The Truth About Buying Carpet
By Alan J. Fletcher – Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate
What I’ve Learned from 30+ Years in the Carpet Business
(And how I can help YOU save hundreds & avoid scams!)
Carpet prices have soared over the past few years making it a major homeowner expense! So if you are planning to buy new carpet for your home anytime soon, you would be wise to discover the answers to these six critical issues:
1. How to Choose the Right Carpet & Padding Wisely
2. How to Avoid Common Carpet Scams & Rip-offs
3. How to Save the Most Time & Money
4. How to have your Carpet Installed Correctly
5. How to maintain your carpet properly
6. Best Places to buy Carpet and which Retailers to Avoid
I’d like to help you choose new carpet wisely, and here’s why…
I’ve been a trusted consumer advocate since 1998 and a third generation carpet professional. I wrote the book about “How to Buy Carpet Wisely” and have sold thousands of eBooks over the past 15 years. You don’t need to purchase my eBook to learn how to buy new carpet wisely. I will gladly inform you about everything you need to know about buying new carpet for FREE.
First, I’d like to tell you a few of the little-known facts about buying carpet that you may not be aware of and what you need to learn before you head out to shop for new carpet. You can take notes or just bookmark this page, but you will need to read this page and then visit my website and read more before you will be ready to start shopping for carpet.
I also want you to fully understand how important it is to choose the Right Carpet & Pad that is capable of meeting your needs, goals, lifestyle and budget. It’s also very important that you know what to do to ensure your new carpet is installed correctly and how to properly maintain your new carpet so it lasts as long as possible.
For you to be satisfied with your carpet choices, there are many very important steps that must be done exactly right from start to finish. It’s not as easy as most folks think, and if you don’t do it exactly right you stand to lose thousands and be unhappy with your final outcome.
But before we get started let me make one thing perfectly clear, I don’t sell or install carpet anymore, and I won’t make a dime from your carpet purchase no matter who you choose to buy from.
So what’s in it for me? I do what I do because I enjoy helping people and I love to write about what I know and believe in. I truly hate seeing homeowners overcharged, scammed and ripped-off and I think it’s about time the truth be told about the large number of unsavory businesses that sell carpet.
My unique carpet industry knowledge and experience allows me to help homeowners buy new carpet wisely and significantly reduce the number of homeowners who get ripped off by unscrupulous carpet retailers. Learn more about me and my life story on my website at CarpetProfessor.com (http://www.carpetprofessor.com/Alan_Fletcher.htm)
How Much Does Carpet Cost?
This is one of the most common carpet questions homeowners ask me. Carpet prices have increased significantly every year for the past 15 years or so.
If you have a typical 2 or 3 bedroom home you might need to spend $3,000 to $6,000 to replace the carpet in your home.
There are dozens of smart ways I can help you spend a lot less and still enjoy a great, long-lasting, easy to clean carpet. I will also explain how you can avoid making costly carpet buying mistakes.
Visit my website to learn how to save money on new carpet! AbcCarpets.com
The Most Common Homeowner Carpet Buying Mistakes
The first step most internet-savvy homeowners take is to go online and search for current carpet buying information. Unfortunately there is very little useful information available on the internet today. I read everything that I can find about carpet and I can say for sure that most of what I read online is pure nonsense.
Most websites only promote their own products and services and will only tell you the positive aspects and conveniently forget to mention any of the negatives.
Websites that are in business to sell carpet are self-serving and any carpet product information they offer should be disregarded unless it can be verified by an unbiased source.
It is very difficult for most homeowners to make wise carpet choices unless they first learn how to gain unfettered access to complete, honest and accurate carpet buying information.
Unbiased advice is what I provide on my carpet information websites so every homeowner has free access to all my carpet buying articles, useful forms and charts.
Carpet Information Overload Conflicting Carpet Information
I get thousands of emails from mind-boggled homeowners every year. Most are totally confused and desperate to get honest advice about which carpet or padding would be best in their unique situation.
Most of these folks have either spent way too much time doing online research or have visited too many carpet dealers and end up with a mind-paralyzing condition I like to call “Carpet Information Overload”. It’s a common problem and it can easily happen to you.
Conflicting Carpet Information
The more you search the web for useful carpet information the more confused you may become. The same holds true when you visit several carpet stores and speak with a number of carpet salespeople. You will get so much conflicting information and confusing advice that you will not know what carpet to buy, where to buy it or how much you need to spend!
What are you to believe? Who’s opinion should you trust?
I’ve already helped millions of homeowners make wise and informed carpet choices and I can help you make sense of it all too. Let me teach you my secrets to selecting the right carpet at the right price and how to protect yourself from making costly mistakes.
It’s Not Easy to Choose the Right Carpet
In my Carpet Buying Guide you will discover everything you need to know to make wise and informed choices. But before you head out the door to go carpet shopping, you need to ask yourself several important questions, for example;
How long do you want your carpet to last?
How many people live in your home?
Do you have children or pets?
How much do you have to spend on this project?
Your realistic answers to these questions and more will help narrow down your best options and choices, and save you a lot of time.
It’s not realistic to expect a low quality carpet to last 20 years in a high traffic situation, but on the other hand, you don’t need to buy the most expensive carpet if you plan on moving soon.
I know you have a ton of questions too, like; Should I Buy Carpet from Home Depot?
Is buying carpet from Home Depot or Lowe’s a smart way to go?
Perhaps you’ve seen those “shop-at-home” ads on TV that offer 60% off carpet or three rooms done for the price of one! Is this really a good deal?
You need to know the honest truth, but first let’s discuss a very important issue…
Where to Buy Carpet?
Some carpet retailers are reputable and some are not. It’s almost impossible for the average consumer to be able to tell the difference until it’s too late, but with over 30 years in the carpet business I can easily tell the good guys from the bad guys. And I know virtually every sneaky sales trick in the book.
Unfortunately there are plenty of unscrupulous carpet retailers thinking up sneaky tricks and gimmicks to convince you to buy carpet from them. That’s why I have developed a special hand-picked list of reputable, locally owned Carpet Dealers that I prefer and recommend to my readers. See who I recommend near you!
How to Avoid Common Carpet Scams and Rip-offs
The sad truth is, homeowners are constantly being targeted by crooks, thieves and con artists. You do not want to fall victim to unscrupulous carpet retailers who use sneaky sales tactics to con you into paying more and to receive less. Any homeowner could easily be ripped off in a dozen different ways and never know it until it’s too late.
What about those well advertised $37 carpet installation specials at the big box stores?
What about those 60% off carpet TV specials?
Have you been tempted by the “Buy One Room, get Two Rooms FREE” commercials?
There are dozens of common carpet scams and rip-offs out there that you need to recognize and avoid.
Choosing the Right Carpet
There are thousands of different carpet grades, colors and styles to choose from. Select the wrong grade or quality and you may find your new carpet is hard to clean, stains easily, mats down, fades out or wears out in a hurry. Selecting the right carpet will require that you know what makes one carpet better than another. You need to know how well it is constructed.
Don’t think for one minute that any carpet salesperson is going to take the time to fully educate you how to make wise and informed carpet choices. It’s not their job to babysit you and most don’t have the time or desire to teach you how to comparison shop. It’s your job to do your carpet homework and determine what quality of carpet and padding you need.
Once you know what grade of carpet you need to buy, you then have to ask all the right questions to find that carpet when you begin shopping. This is why it is so critical that you have access to certain carpet specifications in order to be able to choose wisely!
At the very least you need to know all about these 5 basic carpet specifications:
2. Pile height
3. Pile density
4. Fiber type
5. Tuft twist
You also need to know what type of stain protection is provided:
Is it Stainmaster, R2X or Scotchgard?
Does it have anti- static treatment?
What type of secondary backing system does it have?
…I will explain why this information is so important for you to know.
You might be asking yourself, what do I do once I have gathered all this information? How do I make sense of it all? Don’t worry; I’ll help you sort it all out.
But before we get into all that, you should first take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to find out what grade (or quality) of carpet will work best for you in your home. It’s not scientific but is more realistic based on a few simple variables. It only takes a minute or two to complete and it will help you know where you stand.
Why is Carpet Padding So Important?
Padding is the heartbeat of your carpet. It supports your carpet and helps protect it from damage, abrasion and wear. It also provides a soft cushy feel underfoot. But not all carpet pads are created equal. There are many different padding styles and types. You must choose the correct depending on the carpet you select, where it will be installed (the application) and your needs, goals and budget.
Some pads are made better than others. Some are thicker or thinner, some are denser. Some are better on concrete and some are better on stairs. You are responsible for choosing the correct padding for the carpet style you select. You cannot rely on the carpet salesperson to make this choice for you.
Choose the wrong pad and you could void your carpet warranty. If you choose the wrong pad, your carpet could become damaged or wear out in prematurely. You need to know how to select the right carpet padding.
How will I know if my Carpet will be installed properly?
The next thing you need to know is that there is a huge shortage of qualified carpet installers in many areas. Getting your new carpet installed properly is absolutely critical because if installed improperly, your new carpet can develop wrinkles; the backing can delaminate and your new carpet could end up wearing out in short order.
There are carpet installation guidelines that must be followed to keep your carpet warranty in force. While I don’t put much value in carpet warranties, you can’t expect to win any carpet warranty claim if your carpet was not installed properly in the first place.
So, this means it’s critical that you make sure to get qualified carpet installation. You can’t rely on the carpet retailer to do this for you. You need to be proactive. I have created a handy Carpet Installation Inspection Form for you to use. (And it’s free!)
Visit my website to learn how to save money on new carpet! AbcCarpets.com
Your First Visit to the Carpet Store…
Imagine walking into a carpet store for the first time and being greeted by a friendly salesperson who says:
“Welcome to our store, how can I help you?”
You then say, “Yes, I’m looking for new carpet for our family room (or whatever).”
After exchanging a few pleasantries the salesperson will likely ask you a few probing questions to try to determine if you are knowledgeable about buying carpet.
They may ask you what style of carpet you are looking for; if you know how much carpet you need; or how much you money you plan to spend on your project.
You need to be perceived as a savvy shopper:
You have to be careful how you answer their initial questions.
If you don’t know what type or style of carpet you want, the salesperson may try to suggest a carpet style with a high profit margin.
If you say you don’t want to spend very much you may be escorted to inexpensive carpets that are not made very well.
If you say money is no object you may be led to the most expensive carpets in the store.
This is not how you want your carpet shopping adventure to begin.
Who’s on your side anyway?
Most homeowners experience sticker shock when they discover how much a good quality carpet costs these days.
Most carpet salespeople are paid solely on commission and need to make a sale if they are going to earn a paycheck. This causes many to have a fundamental fear of losing the sale if they scare you off with high prices.
It’s for this basic reason that many salespeople are afraid to recommend a suitable (and more expensive) carpet if they think it might exceed your budget and scare you off, even if your needs, goals and lifestyle demand that you spend more than you had initially planned.
On the other hand, if you lead them to believe that you have an unlimited budget they may try to sell you a more expensive carpet than you actually need in order to make a higher commission.
This scenario reminds me of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. To combat this, you have to take the time to learn “what makes one carpet better than another” in order to know how to find that one perfect carpet that will be “just right for you”.
I am on your side and this is why you should not trust any “one” salesperson to make your carpet choices for you.
To be completely happy with your carpet purchase you must make sure your carpet selection is based on a realistic assessment of your needs, goals, lifestyle and budget.
It not easy to be realistic about your level of foot traffic, which is why I created a free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to make it easier for you.
The budget for your project needs to be considered carefully and in order to know approximately how much you need to spend you must factor in three things:
1. The amount of carpet you need.
2. The grade of carpet you need.
3. The approximate cost for the right carpet, pad and installation.
Once you know where you stand with your budget, take your time and have some fun shopping for the perfect carpet. Be sure to take some carpet samples home for a few days and consider them carefully before making your final selection. It’s always best to choose your colors while at home under your actual lighting conditions.
What is the best carpet fiber for you?
There are lots of names for fibers used to make carpets including;
Olefin / Polypropylene
Triexta / PTT
As you can see, there are many choices out there and some will not be wise choices for you. The same holds true with carpet styles. There are a dozen popular carpet styles but some are not good for kids or pets and some are not good for stairs and some are not good for the elderly and so on.
Visit my website to learn how to save money on new carpet! AbcCarpets.com
Then there is the issue of stain resistance. There are many different types of anti-stain treatments to choose from and some are better than others. Some wear off in time, some wash off after a few cleanings and some may be hazardous to your health.
Health and allergy concerns
If you or your loved ones have allergies or are sensitive to certain chemicals then you might need to take this into consideration. Some carpets and pads omit odors that are offensive to some people and pets and can be avoided if you know where to get the necessary information and advice.
Everything you need to know is inside my Carpet Buying Guide (a 120-page, instant download eBook I offer online for only $14.95).
Alan J. Fletcher – 30-year carpet veteran, author and consumer advocate