Carpet Buying Q & A
J Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate
Q. I am looking for a good quality carpet that can
withstand kids, cats, dogs and heavy traffic.
I have a somewhat formal
living room that you land in upon entering my house. To get to any other
part of the house at that point, one needs to walk through the living room.
My biggest problem is the heavy traffic from the front door, across the
living room and down the hallway to the bedrooms. This gets dirty super fast. Any
help would be appreciated.
is the best fiber for homes with heavy foot traffic. If you need a quick
solution right now, The first thing I would do is to get some plastic carpet
runners or lay down some area rugs to alleviate some of the abrasion you are
getting in those high traffic areas. This is not too costly and will surely
help. Also make sure you have a good set of walk-off mats at the outer front
door and entryway.
Requiring house-slippers for the main family members is
another great option. You have several carpet selection options that
could work well for you when you are ready to install new carpet. You
need to decide how long you want your new carpet to last, and learn what
grade of carpet you need to select that is capable to withstand your high
level of foot traffic.
Grade of Carpet Should I Select? Learn about Sorona ģ Smartstrand Carpet
Q. I have read that the new PET fiber is even more stain
resistant than nylon. Your web site indicated PET is the worst. Why is this?
Whether or not PET polyester is more stain
resistant than Nylon is not the issue, it is that P.E.T. Polyester carpets
mat down quickly and have poor resiliency. That means that your new PET
polyester carpet will not retain a new appearance very long. Even after a
good cleaning it will still be matted down and ugly.
Does this price range for new carpet sound reasonable?
am installing a DriCore sub-floor system in the 1,200 SF basement of my newly
constructed home. The basement will serve as a family room & play area
for my family which includes 2 children under the age of 5 and a de-clawed
(front & back) cat. I have been looking for a good quality frieze carpet
to put over the sub-floor. What price range should I expect for a
good quality Nylon Frieze style carpet?
Since you have two young children,
and children spill a lot, you may want to consider a lesser grade of carpet
and plan to re-carpet in 5 to 10 years. Many people do this because in a few
years the children will not be as hard on the carpets and spills and stains
will not be such an issue. No carpet warranty covers all types of stains.
Either way you go, a nylon frieze is a good choice for you. A good quality
nylon frieze carpet starts at about $30 per square yard ($3.33 per square
foot) and does not include the cost of padding or installation.
much does new carpet cost?
there a Nylon Carpet Test?
Is there a simple test to see if a
Carpet is made from Nylon, Olefin or Polyester?
All fibers used to make carpet have different melting points, and there are
burn tests that can be performed to determine what fiber it is. I don't
advise consumers to perform these tests, but they can be found on the
internet by doing a simple web search. It is difficult for most people
to determine what fiber a carpet is made from. Polyesters are softer than
Nylons in most cases. Polyesters are softer but there are also manufactured
with a thicker pile height and the tufts are packed more densely to try to
prevent the pile from matting down. This is because the polyester fiber is
much cheaper to manufacture than Nylon and is much less resilient than
Nylon. Olefins are more abrasive to the touch and are used mostly in low-end
looped Berber styles. Berbers styles made of Nylon are very durable and are
much more costly to purchase that are those made of Olefin (aka
Polypropylene). Interested in Mohawk's Smartstrand Fiber? Carpet Fibers - What Consumers Need to Know
Iíve just installed Mohawk wall-to-wall carpet throughout
my home. I do not have the paperwork with me as I write this, but I remember
it is a new type of carpet that resists pet problems more than any other
type, and the pad is the standard type. The problem is a very strong odor
has developed within 2 days of the install. The odor resembles mildew...as
if someone left wet towels piled up. Every room smells and it seems to be
getting stronger every day. Now 5 days later, we have moved to a motel while
the carpet people contact a rep from Mohawk and determine what the problem
may be. They say they have never experienced this. Any ideas?
One of my most important rule for
consumers for making a major purchase, (car, appliance, carpet) is to never
buy a product that has just been released to the public. I always wait until
all the bugs have been ironed out and make sure that the product has stood
the test of time. In this case, it sounds like you have purchased Mohawk's
newly released Odor Eaters Carpet. Now, while I do not know what the smell
is, I would be willing to make an educated guess that it has something to do
with a reaction between the processing chemicals, and the type of padding
you have used. I am very interested in knowing what the carpet rep has to
more about Carpet
Using a Power Stretcher to Install New Carpet Important?
Q. I got your ebook and it and this website have been very helpful. Based on
your book, I even developed my on 45-question worksheet for each and every
carpet company I talk to. Itís been a real education.
As more anecdotal
evidence of why itís absolutely necessary to get two bids, I called one
guy who was listed under carpet layers in the phone book. He said they also
like to sell carpet and came out to the house to measure.
He then tried the
lump sum pricing, which I asked him to break down. He did so reluctantly,
giving me the carpet price and the pad price, and saying everything else was
installation. It worked out that installation was about $17 a sq. yard.
Yikes. I went to another company and without having him to the house asked
about installation - $3.50/sq. yard + $1.50 for removal, a bit more for
stairs and $2/ft for transition metal (of which we have maybe 20 feet),
working out to about $5.50 sq. ft. I called a carpet installation company
and their pricing was similar to the second company. Amazing.
Another anecdote - you don't recommend Berber for pets. We bought a remnant
for our dog to sleep on. Within a day he'd put a run in it. Not
surprisingly, we decided against doing Berber.
Anyway, now to the question. In your book and on your site, you strongly
recommend a power stretcher. All three companies say they'll use if needed,
but, as a general rule won't for residential work unless there's a 50-foot
room. For a smaller room, it doesn't provide as much flexibility in angling
(one company showed us a picture and trade article). Any response for these
All right - second question. Any experience with Mohawk's Forever
Fresh line or Beaulieu's Magic Fresh? I understand they are both good for
pets smells and that Beaulieu's carpet (by Hollytex) has a 5 year limited
warranty where they will replace the carpet (labor excluded) for any stain
or smell. I do understand that I have to use a double-sided moisture
resistant pad to not void these warranties. Any thoughts?
Thank you for such a
nice e-mail. It really makes me feel good to know that I am making a
difference with my book and website. Now, to your first question: "In
your book and on your site, you strongly recommend a power stretcher. All
three companies say they'll use if it needed, but, as a general rule won't
for residential work unless there's a 50-foot room. For a smaller room, it
doesn't provide as much flexibility in angling (one company showed us a
picture and trade article). My response for these guys!"
Using a power stretcher in smaller rooms? Yes! I have a word for these guys.
Thanks, but no thanks! No responsible, qualified installer would ever say
that a power stretcher should only be used in a 50-foot room. Its one thing
to say that a small closet can be "kicked in" but every consumer
should know the facts: unless you want your carpet to develop wrinkles
within 1 to 3 years, insist that a power stretcher is used in every room of
your home. "If these installers won't use a power stretcher then hire
someone who will.
of Newfangled Products
Every year I see and hear about all the great new innovations that the
carpet manufacturers come up with. As the next year rolls around, some of
those great new innovations from the previous year are long gone. I have a
basic rule: Never buy an untried and untested product. This goes for cars, appliances,
electronics, and carpet. I usually wait at least three years to make sure
that all the bugs are worked out and that there are no unknown and
This rule applies to Mohawk's Forever Fresh and the new Odor Eating padding products
too. I just received a letter from an attorney yesterday who has been forced
to move into a motel because their newly installed Odor Eating Carpet has
developed a horrible smell. I don't know what the problem is, but the dealer
and the mill rep are baffled too. These new products may only cost you more money than
you really need to spend. Buyer Beware!
Preferred Carpet Dealers
hard to find a reputable carpet dealer these days! I have built a special
list of hand-picked carpet retailers who are locally owned, give free
estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest
measuring and hire qualified installers. See
who I recommend near you!