Floor covering FAQs


Have a question about choosing, estimating and fitting your chosen floor covering?

What to buy

Is a wool carpet the best to buy?

Wool is recognised as the best fibre to use in carpet as it's naturally flame-retardant, durable, easy to clean and retains its appearance well. It doesn't flatten easily and resists abrasion and dirt. It has natural insulation properties which is good for reducing both heat loss and noise, and is environmentally friendly and sustainable. It's recommended that it should be used for carpet either in a pure 100% form or in a blend with other fibres with at least 50% wool.

It's more expensive than synthetic fibres, so the most common wool-rich carpet fibre blend is 80% wool and 20% synthetic fibre mix as it provides the best properties of wool at a more economical price. 

Find out more about carpet fibres here.

Underlay & under floor heating

I've already got underlay. Do I need new underlay?

Yes, because old underlay will have degraded and will continue to do so. It won't protect your new carpet and may cause ridges and marks. It will be less comfortable than new underlay and be more prone to indentation marks from heavy furniture.

Old underlay may also have crumbled or collapsed in high traffic areas. It will conceal dirt and dust, and so may be unhygienic.

Read our underlay buying guide here.

Isn't it an unnecessary expense to replace the underlay?

Actually a new underlay will save you money, by protecting the carpet for longer. It also provides better heat insulation and so helps reduce energy costs; some studies have shown that underlay can reduce energy bills by up to 15%.
It will also improve the appearance of carpet, so if you're selling up, good quality underlay will make a noticeable difference to prospective buyers when they visit. You can feel the difference too - a new underlay provides a more comfortable feel for your carpet.

The carpet has built in underlay. Do I still need additional underlay?

Yes, because no carpets have built-in underlay, but some do have a thin, secondary backing. This will quickly lose its appearance without a new underlay. All carpets will benefit from a new underlay.

What underlay should I buy for a dining room?

We would recommend John Lewis Blue Crumb, as this underlay is made from rubber recycled from car tyres. This creates a firm underlay with a high rubber content, offering outstanding durability with heavy furniture as it is highly resistant to indentation marks. 

Find out more about underlay here

I'm having under floor heating installed; how does this affect my choice of flooring?

Under floor heating has become increasingly popular in recent years as it's considered to be an efficient method for heating the home. Over time carpet and underlay have been developed to be efficient with convective heating systems by preventing heat loss into the floor structure.

In order to maximise the effectiveness of the under floor heating system, it's important to get the right combination of floor covering to complement the heating system being installed.

The insulation properties of the carpet are governed by its construction, thickness, pile fibre and backing. For underlay, it's about composition, density and thickness. As a quick guide all our carpets and underlay have a tog rating, so our Partners will be able to help you work out whether the combination you've chosen should be suitable.

However, we still recommend that you seek specialist advice to ensure you have the best combination of floor covering to suit the particular heating system being installed.


How much does it cost for John Lewis to carry out an estimate?

We offer a free estimate with no obligation. Once you've selected the type of carpet or flooring you want, you can arrange an estimating appointment, either directly with your local John Lewis or online. The estimator will usually visit within about 5 days, and in most cases will be able to provide an accurate estimate on the spot so that you can place your order without delay.

What's included in the price quoted in my carpet estimate?

The John Lewis estimated price covers your flooring choice, appropriate underlay or accessories, and any preparatory work which may be necessary. Please note that while our estimate aims to be accurate, we can't forsee every issue until existing flooring has been removed and fitting has begun. Additional charges may be necessary, but of course we discuss these with you before proceeding. 

Find out more.


How long will I have to wait for my carpet to be fitted after I accept the estimate?

Our estimator will in most cases produce your estimate at your home visit, and we aim to fit within 28 days from your acceptance. If you're needing a carpet fitted in a hurry, it's a good idea to select one that we hold in stock at our central warehouse. Please ask for guidance on these ranges.

I have heavy furniture in my dining room - do I have to move this myself before the carpet fitter comes?

You can opt to move the furniture and old carpet yourself, but we do offer services including clearing the room of furniture and taking up old carpet and disposing of it. These services and charges will need to be discussed and booked with the estimator at your home visit. 

Find out more.

Can you give me a firm estimate based on my measurements?

We can give you a guide price based on your own measurements, but the firm price estimate will be based on measurements taken by a John Lewis estimator after survey of the site.

Common problems

My new carpet is showing patches of light and dark shading - how can I get rid of this?

Shading can happen to any cut pile carpet but is most common with velvet pile. Shading doesn't affect the quality or performance of a carpet, so we don't regard it as a fault. It shows up as light and dark patches on the carpet, and is caused when pile fibres don't lie in the same direction. Even carpet manufacturers don't know what causes shading, and there's no way of preventing it happening or reversing the effect. These patches should lessen with vacuuming, but may not disappear entirely.

Why has my new carpet become slack, and what can I do about it?

A modern, well fitted carpet doesn't normally need re-stretching, but it may become slack and need re-stretching if conditions were very cold during fitting. As it warms, carpet becomes more pliable and easier to handle. We offer a re-stretching service at no extra charge for a period after the carpet's fitted. 

Please ask for more details at your local shop.

How can I remove a wine stain from my carpet?

Blot up the surplus spillage. Use detergent and vinegar (add one teaspoonful of white vinegar to a detergent solution). Work from the outer edge of the stain, using a little at a time and blotting up with dry cloths. 

Find out more about treating carpet stains in our guide.

I've noticed stray tufts on my new carpet - how can I get rid of them?

Don't pull them out, just cut them down to match the rest of the pile.

I have laminate flooring in my hallway - how can I stop dirt from the outside spreading through my home and onto my carpet?

It's a good idea to have a barrier mat in doorways where there is access to the street, but do use a rug-hold between the laminate (or any other hard flooring) and the barrier mat to stop it slipping. Vacuum the barrier mat frequently to stop dirt spreading.

I have a cat - is there any type of carpet I should avoid buying?

A loop pile carpet (carpet made from uncut loops of yarn) is unsuitable for most pets, because their claws may catch and pull on the loops.