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Carpet Questions & Answers #10


What Are Carpet Characteristics? Carpet provides…

Recommended Carpet Stores -







Recommended Carpet and Flooring Dealers

  • Durability

  • Elegance

  • Versatility

  • Warmth

  • Comfort

  • Softness

  • Good value

  • Insulating properties

  • Energy savings

  • Noise dampening

  • Non-slip surface

  • Easy maintenance  

  • Fire resistance


How Often Should I Replace My Carpet?

Some Carpets are designed to last for less than 5 years. Some carpets are designed to last for 25 years, but sooner or later your Carpet will have outlived its usefulness and should be replaced. 


Maybe your carpet is just worn out or maybe it is harboring years of dirt, grime, mold and mildew hiding deep down in the pile where it can't be reached by any carpet cleaning process.


Perhaps you are getting tired of looking at your old carpet and want to spruce up the place a bit. Either way you might want to consider this question carefully because  new carpet is a costly and a time-consuming process.


Take my free Carpet Replacement Quiz to help you determine if your old Carpet is still worthy of another Professional Cleaning or if it’s finally time to replace your old Carpet.



Why I Only Recommend Locally-Owned Carpet Stores?

Lowe's and Home Depot have certainly met homeowners needs for DIY home improvement products and I shop there for many items like most folks do, but knowing what I know, I would never buy carpet or flooring from them. Why? 


Once you pay for the materials and labor costs (which they require paid upfront and in-full at the time of ordering), the big box retailer is pretty much done serving you. They are only in business to sell you the materials and they subcontract out practically everything else, including the in-home measuring service and the installation to other privately held companies or independent contractors. 



What Do BOX Stores Say When You Call With a Carpet Complaint? 

They will likely say that since THEY didn't install your carpet and since THEY didn't manufacture your carpet, YOU have to seek a remedy with either the carpet manufacturer or the carpet installation company. Basically, this means you are on your own with little or no help from the box store! 


This also means if you believe you have an installation problem with your carpet, you will have to contact the installation company directly for a remedy.  When someone finally comes out to inspect your carpet they may say your problem is not an installation problem, but is a carpet defect


Now you have to contact the carpet manufacturer directly and ask them to come by and take a look at your carpet.  They in turn will inspect your carpet and may say it is not a carpet defect, but an installation problem or maybe they will blame you for improper carpet maintenance, care or abuse. 


This is the vicious cycle that makes homeowners absolutely furious when no one is willing to accept responsibility for their carpet complaint. And what about those incredible $37 carpet installation specials? It sure sounds good at first, but is it really a good deal for you in the long run? 


Do you know what they mean by a "basic" installation? It means that anything you need, above and beyond their limited definition of a "basic installation", will add significant additional charges to your final bill.


You might not discover how much more this will cost you until the day of installation when the installers arrive with your carpet and then require you pay hundreds more for materials or services before they will begin.


These are just a few reasons why I only recommend buying carpet from a reputable, locally-owned Carpet retailer.  


Local stores have a vested interest in your community and tend to go the extra mile to make sure you are completely satisfied from start to finish. 


I don't like hearing about huge corporate profits and mega salaries paid out to big-shot corporate CEO's while millions of hard-working Americans are underpaid, over-worked and struggling to support their families with a low hourly working wage. 


The typical corporate mindset is only concerned about making as much profit as possible and spending as little as possible on wages, healthcare and customer service. The truth is, buying from locally-owned small businesses is far better for you and your local community, better for local job creation and better for your schools. roads, and the long-term future of your children!


Now that you know several good reasons why I only recommend buying from a locally-owned carpet business, I ask that you consider buying locally. Not only will they treat you like gold, but they will take very good care of you before and after the sale.



Should I Buy Carpet from Lowe's, Home Depot or Costco?


Like you, I shop at home improvement warehouses when I need lumber, lighting, nails, potting soil or small hand tools, and overall I think they have reasonable prices and a nice selection.


But as a 30-year carpet expert, I think that buying new Carpet from Lowe's, Home Depot, Costco or any other big box warehouse retailer may not be the wisest way to go for most homeowners. Here's why...


All of these big-box retailers farm-out their measuring and installations to other companies, and they use private labels on their samples to make comparison shopping almost impossible. There are many other important reasons why I don't recommend buying new Carpet from big-box retailers.  Read on...


Honest answers to carpet buying questions!

From what I've experienced myself, I find that many BIG BOX salespeople are relatively new to the carpet and flooring business and many lack sufficient product knowledge and "hands-on" experience to accurately answer even the most basic carpet questions. 


Working nights and weekends by the hour at a home improvement warehouse is surely a demanding job and many new retail workers have been hired after having lost their job from the downturn in the economy. 


These nice folks have had to seek out other employment opportunities just to make ends meet, but they are often overworked and underpaid and likely don't have any hands-on experience in carpet and flooring. 


This means that there might not be much passion for their new and hopefully "temporary" employment at the local big box warehouse. Because buying new Carpet or Flooring is such a big and important investment, ALL your carpet questions need to be answered by someone who really knows what they are talking about! 


Big Box Corporate Conglomerates

It's obvious that Home Depot and Lowe's got into the Carpet and flooring business because they saw a golden opportunity to make some serious money selling carpet and flooring. They have deep pockets and enough corporate muscles to negotiate special flooring deals with certain manufacturers. 


They also have the ability to spend millions on advertising to lure-in unsuspecting homeowners. In doing so they have forced many long-standing, honest and reputable, locally-owned flooring stores to go out of business. 


The Best & Worst Places To Buy Carpet?



Heavy Foot Traffic Lanes?

I’m so glad I ran across your website! We're getting ready to invest in carpeting our entire house (about 2,000 sq. feet). My brother's builder (consistent high end Parade home winner) referred us to his supplier and buyer. He gave us a quote for carpet, pad, and installation for Mohawk's Horizon carpet. It's kind of like the frieze' (I call it a twist-short shag). I love it, but I do have kids and we show Dobermans. I don't have a housebreaking problem with the dogs and they are kept in our indoor kennel room 60% of the time, so they don't create excessive wear.

My problem is that we have high traffic patterns. Our house is a typical ranch home that's about 20 years old (original carpet). You almost walk the same exact pattern every where you go. Is this a good traffic carpet and do you think it's a good price. I can't seem to find a durability rating for it anywhere. Trying to find it at Home Depot or Lowe's for a comparison is very difficult as they use different product names and colors.

Any help is appreciated. I've never had to purchase carpet and it's so confusing! Thank you for being so helpful to everyone. I was relieved when I found you!


P.S. Half of my sq. footage is basement. Would this be a good carpet for a finished very dry basement? Would you suggest a pad over concrete for the basement? I have Berber now and I hate it! I want something more softer and elegant as we use it for our family room, den and office (dog kennel is there too, but I will keep the Berber in that room).



Wait! Don't buy anything yet! There is so much more you need to know. The frieze you mentioned would be all right for you if it were made of nylon. I suspect the carpet you have selected is a polyester. Inherently, a good quality frieze will tolerate a lot of abuse, but only when it is made from Nylon. A polyester (P.E.T.) carpet will mat down in a hurry, especially in moderate to heavy foot traffic areas. Carpet durability? Check out this chart: Carpet Durability Guide Chart


My best advice: Take your time and do your carpet homework. Make sure your basement is dry (do a moisture test to be sure). Use a good quality padding to make your basement warmer and softer underfoot. Buying carpet is so complex these days involving proper selection, correct padding, quality installation, accurate measuring, not to mention getting a good price is the five step process that all must be done right in order for you to be successful. Otherwise, you will end up not satisfied with the outcome and you will have lost hundreds or worse. 5 Secrets to Carpet Buying Success


What if they install a different carpet than I ordered?

Q. I just had some nylon Berber carpet installed. However, the weave or loop is much larger than the sample. What should I do now?


Sometimes honest mistakes are made and the mill sends out the wrong carpet. This is not a scam, just a mishap and not a common occurrence.  On the other hand, unscrupulous carpet retailers may try to pull the old "switcheroo".

For example, if you order a 42-ounce carpet and they install a 38-ounce carpet hoping you don't notice the difference. On a big job they can easily pocket thousands by ordering a slightly lower grade than you originally selected. 


If you suspect the style or color is not quite what you ordered there may be a simple explanation. I find it is often true that homeowners forget which carpet they finally selected. After looking at hundreds of samples it can be mind boggling!


If you are sure that your memory is accurate and something is just not right, then you must go on to the next step...

First read your carpet warranty and try to get your hands on the original carpet sample that you ordered from. You should expect to get the same carpet quality, style and color you ordered, so contact the retailer and ask them to look into it.

If there is a noticeable difference they should reorder the carpet and there should not be any additional cost to you.  However, if the difference between the actual sample you ordered from and the carpet you actually received is within reasonable tolerances, then you may not have a valid claim.

The manufacturer's warranty typically says that there may be slight variances between the carpet sample and the actual carpet that is delivered.  You'll have to prove (with the help of your carpet retailer) that the carpet is significantly different than the original carpet sample in order to win your claim.

Eventually, the carpet manufacturer will send out an inspector to investigate your claim. This process could take several weeks to complete. If you win, they should replace the carpet at no cost to you, however you will probably be responsible for moving the furniture.



More Q & A...


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