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New Carpet Installation Checklist

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate


Make sure you use this checklist before the installer arrives AND after the installer is finished. Do a complete walkthrough with the installer and inspect the finished carpet installation job to be sure everything is done to your satisfaction BEFORE THE INSTALLER LEAVES!


Pay the final amount due ONLY if and when you are completely satisfied with the completed job. Here is what I mean...


Before you buy new Carpet…




During The Carpet Buying Process...


  • Shop for the grade of carpet you require first, and then find several carpet styles and colors that you like.

  • Take several carpet samples home to consider your best carpet choice.

  • Get several estimates from locally-owned carpet dealers (click here to see who I recommend near you)

  • Get bids and estimates in writing and get every detail written down on the contract!

  • Don't be pressured into buying or agree to buy on the first visit. (in-home or in-store)

  • Take your time choosing. Take samples home. How much does carpet cost?

  • Make sure you get accurate carpet measurements.

  • Take your time choosing the right carpet and padding for your needs and goals.

  • Keep the original carpet sample until after the carpet has been installed,  for comparison purposes.

  • Keep the original sales receipt and make sure the price of the carpet is shown separate from the price of the pad and installation. You will need this as proof if you ever need to file a warranty claim.

  • Obtain a complete copy of your New Carpet Warranty and read it.



What To Do Before Your Carpet Installers Arrive:


  • Has all the furniture, wall pictures and knick-knacks been removed from all and areas to be carpeted.

  • Make sure any and all valuables are put away safe and secure.

  • Have all rooms pre-heated to at least 70 degrees, at least 3 hours before and during installation.

  • Make sure kids and pets are safely out of the way in all areas to be carpeted.

  • Never allow kids or pets to roam freely during installation.



What To Ask Carpet Installers When They Arrive:


  • Did they bring the carpet the right color, style and grade you paid for?

  • Did they bring the correct padding thickness and density?

  • Are there any visible carpet defects? (have them roll it out so you can see)

  • Will they be using a power-stretcher?

  • Will there be any additional installation fees or charges?

  • Have they discussed seam locations with you?

  • Will they be replacing all the transitions with approved materials?

  • Will they roll up and leave all sizable carpet leftovers for you?



You Must Inspect Your New Carpet (before the installer leaves):


  •  Do all the seams look good? (No seam is invisible)

  • Are all the seams in the right locations?

  • Is the carpet securely attached to the tack strips?

  • Is the carpet neatly tucked in along the walls?

  • Is the carpet nap all going in the same direction? (in adjoining areas)

  • Is the carpet stretched in tightly? (did they use a power-stretcher?)

  • Have all the doors and heat vents been put back in place?

  • Have all the leftover scraps been picked up?

  • Have they vacuumed thoroughly?

  • Get your installation warranty in writing

  • Get the name and phone number of the installer.



If you plan to hire an independent flooring installer...


Most homeowners buy carpet from a retailer who provides in-house flooring installers as a package deal. This is a smart way to go and can protect you from having to deal with issues that might come up after the installation is finished yet potentially not done properly or correctly. If you have a complaint about the materials or the installation you will have just one place to direct your complaint. This makes it very simple for you the consumer. You bought materials and labor from one source and if something goes wrong, there is just one company to direct all your concerns. This is the best case scenario for the homeowner, but may not be the least costly option for materials and labor. Buying materials and labor separately may save you money in the long run, but if there are complications you stand to lose time and money that I think may not worth the risk.


Some retailers have installers who are employees of the store. Some retailers use subcontractors who have been with them for many years. I think this is a good way to go.


Some retailers have a list of independent flooring installers they provide to homeowners and the homeowner must contact and hire and pay for the installer totally separate from the sale of the materials purchased from the carpet retailer. When this is the case, you as the homeowner must take steps to protect yourself from potential legal problems. This is what I have learned over the 30+ years in the flooring business that you need to take certain things into consideration before you decide to hire an independent flooring installer and pay them separately with a check or in cash for their services rendered. 


Before you decide to hire an independent flooring installer...

  • You have every right to know the name of everyone who is working in your home. Write down the full name and phone number of the installer, and the names of all helpers.

  • Ask for his State Issued Contractor's License Number.

  • Ask if he has a surety bond and liability Insurance. Ask for an insurance rider to be issued in your name and mailed or faxed to you prior to having any work performed. (it takes about a week to mail it)

  • If he has helpers, ask to see the Worker's Compensation Policy Rider that lists the names of all helpers.

  • Check the policy dates carefully to make sure the policies are current and all premiums have been paid.

  • How to Verify a Contractor's License, Surety Bond, Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance Policy 

(Check your State Regulations here)



Proper Carpet Care and Maintenance...


  • Read the manufacturer's Carpet Stain Warranty completely and follow all suggestions and requirements.

  • Vacuum your carpet regularly. Spot clean as necessary. Never use bleach on your carpet.

  • Consider buying a new vacuum. Visit my Best Vacuums page to learn about types and prices.

  • Keep receipts for all professional carpet cleanings, as they are required to be shown as proof of proper maintenance.

  • Always hire a professional IICRC Certified carpet cleaning company.

  • Never use a store-rented carpet cleaning machine to clean your carpets while under warranty.

  • Learn more about carpet cleaning care and maintenance: How often should I have my carpets cleaned?



Learn More... Read this article





Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers


It's hard to find an honest and reputable carpet dealer! That's why I have created my own special list of hand-picked carpet retailers who I believe are reputable, locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers. Don't take chances...  See who I recommend near you!




Continue to Carpet Q & A...

















Best Carpet for Kids Dogs Cats & Pets     Carpet Cost      Carpet Q & A


Carpet Specifications    Basic Carpet Installation    Carpet Installation Cost


How to Measure for Carpet     Room Yardage Chart    Carpet Seaming Diagram


Common Carpet Buying Mistakes    Carpet Scams   How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps


Top Ten Causes for Carpet Wrinkles    #LandlordFloors      #CarpetProfessor     #AbcCarpets    


#HomeFlooringGuide    #HomeCarpetShopping     Best Carpet for Stairs


Learn about Carpet Fibers - Stainmaster, Smartstrand     How to Buy New Carpet Remnants Wisely!


What Grade of Carpet Should I Buy?   Before You Buy New Carpet Checklist


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