All posts by Alan Munro

Underlay: the hidden hero

While people quite rightly take a long time choosing the right carpet, they seldom think too much about what goes underneath.

Yet choosing the right underlay is an important matter and it’s easy to overlook the huge contribution it makes both to all-round comfort and to extending the life of your lovely new carpet.

So what, exactly does underlay do?

Well, it adds a nice, soft layer of cushioning. It’s what gives your carpet a good springy bounce. It adds protection too – reducing the impact of heavy feet on both the top and the underside of the carpet so your carpet lasts longer.

Anything else? Well, yes. It reduces noise levels, soaking up the sounds generated in your home and those of any neighbours below. It’s a layer of insulation too, working alongside your carpet to keep your home nice and cosy.

Like everything, underlay construction has moved along a lot in recent years. You can still buy underlay made of felt or rubber but there are other top-quality options too. We’re always happy to give our expert advice on the best choice both to match the carpet you’re fitting and the room that it’s going in.

We’ve always got samples in the van too and we’ll happily show you the different options when we bring our mobile shop to you!

Needless to say, we’ll be just as accurate when measuring the underlay as we will be for the carpets themselves so you’ll always get the right amount you need for the job in hand.

To book your free consultation just give us a call on 0131 554 4050 or email sales@bomarcarpets.co.uk.

Can’t get out? We’ll come to you.

Shopping for carpets and blinds has changed a lot in recent years. In the old days, if you wanted to buy carpets or blinds anywhere in Leith and Edinburgh, a nearby shop would be able to help.
But gradually, the little local shops disappeared. One by one the big players moved in and carpet shops became huge warehouses in out-of-town sites.
For many people, the big out-of-town stores aren’t so convenient. For older folks and people with mobility issues, finding a way to choose new carpets and blinds can be a major problem that requires a lot of help from friends and family.
Not anymore! Like so many things in the modern world, you can now pick the carpets, vinyl flooring and blinds you want in the comfort of your home.
Bomar Carpets and Blinds is completely mobile. We bring the shop to people all over Edinburgh – and of course in the Leith area where we had a shop for many years. Wherever you are, we’ll be happy to come to you.
We offer a free consultation service and we always have a wide range of samples. We also listen carefully to your requirements before making any recommendations.
We can access a very broad range of manufacturers and, with over 30 years’ experience, we’ll always be able to provide a solution that matches your needs and your budget.
Our free measuring service is accurate too and we’ll arrange the fitting.
Best of all, you can be assured that you’ll never be under any pressure to buy – we’re committed to providing good, honest, friendly advice and top quality products. We believe that’s important – particularly when dealing with customers in their own homes.
So if you’d like to book a consultation for yourself or for a member of your family just give us a call on 0131 554 4050 or email sales@bomarcarpets.co.uk. We’re always happy to help.

Choosing a carpet

Last week, I stood beside one of my customers in her newly painted living room and tackled the kind of dilemma that anyone who ever bought a carpet has had to face. She’d lined up a whole bunch of carpet samples against her newly painted living room wall, ranging in shades and styles, covering every price point from too cheap to really quite expensive. She stood with her head in her hands and, to be absolutely honest, I thought she was about to burst into tears.

Staring in the face of crisis, I suggested that she put the kettle on and make us all a cup of tea.

Brew made, we settled down to the process of elimination that would transform her half-finished room into the magnificent, cosy living space that’s now the centrepiece of a beautiful home.

‘Let’s forget about price for the moment,’ I suggested, ‘let’s focus on what you need.’

A splash of colour

She’d picked a range of colours. Frankly all of them would have worked with the pale yellow she’d chosen for the walls. Of course, each would have had a different impact on the room but that’s not the point. ‘Which colours do you like?’ I asked. Not surprisingly, she had some favourites amongst the samples and some that she really wasn’t sure about. We ruled out the also-rans and moved on to the next stage.

‘Now, which ones do you really, really like?’ I asked.

At this point my customer’s husband piped up for the first time. He’d just seen his second favourite eliminated in the first cut and wasn’t ready to live with a carpet he couldn’t stand. ‘I’m not keen on that green one,’ he admitted.

‘What green one?’ she said. ‘That’s a bluey-grey.’

Laughing, we put it to one side. Colour isn’t the same to everyone – and carpet colours can look very different in different lights.

Methodically, we cut down the number of samples that sat beside the walls. We moved them round the room, looking at how they changed in the light. Slowly, some favourites began to emerge.

‘I like the colour of that one and the feel of that one!’

Now we were onto something. She’d picked a really nice shade of blue that would work well with the colour scheme but, more importantly, in the one she liked the ‘feel’ of, she’d selected a very good quality carpet that would easily withstand the heavy-traffic you’d expect in the main living area of the house. Again, that’s where the years of experience come in handy. I’m not just looking at colour, I’m looking at how the carpet’s constructed and working out if it’s going to be able to resist the daily battles with the kids and the family cat. This type, with its stain-resistant qualities and a hard-wearing medium pile was just right.

‘OK, let me look in the van, I think I’ve got exactly what you’re looking for!’ I said, nipping out to the van to grab the new book that had been delivered only that morning from one of my regular distributors.

Sure enough, there it was. Perfect. We all agreed. But what about the price? Fortunately, although it was nearer the top end of their expectations, it was still well within their range – particularly as I was able to accurately measure the room and optimise the amount of carpet required based on the manufacturer’s widths. Trust me, nothing annoys me more than to see piles of unused carpet going to waste because a room’s been sloppily measured.

After that, I quickly calculated a price, shook hands on a deal, took a small deposit and booked a date for the fitting.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Well, like anything complicated, you’re more likely to get things right first time if you get some expert advice. After all, if you get it wrong, it’s an expensive mistake.

Why home shopping’s better than shop shopping

For many, many years I had a shop. You may have passed it at the bottom of Ferry Road opposite Leith Library, you may even have dropped in for a browse and a chat.

As the years passed, and the world changed, I began to question the value of maintaining a big physical space. It wasn’t just that it cost a lot of money to run, it just didn’t seem to fit anymore with what my customers needed and wanted.

If I’d sorted folks out with flooring and blinds before, they’d just call me up and ask me to come out to the house to bring some samples and take some measurements. If they popped into the shop, they’d chat about what they needed, take a look at some of the samples on display then ask me when it would be convenient to come round to the house with some more samples and my measuring tape.

I suppose it’s obvious, really. In this business you have to actually see the space. Every home, every office building, every commercial premises is different. They all have nooks and crannies or restrictions of one sort of another so that no two jobs are ever the same.

And then there’s personal taste. How can you pick a carpet without having a sample in the room? How can you choose blinds without actually looking at the windows they’re going to cover?

That’s why Bomar Carpets and Blinds is now completely mobile. We bring the shop straight to your home. With a van jam-packed with carpet, flooring, vinyl and blinds samples, we’ll park right outside and bring everything you need to choose exactly what’s right for you. We’ll also draw on well over 30 years in the business to advise you on the options that are right for you – and take accurate measurements for flooring and blinds that will ensure a perfect fit.

Our consultations are free, too, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

When you’re ready for a bit of home shopping for carpets, flooring, vinyl or blinds just give us a call on 0131 554 4050 or email sales@bomarcarpets.co.uk.

Fit for purpose?

Fitting carpets isn’t an easy business. It’s a skilled job and it takes many years of experience to get really good at it.

If you think about it, in the average week, a carpet fitter will come across all kinds of challenges. They’ll tackle oddly shaped rooms. They’ll encounter bay windows and curious recesses. They’ll take on staircases in everything from stone to wood, with twists and turns and little landings along the way. They’ll do big rooms and small rooms. Upstairs, downstairs and everything in between.

They’ll face stripes and patterns that need to be matched and areas of plain that must look the same. They’ll use glue, nails and grippers to keep carpets down and they’ll skilfully stretch to avoid bumps and lumps.

That’s why we only ever use fitters who are fit for the job. The finest we can find, in fact, many of whom we’ve known for years. They’ll turn up on time, treat your home with care and they’ll make sure that the job is done fit and properly. Briefing your fitter is all part of our service and the fitter’s costs are clearly quoted up front so you can pay them direct.