Top 10 tips from the flooring show

1. What are the latest colour trends?

Grey is still king when it comes to carpet! In fact, there will be over 50 shades of grey offering subtle but significant colouring differences from matt to sparkling. Colour names to look out for include platinum, silver, nickel, cool velvet, quartz, slate and pewter.

2. Is there a particular pattern thats on trend at the moment?

Plain still seems to be the most popular. The thick pile soft and luxurious carpets are selling well just now. Tartans are becoming increasingly popular, particularly for stairs. Like all traditional floorcoverings, trends come and go, but natural colours such as brown and beige always stand the test of time. All homes are individual so it's important for the flooring type to blend in as well as enhance the feeling of contentment.

3. What's best for winter?

Carpets warm up a room instantly. With potentially bad weather ahead, flecks are great for hiding marks and footprints. Remember your lounge, hall, stairs and landing take a lot of wear so it's best to get something that can cope with this, compared to a bedroom/ bathroom which sees lighter use.

4. What was new in 2017 and is still hot for 2018?

Artificial grass has grown, because whether you are a reluctant gardener or simply want a year-round look, switching to artificial grass has proved very popular this year and will definitely carry on in 2018.

5. Why should I buy underlay?

At the Flooring Show, all the exhibitors unanimously agreed that it's vital to any floorcoverings' longevity and comfort to have underlay put down. Carpets are investment and having the correct underlay supports the lifetime guarantees manufacturers promise.

6. What is designer flooring?

There were lots of demonstrations on the latest types of designer flooring at the show. I saw the latest crafted wood planks, new textures such as stone, slate and marble and how these floorcoverings can transform a room which has been designed to blend all the colours, textures and accessories to maximum effect. By offering a wide and impressive range of designs, finishes and formats, you can create a floor that's unique to your home and guaranteed to last for years. This type of flooring, LVT (Luxury vinyl tiles) is quiet, water-resistant, durable, warm underfoot, hygienic, easy to clean and most importantly very stylish and realistic!

7. What was the hottest topic for discussion?

Quite simply, you should get any floorcovering professionally fitted. Fitting carpets, bespoke designer flooring, vinyl, wood and laminates all require a professional who knows what they are doing and who has been properly trained on how to fit them. It's vital this is done, otherwise any guarantee can be invalid but also getting the right fit is worthy of the investment made. At the show, we saw lots of mistakes by customers and retailers who do not get it right, I believe we have to get it right first time, every time, so my customers can feel relaxed and assured of our promise to offer the highest standard of customer care.

8. Are carpet prices going up?

Yes, post-Brexit we have seen manufacturers raise costs due to increased material charges against the lower sterling exchange rate. At the show, it was discussed how we can all help our customers to get the best value for money.

Topics included:

  • Professional measuring and fitting, ie, not to oversupply on the fit and professional fitting which will see the floorcovering last longer.
  • Making sure the floorcovering will do its job, especially if it needs to be hard wearing.
  • Ensure the customer sees all types of floorcovering on offer and is professionally advised on what would be best for them.
  • Buying floorcovering is an investment and a new carpet could help to sell or rent out a property that isn't generating much interest on the market.

9. Who can I trust?

The best way to make sure you can trust a retailer is to ask your friends or family. Social media is a great to find out who delivers on their promises.

10. Can I get my floorcovering delivered and fitted before Christmas?

Every year at the show, the pressure point that is always discussed is manufacturer lead times for orders placed and needing fitting before the Christmas period. My advice, and that of all retailers at the show, was to place your order as soon as possible to guarantee the fitting.