Carpet Joins & Footprints

Carpet is normally sold in is 3.66m wide rolls, and occasionally 4m wide rolls, so if the width of your room is greater than 3.66m you will require two or more widths of carpet to be installed and therefore, a join(s) to be present.

If all living areas and bedrooms were no more than 3.66m wide, you would never need a join and if hallways were 3.66m wide (and we did away with wardrobes) you would never have any waste! We all know this is not practical and each job not only has carpet offcuts (which we can turn into mats) each installation can have the carpet running 'North to South' or 'East to West'.

The direction you choose to run your carpet in will not only affect the look of your room, but also the amount of carpet you’ll need to purchase. Our recommendation is almost always to promote a premium finish (this is a finish with as few joins as possible) particularly when textured or patterned carpets are being installed. A premium finish tends to use more carpet however a better overall look will be achieved.

With some carpets (such as cut pile styles), joins can be virtually invisible while with others joins may be slightly more noticeable. Carpets are joined using a special heat-bond tape and a seam iron. The thickness of the heat-bond tape can sometimes cause carpet seams to peak by 2-3mm, but this should settle down over time as the seam beds into the underlay below. To ensure seams are not obvious, we recommend they are positioned in an as ‘out of the way’ place as possible, away from direct light sources such as windows or sliding doors. Some rooms may not have an ideal location to place a seam so compromise may be required.

In the diagrams below, we illustrate three different approaches to how carpet can be laid and seams placed to help you better understand the impact different techniques can have on a room and the quantity of carpet required.

If requested, we can quote an installation that uses as little carpet as possible and more joins, but this is not preferred as it can result in a ‘patchwork quilt’ result.When comparing pricing between quotes, you may find that a lower priced quote uses less carpet but requires more joins and therefore has a less desirable finish. Don’t be afraid to ask the flooring companies you’re working with to show you a floor plan with the joins marked on it, to help you compare apples with apples. We invite customers to sign off a ‘cutting plan’ prior to the commencement of their installation to ensure they’re happy with the join placement, as second thoughts around where these are located are not covered under the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Walking across some types of carpet you may notice footprints being left behind or marks from the vacuum cleaner brush and its wheels. Marks left from traffic moving across the carpet is extremely common and is commonly known as ‘shading’. Plush or shaggy carpets tend to be the worst offenders but many cut pile carpets are also prone to shading. Often deeper and thicker piled carpets or carpets that are particularly soft and smooth, show shading.

Shading can range from either slightly noticeable to very apparent, depending on the texture and resilience of the carpet fibre. The same factors also apply for how long shading marks last as it can be a few hours or days. These imprints left behind in carpet is not a defect or a fault in either manufacturing or installation of the product, but a visual feature of the carpet. Some people like the look of shading and others simply hate it.