How to Buy Carpet (Without Getting Ripped Off!)
©2022 Alan Fletcher - Consumer Advocate
Everything you need to know about buying and choosing new carpet wisely.
From selecting the right carpet and padding, to making sure your new carpet is installed correctly. To get started, start by scrolling down this page or by visiting my Sitemap to locate your particular area of interest about buying or selecting new carpet and padding.
Discover everything about Carpet styles to Carpet fibers, types of Carpet padding to Carpet cost or Carpet installation prices. I have dozens of free articles posted here to help you make sense of it all, save time and money and how to avoid common carpet scams. I also have over 200 common Carpet Buying Q & A posted for you to read.
What you need to know Upfront:
I retired in 2007 after more than 30+ years in the carpet business, and I don't sell or install carpet anymore. My goal today is to help homeowners make wise and informed carpet buying choices and avoid common scams! Learn the secrets to choosing carpet wisely and save money too!
I never recommend buying Carpet from big-box retailers like Home Depot or Lowe's. I also suggest you avoid buying Carpet from nationally advertised "shop-at-home" retailers like Costco and Empire Today. Find out why here.
I suggest you begin by taking my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to determine the Level of Foot-Traffic you have in your home. You need to choose a grade of carpet and padding that is capable of tolerating your level of foot-traffic. Find out whether you have Low, Medium, Moderate or Heavy Foot-Traffic in your home. This will help you choose the grade of carpet that can meet your needs, goals and lifestyle.
Five Key Factors To Consider
1. New Carpet is more costly than you think!
Most homeowners experience some degree of sticker shock when they discover the true "final cost" of buying new carpet, padding and installation. Choosing the right materials and getting qualified installation is just part of the overall costs involved.
There can be a number of additional fees and charges you may need to pay to make sure your new flooring is installed properly.
There can be plenty of unforeseen and unexpected installation costs you may encounter including: Removal of the old carpet & padding; Dump fees: Floor repair or preparation costs: Transition metals or custom thresholds: Door trimming: Tack-less removal and replacement: Custom stair work and upholstery.
Some of these extra fees can be avoided if you can do some of the preliminary work yourself. Like removing all the old carpet and pad and hauling it away.
These are just a few of the more common extra fees and charges you might encounter and can easily add up to hundreds or more when buying new flooring of any type. If you plan on replacing your carpet or flooring in a mobile home, you can expect to pay a bit more for installation costs and floor preparation fees. How much does Carpet Installation Cost?
2. Unscrupulous Carpet Retailers May Overcharge You
There are literally dozens of retail carpet scams you need to watch out for. One of the more common scams is to over-measure your material needs. Being over-measured means you will also be overcharged for padding and installation too since the total price you pay is based upon the total amount of material you require. How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps
Most homeowners don't know exactly how much material they actually need for their flooring project. For example: If you actually need 100 yards of Carpet for your home... a sly salesperson may say you need 110 yards of carpet. Now, if you are over-measured by just 10 yards, you stand to overpay by $500 or more depending on the cost of materials and labor.
How will you know if you have been over-measured?
You should always get several estimates or bids from local retailers. This gives you the ability to compare estimates side by side to determine who you want to do business with, based on several factors. How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps
The Lowest Price is Not Always the Best Price!
Sometimes you will get a bid or estimate from a source that makes you feel more comfortable, even if the price is a bit higher than the other bids you have received. It could be the salesperson that you like, or the options of the product involved.
You must consider all factors and buy from the carpet dealer that you feel most comfortable doing business with, regardless of the price. Buy the product that has all the options you want and need to meet your requirements. Never settle for something less, regardless of the the cost. Spend more today to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase for years to come. If you need to wait a while to save up in order to buy the quality you really want, then do.
3. Common Carpet Scams
Homeowners need to know what pitfalls to watch out for and how to avoid common carpet buying mistakes, sneaky sales tricks and common sales gimmicks. I will also show you how to avoid Common Scams and Rip-offs. Read about Common Consumer Carpet Buying Mistakes and pitfalls.
It's very easy for unsuspecting homeowners to become a victim of a Carpet Scam. To avoid this, you need to be aware of these sneaky tricks and lies carpet sellers use to deceive you.
#1 The Carpet Fiber Scam - They tell you polyester is just as durable as nylon.
#2 The Measuring Scam - They over-charge you for materials and labor.
#3 The Installation Scam - They offer free basic installation then add on more fees later.
Read more about common Carpet Scams
Take your time, do some comparison shopping by visiting a few local carpet retailers. Take several carpet samples home with you and also take them with you from store to store to compare. Choosing the right carpet for your home will be time consuming, and often be complicated and frustrating for you. Getting a fair & square price for your entire carpet job will require that you do some reading about carpet specifications and learn about the fibers they use to make carpets.
4. How to Get Qualified Carpet Installation
Carpet installed improperly can easily lose HALF of it's intended lifespan. You need to make sure your carpet is installed correctly. If you hire an independent carpet installer, you will need to check your carpet installer's references, make a few phone calls, verify your state contractor requirements, Verify their Surety Bond, State License, Business Liability Insurance and even verify their Workers' Compensation Insurance Policy.
If you buy from a reputable carpet dealer they will provide installation and use their own qualified installers to do the job. How much does Carpet Installation Cost? How to get Qualified Carpet Installation
5. How to Choose the Right Grade of Carpet and Padding
The retail Carpet marketplace has changed so dramatically over the past 35 years that few homeowners today have a clue about how to select the proper grade of carpet for their home. Get it wrong and you stand to lose thousands.
My research reveals that about 74% of all homeowners end up choosing the wrong grade of carpet or padding to meet their needs and goals. I also find that about 84% of homeowners end up with a poor-quality installation job. Most homeowners don't spend enough money to buy the right grade of carpet and soon become unhappy with their Carpet Durability and Performance.
Learn About Carpet Construction
Here are a few critical areas that you need to learn about.
Carpet Longevity v. Carpet Cost
How long do you want your new carpet to last? 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Not all carpets are created equal so you need to learn how to choose the right carpet based on how well it is constructed. That means you need to learn all about Carpet Specifications and how to interpret them.
Don't make the costly mistake of buying new carpet and padding until you learn how to select the right Grade of Carpet to meet your needs and goals.
I highly recommend you start by taking my Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what GRADE you need to buy. You want to choose the right grade of carpet and padding that is capable of tolerating your level of foot traffic for as many years as you desire.
Six Important Keys to Getting a Great Carpet Deal!
Most consumers get it wrong with at least one or more of these critical areas. The truth is, most consumers don't know What makes one carpet better than another? I receive plenty of emails from homeowners who have bought the wrong carpet and want me to help them try to make it right. Usually it's already too late. Don't become a victim of a scam! Read more about common Carpet Scams.
Secrets to Buying New Carpet Wisely
You must choose the right Grade (quality) and style of carpet as is predetermined by your own specific Needs, Goals and Lifestyle. The only way to determine this effectively is to have a fundamental understanding of Carpet Specifications including face-weight, pile height, tuft twist, fiber type and how they affect carpet durability and longevity. Other factors that may need to be considered are anti-static and anti-stain properties of the carpet in question. Let me help you make sense of it all...