Off-brand Wool wall-to-wall carpet: is it a mistake?

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by FredaNJ, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. FredaNJ

    FredaNJ New Member

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer. I found this forum through a google search about the pros and cons of wool carpet and hope that you can help my daughter and her husband with a carpet decision that they plan to make this week.

    They bought their first house, a converted mill dating from 1739, with beautiful original floors on the first floor and carpet on the second floor. The carpet needs to be replaced and they love the look and feel of wool. They have looked at nylon and Smartstrand and don't love it, as they feel it all has a slight sheen, as opposed to the matte finish of the wool. They feel the wool is a more appropriate look for the age of their house.

    They don't intend to stay in this house for much more than five years, so they are hesitant to pay the price for the Karastan wool carpet they love. So, they're looking at a product from Unique Carpets: Hanover | Unique Carpets, Ltd.

    They have a big dog and need to be concerned about the ability to deal with stains, but aren't as concerned about longevity of the carpet.

    I would appreciate any advice about Unique Carpets Hanover (or Royal Dutch, Natural Weave, another wool carpet they've seen.)

    They don't really know the relative prices yet, but they're hoping to find the Unique Carpets or Royal Dutch at a price closer to a high end nylon. They have about 100 sq. yds to cover.

    I would appreciate any advice you can give. If you know of another brand that meets their needs, that would be good too. They like the look of jute or sisal as well, but I don't know much about carpet in those fibers. Thanks so much for your help..
  2. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    Although I have no personal experience with the Hanover line you mention, it appears to be a quality product. I see no mention of face weight, and it's hard to tell from a picture but the density appears sufficient. There are many high quality "off brands" on the market. Wool is not as physically durable as nylon but it does tend to look better as it wears, so if cared for, will out live most synthetics.

    There are treatments available to help resist staining but when animals are involved there are no gaurentees.
  3. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Your statement about the big dog would be a concern to me. You don't say the name or model of the dog so we can only speculate on size. All the carpets that I looked at on the website shows to be loop pile carpets. Big dogs with toe nails snag loop piled carpets especially if they are active They also don't say what the construction of the carpet is. That may make a big difference also.
    David Hunt may be acquainted with this brand as wovens and wool are his forte.


  4. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Freda, welcome to the FloorPro site. While Unique Carpets Ltd may not have the brand recognition of Karastan, make no mistake, it is NOT an 'off brand' and, in the arena of wool carpets, they are a solid company with excellent customer service and support. Bottom line, anything you get from them will be a good value.

    While the Royal Dutch Line, a division of Stanton, has better distribution, the quality of the line tends to be on lower tier of market with lots of wool blends and it is, for the most part, designed to meet a price point. It may be less, but that's only because it is.

    If your looking for a comparable product at similar price point to the Hanover, Design Materials (aka: DMI) out of Kansas City, has a product named Ordina. If you were to reach out to the kind folks at DMI, I am certain they would be happy to connect you with a dealer in your area. Their number is 800-654-6451 and I guarantee you will find who ever answers the phone to be polite, friendly and very helpful. BTW: the same is true for the folks at Unique.

    As for the dog, without getting into the technical aspects of the construction of the Hanover or Ordina, ((unless you really want to know)) I would have no concerns using either of these products with a dog. I would make sure that the installers are familiar with seam sealing and will guarantee that all seams will be sealed according to manufactures specifications. Other than that, the Hanover or Ordina are good sturdy products and perfectly suited for the scenario you've described.

    BTW: Both products should be at par with a good tufted nylon carpet and both are priced well below the wools from Karastan.

    Freda, I do hope this helps and should other questions, concerns and/or issues arise with regards to your search for wool carpet, please do not hesitate to contact me here or at the number shown below. Good information only takes a few minutes to share and can be invaluable in sorting between the facts, fiction and just plain BS.

    With kindest regards,

    David Hunt
    General Partner
    Vermont Custom Rug Company
    Bristol, Vermont
  5. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    I believe the website does mention tufted construction.... And I agree, a dog with large nails could certainly do some damage to a loop pile carpet. A cut pile carpet might be a better choice if that is an issue. Sisals can also be damaged by animals with claws.
  6. JPfloor

    JPfloor Pro Member

    Oops... Must have been typing at the same time as David.:)
  7. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    It's all good!
  8. FredaNJ

    FredaNJ New Member

    Many, many thanks to all who responded, and especially to David Hunt for his very thorough and helpful information. This is exactly what I needed and I'm very grateful for everyone's time.
  9. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    If David said it it is gospel.


  10. rraming

    rraming Pro Member

    Unique Carpet Mills makes a super high quality product. Don't believe for a moment that the Karastan would be better. Karastan is Mohawk, more money, bigger advertising and is just a retail label.
    Have sold and displayed Unique Carpets for years, quality is their thing and it shows in the products. I would put it in my house any day.
    I really can't believe you called them off brand, they are quite large. Have you heard of Godfrey Hirst, Helois (Mohawks non retail wool line, looks a lot like Karastan), Woolshire, Fabrica or Masland, they all make quality wool broadloom!

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