Alan Fletcher - 30 year carpet expert and consumer advocate
you have bought new carpet successfully in the past, then buying new carpet
today might seem like a super easy task for you. But times have changed and buying new carpet
today is not as simple as it once was, even just a few years ago.
Why? There are
now dozens of new ways that
unscrupulous carpet retailers have figured out how to to trick you out of your hard-earned
But it's not just the carpet dealers you need to be worried about, it can also be the carpet
salesperson or the carpet manufacturer that scams you.
Do I Recognize a Carpet Scam?
New Carpet Wisely...
all carpets are created equal. Some carpets are designed for heavy traffic
applications and can last for 20 years or more. Other carpets are designed for light
traffic duty and might last 3 to 5 years.
You have to be sure that the Carpet and
Pad you purchase is designed for your unique application. There
are many varying grades of carpet and you must choose the right grade of carpet and
pad if you want it to last as long as you hope.
is a photo of a display rack at Home Depot. Every carpet on this display is
made of 100% Polyester, which is well-known for matting down in short order.
They don't tell you that. These Polyester carpets are priced between $27.35 and $32.83 per yard for
the carpet only. (no pad or install included).
For that price you could buy
a good quality Nylon Frieze at a locally owned carpet dealer. Buying a carpet
made of NYLON instead of a Polyester is a smart move, especially if you want your new
carpet to last years longer and avoid the common matting and crushing of the
pile that carpets made from Polyester fibers are so well known for.
Polyester Fiber Scam
manufacturers often print up new brochures that say P.E.T. and Polyester
carpets are now new and improved. They have been saying this since the
1950's and will continue to brag about the great benefits of Polyester. Let
me be frank...Polyester is a lousy fiber for the making of carpet. In
fact, I think polyester is the absolute worst fiber you could ever choose if
you want a carpet that will stand up to heavy foot traffic, be long-lasting, durable and
resist matting and crushing of the pile!
does have some good qualities... It resists fading, it resists stains, and
it comes in vibrant colors and it is very soft. The problem is, the pile "mats down"
in a hurry and once it does, it will NEVER return to its once like-new
appearance, no matter what you do. In other words, in medium to heavy
traffic applications, it will begin to look HORRIBLE very quickly,
especially on stairs, down hallways and along your main walkways! In
low-traffic applications it might last a few years longer.
uninformed, mis-informed or slick carpet salespeople will try to convince you that
the Polyester fiber is just as durable and just as resilient as a NYLON and that
Polyester is now made better then they were in the recent past. This is a
BIG FAT LIE! Maybe they know it, maybe they don't. Either way, don't say I
didn't warn you! Want a long lasting and durable carpet? Buy NYLON!
not believe their claims about Polyester no matter what they say! Why? They don't
stand to make as much profit
from NYLON carpets. Polyester carpets are much cheaper to manufacture. Polyester
carpets will mat down and look ugly in just a few short years. Especially in
medium to heavy foot traffic applications, on stairs and down hallways.
Home Depot and Lowe's both offer low-cost installation at $37.00 or less, but that's just for a basic
install and it doesn't cover everything you likely need, so there's usually a hefty fee for
the extra stuff you need beyond the "basic" installation, and then
they add add on the cost of their
often select a carpet for the wrong reasons. A specific color, style or low
price is often the determining factor behind their final selection. This means
that you need to have knowledge about carpet fibers and construction
specifications. Even if you have this information you need to know how to
use it to your advantage. Learn more about Carpet Specifications
carpet retailers go out of their way to make it appear simple and easy to
buy new carpet. They bundle up the carpet, pad and installation into one
convenient package deal. They price the whole kit and caboodle by the "square
foot" to make it sound very affordable. They may even offer free
products, services or discounted installation to fool you into thinking you
are getting a super good deal. How Much Does Carpet Cost?
homes are quick and easy to measure while others are more complicated and
require a significant amount of time and expertise to measure up accurately.
a carpet salesperson comes to your house to measure, he/she may not be
to you exactly how much carpet you actually need.
Some carpet salespeople prefer to
keep this information hidden from you so you won't use their measurements to
buy carpet from another dealer down the street. Although I understand this
thinking, I don't think it is right for any salesperson to hide their
measuring totals from you.
you don't know exactly how much material you need, you will have no way of
properly comparing other bids or estimates. It also allows them to charge you as much as they
want without you knowing the true itemized cost for each of the products and
services involved in the deal.
Measuring Can Cost You!
they say you need 100 yards of carpet, then you will also be charged for 100
yards of padding and 100 yards of installation. That means if the carpet is
$20 per yard, and the pad is $6 per yard, and the installation is $8 per
yard, then you will be charged $34 X 100 yards = $3400
if you actually need 91 yards of carpet then you would be charged $34 X 91
yards = $3094
is a difference of $306.00 You could easily save this amount or more just by
getting accurate measurements. This is just one of many good reasons why you
need to get more than just one or two free bids/estimates. How to Measure for Carpet in 4 Simple Steps
is your job to be sure that the carpet installer is qualified and installs
your carpet according to the CRI 105 installation guidelines. You cannot
trust the carpet retailer to do this for you. If your carpet is not
installed properly it will not last as long as it was intended, you might
develop wrinkles and your
warranty may be void.
Information and Sound Advice
can't expect any retail carpet salesperson to educate you properly. First,
they don't have enough time to teach you what you really need to know, and
second, their advice is not always good advice. What grade of carpet should I buy?
carpet salespeople will quickly know if you are a wise shopper or not. If
you walk in without a clue they can easily take advantage of your lack of
knowledge and sell you an overpriced carpet that does not meet your needs or
goals. Read all my free articles and information to learn how to choose
new carpet like a pro!
About Carpet Warranties?
I said that carpet manufacturers can try to scam you too. Carpet warranties are one
way they can do this... You should know that all carpet
warranties are worded in such a way to make it almost impossible for
homeowners to substantiate a valid claim when something goes wrong. Carpet
warranties are so confusing because they use wording designed to confuse and
confound you. Other than the part that
covers obvious manufacturing defects, most carpet warranties are not worth
much at all.
Rarely do I see a carpet warranty cover anything other
than an obvious manufacturing defect and even then it is quite limited and
often takes some time and
effort to get a remedy. Never buy a new carpet based on the warranty
alone. Buy carpet based on you needs and goals. What grade of carpet should I buy?
and Flooring is now a Big Ticket item.
like roofing, siding and replacement windows, all floorcovering is now
considered to be a major re-occurring expense for homeowners. Just like all
the major trades, consumers
are often misinformed, mislead or overcharged when it comes to carpet and
other flooring products.
One main problem is that there are
just too many pushy salespeople that are good at closing the sale but have a fundamental lack of
product knowledge or hands-on floorcovering experience. I think this is
especially true with shop-at-home retailers like Costco or Empire
Today. Many of their contracted salespeople will say or do just about anything to close the
sale while they arein your home. They may not care if the
product they recommend is incapable of meeting your needs, lifestyle or
is due to the fact that most of these salespeople are paid on commission
only. Commissioned salespeople make no money unless they make a sale, and their
hunger to make a paycheck or their greed to make lot of money can easily cause some salespeople to
sacrifice integrity. That means they may tell you exactly what you want to hear
even if it is not true, just to convince you to buy from them today,
tonight... right now!
advice? Do not buy anything from pushy or strong-arm salespeople! They will
try to wear you down! Some homeowners have a hard time saying no. So if you
are not ready to buy, then you need to say no! I have known many brutal
salespeople in my career and I fully understand how hard it is to say no.
"no thank you" and escort them to the door. Do not write them a
check. Do not agree to buy. Say you need to take a few days to think about
it and do some comparison shopping. Tell them you want to sleep on it. After
you get them to leave, plan on getting another free estimate or two from
other locally owned dealers. Trust me on this, even if they tell you that
this is a "Today Only" super special deal and is only valid for
today, do not believe them!!! I guarantee you that their price will be lower
tomorrow and be even lower next week!
carpet manufacturers will not disclose their product specifications thus
preventing consumers from being able to determine the grade or quality level
the carpet in question. Carpet manufacturers also allow retailers to use
private labels, thus changing the name of the style and color to help prevent consumers from comparison shopping.
there is the problem with measuring your home for carpet. Obtaining accurate
measurements is absolutely essential but only a small percentage of carpet salespeople have
truly mastered it. Inaccurate measurements can easily cost a consumer hundreds
more than necessary. Some unscrupulous carpet salespeople will purposely
over-measure your home in order to skim hundreds of dollars off the top of
your purchase. This is a common scam and is difficult to detect or prove
that it was intentional. Read more about Carpet Specifications
years ago, carpet installers were well-trained craftsmen. Not anymore!
Today it is getting hard to find well trained and qualified carpet installers.
Most installers today have no formal training whatsoever. They
out as a helper and within six months they bought some carpet tools and put
a free advertisement up on Craigslist or in a local newspaper's service
carpet layer's helper can buy
a set of carpet tools and begin installing carpet without any formal
training or apprenticeship. Many "self-proclaimed" carpet
installers are untrained and unqualified to install your carpet. Most
homeowners do know how to recognize a mediocre installation job from a great
installation job. You end up finding out about a year or two later when the
wrinkles appear. That's also when you discover that your installer has
quality installation can quickly ruin your carpet and void your carpet
warranty. Larger retailers and Big-box carpet sellers have a hard time
Carpet Installers. Home improvement stores have had a lot of bad
publicity in the past 10 years due to their poor quality installations. They
are now offering low prices on their so-called "basic" carpet
installations to attract customers and potentially limit their liability,
but wait until you see the final bill. Basic Carpet Installation
need to be aware of all these problems and know how to avoid them. That's
why I have created this website and offer tons of free information for
consumers like you ~ including , common
carpet questions and answers, how to properly care for your new carpet
and my free "Ask The Expert" free email advice.
getting harder to find honest and reputable Carpet Dealers these days!
That's why I've compiled my own special hand-picked list of over 400
locally-owned Carpet Dealers who offer free estimates, have fair prices,
have knowledgeable staff, do honest measures and provide qualified