Category Archives: Expert Carpet and Flooring Advice for Homeowners

CP Recommended Carpet Dealers

Preferred Carpet Store Bay Minette Alabama

Preferred Carpet and Flooring Stores Near You

As a Consumer Advocate and 30-year veteran of the carpet business, I know how difficult it is to choose new carpet wisely and get a fair & square deal.

I hand-pick each of my recommended carpet dealers using my own special set of strict rules and requirements.

You may have to drive a little farther to visit one of my Preferred Carpet Dealers but it will be well worth the trip!

My Preferred Carpet Store
Bay Minette Alabama


Pfeffer Floor Covering
703 D’Olive Street
Bay Minette AL 36507
(251) 937-2189  Map


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Why Do You Only Recommend Locally-Owned Dealers? 

My Preferred Carpet Store in Bay Minette Alabama? I go to great lengths to locate honest and reputable locally-owned carpet and flooring stores that provide excellent customer service.

Every carpet store I recommend must stand behind their products & workmanship and be willing to go the extra mile to make sure customers are completely satisfied with their carpet or flooring purchase from start to finish!

Have you seen the cost of new carpet lately? Buying new Carpet and flooring is a major expense and you deserve to be treated with respect and get a fair & square deal!

Beware of TV Advertising Scams and Rip-offs!

There are plenty of unscrupulous carpet and flooring retailers you need to avoid. The problem is, it’s not easy to tell a good carpet dealer from a bad dealer.

I get plenty of emails from unhappy homeowners. It’s usually because they bought carpet from a home improvement warehouse or a national carpet chain and they have a complaint that goes unresolved.

I believe consumers deserve first-class customer service before and after the sale, which is why I never recommend buying carpet from big box stores, corporate franchises or nationally advertised shop at home carpet chains.

Most homeowners get lured-in by slick TV advertising offering huge discounts on new carpet and flooring. More common is the deep discount on installation, or even FREE installation. Watch out for the fine print on these common sales gimmicks!

Big Box stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot are always quick to ring up the sale but are not as eager to help when you have a carpet problem, concern or complaint.

Your calls may go unanswered and many homeowners find that no one seems willing to help or accept responsibility for making things right.

Do you have a Carpet Defect or an Installation Problem?

If you make enough noise, they will eventually send out someone to inspect your carpet. It could be a rep from the carpet maker or it could be someone from the carpet installation company. They will determine if your complaint is valid.

The problem is, it’s easy for the guilty party to divert blame to the other guy and leave you holding the bag. They might even say that YOU are to blame for not maintaining your carpet properly.

“Where you buy carpet is just as important as what grade of carpet you buy”

Looking for a Carpet Dealer recommendation? Visit My Preferred Carpet Store in Bay Minette Alabama.

Please Say The Carpet Professor Referred You! Carpet Professor

Carpet Professor's List of Preferred Carpet Stores in Washington State

Carpet From Lowe’s, Home Depot or Costco?

I buy plenty of items from home improvement stores like home Depot and Lowe’s and I shop every week at Costco.  They have a good selection and some good deals on many household items I need. However, I would never buy new carpet or flooring from any of these retailers. Here’s why…

Carpet Sample Display Rack

Homeowners often make simple but costly mistakes. 

It is extremely important that you select the right flooring materials for your project. Aside from the cost, choosing the right grade or quality level is challenging enough and your selection should not be left to chance.

When shopping for new carpet or flooring, having a knowledgeable and experienced salesperson readily available to answer your product questions and installation concerns is more than important. The problem is, you don’t get that level of service when you shop for new carpet and flooring at warehouse stores like Home Depot, Lowe’s or Costco.

Too many unsuspecting homeowners make simple but costly mistakes that are easily avoided. Shopping at a reputable, locally-owned flooring store is how to choose wisely and avoid installation problems.


New Carpet From Lowe’s or Home Depot?

Many nationally advertised Carpet retailers use OTHER privately held companies to handle their carpet sales, carpet measuring or carpet installation services. You never know who you are really dealing with.

That means if you ever have a carpet problem or complaint, you may have a hard time knowing who to call, finding anyone to answer your calls and locate the right company responsible for making things right.

Should I buy Carpet From Lowe’s or Home Depot? What about Empire Today or Costco?

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
  • Lowe’s and Home Depot offer free basic carpet installation if you meet certain purchase requirements. Anything your job requires beyond their limited definition of a “basic install” will incur additional hefty charges and fees.
  • Costco members can grab a brochure with a number to call to start the in-home Carpet Consultation Process – provided by another privately-held company. Costco is just a referral program and take their share of the profit right off the top of your carpet purchase.

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 if you buy from a nationally advertised company.

Carpet Sales from Lowe’s, Home Depot or 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 new carpet 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 fork out 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 advertising sales gimmicks sound familiar? Get out your magnifying glass so you can read all their fine print regarding these unrealistic sales tricks  and gimmicks.


Carpet Installation from Lowes

Their advertised free 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.

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 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.

Lowe’s Carpet Installation Free?

Lowe’s offers free carpet installation if you spend enough on new carpet and padding. Then they add on extra fees and charges for anything and everything that is beyond their limited definition of a “basic” installation. Their limited definition of a “basic install” seems to vary from time to time so their free install offer is always subject to change.

Their so-called “free” carpet installation that lures many homeowners in, may not be totally free once their farmed-out measuring estimators and sub-contracted installers get a good look at your home and discover what extras are needed to complete your project. Don’t be surprised if there are numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on.

Lowes Carpet Installation Extra Charges?

Lowe’s and Home Depot require that you pay for the entire carpet job IN FULL before they will place your carpet or flooring order. But that doesn’t include any unforeseen costs, add-ons, and extra fees and charges.

Your 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, repairs  and extra material and labor fees.

You never know what problems they might uncover after removing your old carpet and padding. I’ve seen a lot of dry rot and other forms of sub-floor damage lurking underneath old carpets.

There are hefty charges tacked on for anything considered beyond their current limited definition of a “Basic” carpet installation. They have to recoup the cost of free installation somehow.

Carpet From Lowe’s or Home Depot? 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.

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.


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.

Carpet Measuring From Lowe’s or Home Depot?

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 their 800 number, they will send a salesperson to your home who will show you flooring samples and try to “close the sale” in just one visit. Questions you need answers to are:

  • Am I getting a fair & square deal on the total package deal?
  • What is the price for the carpet. padding and installation separately?
  • How long will this carpet last in your home?
  • What fiber is this carpet made of?
  • Are they selling you a Polyester carpet and say it’s just 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.

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 with different names 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”?

What do I suggest? Homeowners need to avoid unscrupulous carpet retailers and only buy from locally owned, honest and reliable carpet stores.

Private Labels Make It Hard To Comparison Shop

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?

Costco Carpet Brochure

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.

Don’t Forget About Carpet Padding Types and Cost

Is There a Better Way?

Not all carpet dealers are honest and reputable. 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 carpet stores 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.

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 carpet 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.

Visit my List of Recommended Carpet Dealers (don’t forget to print up my free discount carpet coupon to 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. Learn more: Best & Worst Places to Buy Carpet?

Recommended Carpet and Flooring Stores

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 locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?

The BEST and WORST Places to Buy New Carpet?

The BEST and WORST Places to Buy New Carpet? You need to buy from an honest and reputable carpet dealer!

With over 30-years of hands-on experience in the Carpet business, I’ve learned that some Carpet Retailers are more reputable than others, and some carpet sellers should be avoided at all costs! See which carpet stores I recommend and where you can get your absolute best deal on new carpet and flooring near you.

Stainmaster Carpet Display

Here’s How I Rate Carpet Retailers On a Scale of One to Five…

#8 Nationally Advertised or BIG-BOX Carpet Retailers

1.5 Stars out of 5

These corporately-owned businesses blanket the airwaves with constant and repetitive TV commercials, radio ads, billboards and bus stops! They have locations all over the country. They offer unbelievable deals on new carpet and flooring, including low-cost or free carpet installation.

I don’t recommend buying carpet from Home improvement warehouses like Lowe’s and Home Depot because they only sell the materials to you. They make arrangements with various independent contractors to handle the in-home measuring and installation. They take their profit right off the top and never have to worry about dealing with any problems or complaints you may have after the sale.


“Should you have a carpet defect or installation issue, they may just tell you to contact the carpet manufacturer directly or call the installation company to seek a remedy.”

From my experience, if you have a carpet problem or an installation complaint, it can be difficult if not impossible to find anyone to accept responsibility. Learn more: Should I Buy Carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot, Empire Today or Costco?

#7 Local Carpet Warehouse or Carpet Outlet Stores

2.5 Stars out of 5

Local Carpet Retailer

Many local carpet stores have rolls of carpet in-stock and ready for immediate installation.

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”. 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. See which carpet stores I recommend near you

#6 Buying Carpet from a Carpet Layer

2.5 stars out of 5

Leftover Carpet remnantss

Most carpet installers have piles of leftover carpet in their garage.

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 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 Resellers

2.5 Stars out of 5

These carpet dealers are often locally-owned but are hooked up with a national carpet distributor or co-op to increase their buying power and decrease their shipping costs. They usually use private labels to prevent you from comparison shopping at other carpet local stores. It is often much more difficult to get carpet specifications from these resellers, and it makes it much more difficult to comparison shop their products. 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.

Many co-ops do not provide installation so you may have to locate a good installation crew and pay them separately. 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. but they usually have a list of local installers for you to call and they do offer a wide range of quality carpet and 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, especially regarding the delivery of the carpet and what you are required to do if you need to return a roll of carpet.

Some 1-800 carpet outlets stores 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?

#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 poor quality of the materials they offer. For example: If you buy hardwood flooring that is considered “Seconds” (cabin-grade?) it can be very difficult to install and the amount of warped, unusable or damaged product you receive can be significant and have as much as 25% waste or more.

Buying first-quality hardwoods is much more costly but the outcome is much better than if you buy a “cabin grade” product. 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 re-order more materials because you did not have enough to finish the job due to the amount of unforeseen waste.


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 highly suggest you read all their fine print and ask to see their return policy and restocking fees.

#2 Shop-at-Home Carpet Retailers

4.5 Stars out of 5


It’s great to be able to shop-at-home for new carpet. It’s fun, easy and it saves time too.

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 makes matching colors easier in your own home under the optimum lighting scenario.

Many locally-owned 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 and deal with conflicting and confusing salespeople.


There are a few nationally advertised shop-at-home flooring dealers that I do not recommend, like Empire Today, because they tend to push carpets made of polyester, have unreasonably high prices and use independent high-pressure salespeople. However, I believe that “in-home carpet shopping” is a wonderful service, especially  for folks who have a hard time getting around.

There are many reputable shop-at-home carpet stores that offer quality products, have knowledgeable salespeople and reasonable prices. The shop-at-home for carpet concept is getting bigger and bigger!

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

Creative Carpets Orlando FL

Creative Floors in Orlando Florida is a locally-owned, family operated carpet store.

Not all locally owned flooring dealers are honest and reputable. Over the past few years I have compiled my own “hand-picked” list of reputable locally-owned Carpet Dealers that I am proud to recommend to my readers. The dealers I recommend have passed my own set of strict rules and requirements before I list them in my directory. Where to buy new carpet and flooring? Which carpet stores are recommended near me?

Carpet Professor Dealer ListIt’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?