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Commercial Flooring News

Ulster Carpets

80:20 The 80% wool 20% nylon mix provides the softness of wool combined with the strength of nylon creating the perfect carpet yarn.

Axminster Ulster Carpets is one of the world’s leading manufacturer of Axminsters, a way of making woven carpets that offers great pattern definition. Most Axminster carpets are patterned.

Berber Traditionally berbers were made from natural-coloured wools, but what we refer to these days as a berber is a heather with a ‘homespun’ appearance.

Heather Carpet yarn made from more than one fibre colour, giving a flecked, multicoloured effect.

Pile The pile is the bit you stand on. ‘Total pile weight’ refers to the amount of yarn used to make the carpet. Deep-pile carpets feel more luxurious, while more rows of yarn are harder-wearing.

PSYLO™ A unique method of axminster weaving patented by Ulster Carpets. PSYLO™ is the most technologically advanced method of weaving in the world. It renders the traditional form (electronic jacquard) obsolete and enables carpet to be manufactured to a greater degree of design intricacy, an enhanced spectrum of colour and at an unrivalled level of efficiency (for further info please contact: marketing@ulstercarpets.com)

Tufted Tufts of yarn are punched through a backing membrane and secured by latex. Tufting is a less time-consuming, and therefore less costly process than weaving, but it does mean the construction of the carpet isn’t as solid.

Twist A type of carpet that uses yarn with a higher twist than usual, to create a textured surface.

Velvet Straighter than twisted yarn, with the cut ends at the top, giving a soft, velvety surface.

Wilton The oldest method of weaving, offering limited colour choice but a variety of textures. Ideal for producing textured plains.

Woven A process where the pile and backing yarns are woven together, offering unrivalled strength and stability. You can spot a woven carpet by the warp and weft threads on the reverse. Both Axminster and Wilton carpets are woven.

Carpet & Underfloor Heating

In recent times underfloor heating has become increasingly popular for new-build residential and commercial developments. Modern underfloor heating systems are considered an extremely efficient and comfortable option for heating the home. In order to maximise the effectiveness of any underfloor heating system installed it is important however to get the right combination of floor covering to complement the system being considered.

Traditionally heavy Axminster and Wilton carpets have been installed in the home for their comfort factor and their heat insulation properties. Up until recently under floor heating companies have recommended that the combination of underlay and carpet should have a heat resistance of no more than 2.5 ‘togs’ for their systems to work efficiently. Some of our heavier wool rich carpets have tog ratings of between 1.5 – 2.0. If these are combined with underlay with a ‘tog’ rating in excess of 1.0 it has been argued the performance of the heating system might be compromised. Research carried out by the Under Floor Heating Association (UHMA) in conjunction with the Carpet Foundation has found that carpets and underlay actually perform very well with underfloor heating systems up to a combined ‘tog’ rating of 3.5. Rooms with the heavier combinations do take slightly longer to heat up but actually hold their temperature for longer periods. As a rule of thumb it is now recommended that a figure of 1.0 should be subtracted from the combined ‘tog’ value of underlay and carpet when assessing suitability for underfloor systems. It is important however that specialist advice is sought when choosing the best combination of floor covering to suit the particular heating system being installed.

Types of underfloor heating systems

There are several different systems available for under floor heating. These include:

– Water pipes buried in a concrete screed
– Electric cables buried in screed
– Electric Heating mats set on top of a structured floor
Each system has stringent technical specifications as regards installation that need to be followed to ensure a successful outcome. The manufacturers of these systems will advise the type of floor covering most suitable for use with their particular system. It is very important that these recommendations are followed, as mistakes can be costly to correct after installation is complete. E.g. If underfloor heating is to be installed over a wooden sub floor it is important to ensure the timbers are completely dried out before installation. Heat from the system can cause movement of unseasoned timber that can show through the installed carpet and can cause unsightly wear marks in time. Also if using an electric mat system some form of flexible levelling compound should be used to fill all gaps to ensure an even surface for the installation of the underlay and carpet. As with any carpet installation the floor should be level, as otherwise imperfections are likely to be felt underfoot when the project is finished.

Choice of underlay

Several underlay manufacturers now supply specially formulated products for laying over underfloor heating systems. These have a flat profile and have tog ratings of 0.8 or less that allow heat to rise virtually unimpeded. Dispensing with underlay or using a light or overly thin underlay is not recommended, as this will compromise the comfort feel of the installed carpet.

Use of adhesives

If it is required that the carpet or underlay has to be stuck to the floor it is important that this is done carefully. Normal tackifiers and adhesives can be used at the normal operating temperatures for underfloor heating systems. It is very important to ensure that the heating system is switched off 48 hours prior to installation and for 48hrs afterwards. The system should then be gradually brought up to full working temperature over a 7 day period.

Comfort Underfoot
There is nothing quite like carpet to add comfort, warmth and character to a room. The design options and colours available from Ulster provide the perfect foundation for any scheme.

You will also benefit from:
– A quieter home
– A reduction in the release of airborne asthmatic agents: for more information see www.healthyflooring.net
– Energy savings, as carpet is a better insulator than other flooring
– A safe, non-slip floor covering
– An easy maintenance product.

Practical Make-up
Most of our carpets contain a yarn blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon. Over many years this has proved to be the most economical and practical blend for homes, combining the softness, comfort and warmth of wool with the hardwearing properties of nylon.

An 80/20 woven carpet is:
– Superbly resilient – it recovers well from shoe and furniture pressure
– Resistant to soiling and easy to clean
– Naturally flame retardant
– Good at improving indoor air quality – wool absorbs and neutralises air pollutants
– Good at absorbing dyes – carpets have rich, clear colouration
– Good moisture buffering and electrostatic properties – by absorbing and releasing water it is free from static problems improving our well being
– Retains its luxurious appearance, with good looks that last!

Quality Mark
The Quality Mark is based on the Carpet Foundation suitability evaluation system, and is your assurance that our claims about the suitability of our products are valid and accurate. This system is endorsed and independently monitored by the Textile Institute, the world-wide body for textile professionals.

Products registered and tested by the system qualify to use the Carpet Foundation Quality Mark, under one of the following classifications:
– Light Wear
– Moderate Wear
– General Wear
– Heavy Wear
– Extra Heavy Wear
The majority of Ulster Carpets’ products qualify for the Extra Heavy Wear ratings.

Installation should be according to either the industry standards set by the Carpet and Rug Institute, CRI 104 and CRI 105, BS 5325: 2001 ‘Installation of textile floor coverings’, SABS Code of Practice SABS 0186 ‘The installation if Textile Floor coverings’, or AS/NZS 2455.1:2007 ‘Textile floor coverings – Installation practice’.

Installation on stairs should be carried out according to BS ISO 13746: 2000.

LARGER ROOMS

Wastage
When pricing a carpet installation it is important to consider wastage. Ulster Carpets offer axminster up to 4.57m in multiple widths – typically 4.57m, 3.66m, 2.74m, 1.83m and 0.91m. The multi-widths available can result in a significant reduction in waste.

Seams
In a larger room, seams can be unsightly and should be minimised where possible. Ulster Carpets offer carpet in widths up to 4.57m (axminster ranges) and 5m (most plain ranges) thus reducing the requirement for seams in larger rooms.

HALLS, STAIRS AND LANDINGS

Flexible Widths
For halls, stairs and landings the 6ft (1.83m) and 3ft (0.91m) widths offered by Ulster Carpets provide the perfect solution. When an estimator measures and plans an installation, these multi-widths maximize the use of the carpet and minimize waste and joins. By choosing Ulster Carpet you:

– Save money
– Have fewer joins
– Reduce installation time

Dealing with Spots, Stains and Emergencies
No matter how often carpets are vacuumed and how many protective mats are in place, spots and stains will occur now and then.

General Advice for Dealing with Spills on Carpet:
– Soak up liquids with white kitchen roll, tissues, toilet roll or a clean cloth
– Scoop up or scrape off solids
– Try to identify unknown spots prior to treatment – if unsure, use solvent first
– If using a substance for the first time, test it on a small hidden area of the carpet first
– Always work from the edge of the spot inwards
– BLOT, do NOT rub
– Use small quantities of spot remover at a time, applied to a cloth, NOT directly to the spot; work into the spot with a small, soft brush or sponge
– When using solvents ensure there is plenty of fresh air ventilation
– Always thoroughly rinse out water based spotters with clean water
– Dry the spot, if possible, with a hairdryer
– Be patient: some stains respond slowly

After a procedure has been completed, blot with a damp, clean cloth to remove any stickiness from the carpet, then blot with white paper towels.

Depending on the nature of the stain/spot, follow the actions recommended in our Spot &Stain Removal Guide.

First Aid for Carpets
It’s a good idea to keep a Carpet First Aid Kit on hand. It should consist of some or all of the treatments listed in the table. When choosing a cleaning agent, always look for the ‘WoolSafe Approved’ logo to indicate which products have been approved for use on wool carpets.

The Woolsafe Organisation
The WoolSafe Organisation (www.woolsafe.org) operates a worldwide accreditation programme for carpet and upholstery maintenance products suitable for wool and other fibres. Listed on their website are a number of cleaning products and methods suitable for wool products.

Spot and Stain Removal
When tackling spots and stains, follow these procedures. Always start off with the Action in Step 1, the blot area. If there is still sign of the stain, then try Step 2, blot and finally try Step3.

STAIN ACTION 1 ACTION 2 ACTION 3
Bleach 3 17
Blood 1 4 3
Butter 12 1
Burn or Scorch Mark 10 11
Candle Wax 5 12
Central Heating Fluid 1 4 16
Chewing Gum 6
Chocolate/Cocca 1 12 4
Coffee 2 4
Colas 3 1 4
Cream 12 1
Egg 1 4
Felt Tip Pen 8/12 15 1
Floor Wax 12 1
Fruit Juice 3 1
Furniture Polish 12 1
Glue (plastic based) 14 8
Gravy & Sauces 1 4
Herbal Tea 3 4
Ink (fountain pen) 3 4 1
Ink (ballpoint pen) 15
Lipstick 12
Metal Polish 1
Milk 2 1 13
Mud 10 18
Mustard 1 4
Nail Polish 14
Oil and Grease 12 1
Paint (emulsion) 3 1
Paint (oil) 8
Red Wine 7 4
Rust 16
Shoe Polish 12 1
Soft Drinks 3 4
Soot 4 1 9
Tar 12
Tea 3 1 4
Urine (fresh stain) 3 1 13
Urine (old stain) 4 13
Vomit 1 4 13

Recommended Spot Removal Agents

1 WOOLSAFE – approved carpet shampoo (diluted)
2 Warm water
3 Cold water
4 WOOLSAFE – approved spot remover for water based stains
5 Absorbent paper and hot iron
6 WOOLSAFE – approved chewing gum remover – solvent or freeze type
7 Blot with white kitchen roll or paper tissues
8 White spirit
9 Vacuum clean
10 Rub with a coin
11 Rub gently with coarse sandpaper
12 WOOLSAFE – approved spot remover for greasy/oily stains
13 WOOLSAFE – approved disinfectant or deodoriser
14 Acetone or nail varnish remover
15 Surgical spirit (ethyl or alcohol or ethanol)
16 Rust remover
17 Carpet re-colouring treatment consult WOOLSAFE Certified Operator
18 A paste of enzyme detergent

Buying a good quality carpet is an excellent investment, and to ensure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible we strongly recommend you buy from a reputable local retailer. If you haven’t got someone in mind then you can key your postcode in under the “stockist” section of our website. This will give a list of good local retailers that come recommended by Ulster. We always advise the following steps as part of the purchase process.

1. On-site Measure
Always get your preferred local retailer to visit your home. When they measure the area where you plan to install your new carpet they will look out for any potential problems and identify how best to do the job properly. They will be aware of the different widths we offer to minimize waste, the likely number of seams, the pattern repeats of the various designs we make and the suitability of the product for particular areas in your home. They will also look for potential problems with site access and the sub-floor (uneven floors that may need boarding over, or even draught marks around the edge of the room) to name but two. Many of these issues can be addressed before or during installation but the fitters will need to be aware of this in advance so they can bring the right materials with them on the day.

2. Experienced Fitters
Always make sure you have a good experienced fitter who is used to fitting axminster and wilton carpets. It is a highly specialized job and whilst few fitters will have formal accreditation, all will have served long apprenticeships. If they have been trained to fit these products then they will do a great job of installing your carpet. Good fitters will leave a neater job, with good quality seaming and fitting, which will ensure the carpet performs better over its lifespan. If you aren’t sure, ask your local retailer about their fitter’s experience. They may also have photographs or letters of recommendation for work they have done for other customers. Most will be quite happy to show you these if you ask.

3. Good Quality Underlay
We cannot recommend highly enough that you replace your existing underlay with good quality felt or other underlay, as recommended by your local retailer. Your old underlay will have flattened over time and a new one will provide an effective cushion under the carpet, which not only makes it feel wonderful when you walk on it, but can also increase the life of your carpet by up to 30% so it is definitely an investment worth making.

4. Aftercare
Once installed, your carpet will need to be vacuumed regularly. We recommend that you use an upright vacuum cleaner with a brush and beater bar. These are the most effective cleaners for removing soil and raising the pile on cut pile carpets. With stains and spillage’s, the secret is to deal with them as soon as possible. The longer stains are left the more chance there is that they will soak in, or dry and cause a permanent mark. For more information see our Aftercare Guide, which gives details on how to remove each stain type.