Carpet Professor                     The Important Stuff to Know Before You Buy Carpet!

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Keys to Buying New Carpet Wisely

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate



How to select the best carpet for your needs, goals and lifestyle... There are hundreds of different types and styles of carpet to choose from, and it's overwhelming to all of us.  


Just because a carpet looks and feels nice doesn't mean it is good quality or it is durable! You have to choose wisely, and that means you need to know about Carpet Specifications



Every homeowner has different needs, goals and expectations. You want your carpet to last a long time, look good for decades, resist stains, be in your price range and clean easily. That's hard to find these days without some serious help.


Buying new carpet can be very confusing and frustrating and time-consuming. You must be patient and take the time to learn about carpet before you buy. WHY? Because some carpets are made poorly or with poor quality materials and will quickly appear worn-out in a hurry. 


Lower grade carpets can quickly develop flattened out paths or "trails" in common traffic lanes. Many carpets stain easily or will begin to look soiled or dingy within a few months and may be difficult or impossible to clean! Before You Buy New Carpet Checklist


You cannot afford to make the wrong carpet choice as so many unsuspecting homeowners do. I want to help you make wise and informed choices. Looking for help or advice in a retail carpet store? Don't base your decisions solely on the advice of any one carpet salesperson, as many are poorly trained, lack "hands-on" experience or may not have your best interests in mind. (Trust me on this one, I'll tell you more about this problem later) Buying from a reputable carpet dealer is very important. Print out my free Carpet Selection Form and Coupon



How to Select the Correct Padding...

The wrong padding can cut the life-span of your new carpet in HALF, and may quickly cause wrinkles to develop in your carpet and this will void the manufacturers warranty. 


You should not rely solely on any retail carpet salesperson to make the correct padding choice for you. They often don't know what is required or may try to sell you the most expensive item. 


According to the carpet manufacturer, it is your responsibility to know and purchase the correct padding is for the carpet you have selected.  (You can't blame the butcher for the cut of meat you select)  I can help you make sure you make the right choice. Selecting the Right Carpet Pad


The Trick to Getting Proper Installation...

As many as four out of five Carpet Installers are NOT properly trained or qualified to install your new carpet. Installing carpet requires using proper installation tools and procedures to keep your warranty in force. This is absolutely critical! You must be sure to get qualified carpet installation. 


Why? Because carpet installed wrong can cause wrinkles to develop in less than a year! Wrinkles make your carpet wear out fast and are very costly to repair! I can show you how to be sure  your new carpet is installed right the first time. Get this critical aspect wrong and you may quickly lose your total carpet investment. 


Learn the tricks to carpet installation Carpet Installation Cost & Fees


How to be sure you get the absolute Best Carpet Price... 


Why pay more than you need to! Let me show you how to get a great price on the materials and labor. Finding a good deal on carpet, padding and installation is getting harder every day, and it all boils down to "who" you buy from, and the choices you make. 


There used to be hundreds of smaller high-quality carpet manufacturers. In the past 10 years many have been bought up by the giant carpet mills like Mohawk, Shaw and Beaulieu. These giant carpet manufacturers often make buying carpet more confusing, more complicated and more expensive for homeowners especially those who fail to do their homework. 


The Carpet Pad manufacturers are doing the same thing. The smaller padding companies are being bought out, and the big pad companies are creating newfangled products to get consumers to dig deeper into their pockets for products they may not need. They have odor eating pads, moisture barrier pads, anti-microbial pads and many more. 


Buying a costly padding that they say will increase the length of your carpet warranty is also a potential scam you need to be wary of. Learn where NOT to Buy Carpet & Flooring



Carpet Installation Costs are Increasing and Quality is Decreasing

Big-box carpet retailers are well known for adding on extra charges to their "basic Installation services" so you might end up paying twice as much or more, as you were initially led to believe for carpet or flooring installation because they will charge you extra for every little thing they do. Extra for removing your old carpet and padding; extra for tack strip; extra for stairs; extra for transitions and so on... 


This is especially true with Home Improvement stores like Lowe's and Home Depot and many other nationally advertised shop-at-home carpet retailers. 



Protect Yourself from Shoddy Workmanship and Legal Problems. 

Watch Out For Undocumented Workers or Anyone working on your property not covered by a valid Worker's Compensation Policy. If they get hurt on the job, you may be held responsible!



40 years ago... Carpet installers were called craftsmen and were very well trained. The flooring profession was highly regarded and handed-down trade from father to son. Not anymore! You never know what level of professional training installers have, if any, and if they are qualified to properly install the flooring product you have selected. 


Installation crews hired by unscrupulous flooring retailers today usually have only one crew member who speaks English who may be licensed, bonded and insured, but the rest of his crew (usually relatives) are likely undocumented and not covered by a valid and current Worker's Compensation Policy. 


The problem for homeowners surfaces when one of these uninsured workers suffers an injury while working on your property. When this happens, You, the homeowner may be liable to pay for all medical treatment for the worker and pay hefty state or local fees, fines or damages from negligence or even worse, should a lawsuit be filed or law enforcement agencies get involved.


You don't want this to happen to you. Seek professional advice from an attorney if you are unsure of your rights or responsibilities regarding hiring flooring installers who hire undocumented workers or who do not provide a valid worker's compensation policy for everyone who works on your property. Learn more about How to Verify a Contractor's License and the Worker's Compensation policy.


This is another reason why I do my best to only recommend flooring dealers who hire qualified and experienced installers who are paid directly by the flooring dealer and are fully covered by business liability insurance and worker's compensation while working on your property, and properly licensed when required by your state and local laws. 


Are you ready to buy new carpet?


 Take this Simple Test 


Here are three different residential-grade carpets, all similar in many ways but each have some differences in how they are made. Your task: Take a careful look at all the carpet specifications below and then answer the following questions. Don't consider the carpet colors or the appearance in your decision, just use the carpet specifications and the price. 


# 1 2 3
Tuft Twist 5.5 6.5 4.5
Construction Plush Textured Cut Pile Textured Saxony
Gauge 1/10 1/12 1/8
Backing Polypropylene SoftBac® LuxuryBac®
Anti-Stain Stainmaster® R2X® Magic Fresh ®
Face Weight 46.0 40.0 65.0
Pile Density 2400 2860 3220
Fiber Brand Stainmaster Xtra Life® Smartstrand®  Unbranded
Fiber Content Luxurell® Soft Nylon Sorona / PTT PET Polyester
Price per SF $2.99 sf $2.49 sf $2.29 sf


Now Try to Answer These Questions...

  • Which one would be best for Kids & Pets?

  • Which one would be the Most Durable?

  • Which one would Wear Out the fastest?

  • Which one offers the Most Value?

  • Which one would You choose for your home?


If you find this simple test difficult, just wait until you are looking at dozens of carpet samples with limited information available to you.  That's why so many homeowners make costly carpet buying mistakes. 


Carpet Test Answers

















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Carpet Cost    What Causes Carpet Wrinkles?    Whole House Carpet Installation

  Carpet Specifications Explained    Understanding Carpet Specifications

Carpet and Pad Price Chart    Types of Padding    What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?

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Should I Buy New Carpet or Have My Old Carpets Cleaned?    Best Carpet for Kids Dogs Cats & Pets

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