The Top 8 Best & Worst Places to Shop For Carpet

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

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

#8 Nationally Advertised or BIG-BOX Carpet Retailers

1.5 Stars out of 5

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

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

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

Big Box Warehouse

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

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

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

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

#7 Local Carpet Warehouse or Carpet Outlet Store

2.5 Stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#6 Buying Carpet from a Carpet Layer

2.5 stars out of 5

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

Carpet Layer Leftovers

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#5 Franchised Carpet Retailers

2.5 Stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#4  800-Carpet Wholesalers

2.5 Stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

 

#3 Online Flooring Retailers

3 stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#2 Shop-at-Home Carpet Retailers

4.5 Stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

#1 Locally-Owned “Family Run” Carpet Stores

5 stars – My Favorite!

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a Carpet Complaint? 

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

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

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

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

Carpet Shopping at Costco?

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

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

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

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

Private Labels on their Carpet Samples?

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

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

Continue

 

More Information:

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

Carpet Installation Cost, Extra Fees and Charges

Carpet Installation Cost and Fees

Rolls of Carpet
Local Carpet Retailer Displays Rolls of Carpet

Carpet installation costs, fees & extra charges can vary greatly depending on your location.

Other factors include how difficult your job is and the style and grade of Carpet you select.

In different parts of the United States, the current prices for Carpet Installation vary higher or lower depending on the current supply and demand in your area.

Right now is a good time to buy new carpet because installation costs are still lower due to the reduced amount of consumer spending on basic home improvements.

Home sales are up in 2021 and consumers have been buying new cars in record numbers…  and I guarantee carpet installation prices will be going up too.

Making sure your carpet installer is qualified is your responsibility. Don’t assume that every carpet installer is qualified to install your carpet.

In fact, I firmly believe that less than 35% of all carpet installers are properly trained.

Asking for references and making sure they are licensed, bonded (if required by your state) and insured (business liability) is your responsibility.

Here is a helpful link: http://www.howtobuycarpet.com/contractor_state_license_requirements.htm

States with the lowest carpet installation costs have typically been Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and Southern California.

Other southern states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas and Southern Arizona have fairly inexpensive carpet labor and installation costs too.

Prices will range from $2.25 per yard to $4.50 per yard depending on the difficulty of the job and the carpet selected.

The highest carpet installation prices are in the Northeastern states like New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Ohio and also in the Pacific Northwest like Oregon and Washington and Northern California.

Prices may range from $3.50 per yard for a medium grade plush style carpet to $6.50 per yard for a heavy duty looped Berber style carpet.

In our current economy, there are a lot more hungry carpet installers out there looking for work.

This is good news for those consumers who have money to spend on home renovations and are willing to do a little legwork to find a qualified carpet installer and negotiate …

Most Retailers Bundle the Cost for Carpet, Padding and Installation.

SHOP AT HOME FOR CARPET
It’s great to be able to shop at home for carpet. It’s fun, easy and saves time too.

To get your best TOTAL carpet deal, you will have to negotiate with the carpet dealers of your choice and not be afraid to ask the retailer for a discount or other incentives for you to buy from them.

The smart homeowner always gets at least three bids/estimates and then takes plenty of time to negotiate a better deal. Patience is key here, and those who wait for the price to come down are the winners. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples!

I think that asking for a minimum of a 10% to 15% discount is very reasonable as long as you are ready to write a check at the end of the day.

If you are daring, ask for a 20% discount and see what happens. They may say no, but you have nothing to lose by asking. Just be sure you have selected the right carpet and padding that will meet your needs and goals!

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

Carpet Installation Scams

Some carpet retailers choose to make additional profits by adding an extra fee or surcharge on top of the standard going rate for carpet installation charges, often adding as much as 25% to the total installation cost.

I feel this is an unfair charge to the consumer and a big slap in the face to the installer.

Carpet installers work very hard and earn every dime they make.

If a retailer is going to pay their installers peanuts and then charge customers a surcharge on top of that, well that is just not right.

Carpet retailers already make a fair and reasonable profit from the markup on carpet and pad.

If you find that a carpet dealer has exorbitant carpet installation charges, I suggest you consider shopping elsewhere!

Learn More: Find a Qualified Carpet Installer Near Me

Carpet Installation Cost

Beyond the scope of a “Basic” Carpet Installation

While they continue to change the advertised prices for their “basic” carpet installation on a frequent basis. I have found that Home Depot and Lowe’s basic carpet installation service does not cover very much ground.

The key wording here is “basic” What is a basic installation? What is their definition of a “basic carpet installation?

Apparently, if your carpet installation job is not considered “Basic” and is determined to be more difficult or more involved, then you may find that the final bill for your carpet install is much higher than you had expected.

Don’t assume that their advertised low price for installation is valid for you in your situation.

Carpet Installation Cost Extra Fees

After your new carpet has been installed, you may be faced with a sizable and unexpected final bill for extra fees and services that were beyond their limited definition of a “Basic Install”.

About Carpet Sales Gimmicks:

I’ve been in the carpet business for 3 decades and I’ve seen every trick in the book. Trust me on this: Don’t fall for any “wow factor” sales gimmicks.

Don’t trust any television ad that says if you buy one room of flooring then they will give you two rooms of flooring for free.

Free Carpet Installation?
Be leery of Discounted Carpet Installation Specials you see on TV!

Don’t be so gullible. The fine print will beat you every time and you will not get the great deal you hoped for.

You need to be absolutely sure your new carpet has been installed properly.

You cannot afford to take chances by having your expensive new carpet installed cheaply by a third party.

Read more about: How To Find a Qualified Carpet Installer

Carpet Installation Cost and Extra Fees

Removing your old Carpet and Padding and hauling it away

Tearing out and disposing of the old carpet and padding can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $2.50 per yard or more.

An experienced Carpet Installation crew of three can remove 100 yards of carpet and pad in less than an hour on a normal job.

I personally think $2.00 per yard is a fair price to remove the old carpet and padding.

Most carpet dealers have an onsite dumpster to reduce the cost and hassle of taking one load at a time to the local landfill.

Carpet Installation Costs for Mobile Homes

If you need new carpet for a mobile home, there is going to be some added costs to remove the old carpet and pad if it is the original carpet.

When mobile homes are made, they put down the carpet and then install the walls right down on top of the carpet and padding.

This makes it very hard to remove the old carpet because it has to be cut at the base of all the walls and then new tack-less strips must be installed.

Most carpet installers do not like installing new carpet in mobile homes because the outer walls are not sturdy enough to leverage the foot of a power stretcher.

This means using other more time consuming methods to get the carpet stretched in properly.

Floor repairs are also more difficult to perform because mobile homes are built over a metal frame, not the standard 16″ on-center wooden floor joists that most homes utilize.

Expect to pay more if you need any floor repairs done. Most installers charge at least $35 per hour per person for floor prep work.

Installing New Tack-less Strips

All new construction jobs will require that new tack strips be installed. It’s easier to install tack-less strips on a wood floor than on a concrete slab.

The fee for new tack strips on wood might be an additional .50 to 1.00 per yard.

The fee for installing tack strips over concrete might be an additional $1.00 to $2.00 per yard or more.

In existing homes with damaged tack strips that need to be replaced, the fee should be about $2.00 to $3.00 per each four-foot section that must be replaced. (tack-less strips come in 4′ foot lengths)

What are Carpet Tack-less Strips?

Tack-less strips (often called tack-strip) are wooden strips with sharp pins that are installed all around the perimeter of each room near to the walls.

Tack-less strips are about 1″ wide and 4 feet long. Tack-less strips are what hold your carpet to the floor and allow it to be stretched-in tightly to prevent wrinkles.

The sharp pins hold the carpet tight because they are angled towards the wall.  They are nailed down to the floor.

Carpet Installation Cost Extra Fees - Tack-less Replacement
Carpet Installation Cost Extra Fees – Tack-less Replacement

The carpet padding is butted up against the inner side of the strips. The carpet goes over the pad and stretched over the top of the tack-less strips.

Then the raw edge of the carpet is tucked into the wall and floor crevice or underneath the wall molding for a nice finished look.

Carpet Transitions and Thresholds

The raw edge of the carpet will eventually end or butt up to another carpet or other types of flooring at the entry doorways and at kitchens, baths and utility rooms and must have a transition installed of some type.

Examples are: Carpet to carpet, Carpet to vinyl, carpet to hardwoods, carpet to vinyl tiles, and carpet to ceramic tile are some of the most common locations where a transition or threshold of some type will be necessary.

Carpet Installation Cost and Extra Fees.
Berber Carpet to Ceramic Tile Transition. Carpet Installation Cost Extra Fees
Transition Strip – Berber Carpet to Ceramic Tile

Transitions can be made of wood, metal, rubber or plastic. Each transition is available in different quality levels depending on the application.

The correct transition must be used to ensure durability without fail.

The total cost of transitions varies widely and should be discussed with your carpet estimator/retailer/installer before the final bid/estimate is finalized.

Next Free Article: How to Buy New Carpet Wisely

Carpet ProfessorCarpet Installation Cost, Extra Fees and Charges.