Best and Worst Times To Buy New Carpet?

Cat on Carpet

Is there a best time of year to save the most money on new carpet, padding and installation?

If you are willing do your carpet homework to learn exactly what to do then the answer is YES!

Homeowners can save as much as 20% or more by knowing when to buy, who to buy from and how to negotiate a great deal.

Most carpet retailers have busy times and slow times. If you try to negotiate a great deal during their busy season, then you don’t stand much of a chance of beating them down on the price.

However, if you negotiate wisely during their slow season then you stand a very good chance of negotiating a very sweet carpet deal for yourself.

Some dealers have special sales they offer during their slow times. Some dealers have sales going on all the time. You need to be able to recognize which sales are worthwhile and which ones are just a lot of hype. Most are just hype.

Forget Big Box Retailers Like Home Depot and Lowe’s

I only recommend buying carpet from honest locally-owned carpet stores. They are the most helpful, have the best customer service and many carpet stores are willing to negotiate if you approach it right.

I avoid corporately-owned, big box and national chain stores. Many advertise heavily on TV trying to lure in unsuspecting consumers with unbelievable discounts on carpet, flooring and free installation.

They use sales gimmicks that sound too good to be true, but after reading their fine print, it’s easy to understand why I don’t recommend these type of retailers.

I avoid buying carpet from Empire too. Everyone has seen their relentless TV ads a thousand times and I bet you can sing their 800 phone number by heart. I’m sure your kids can too. Do they sell polyester carpet at highly inflated prices? Do they say polyester carpet is just as durable as nylon carpet? Read my page about choosing the right carpet fiber.

Empire Today only does a shop-at-home service and will send out an independent commissioned sales contractor to your home to show you samples and measure up your needs. They are not employees of Empire.

Their independently contracted salesperson will be highly motivated to close the sale in just one visit to your home. Trust me, this is not how you want to buy new carpet. No one likes being pressured into buying right now without doing some comparison shopping. So please do yourself a favor and bypass your urge to make that call.


The Worst Times to Buy New Carpet?

The question is, when do people buy carpet most? You don’t want to buy carpet when everyone else is buying new carpet.

It’s almost impossible to negotiate a great deal on carpet when there are other 10 other customers waiting in line behind you holding their checkbooks.

You want to buy new carpet when the carpet store is NOT busy. You want to buy new carpet during their SLOW times. You want to buy carpet when their installers are not getting enough work to pay their bills. This is when the carpet store owner will be most willing to negotiate with you. These are the times when you stand to negotiate your best carpet deal.

The BEST and WORST Places to Buy New Carpet?

 Here are 3 busy seasons to avoid:

  1. Between February 20th and April 30th when people are expecting a tax refund.
  2. From the 4th of July through August 20th. During the hot summer months when people are remodeling an existing home or moving into a new home before the new school year starts.
  3. Mid-October thru mid December. When people are getting ready for the holidays, and when out of town relatives and guests are coming.

The Best Times to Buy New Carpet?

Alright, now that you know when NOT to buy carpet if you want to negotiate your best deal. Now lets look at the three windows of “money-saving” opportunity so you know exactly when IS the best times to buy new carpet.

December 15 thru January 10th.

Once December 15th rolls around, the Christmas trees are going up and holiday shopping is on high. This means that buying after December 15th is a great time to buy new carpet.

Fewer people are planning to buy new carpet during this time because of the Christmas holiday. Once the tree goes up, carpet sales go down.

You want to negotiate your best deal after December 15th and have your new carpet installed prior to January 31st.

Personally I would try to negotiate my best deal before January 10th. That’s when most dealers will be feeling the pinch most and their installers will be begging for more work too.

By Feb 1st it’s all done and over, as the tax refunds are starting to roll in. People who file their tax returns early know how much their refund will be and that’s when carpet shopping goes into full swing.

May 1st to June 30th

The tax refund is spent, Memorial Day weekend is busy, the kids are getting out of school soon, vacation planning is underway and their is plenty of springtime gardening to do.

Buying new carpet is not at the top of the priority list for most people during this time.

This makes it a great time for you to negotiate a great carpet deal. I suggest shopping from May 20th through June 10th for the best negotiating power.

September

The next best time to buy carpet comes right after the kids go back to school and lasts thru the whole month of September.

The last two weeks of august are busy, everyone is getting ready for a new school year, enjoying the last few weeks of hot summer weather, and getting ready for the autumn leaves to fall.

No one wants to think about getting ready for the holidays until after Halloween. So late August thru September is a great time to negotiate a great deal on new carpet for your home.

I suggest shopping early in September and plan to have your new carpet installed by October 15th because once people start thinking about the holidays people will be lined up to have new carpet before their holiday guests arrive.


Negotiating a Great Price

Knowing the best time to buy new carpet is important, but knowing how to negotiate a great deal is also important. You can’t just walk into any carpet retailer and ask for 20% off because you know it is their slow season.

You have to play the game. Let them go through their process of serving you. Find a suitable carpet you like, let them come out and measure your home. Let them prepare a bid to do the whole job. You need to know how much carpet you need to buy and how much it’s going to cost.

Some carpet retailers will negotiate with you and some won’t. Don’t expect to be able to negotiate with Lowe’s or Home Depot. The person hanging around the flooring department is not able to give you a discount.

You need to buy from a locally owned carpet dealer who is willing to negotiate with you. Visit my Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory to see who I recommend near you.https://abccarpetpro.com/best-local-carpet-stores-near-me/

The Art of the Deal?

Negotiating a good deal on carpet doesn’t start the moment you begin shopping for carpet, it starts after you have found the perfect carpet, at a price you can afford. You have had them come to your home to measure and they have given you a bid to do the whole job. The carpet, the padding and the installation.

Now you have the total amount for the whole job right in front of you. Now is when they want you to say yes and accept their bid.

But before you agree to their deal or sign on the bottom line, this is when you should stop, hesitate and say to the salesperson…

“I’m just not sure about this price… it seems a bit high to me. I think I need to consider this a little more just to make sure I’m making the right decision”

This is the beginning of negotiating a good deal on new carpet.

Don’t be afraid to leave the store, or ask the salesperson to leave your home so you can “think about it”.

Now you just need to wait a few days.

Your hope is that they will agree to give you a better deal right now. Or perhaps they will call you in a day or two with a better offer.

You Must Be Patient. They want and need your business. The salesperson is probably pleading with his boss to reduce the price.

If they don’t call and offer you a better deal, you have the option of either accepting their first bid or visiting another local carpet dealer to see if they will offer you a lower price on the same carpet, pad and installation.

Be Reasonable

If you are just replacing the carpet in a small room or two, don’t expect a huge discount. They are not going to give it away without making some profit. If you are doing your whole house, then you should expect a reasonable discount. You decide if their final offer is acceptable to you.

Will you accept a 5% discount? Don’t be afraid to ask for a bigger discount than they offer. If they say 5%, try asking for 20%, Maybe they will offer 10%? You say…. ?


Choosing New Carpet Wisely

Regardless of how much of a discount you can negotiate, it won’t be worth anything if you choose the wrong carpet and pad or if you don’t get it installed properly. So you have to do your carpet homework. My List of Free Carpet Articles

What Grade Of Carpet Do I Need?

You need to learn what grade of carpet is capable of meeting your needs and goals, and what pad is correct for the carpet style you have selected.

Start by taking my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to see where you stand. In just 5 minutes or less you will know what grade of carpet can tolerate your level of foot traffic you have in your home.

Visit my website where you can learn many more “money saving” secrets to buying carpet wisely and how you can avoid common carpet scams and rip-offs!

Carpet Dealer Directory

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?

Carpet Shopping Form for Homeowners

Free One-Page Carpet Shopping Form

Print My Checklist in PDF Format: Click on form

Carpet Shopping Form

See More Printable Forms, Checklists and Guides


Before You Begin Shopping For New Carpet…

    • Learn What makes one carpet better than another. Choosing new carpet is not as simple as it was a few years ago.
    • Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you should select. What grade of carpet will meet your needs and goals?
    • Learn about common carpet scams and rip-offs you need to avoid and get the answer to Why is Choosing New Carpet So Confusing?
    • The carpet backing is very abrasive and can scratch painted surfaces.
    • Do all interior painting at least one month prior or wait until after the carpet is installed, especially on walls and baseboards.
    • Plan on doing some touch-up painting after your new carpet is installed.

What to Do During The Carpet Buying Process…

    • Shop for the grade of carpet you require first, then find several carpet styles and colors you like.
    • Take several carpet samples home to consider your Best Carpet Choice
    • Get several estimates from locally-owned carpet dealers (See who I recommend near you)
    • Get several bids/estimates in writing and get every detail written down IN WRITING!
    • Ask your salesperson for a spec sheet on any carpet you are seriously interested in buying!
    • Don’t be pressured into buying or agree to buy on the first visit. (in-home or in-store)
Take Your Time Choosing New Carpet

If you can… Keep the original carpet sample you selected and ordered from, until after your new carpet has been installed, use for comparison purposes to make sure you get the carpet you ordered.

Many homeowners often forget exactly which carpet style and color they ordered, especially when it takes several weeks for the carpet to be delivered and scheduled to be installed. Having the sample. or a picture of the sample can help avoid any confusion.

This is not always possible when dealing with smaller carpet retailers. They may not be able to leave the carpet sample with you for an extended period of time. Especially if it is a popular carpet style.

    • If you are unable to retain the carpet sample, then make sure you write down the brand, style number and color number for future reference.
    • Take a photo of the front and back of the carpet sample showing all the manufacturing details.
Ask These Key Carpet Buying Questions… Before you sign off for new carpet!
    • You always have the right to know the name of everyone who is working in your home.
    • Write down the full name and phone number of the installer.
    • Ask for his State Issued Contractor’s License Number (if required in your State)
    • Ask them to provide a Surety Bond and proof of Business Liability Insurance rider.
    • If your Carpet Dealer is providing carpet installation services for you, as part of a package deal, then the Carpet dealer is responsible to make sure the installer they provide is qualified and has all his legal and licensing affairs in order.
Before the installers arrive
    • Have furniture, wall pictures and knick-knacks removed from rooms to be carpeted.
    • Make sure all valuables are put away safe and secure.
When the installers arrive at your home
    • Check the carpet brand, color and style to make sure it is exactly what you ordered.
    • Cold carpet is more difficult to install. Have all rooms to be carpeted pre-heated to 70 degrees, 3 hours before and all during the installation process. This helps make sure the carpet can be stretched properly.
    • Carpet installation tools are razor sharp. Make sure kids and pets are safely out of the way in all areas to be carpeted. Never allow children or pets to roam free during installation.
What to do “After The Carpet Is installed”
    • Do a walk-around with the installer and inspect the carpet thoroughly. Make sure to inspect all the carpet seams. If any seams look ugly today, they won’t look any better tomorrow or next month. No seam is invisible, but they should not be obvious. Seams will not look better over time, no matter what they may tell you.
    • Ask the installer to fix any ugly seams right now, not later, unless they need to order more carpet to be able to fix it. Withhold final payment until you are satisfied.
    • Make sure all your carpet questions and concerns are addressed before the installer leaves your home.
Read Your New Carpet Warranty
    • Obtain a copy of the New Carpet Warranty and Read it. Most warranties are available online to read or print.
    • Do not make the final payment until you are completely satisfied with the completed job.
New Carpet Care and Maintenance
    • Read the manufacturer’s Carpet Stain Warranty and follow all cleaning suggestions and requirements.
    • Vacuum your carpet regularly with a good quality, well maintained machine. Spot clean as necessary.
    • Never use bleach on your carpet unless it is recommended in your new carpet warranty.
Consider Buying a New Carpet Vacuum
    • Visit my Best Vacuums page to learn more. Keep all receipts for professional carpet cleanings, as they are required as proof of proper maintenance if you ever need to file a Carpet Warranty claim.
    • Always hire a professional certified carpet cleaning company.
    • Never use a store-rented carpet cleaning machine to clean your carpets while under warranty.

Always hire a Certified Carpet Cleaning Company

 

More Important Carpet Buying Information

Keep the original sales receipt forever and make sure the price of the carpet is shown separate from the price of the pad and installation.

You will need this receipt as proof of what you paid for the “Carpet Only” if you ever need to file a carpet warranty claim.

More Useful Charts, Forms, Guides and Checklists

AbcCarpetPro.com Carpet Professor

5 Keys to Your Carpet Buying Success!

What is Carpet Buying Success? Choosing new carpet is more complicated and confusing than ever before. Here are 5 important things every homeowner needs to know.

1. Accurate Carpet Measuring Saves You Money!

Making sure you obtain correct measurements for your carpet project is very important. If your measurements are wrong, you will either pay too much or not have enough material to finish the job.

Inexperienced carpet salespeople tend to over-measure because they fear not ordering enough carpet to complete the job. Sneaky salespeople can intentionally over-measure your needs to increase their profit.

Homeowners who lack measuring experience tend to under-measure because they don’t know how to factor in the extra material needed for seaming, trimming and pattern matches. It takes years to become proficient at measuring for carpet so having your measurements verified would be wise.

Seasoned carpet salespeople know how to save you the most money by strategically using leftover material from one area to fill in areas in other areas. This can significantly reduce the amount of carpet you need to order and will also lower your cost for padding and installation too.

To ensure your Carpet Buying Success, Here are some tricks and tips to getting your home measured right. You can also learn how to measure your home for carpet yourself! How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps

2. Product Knowledge Gives You Power to Choose Wisely.

Selecting the wrong carpet fiber is worst mistake you can make! Learn the truth about carpet fibers and carpet styles. Learn more about Carpet Fibers.

Choosing the correct padding is very important too. The more you know the better choices you will make. Learn more about Types of Carpet Padding.

Beware of misleading or incomplete carpet buying information obtained from websites that sell carpet or make a commission from the sale. These sites may not tell you everything you need to know, especially when their main goal is to convince you to buy from them or their affiliates.

3. Wise Shoppers Get Several Free “In-Home” Estimates. 

Getting several estimates is just plain smart. It helps you narrow down your final choices and gives you the chance to compare estimates from local retailers side by side. You will come away knowing you made the best choice possible.

It’s not easy to compare carpets when they change the style and color names. That’s why its important to consider the specifications of each carpet to make sure you are comparing carpets of a similar type, grade or quality.

For example, you can’t compare carpet made of Nylon, with carpet made of Polyester. Print several copies of my free Carpet Shopping Form. It’s designed to help you compare similar carpets so you can make wise and informed choices. Learn more What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?

4. Installing Carpet Correctly Increases Long-Term Performance

Carpet installed improperly can develop wrinkles and can cut its life-expectancy in half.

Finding a qualified carpet installer can be challenging. Finding a carpet installer advertising on Craigslist or in your local Thrifty Nickel is one way to go, but rarely the best way to locate an experienced installer.

The best installers prefer to work for well established locally-owned carpet stores.

5. Proper Carpet Care and Maintenance Ensures Longevity

Take proper care of your carpet and it will serve you well for years to come. There’s a lot more to caring for a carpet then vacuuming. And if you don’t clean your carpets correctly you could easily ruin them.

You also need to know how to keep your carpet warranty in force. Too many homeowners unknowingly void their warranty by following the carpet manufacturers care and maintenance  guidelines. Read your warranty carefully.

Here I reveal the truth about proper carpet care, important warranty facts, and what you need to know about carpet cleaning! How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

 

Next

Carpet Professor’s Preferred Carpet Dealers

It’s hard to find a reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I have 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 Professor

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 made exactly alike. There will be slight 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 $12.99 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 they will mail to you)

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. You must 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?

 

#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 or 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…

Carpet From Lowe’s or Home Depot? 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.

Carpet Sample Display Rack

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.

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

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 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?

Use a magnifying glass!

These 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.

Unfortunately, these four giant retail carpet-wrangling conglomerates are heavy hitters with deep pockets who have only one thing in mind: Making huge profits by luring you in to buy new carpet 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.

Lowe’s Carpet Installation Free?

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

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.

Don’t be surprised if there are numerous extra fees & charges tacked-on to your final bill.

The Final Bill?

They 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, 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.

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.

Carpet 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 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 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
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 Alan’s List of Recommended Carpet Dealers (don’t forget to print up my free coupon.  Want 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?


Carpet Dealer DirectoryIt’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?

Is Berber a Good Choice for Children and Pets?

Learn the good and the bad about Berber Carpet styles.

Is a Looped Berber a good choice for children and Pets?

How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes.

Berber Carpet

Q. How well does Berber withstand high traffic areas? Is it easy to keep clean and what kind of padding is best? I am going crazy trying to decide if I want a plush or Berber. I have a newborn and know I will soon have lots of messes to clean up!

 

Alan’s Response:

Don’t spend a lot on new carpet if you have small children! Children are very hard on carpets, they spill everything imaginable and parents are often too busy or too tired to clean up messes quickly enough to keep up with the demand.

Looped Berbers made from the Olefin Fiber are hard to keep clean, they snag easily and are not recommended for folks with active children or pets. 

Berber snag

For folks without active children or pets: Berber may be a good choice.   Fact: Inexpensive looped Berber carpets made with Olefin tend to snag easily and mat down more quickly.

Most Berber styles are made with loops. Some Berbers are called “cut and loop” having both loops and cut loops, Some Berbers have patterns and some do not, and still other Berber styles have no loops at all.

Carpet Fibers…

Berber style carpets are often made from Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better a more durable choice. Nylon Berbers costs more but lasts much longer, and cleans much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.

Berber Carpet Complaints

Why do Olefin Berber carpets attract dirt and are so hard to keep clean? 

While Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made with the Olefin fiber. Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning, previous spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all. This is because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and prone to attracting dirt like a magnet. Old stains tend to reappear again and again regardless of how many times you have the spots cleaned. 

Why do Olefin fibers attract dirt?

Here’s why… During the manufacturing process the Olefin fiber is naturally oily. Fiber makers use a special process to clean the Olefin fibers to try to remove these oils, but often cut corners in order to reduce costs. Some manufacturers put their Olefin fibers through a “three-phase” cleaning process to try to remove most of the oils. 

Berber Stain

To make a better product, the fiber maker will use a “five-phase” cleaning process which removes much more of these oils from the fiber. This makes a significantly less-oily fiber that cleans much easier and doesn’t attract dirt nearly as much. 

Using the five-phase process to removing excess oils from Olefin is a more time consuming and costly procedure, manufacturers must charge more for these premium fibers and therefore you will pay more for a carpet made from these premium olefin fibers. Unfortunately consumers have no way of knowing which Olefin fibers have been cleaned with the “five-phase” process and those that have only had the three-phase cleaning. 

Rule of thumb: I think it would be reasonable to assume that most Berbers priced under $13.50 per yard ($1.50 sf) would be made using the “three-phase” process. You might have to spend $18 per yard or more to get the better grade of olefin fiber. 

Most carpet salespeople have no knowledge about this manufacturing process and asking them questions about it might be futile. However, perhaps you could ask them to call the carpet manufacturer and see if they can tell you which cleaning process was used in the Berber carpet you are considering. Good luck with that. 

Fact: It’s the fiber type and the size of the loops that matters most.

Inexpensive Berbers snag easily. Often priced at less than $10 per yard, don’t fall for those cheap Berber prices and assume that this low-quality carpet will last more than a few years for you. If you have active kids or pets you need to buy something more durable. 

Large Loops vs Small Loops

Berber styles that have Large loops tend to collapse and fall over more quickly. That makes the carpet appear worn out and ugly, often within a year or two in main traffic areas. 

Smaller looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing better and retain its like-new appearance longer. Berbers made of Nylon are more durable and resist matting and crushing of the pile longer than any other synthetic fiber. 

If a Berber carpet is priced under $15 per yard, then it is likely made of Olefin and designed to last a few years at best. You’ll be plagued with lots of snags, pulls, runs and stains that are hard to remove. This is why Berber is a bad choice for folks with active kids or pets. 

A good quality Nylon Berber would clean easier, wear better, and retain its new appearance much longer than would an Olefin Berber. If made with smaller loops, that would make it even more durable.

If you decide buy a Berber carpet and want it to last, be sure to select one with smaller loops, as the bigger loops tend fall over quickly and look worn out sooner. As far as pad goes, an 8-pound minimum density, and a 1/4″ to 3/8″ thickness is required for virtually all Berber styles.

Another option you might want to consider would be selecting a Berber without loops, this is called a “cut-Berber” or a “California Berber” style.

Cut Berber 2

 

Some Berbers are made from wool, which is an excellent natural fiber, but are very costly..

 

What Grade of Carpet

Should You Select?

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to find out!

Frieze and Berber Carpet Styles

Most homeowners quickly discover that selecting new carpet is difficult, time consuming and confusing. this website was created to help homeowners sort through all the nonsense and confusion.

If you don’t do your carpet homework, it is easy to make costly mistakes and end up unhappy with the performance of your new carpet.

Making wise choices requires that you do your carpet homework before you begin shopping for new carpet.

What Is Berber Carpet?

Berber carpet has been around for a long time and was originally handmade by the Berber tribe of North Africa.

In fact, Berber carpet is still hand-made today in some parts of Africa but it does not resemble the Berber Carpet styles you will find at your local carpet retailer.

Berber carpets became popular in America in the early 1980’s and has grown in popularity ever since! Homeowners today have many choices and options with Berber styles, colors and quality levels.

Here are some important facts and useful Berber carpet information to help you choose the right style of Berber Carpet for your home.

Berber Carpet Styles

    1. Simple Loop Berber
    2. Multi-color Loop Berber
    3. Patterned Loop Berber
    4. Cut and Loop Berber
    5. Patterned Loop Berber
    6. Patterned cut and Loop Berber
    7. Cut Pile Berber (no loops) (aka California Berber)

 

Berber Loop Size Matters!

Like I said before, Berbers made with larger loops tend to mat down more quickly, so choosing a Berber with made with smaller loops may be a better choice and will resist matting better especially in heavy traffic applications.

Commercial quality Looped Berber styles usually have the smallest loops and carpets made from Olefin (polypropylene) and is a common choice for those who want a higher level of durability and less potential for matting or crushing of the pile over time.

In most commercial settings, carpet is mainly glued down to the floor without using any padding. This creates the most durable and longest lasting configuration. This is what you see in banks, airports, office buildings and other heavy traffic applications.

In a residential application, you can use a thin 1/4″ to 3/8″ padding to make the carpet softer to walk on, but the density rating must be at least 8 pounds.

Using a thicker pad, more than 3/8″is not recommended because it will significantly reduce the lifespan of the carpet and increase the potential for the carpet to develop waves and wrinkles.

Here is a Simple Looped Berber Carpet

Looped Berber Style

These are large loops. Smaller loops make the carpet more durable and less prone to matting and crushing of the pile.

Looped Berber Carpet Styles

Loops can be easily snagged and pulled. If you have active kids or pets then a Looped Berber Style may not be a good choice for you.

Repairing snagged loops can be very costly. Some snags can run (like a pair of nylon stockings) causing major damage to your carpet that may not be repairable.

Active kids and pets are often the cause of snags to Looped Berber Styles.

 

Berber Loops tend to quickly bend over or “crush” in moderate to heavy-traffic applications. This is especially true with Berber carpets made of Olefin.

The larger the loops are, the more prone they are to matting and crushing. Basically the loops just fall over and never stand upright again, no matter what you do.

Choosing a Berber with smaller loops will decrease the chances for matting and crushing.

Choosing a Berber carpet made from a Nylon fiber will reduce the chances of matting and crushing of the pile significantly.

Cost to Install Berber Carpet

Berber carpet is much more difficult to install than regular carpet styles. Berber is a heavy carpet and is much more difficult to handle, seam and cut.

Most installers charge at least $1-2 extra per square yard for installing Berber carpet and also charge a higher price for installing Berber on stairs. Learn more about Carpet Installation Cost

 

What is the Best Padding for Berber Carpet?

All Berber carpet styles require a high density padding and a lower thickness than other non-Berber carpet styles. In most cases, a minimum of 8-pound density and a thickness of no more than 3/8” is required.

Check with the carpet manufacturer to make sure you select the correct padding specifications.  Using the wrong padding can void your carpet warranty and may cause your carpet to wear out prematurely.

Learn More about Berber Carpet Styles

Frieze Carpet Styles

This style of carpet has very tightly twisted tufts, usually rated at 6 twists or more, which is why it is well known as a more durable carpet style.

The tufts are not straight like a plush style, rather they are crooked, or wiggly in appearance.

Frieze styles when made from Nylon,  are often used in moderate to heavy traffic applications because its higher tuft twist rating make it more durable than most plush carpet styles.

Many homeowners like a Frieze because it provides reduced footprint and vacuum marks.

You’ll likely have to pay more for a Nylon Frieze as they are generally more expensive than plush styles.

Frieze Pricing (Made of Nylon Fiber)

Prices for a basic Frieze style start at about $3.34 per square foot ($30 per square yard) and go up from there.

The cost for a quality padding and proper installation will be extra. You should be able to get a package deal for carpet, pad and installation for about $5.00 per square foot.

All Frieze styles have a unique and elegant appearance and would be a great choice for any home.

Learn more about Carpet Styles

 

Here is an example of a Frieze style Carpet.

Carpet Tuft-Twist Ratings

Based on the number of twists per lineal inch of tuft.

Tuft Twist of 7This Tuft has 7 twists and is a sign of a well-made carpet. Frieze styles have tufts similar to this and cost about $30 per square yard on average, or $3.33 per square foot. Pad and install not included.

Tuft Twist -4This Tuft has 4 twists and is not nearly as durable. This is a sign of a lower-grade carpet.

Inexpensive Plush and Textured Plush styles often have tufts similar to this and range from $10 to $20 per square yard or $1.11 to $2.22 per square foot. Pad and install not included. More expensive styles have higher Tuft-Twist ratings.

Tuft BloomCarpets with a lower Tuft Twist Rating (of 3 to 5), tend to untwist or “blossom” at the tuft tips more quickly, thus creating a worn out, frizzy looking or matted down appearance.

Carpet rarely wears out from the loss of fiber, they just start to mat down; gradually lose the luster and shine; and just start to look ugly.

Once the tufts have blossomed or become matted down, the damage cannot be reversed or repaired.

Learn more about Carpet Specifications

Take my Free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet your home needs.

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

SHOP AT HOME FOR CARPET
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?

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.

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More Information:

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

Free Carpet Installation Checklist For Homeowners

What to Do Before You Buy New Carpet

Do your carpet homework! Learn What makes one carpet better than another.

Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you should buy.

Learn about scams and rip-offs you need to avoid and why buying carpet is so confusing?

Do all interior painting at least one month prior or wait until after the carpet is installed.

Print out my free Carpet Cost & Comparison Form

Print out my free Carpet Durability Chart

What to Do During The Carpet Buying Process…
  • Shop for the grade of carpet you require first, then find several carpet styles and colors you like.
  • Take several carpet samples home to consider your Best Carpet Choice
  • Get several estimates from locally-owned carpet dealers (See who I recommend near you)
  • Get several bids/estimates in writing and get every detail written down IN WRITING!
  • Ask your salesperson for a spec sheet on any carpet you are seriously interested in buying!
  • Don’t be pressured into buying or agree to buy on the first visit. (in-home or in-store)
Take your time choosing New Carpet

If you can… Keep the original carpet sample you selected and ordered from, until after your new carpet has been installed, use for comparison purposes.

Many homeowners often forget exactly which carpet style and color they ordered, especially when it takes several weeks for the carpet to be delivered and scheduled to be installed.

This is not always possible when dealing with smaller retailers. They may not be able to leave the carpet sample with you for an extended period of time.

  • If you are unable to retain the carpet sample, then make sure you write down the brand, style number and color number for future reference.
  • Take a photo of the back of the carpet sample showing all the manufacturing details.
Ask These Key Carpet Buying Questions… Before you sign off for new carpet!
  • You always have the right to know the name of everyone who is working in your home.
  • Write down the full name and phone number of the installer.
  • Ask for his State Issued Contractor’s License Number (if required in your State)
  • Ask to provide a Surety Bond and Business Liability Insurance. Confirm it!
  • If your Carpet Dealer is providing carpet installation services for you, as part of a package deal, your Carpet dealer is responsible to make sure the installer they provide is qualified and has all his legal and licensing affairs in order.
 Before the installers arrive
  • Have furniture, wall pictures and knick-knacks removed from rooms to be carpeted.
  • Make sure all valuables are put away safe and secure.
When the installers arrive at your home
  • Check the carpet brand, color and style to make sure it is exactly what you ordered.
  • Cold carpet is more difficult to install. Have all rooms to be carpeted pre-heated to 70 degrees, 3 hours before and all during the installation process. This helps make sure the carpet can be stretched properly.
  • Carpet installation tools are razor sharp. Make sure kids and pets are safely out of the way in all areas to be carpeted. Never allow children or pets to roam free during installation.
What to do “After The Carpet Is installed”
  • Do a walk-around with the installer and inspect the carpet thoroughly. Make sure to inspect all the carpet seams.
  • Make sure all your questions and concerns are addressed before the installer leaves your home.
Read Your New Carpet Warranty
  • Obtain a copy of the New Carpet Warranty and Read it.
  • Do not make the final payment until you are completely satisfied with the completed job.
New Carpet Care and Maintenance
  • Read the manufacturer’s Carpet Warranty and follow all suggestions and requirements.
  • Vacuum your carpet regularly. Spot clean as necessary.
  • Never use bleach on your carpet unless it is recommended in your new carpet warranty.
Consider Buying a New Carpet Vacuum
  • Visit my Best Vacuums page to learn more. Keep all receipts for professional carpet cleanings, as they are required as proof of proper maintenance if you ever need to file a Carpet Warranty claim.
  • Always hire a professional certified carpet cleaning company.
  • Never use a store-rented carpet cleaning machine to clean your carpets while under warranty.

Always hire a Certified Carpet Cleaning Company

Q. How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

More Important Carpet Buying Information

Keep the original sales receipt forever and make sure the price of the carpet is shown separate from the price of the pad and installation.

You will need this receipt as proof of what you paid for the “carpet only” if you ever need to file a carpet warranty claim.

 

If you need to hire an independent CARPET installer…  Read This Article

Print or View My Checklist in PDF Format

Carpet Buying Checklist

 

 

 

 

 

©Alan Fletcher – All Rights Reserved. All content is the opinion of the author.