is humidity in the air they will continue to slowly multiply.  Carpet is ideal for limiting the dust mites impact on our health by keeping it and its defecation predominately out of the air we breathe and in the carpet.  With a good vacuum twice a week (with a quality non-bristle vacuum cleaner) and a professional clean every 12-18 months, we keep the dust mite population at bay and our air clean and healthy.

A good carpet not only limits dust mites and their waste in the air we breathe but also traps other particulate matter (small particles of matter that float in the air) such as smoke produced by cigarettes, the fire place or just general cooking, chemicals produced by cleaning agents, cosmetics, deodorants, gases produced by photocopiers, laser printers and new building material; as well as toxins such as sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide.

For asthma sufferers it is important they get the best air they can and a well maintained wool carpet is the best choice for flooring in order to accomplish that goal.

Conclusion

 

If you look after your carpet, it will look after you, and a well maintained woollen carpet can continue purifying your air for up to 30 years, so talk to the flooring experts at Andersen’s about your flooring options so you and your family can live in health and style.