The Top 8 Best & Worst Places to Shop For Carpet

Where are The Best and Worst Places to Shop for New Carpet?

How do I rate various Carpet retailers on a scale of one to five?
Here’s what 30 years of Carpet experience has taught me…

#8 Nationally Advertised or BIG-BOX Carpet Retailers

1.5 Stars out of 5

These corporately-owned conglomerates blanket the airwaves with constant and repetitive TV commercials! They have thousands of locations all over the country making it a convenient place to shop.

I think buying carpet from home improvement warehouses like Lowe’s and Home Depot should be avoided because they farm out all their carpet installations to other independent privately held companies.

They also require full payment at the time of purchase and charge you a fee just to come out and measure your home. (Also farmed out to another independent contracting company.)

Big Box Warehouse

I don’t recommend buying carpet from Big Box warehouse retailers. Should you have a carpet installation problem or carpet manufacturing complaint, they will tell you to contact the installation company or contact the carpet manufacturer directly. 

All to often, homeowners discover they can’t find anyone willing to accept responsibility for their carpet installation problem or carpet manufacturing complaint.

Sure, some homeowners are completely satisfied with their carpet purchase from a Big Box Retailer. Still, it amazes me how many homeowner carpet complaints are posted on the internet. Do a Google search for “big box carpet installation complaints” to see the results for yourself.

Learn more: Should I Buy Carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire Today or Costco?

#7 Local Carpet Warehouse or Carpet Outlet Store

2.5 Stars out of 5

If you want to do-it-all-yourself and save a lot of money… create a detailed diagram of your home with all the room measurements and bring your truck, some rope and maybe a tarp if it is raining!

These local dealers offer low prices and have dozens of rolls of carpet “in-stock” and ready to go.

They cater mostly to homeowners on a tight budget, landlords and property managers and D.I.Y. homeowners.

They have plenty of inexpensive, lower-quality, defective or second-grade materials.

Have them roll out the carpet before you agree to buy it to make sure there are no obvious defects.

Check their guarantee carefully and get everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line. Once you buy it, you own it. no refunds.

The main problem when buying carpet from this type of retailer, is that they rarely have the same type, style or color of carpet available.

That means if you need to buy more of the exact same carpet you bought today, it may not be available for you to buy tomorrow.

Once a roll of carpet is sold, the same type, style and dye lot (color) may be gone forever. No two rolls of carpet are exactly the same. There will be differences in color or style that may be quite obvious once it is installed.

These dealers may offer in-house installation or they might just hand you a list of local installers for you to call and hire on your own.

If you have to arrange for your own installation you must negotiate with the installer and pay them directly.

In the end, if you pay just $8.99 per yard for the carpet, don’t expect it to last for 10 years.

Even though you may get a great deal on discounted carpets, always remember that there was some reason why it was not able to be sold as first-quality goods.

 

#6 Buying Carpet from a Carpet Layer

2.5 stars out of 5

Some carpet layers have longstanding relationships with local carpet dealers, or may have a way to order new carpet and padding at near wholesale prices from local suppliers.

Carpet Layer Leftovers

Carpet layers often end up with sizable leftovers from bigger carpet jobs because carpet so many salespeople over-measure their jobs.

When there is a lot of carpet leftover the installer may take it home and try to sell it on Craigslist or in your local newspaper.

If you find an installer who has some leftover carpet or other flooring materials available at a very low price, you need to understand that they have a limited supply of those materials and have no way of getting any more of the exact same color or style.

There is no manufacturer’s warranty on these materials whatsoever and no recourse if you end up unhappy with the performance.

Still, you can find some real bargains this way. As with any contractor you hire to do work on your property, I suggest you check references, verify their contractors license and business liability insurance to make sure they are all current and up-to-date.

This might be an inexpensive way to go if you are just doing one or two rooms or if you need to replace carpet or flooring for a rental property.

 

#5 Franchised Carpet Retailers

2.5 Stars out of 5

Franchised Carpet Retailers might be locally owned, but they are committed to only selling products that are supplied through a national carpet distributor or co-op.

This helps increase their buying power and decrease their overall shipping costs. However, it limits the available product selection to only what the co-op has previously negotiated with certain manufacturers.

They also use private labels to prevent you from comparison shopping at other carpet local stores.

It is often difficult to get carpet specifications from these resellers, which makes it nearly impossible to comparison shop their products elsewhere.

Even so, you can still negotiate a fair deal if you know what you are doing and don’t rely on their salespeople to make choices for you.

Most Franchised Carpet Retailers do not provide installation services so you will have to locate a good installation crew and pay them separately. They usually have a list of local installers for you to call.

You will have to work a bit harder to schedule and orchestrate everything, and may end up paying a little more buying from a franchised flooring dealer.

Franchised Carpet Retailers do offer a wide range of quality flooring products. Which carpet stores do you recommend near me?

 

#4  800-Carpet Wholesalers

2.5 Stars out of 5

These are carpet and flooring peddlers who will send you small carpet samples through the mail. They want you to buy their carpet virtually “sight unseen” (other than a small swatch)

There are no refunds on discounted carpets so you really have to be fully aware of all the fine print.

You can save money if you buy from a reputable carpet wholesaler as long as you know exactly what you are buying and fully understand how the entire carpet buying process works and what is expected of you.

Pay close attention to the delivery details of the carpet and what you are required to do if you need to return a roll of carpet.

Some 800 Carpet Wholesalers are reputable and some are not. The burden of being knowledgeable about your purchase falls solely upon you. Can I really buy new carpet at wholesale prices? Learn More

 

#3 Online Flooring Retailers

3 stars out of 5

Need Hardwoods, Ceramic Tile, Luxury Tile or Laminate Flooring? These online companies move a lot of product and can be a smart way to go if you are careful and do your homework.

The biggest problem I hear about is the quality of the materials they offer.

For example: If you buy hardwood flooring that is considered “Seconds” it can be very difficult to install due to the amount of warped, unusable or damaged product you receive. You could experience as much as 25% waste or more.

Buying first-quality hardwoods is much more costly but the outcome is usually much better.

It’s hard to know how much material to order when you have no Idea about the amount of unusable product they will be sending you.

It can be a real nightmare when you have to reorder more materials because you did not have enough product to finish the job due to the large amount of unusable product.

You can save money buying from an online flooring wholesaler as long as you know exactly what quality or grade of carpet you are buying and know in advance exactly how the entire buying process works from start to finish.

Even so, you are taking your chances because you must trust what the salesperson tell you, of fails to tell you.

Shipping costs can be high too and if you are not happy with the product you order you may have to pay dearly to ship it back and also pay a hefty re-stocking fee.

Some online flooring retailers are reputable and some are not, and knowing who to trust is the hard part.

Even if you succeed in buying a good quality flooring at a discount, you still have to arrange for your own installation or install it yourself if you are so inclined.

I suggest you read all the fine print and ask to see their return and restocking fees, and return shipping costs before you agree to buy.

 

#2 Shop-at-Home Carpet Retailers

4.5 Stars out of 5

Many people love the convenience of not having to travel from store to store in search of the perfect type, color and style of carpet or flooring and prefer having samples brought to their home.

It certainly makes matching colors easier in your own home under actual lighting conditions.

Many locally carpet dealers are now offering shop-at-home services and this can a smart way to go for those who don’t want to drive all around town.

The Best and Worst Places to Buy Carpet? There are a few nationally advertised shop-at-home flooring companies that I do not recommend because they tend to sell inferior products, have unreasonably high prices and hire high-pressure salespeople.

However, I believe that “in-home carpet shopping” is a wonderful service for folks who have a hard time getting around and don’t mind paying a little bit extra for the convenience.

There are many reputable carpet dealers that offer quality products, knowledgeable salespeople and reasonable prices but they are harder to find today because the shop-at-home concept is just getting started.

Currently, I have many reputable shop-at-home dealers listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory that I am happy to recommend, including The Carpet Guys who serve the Detroit Michigan area.

Best places to buy new carpet and flooring? See who I recommend near you

 

#1 Locally-Owned “Family Run” Carpet Stores

5 stars – My Favorite!

With a few remnants stood up along the back wall, some in-stock rolls of carpet on display, a neat and tidy showroom and a good selection of brand name carpet samples to choose from.

These long-standing neighborhood carpet and flooring retailers buy first-quality goods directly from the carpet manufacturer.

They provide excellent customer service, have fair & square pricing, have knowledgeable and helpful staff and provide qualified installers.

Should you ever have a problem or complaint they will do whatever it takes to ensure you are completely satisfied with your purchase.

 

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet ProfessorIt’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know…Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?

Carpet From Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

It’s buyer beware especially when buying new carpet or flooring for your home. Here is some sound advice you might want to consider before you agree to buy new carpet or flooring…

Lowe's Carpet Sample Display Rack
Big Box Retail Carpet Sample Display Rack

The last time I checked… most of these Giant National Carpet Retailers use OTHER companies to facilitate their carpet sales, carpet measuring or carpet installation services.

That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time getting anyone to help you or take responsibility for making things right.

Did You Know…

  • Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco contract out all their measuring and installation services to various privately-held companies?
  • Empire Today REQUIRES all their salespeople to form their own CORPORATION so they will be Independent Sales Contractors?

What does this all mean to YOU the homeowner? With so many fingers in the pie it is not too hard to figure out that you might end up paying way too much for your new carpet.

Carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire?

These nationally advertised conglomerates take a large chunk of the profit right off the top.  Then let other privately held companies and independent sales contractors each have a shot at making more money from your purchase.

From costly measuring fees to needless carpet and padding upgrades, from carpet and padding removal and disposal fees to extra unnecessary and costly installation add-ons.

There are plenty of ways they will try to make you cough up a lot more money before it’s all said and done.

  • The Lure of a Great Sounding Deal…
  • Get Three Rooms for the Price of One!
  • Get 60% OFF New Carpet
  • Free Basic Installation!
  • Free Padding!
  • Low Price Guarantee!

Do these sales gimmicks sound familiar? Get out your magnifying glass so you can read all their fine print regarding these unbelievable sales gimmicks. I found this at Home improvement warehouse…

Free Carpet Installation?

Can you read their fine print at the bottom? Use a magnifying glass!
These advertised carpet installation deals are designed to attract unsuspecting homeowners who would like to save money on new carpet and flooring but don’t know how to go about doing it.

Unfortunately, these four giant retail carpet-selling conglomerates are heavy hitters with deep pockets who have only one thing in mind: Making Big Money by luring you in to buy from them.

Both Lowe’s and Home Depot have been trying to lure-in unsuspecting homeowners for years by offering low-cost or free “basic” carpet installation.

They make up a portion of this sneaky sales gimmick by charging more for the carpet and padding and by greatly increasing the added cost for anything extra you might need to complete the job.

They add on extra fees and charges for anything and everything that is considered beyond their limited definition of a “basic” installation. Their definition seems to change from time to time.

Their so-called “free” carpet installation that lures many homeowners in, may not be totally free once their sub-contracted measuring people and installers get a good look at what you really need to complete your project.

It’s highly likely there will be numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on to your final bill.

Final bill? Yes, and they may also require that you pay for the entire carpet job IN FULL before they will place your carpet or flooring order.

The final bill comes on the day of installation when the carpet installer determines that your job requires additional labor for various things like moving heavy furniture, special transitions, floor prep, and extra labor fees.

There are hefty charges for anything considered beyond their current limited definition of a “Basic” carpet installation.

These extra fees and charges can easily add up to hundreds that you were not forewarned about. That is, unless you took the time to read all their fine print.

As Gomer Pyle Says…
Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Home Depot’s Low-Price Guarantee? They say they will beat any competitor’s price by 10%, but according to their fine print, that’s only on identical in-stock items.

That makes it virtually impossible for anyone to substantiate because they put private labels on all their carpet samples.

What are Private Labels?

They intentionally change the names of all their carpet styles and colors to make it nearly impossible for you to comparison shop.

The exact same carpet might cost a lot less at the local carpet store down the street, but how would you know?

You would have to lay out carpet samples from both stores side by side to compare. Lots of carpet retailers use private labels on their samples. It’s almost the norm these days.

Home Depot’s low-price guarantee sure sounds good until you read all their fine print. Can you say the word “exclusions”?

Homeowners need to avoid unscrupulous carpet retailers and only buy from locally owned, honest and reliable carpet stores.

Sneaky Carpet Sales Tactics

The Big Box home improvement warehouses have been charging homeowners a measuring fee just for coming to your home and sizing you up. The fee may be refundable if you agree to buy from them.

This is designed to add more sales pressure on you. They want to prevent you from shopping for carpet at other local stores.

Somewhere in the back of your mind, you think that if you don’t buy carpet from them, you will be forfeiting the $75 to $125 measuring fee have already paid.

Accurate Carpet Measuring?

From what I have been told by industry insiders, their licensed & certified measuring specialists they contract with, are required to measure your home using a “special method”.

Does that mean they add another 5, 10 or 15% of material to the total? Likely so! They are not going to tell you how many square feet your home needs. When they are all done measuring they leave to do all the calculations back at the office.

You Better Shop Around…

You will never know if their measurements are accurate. Even if you get several bids / estimates from other local carpet dealers. Why? Because they don’t give you anything you can use to verify their measuring. You will just get an estimate based on “one-price” to do the whole job.

Basically, they want to make darn sure there is more than enough carpet or flooring material to work with.

That way, they never have to worry about running short of material during installation.

That might translate into you paying for a lot more for new carpet & pad then you might actually need. Just adding an extra 10 yards of material could easily add $300 or more to the total cost for your carpet job. Ouch!

Empire Strikes Back?

Empire Today likes to attract customers by airing repetitive TV ads featuring unbelievable sales offers with next day installation.

If you call them, they will send a sales professional to your home who will show you samples and try to “close the sale” on the spot.

  • Are you getting a fair & square deal?
  • How long will this carpet last in your home?
  • What is your level of foot traffic in your home? Low, Medium, Heavy?
  • Are they trying to sell you a low-quality Polyester carpet and say it’s as durable as a Nylon Carpet?

These are just a few questions that you need solid answers to before you should commit yourself to buying from any shop-at-home flooring retailer.

Private Labels

All these giant retailers all use private labels on their carpet samples. Most farm out the measuring and installation of their products to other privately help companies. Some even have other companies do all the selling too. What does this mean to you?

  • If you have a complaint, you may have to deal directly with the independent contractors to seek a remedy.
  • Have a Carpet defect? You’ll have to contact the carpet manufacturer and have them inspect your carpet.
  • Have an installation problem? You’ll have to contact the carpet installer. No one likes getting called back to deal with a homeowner complaint.
  • If you can’t get a suitable remedy for your issue, you may have to file a claim in small claims court. The problem is, who is actually responsible for making things right and how can you prove that in court?
Costco Executive Members

Costco members were once shown a small display with miniature carpet samples. Lately they have been taking their displays with samples down. Executive members are offered some extra benefits that may be of interest to some folks. Like a longer warranty?

If you grab their free brochure you will be provided with a phone number to call to start your in-home Carpet Consultation Process.

Be sure to read all the fine print very carefully to see what added benefits you might qualify for, if any.

An independent flooring consultant will bring samples to your home and be happy to write up your order and arrange for installation.

While they do carry some good quality carpet, be prepared for sticker shock when you see what the total cost will be.

Again, you can’t comparison shop easily because they change the carpet style names and colors to thwart you.

To compare carpets, you would need to take their carpet samples with you into other nearby carpet stores and compare both identical samples side by side. It’s definitely not easy to do.

They know you probably won’t take the time and trouble to do this, and it is unlikely that they would leave their carpet samples with you anyway.

Is There a Better Way?

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should consider getting a free estimate from one of the dealers that I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory.

It’s taken me years to locate, investigate and identify these locally owned and family-run businesses and I think they are the best of the best here in America!

I suggest you visit several flooring retailers near you, get several free estimates and be sure visit a carpet store that I recommend if you can.

You decide for yourself who to buy from

When it’s all said and done, I think you will agree that my preferred dealers are knowledgeable, reliable and reputable!

You’ll be treated with respect, get a fair & square deal and get great customer service… Before, during and after the sale.

See who I recommend near you! Visit Alan’s List of Recommended Carpet Dealers (don’t forget to print up my free coupon so you can get up to $100 off new carpet!)

There’s a lot more you need to learn before you head out to shop for new carpet.

Best & Worst Places to Buy Carpet!

 

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet Professor

It’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of carpet stores who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Homeowners want to know…Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?

Carpet Shopping at Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

It’s always smart to be cautious when shopping for new carpet or flooring for your home.

Carpet scams are common and are often hard to foresee. Here is some sound advice from a trusted carpet expert you might want to consider before you agree to buy new carpet or flooring from any nationally advertised corporate retailer like Lowe’s, Home Depot, Costco or Empire Today.

Learn the Truth about Choosing New Carpet wisely, How to quickly spot common retail Carpet Scams and make Smarter Carpet Choices!

Carpet Scams and Rip-offs at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Empire or Costco?

Costco Carpet Display
Costco has been taking down their carpet displays and now just have a brochure.

Don’t Fall For Those Relentless TV Ads about their Free or low-cost Carpet Installation Specials!

The last time I checked, all four of these Giant National Carpet Retailers use OTHER private companies to facilitate their carpet sales, measuring and installation services.

That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time finding anyone to help you or take responsibility for making things right. If they do return your calls, they usually blame the other guy, or they blame you for choosing the wrong grade of carpet, or for not maintaining the carpet properly.

Have a Carpet Complaint? 

If it is a carpet defect, you’ll have to contact the carpet manufacturer to come by and inspect your carpet, if the carpet is still under warranty.

If you have an installation problem you’ll have to contact the carpet installer directly. The installer will take a look at your carpet if you are still within the standard 1-year warranty.

Did the retail salesperson misrepresent the product you purchased? Did they say it was a good choice for your home? Good luck with that, as you are solely responsible for making wise and informed carpet and padding choices that can meet your needs, goals and lifestyle. 

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to help determine what Grade of Carpet you should choose for your home.

Carpet Shopping at Costco?

Costco members may be shown a small display with a rack full of miniature carpet samples or brochures. (Lately they have been taking the samples down) See the photo at the top of this page?

Costco Brochure 2021
Costco’s New Carpet and Flooring Brochure for 2021

If you grab their free brochure you will be provided with a phone number to call to start your in-home Carpet Consultation Process. A commissioned salesperson will bring samples to your home and be happy to write up your order and arrange for installation.

While they may carry some good quality carpet, be prepared for sticker shock when you see what the total cost for carpet, padding and installation will be.

Private Labels on their Carpet Samples?

You can’t comparison shop easily because they change the carpet brand name, style names and color names to thwart you. You would need to take their carpet samples with you into other local carpet stores to try to compare both samples side by side. It’s definitely not fun or easy to do, and is time consuming. Not to mention that they will not leave all their carpet samples with you.

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring of any kind, I think you should consider buying new carpet from one of the recommended carpet stores I have listed in my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory.

Continue

 

More Information:

Buying Carpet From Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire or Costco?

Carpet Buying Guide | Stainmaster 6.6 Update

Stainmaster Brand Update 2021

The Stainmaster® brand, well-known for it’s Nylon 6,6 fiber, was recently purchased by Lowe’s. I think this is a sneaky sales tactic designed to force homeowners to buy carpet from them.

Carpet Sample Rack
Carpet Sample Display

I never recommend buying new carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot or Empire Today.

But from now on, the only way to purchase new carpet with the Stainmaster® brand name, is to buy it at Lowe’s. They have spent a lot of money buying the Stainmaster brand.

The good news is you don’t have to buy carpet from Lowe’s to get the exact same benefits that Stainmaster Nylon 6,6 is so well-known for.

Stainmaster brand carpet has always been made with the Nylon 6,6 fiber.

The same exact Nylon fiber known as Nylon 6,6 is available at other carpet retailers under different names.

It’s the same fiber, manufactured by the same fiber company, but it just doesn’t have the Stainmaster® brand name attached to it.

So, you don’t have to shop for carpet at Lowe’s just because they bought the Stainmaster® brand name.

You can still buy new carpet made from Nylon 6,6 at many local carpet stores and enjoy all the same benefits without having to pay extra for the Stainmaster® brand name.

So don’t buy Stainmaster brand carpet at Lowe’s, Choose new carpet made with the Nylon 6.6 fiber at  a local recommended carpet store near you!

 

Watch out for new TV advertising from Lowe’s about Stainmaster® Brand Carpet.

I’m sure Lowe’s has a big advertising game plan on its way to try to convince homeowners to buy Stainmaster Branded Carpet now that they own the Stainmaster brand name. My advice? Don’t fall for their advertising sales gimmicks.

See my complete list of free articles here

New Carpet Buying Guide

Discover What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Selecting New Carpet…

    1. What makes one carpet More Durable than another?
    2. What carpet fiber is best able to tolerate Heavy Foot-Traffic?
    3. What makes one carpet able to Resist Stains better than another?
    4. Best ways to avoid common Carpet Scams and Rip-Offs
    5. How much should you spend on new carpet?
    6. The Best and Worst Places to Buy New Carpet!

These are just a few of the super important things you should learn about before you ever begin shopping for new carpet.

See My Complete List of Free Articles

As a consumer advocate, my goal is to help educate and inform homeowners. I want to make sure you choose new carpet wisely and end up happy with your carpet or flooring purchase for many years to come.

Do Not Choose the Wrong Grade of Carpet!

Be careful who’s opinion you trust! You might hope to buy carpet that will last for 15 years. What will you do when it wears out in just 5 years?

You should never blindly trust the information or advice provided by a carpet salesperson.

Take the time to learn Your Carpet ABC’s before you begin shopping for new Carpet.

Choosing the right grade of Carpet is not as easy as most folks think. It’s not like it was 20 or 30 years ago when most carpet was very durable.

Today there are thousands of different colors, textures, patterns, grades and quality levels to choose from.

Choose the right grade of carpet today and I guarantee you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.

Visit my free consumer website to learn a whole lot more. How to Choose wisely, Save time, Save money and Avoid common retailer carpet scams!

Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you might need to choose for your home based on your own unique needs, goals and lifestyle.