$199, $99, $39, $37 and now FREE Carpet Installation?

I don’t like to mention names of business that I have a negative opinion of or complaint about, but Homeowners out shopping for light bulbs, potting soil or hand tools might also notice a sign or banner advertising free carpet installation. It used to be $199 and then it dropped to $99. Now it’s free. Why do you suppose that is? Big box stores want to entice you to buy carpet from them and it would seem that they are willing to give you a fantastic deal on installation to do so. But is it really a good deal for the consumer?

The problem is, there are several very good reasons why they are giving away carpet installation. One reason is because they have so many complaints posted on the internet from unsatisfied homeowners claiming poor carpet installations. I did a simple search for carpet complaints on the internet and it revealed plenty of horror stories from angry homeowners. Check it out for yourself.

Let me ask you… If you get free installation for a whole house full of carpet and the installer does a lousy job, what recourse do you have? Maybe they will try to fix it. Maybe they will say it’s a carpet defect. Maybe they will refund your money…  You didn’t pay anything for installation? What is their financial liability in the event they cannot satisfy you?  

Big box retailers used to hire their own carpet installers, but they had a real hard time finding qualified installaers. They decided contract out all carpet installations to independent flooring installation companies. This limits their liability since they now have nothing to do with the installers directly. If something goes wrong, they refer you back to the installation company.

What is free installation worth? Do you want to spend thousands on new carpet and then pay nothing for the most important aspect of the job? It doesn’t make much sense to me and I have been in the carpet business over 30 years. Any carpet you buy must be installed properly or it will wear out prematurely.

It was free, what did you expect for nothing?

Let me ask you… Would you let an independent auto mechanic repair your engine or transmission for just the cost of the parts? How far do you think you could drive before you might break down? Would you feel comfortable taking a long trip in your car if you didn’t have to pay the cost of repairs? And what happens when you do break down?  There is no free lunch, in the carpet business you get what you pay for. Don’t fall for sneaky sales tactics.

You see, if you buy carpet from a home improvement warehouse and you have a problem with your carpet, you have to contact the carpet manufacturer to seek a remedy. If you have a complaint about the carpet installation, you have to contact the installation company to have it fixed. Just because you paid your money to the big box retailer doesn’t mean they will be there to help you when you have a complaint. They may just tell you to contact the carpet maker or the installation company to seek a remedy. They will say that they did not manufacture nor install the carpet and you need to go through the appropriate channels if you have a complaint.

What a sweet deal for those big box retailers! Just collect all the money upfront and never have to worry about complaints. They even use an independent company to do all their in-home measuring, and they charge you a fee for that.

Let me also inform you that their basic carpet installation is defined in a very narrow way and if your home requires anything beyond their definition of “basic” then you will be required to pay quite a bit extra for those services. I hear the prices they charge for anything beyond the basic installation are incredibly high and could easily run into the hundreds.

Thanks for reading. Visit my website for more of my carpet opinions and advice:



10 thoughts on “$199, $99, $39, $37 and now FREE Carpet Installation?

  1. I just had Home Depot give me a measure and quote for carpet. The basic installation is $99, then it is an additional $195 for tack strips, and an additional $85 because it is a mobile home. I’ve called other carpet installers and they charge less for padding ($3 vs. $5.65) and more for installation ($4/yard), and it will cost me $250 less than Home Depot!


  2. if u think u can get carpet installed for 99.00 dollars u go ahead. on average it cost 4 to 5 dollars a yard. Wilson Carpet Rome GA


  3. As a carpet cleaner, I can confirm that poor quality carpet installation by Home Depot and the other big box store is a major problem. I run into at least a few jobs each month where carpets only a couple of years old are already showing signs of excessive wear do to low quality padding and other installation problems. The old saying, you get what you pay for, is true, but in this case you usually end up paying more for poor quality padding and workmanship. My advice is buy from a locally owned company.


  4. We also do carpet cleaning and repairs and we’ve seen several carpet installations that gone bad. A piece of advice, get someone who can do the job better. You can check online for carpet companies near you and check as well the reviews and testimonials of previous customers. You can phone them first and ask what they can do if the end result doesn’t meet your expectations. In that way, you can decide wisely which company to go for.


  5. DO NOT FALL FOR THE CHEAP INSTALL PRICE AT HOME DEPOT! My estimate for installation after adding in all the ‘extra costs’ was over $1200! Of course I had already paid them for the $50 estimate…. wasted money. Go elsewhere.


  6. I’ve never had a problem with The Home Depot in 15 years. With my last order, I compared 3 other places and HD still came out cheaper and the installs have all been fine. In fact, the last one was completed within 3 days of placing my order. The cheap install price is just a marketing ploy to get you to sit down with them. Nothing is free. It’s built into the pad typically, which is higher there. There are installation extras to look out for such as furniture moving, stairs and removal of old carpet (if any). Just know how to compare apples to apples and you won’t get all worked up.


    1. Marty,
      It is possible to get a fair deal at the big box retailers if you know what you are doing. The problem is, most folks have never bought carpet before and don’t do their carpet homework. If you buy carpet blindly, you stand a good chance of ending up unhappy with your purchase in some way. With the big box stores, you can’t rely on the hired help you and provide accurate and knowledgeable answers to your carpet questions. After the carpet and padding selection has been made, any retailer who farms out their installations to another company is not doing the consumer any favors. You will never know in advance who will be installing your new flooring and if they are qualified to do the job. If there is a problem with installation it can be very difficult to get a quick remedy. My advice? Buy from a locally owned reputable carpet dealer!



  7. I’m having problems right now in getting a straight quote from Home Depot. They want $30-$60 a room extra to move furniture when one room only has a shelf. Plus, they are telling me I have to go with a padding that is double the cost of what I see in store and somehow found an extra 270 Sq Ft over my measurements! I know I’m not a pro but that is a 30% difference! They still come out cheaper but all of the deception is causing me to balk.


  8. I have had lots of carpet installs as my husband and I have owned several rental properties over the years. I am also a Realtor and need to advise customers on affordable floor replacement. Measurers do over measure but you must also know that the carpet nap has to run the same direction throughout the house or the color or shade will appear to look different if laid the wrong direction. In my rentals I cut back on carpet measuring by running carpet in closets the wrong direction and using left overs for this. This cannot always be done and most carpet installers will advise you against it. You also have to go by the width of the carpet as well. If your room is wider than 12 feet, I would advise you to pick a wider roll of carpet. You may have to buy twice the amount of carpet to make up for wider with if your roll is not wide enough to start with. If you ask for carpet to be seamed you will have an additional charge as well, so you have to weigh your options. Installers want to be able to just cut the carpet to the size of the room in one piece and that includes the closets. Just remember a 20 x 17 room is not going to be charged based off of that square footage. It is charged based off of the width of the carpet roll. So if the width of the carpet roll is only 12 ft. then you will be charged for 12 x 20 (assuming the long length is the direction the carpet needs to be laid) plus an additional 12 X 20 for the left over 5 x 20 to finish the width of the room. Or you could choose to split this piece in half and seam it and only order an additional 6 x 20 to do that area.(Remember the nap has to run the same direction) They also add a few inches on the measurement for fitting and stretching.
    Always have your seams in the least conspicuous areas of the room and try to avoid high traffic areas. Just know I have had many an argument with measurers and sometimes they don’t even understand Geometry. They are just told to measure by the width of the roll without trying to conserve on the materials. And if you choose to try to conserve on materials your installation may cost you more.


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