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Carpet buying guide for halls, stairs and landings

Ciaran McGuire by Ciaran McGuire

Choosing the perfect hall, stairs or landing carpet is important. Get it wrong and you’ll soon see the signs of wear and tear in these high-traffic areas.

So durability is a big factor, but your hall, stairs or landing carpet can still be beautiful too. Here are a few practical tips and style suggestions to help you get started.

What material is best?
No conversation about carpets for halls, stairs and landings should begin without first thinking about the materials and pile types that are best for the job.

A combination of durability and stain resistance is what you’re after. So in terms of materials, wool is the luxury choice, because it’s natural fibres do a really good job of repelling stains and hiding soil marks. The other great thing about wool is that it doesn’t matte down easily, making it perfect for heavy footfall areas.  

Alternatively, polypropylene fibres are a more affordable option for halls, landings and stairways. Almost any spill can be cleaned up completely, so long as it’s dealt with as soon as possible. However, polypropylene carpets tend to flatten more than wool, so it’s best to go for a shorter pile in these areas.

A good compromise is a carpet featuring a blend of wool and polypropylene, as this will give you the best of both materials.

Should you choose a loop or twist pile carpet?
The big question here is do you go for a loop or a twist pile? And the answer is … both have benefits that make them ideal for halls, stairs and landings.

Loop pile carpets are extremely durable: they really do keeping bouncing back, so there are no worries about the fibres flattening. However, it’s best to avoid loop pile carpets if you’ve pets as their claws can snag and pull the loop.

Alternatively, twist pile carpets tend to keep bouncing back too. Twist pile carpets are a great choice for halls, stairs and landings, because the cut and twisted material is rugged and textured, making it great at hiding the marks that are common in high-traffic areas.

Why are striped carpets so popular?
Striped carpets are very popular choices for halls, stairs and landings. It’s easy to see why. The stripes make an immediate visual impact, helping create a great first impression on visitors.

In the hall, striped carpets accentuate the length of a long room, enhancing the grandeur of the entry to the home.

Meanwhile, choose a striped carpet for the stairs to add a definite visual punch to the setting. This is especially the case if your hall carpet is a plain and the walls are neutral. Similarly, a striped carpet on the landing will add pop and also help to define the space.

Are plain carpets a good idea?
Halls, stairs and landings are often narrow and can suffer from a lack of natural light. Going for a really dark plain carpet is likely to only underline these characteristics, so try to avoid black and other deep shades.

However, it’s probably wise to sidestep extremely light or white-ish shades for these high-traffic areas, as any marks will show up immediately. If this is a big concern, then going for a flecked and slightly darker carpet will make those annoying little scuffs and spots of dirt much less noticeable.

Hallway-Sherwood Berber-carpet

How do I choose the right coloured carpet?
Choosing the right coloured carpet really is a case of judgement and taste. Ultimately, it depends on how the room is decorated, because that’s what determines whether the end look is coordinating or contrasting. Another thing is not to set your heart on a particular shade – you’re best seeing and judging colours in your own home, where you can understand what goes with what. And that’s why it’s a good idea to have an in-home appointment with Hillarys, during which you can browse samples and see how they look against your décor.