When it comes to the interior of your car, the carpet is an important but often overlooked element. Choosing the right colour and style will transform the vehicle; ultimately, it will determine the feel and fashionability of the inside of the car, and can make it a very pleasant place to be seated for long periods of time.
Not only that, but carpet is a very functional part of the car's interior too. Good automotive carpet will prevent mould and mildew from growing in the cabin by repelling moisture from passengers' feet, and is designed to resist the wear and tear of general everyday use.
So there are a few things to think about when looking at interior carpet for your cherished motor. Looking at colours, you'll be spoiled for choice. Blacks and greys tend to be most popular for general use because they won't show dirt and grime as much as lighter colours, but when looking for something a bit more extravagant you may want to opt for something red or beige to match a luxurious interior. Obviously this comes with the compromise of more regular cleaning and maintenance, but the right eye-catching colour can make a world of difference in making your car look special.
Another thing to consider with car carpet is the materials and construction that goes into it. Some "universally absorbent" type carpets are designed for rainier areas, which will also be suitable if you're keen on the outdoors since it'll draw away water and protect the car from spills. Alternatively, there are generic "universal carpets" which are mats designed to fit any vehicle - generally these are cheaply made, but can be a budget-conscious way of protecting the floorpan area of your car from general wear and tear, though they'll rarely match the contours of your vehicle properly.
Since carpets like this are specially woven to trap dirt and debris, it's also important to maintain your automotive carpet properly. Regular vacuuming is a must to keep your carpet in top condition, and how often you do this will ultimately depend on how often you use your vehicle (and how roughly the carpets are treated). Generally though, a good rule of thumb is to give your carpet a once-over every one or two weeks. This'll prevent the carpet from becoming permanently damaged and stained by ground-in dirt and grime, since all the loose particles will be vacuumed away.
So, what this all means is that there are options for you to consider. What kind of carpet you'll end up using will really be determined by your requirements and personal taste, and of course which vehicle you'd like to fit the carpet into! As long as it's properly cared for and cleaned, a well-chosen carpet solution for your car will look and perform fantastically for a long time.
Mark Mercer is the owner and founder of Super Trim. Super Trim are a NZ company based in Auckland specializing in automotive upholstery.