Category Archives: How To Choose Carpet Wisely

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.

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice? Carpet Professor

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

How to select the right carpet style and grade for your home and avoid common consumer carpet buying mistakes. Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

Berber Style Carpet with Large Loops

Is Berber Carpet a Good Choice?

Is Berber Carpet with Loops a Good Choice?


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:

My advice? Don’t spend a lot on new carpet if you have small children!

Children are very hard on carpets, they spill everything imaginable. 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 and they snag easily. Looped Berber styles are not recommended for families with active children or pets.

For folks without active children or pets: Berber may be a good choice.

Fact: Inexpensive looped Berber carpets tend to snag easily and mat down more quickly.

Berber Carpet Snags

Berber Carpet Snags and Pulls are common.

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.

Berber Carpet Fibers…

Berber style carpets are often made from Nylon or Olefin, and of the two, Nylon would be the better and more durable choice.

Nylon Berbers cost more but can last years longer, and nylon Berber styles clean much easier than Berbers made from Olefin.

Berber Carpet Complaints

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

All Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new. However, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made from 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.

Is Berber a good choice? Berber Stains

Is Berber a good choice? Berber Stains

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. 

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, so manufacturers charge more for these premium 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 $15.00 per yard would be made using the “three-phase” process.

You might have to spend $20 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.

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

Inexpensive Olefin Berbers snag easily and are priced at less than $15 per yard.  Don’t assume that this low-quality carpet will last more than a few years for you.

If you have active kids or pets, I think you should buy something more durable.

Large Loops vs Small Loops

Berber styles that have Large loops tend to collapse and fall over more quickly.

This makes the carpet appear worn out and ugly, often within a year or two.  This is common in main traffic lanes, on stairs and down hallways.

Smaller looped Berbers tend to resist matting and crushing better and retain its like-new appearance longer.

Berbers made of Nylon are much more durable and will 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, would it be more durable?

Yes! 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.

Berber Carpet Padding

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 made without loops, these are called a “cut-Berber” or a “California Berber” style.

Here is a Cut Berber or California Berber Style.

Some Berbers are made from wool, which is a natural fiber and very durable, but are very costly, usually over $80 per square yard.

What grade of carpet should you choose for your home? Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to find out!

Carpet Professor - Carpet Buying Guide - Antron Nylon 6,6 fiber.

Lowe’s Stainmaster Nylon 6,6 – Carpet Buying Guide 2023

Carpet Buying Guide – Stainmaster Brand Update 2023

The Stainmaster® brand, well-known for it’s Nylon 6,6 fiber, was recently purchased by Lowe’s. Why? Personally, I think this is just a sneaky sales tactic designed to con homeowners into buying carpet from them. Consumers have other options.

Carpet Sample Rack

Carpet Sample Display

I never recommend buying new carpet from Lowe’s, Home Depot or Empire Today. But from now on, the only way to purchase new carpet with the Stainmaster® brand name, is to buy it at Lowe’s. They have spent a lot of money to buy the Stainmaster brand.

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

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

Carpet Samples

The same exact Nylon fiber known as Antron Nylon 6,6 and is available at other local carpet retailers under different names. It’s the same fiber, manufactured by the same fiber company, but it just doesn’t have the Stainmaster® brand name attached to it.

So, you don’t have to shop for carpet at Lowe’s just because they bought the Stainmaster® brand name. You can still buy new carpet made from Nylon 6,6 at many local carpet stores and enjoy all the same benefits without having to pay more for the Stainmaster® brand name.

So don’t buy Stainmaster brand carpet at Lowe’s, choose new carpet made with the Nylon 6.6 fiber at a locally-owned carpet store near you!

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

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

See my complete list of free articles here

Free Carpet Buying Guide

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

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

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

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

Don’t Choose the Wrong Grade of Carpet!

Be careful who’s opinion you trust! You might hope to buy carpet that will last for 15 years. What will you do when it wears out in just 5 years? You should never blindly trust the information or advice provided by any carpet salesperson.

Take the time to learn Your Carpet ABC’s before you begin shopping for new Carpet. Choosing the right grade of Carpet is not as easy as most folks think. It’s not like it was 20 or 30 years ago when most carpet was very durable.

Today there are thousands of different colors, textures, patterns, grades and quality levels to choose from. Choose the right grade of carpet today and I guarantee you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.

Visit my free consumer website to learn a whole lot more. How to Choose wisely, Save time, Save money and Avoid common retailer carpet scams! Take my free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you might need to choose for your home based on your own unique needs, goals and lifestyle.

Free 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 Recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?

Insider Secrets to Choosing New Carpet

Carpet Display Rack

Carpet Sample Display Rack

I’m Alan Fletcher, aka The Carpet Professor, a 30+ year carpet expert…

But I don’t sell or install carpet anymore.

If you are in the market for new carpet or flooring soon, I have some free information for you that will surely help you make wise and informed choices.

As you will soon discover when you begin shopping for new carpet for your home, office or rental, choosing the right carpet can be quite difficult, confusing and complicated, not to mention costly!

Should you choose the wrong type, style or grade of carpet you stand to lose a lot of money and/or end up with a carpet that does not perform nearly as well as you might have hoped.

In some cases, new carpet can mat down quickly and start to look worn out in a short period of time, often in just a year or two. This is what happens when the wrong grade of carpet is selected.

It’s all about choosing the right grade of carpet for you!

Some carpets are designed for low foot-traffic applications. They cost less because they are made of lower quality materials. It would be a bad choice for a household with active kids and pets.

As a retired carpet expert, trust me when I say that homeowners need to take time to learn about selecting the right grade of carpet. A carpet that is designed to meet their needs and goals. Do you know enough about Carpet Specifications?

What are your needs and goals? Answer these questions; How long do you want your new carpet to last? 5, 10 15 years? What is your level of foot-traffic? Low, medium or heavy? Take my free carpet foot-traffic test.

I created to help educate homeowners how to choose new carpet wisely; how to avoid common retail carpet scams; and how to properly maintain your new carpet.

Insider Secrets to Choosing New Carpet Wisely? This a free service I provide with no strings attached. You also have free access to all my free carpet shopping forms, coupons and checklists.

Where to buy new carpet? Check out my own special handpicked list of locally-owned and reputable Preferred Carpet Dealers near you.

Alan Fletcher aka The Carpet Professor

More Information:

How Much Does New Carpet Cost? 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 locally owned carpet stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Smart homeowners want to know…Are there any reputable Carpet Stores Near Me?