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How to choose new carpet wisely and avoid common retail scams - Carpet Professor

How To Buy Carpet and Flooring Wisely


Carpet | Pad | Vinyl | Hardwood Tile | Best Stores


Carpet Cost, Prices and Deals


Carpet Quality, Cost and Longevity Go Hand in Hand!

In most cases, the better the quality, the longer it will last and the more it will cost. Some Carpet retailers offer better prices than others, some retailers offer low carpet prices but then jack-up the price of the padding and installation. Some big box stores offer free "basic" installation and then surprise you with extra fees and excessive charges you didn't expect.


If you know where to go and what to look for you can find some great deals on new carpet. You need to look at the big picture when you consider the cost of buying new carpet. This includes getting accurate measuring, qualified installation, and good customer service before and after the sale. Even if you are on a tight budget, you can't afford to choose a carpet that won't meet your needs and last as long as you expect. 


There are several critical choices to be made and you need to get each and every one of them right or you stand to lose hundreds or worse. Let me show you some of the money-saving tricks I've learned from over 30 years in the business... I want you to make wise and informed choices, avoid common retail scams and get a fair and square deal on new carpet, padding and installation.


Cost for Carpet Only:

Carpet cost and longevity based on foot traffic.Carpet Price vs. Longevity

Your biggest concern as a homeowner is to correctly match up your needs, goals and lifestyle with your budget and then factor in how long you want your carpet to last. It sounds easy, but it's not. I'm going to help you make sense of all the Carpet Confusion so you can make wise and informed choices.


What Grade of Carpet Should I Buy?

Buying new carpet is a lot like buying a new car. Everyone knows that you need to do your automotive homework long before you set foot inside a new car dealership. There are plenty of well-known websites geared toward helping consumers make wise and informed choices on new and used car purchases. 



Carpet Shoppers Beware! 

Buying New Carpet is much more difficult than buying a new or used car. Why? There is no regulation in the industry and there is no Carpet Blue Book to use to your advantage. Every Carpet Dealer is free to charge as much as they want for materials and labor. And in addition to making it hard to select the right carpet for you, many carpet dealers also make it very difficult for you to comparison shop by withholding key product information. Learn about Carpet Specifications


Carpet Cost vs. Longevity

Manufacturing specifications always come into play when trying to figure out how long a carpet might last. Other factors need to be considered too including

  1. The Fiber type, face-weight, tuft twist and density rating, pile height.

  2. Level of Foot Traffic in your home, number of adults, children and pets.

  3. How well it is Maintained, regular vacuuming, professional steam cleaning, runners, 

  4. How well it is Installed (properly stretched in, good seams)

  5. What Padding is selected: type, thickness and density.

(Carpet Cost Per Square Yard)

Carpet        Pad       Labor     Total        Longevity 

$15             $4          $5             $24           3 to 5 years

$20            $4           $6             $30           5 to 8 years

$25            $5           $6             $36           8 to 10 years

$30            $5           $7             $42         10 to 12 years

$35            $5           $7             $47         10 to 15 years

$40+          $6          $8              $54+       15 to 20 years +


These are just rough estimates.


Best Carpet Deals for 2023


Carpet Remnants are one of the best kept secrets in the carpet business. Few homeowners know that they can enjoy new carpet at a fraction of the typical cost for new carpet. The trick is knowing how to choose carpet remnants wisely.


How To Choose Carpet Remnants?

Anyone can easily save a ton of money buying Carpet Remnants or “In Stock” rolls carpet that may be available at your local carpet or flooring retailer. This free report can give you the edge you need to save a bundle on new carpet for your home, office or rental!


What is a Carpet Remnant?

Carpet RenmantsLocal Carpet stores often order full rolls of popular carpet styles to have in-stock. After selling most of the roll to other customers, there is usually a small amount leftover. This leftover material is called a Remnant. 


The color, style and size of the carpet remnant varies widely and if you find a carpet remnant you like, and if it is the right size to fit your room, then you stand to save a lot of money! Some folks buy carpet remnants to use as stair runners or for runners or area rugs anywhere in a home. Remnants can be cut to any size you want and you can also have the edges bound to add beauty, increase stability and prevent fraying. 



Carpet Remnants Explained

A carpet remnant is a length of carpet that is less than a full roll. Most carpet comes in rolls that are 12 feet wide and up to 100 feet in length. If some of the roll has been previously sold it will leave a partial roll still available for purchase, this is either called a carpet Remnant or a Roll End


What’s the difference? Remnants are usually about the size to do just one room, while a roll end or roll balance might be large enough to do several rooms. So if you just want to carpet your bedroom, then you might do well buying a remnant and save 25 to 50% or more. If you want to carpet several rooms then you might save more money buying a roll balance, perhaps up to 70% off the original retail price.



In-Stock Rolls of Carpet

In stock rolls of carpet are available for immediate purchase and quick installation, but some rolls of carpet may not be worth buying at any price.... Some of these rolls of carpet may have hidden manufacturing defects that you will not be aware of until after it has been installed in your home.


Most locally-owned carpet dealers have both manufacturer’s carpet samples and a number of in-stock rolls of carpet and carpet remnants available in limited sizes and colors. Some smaller carpet stores don't have enough room for in-stock carpet and may only have carpet samples for you to order from. Many in-stock rolls of carpet displayed on the showroom floor are "second-grade" goods and do not come with a manufacturer's new carpet warranty. 


Ask your dealer if their in-stock rolls of carpet are first-quality or second-quality, and if they come with a manufacturer's new carpet warranty. If so, I suggest you read the warranty completely before you buy so you understand what you are expected to do to keep your new carpet warranty in force.


First-Quality vs. Second-Quality Carpet?

First-Quality is rolls of carpet that pass the manufacturing quality control and sold with a full manufacturer’s new carpet warranty. These are usually sold through dealers that have mill samples on display for you to inspect, take home to consider and to place your order from. Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to help determine what grade of carpet you need to buy for your home and lifestyle.


Sometimes a carpet manufacturer makes a roll of carpet that fails to pass their quality control. This could mean the color did not turn out right or the roll has a defect of some kind. These are considered Second-Quality goods. These rolls of carpets are often auctioned off in large lots to the carpet dealer with the highest bid. 


There are dozens of reasons why a carpet might fail their quality control and when this happens they sell the carpet at a significant discount to their dealers and the dealers then sell them to you at a discount for you of up to 50% off retail for a full roll.


Important: If you plan to buy a roll balance or carpet remnant, be sure to ask the salesperson roll out the carpet completely so you can inspect it fully before you decide to purchase it. Look for anything that might not look right. Pay close attention to color streaking, shading problems, watermarks or missing tufts. Take a look at the carpet backing too; make sure there are no obvious abnormalities or defects.



What Makes a Carpet Second Quality?

Some carpets may have missing tufts; some may have color dyeing, shading or streaking problems. Some may have a backing defect that can be difficult to detect until after it has been installed. Some carpets are just leftover roll balances from larger jobs, overstock or discontinued goods that are sold at a hefty discount to make room for new stock.


What is a Rem-Pac?

This is a "package of remnants" gathered up by the manufacturer to be sold at a super low price to any interested carpet retailers. When the carpet manufacturer has too many roll balances they will offer carpet dealers a special deal if they are willing to purchase a large quantity of roll balances at a discounted price. These are called rem-pacs or remnant packages. It could be 20 rolls of off-color carpet or 200 rolls of a discontinued style. 


Carpet retailers that buy rem-pacs are able to offer consumers partial rolls of carpet or rems at a fraction of the original price. Carpet dealers never know what will be included in a rem-pac, so it's a gamble for them, but a win for you if you find a carpet remnant that you like. 


Buying a remnant or a roll balance can save you money as long as you are willing to accept the carpet on a as-is basis, and without getting a manufacturer’s new carpet warranty. You can save up to 50% or more on a remnant or roll balance. You must choose wisely because there is no warranty and the color and style may be one of a kind. 



Do I Get a New Carpet Warranty?

You don’t get a manufacturer’s warranty on second-grade or discounted goods. You might get some type of limited warranty from the carpet dealer, but it will be very limited if there is any warranty offered at all. You may get a limited installation warranty from the dealer or from the independent installer you hire.  This can be helpful if your carpet is installed poorly and you need to have the installer return to fix the problem. Most installation warranties are good for one year. Learn more Carpet Installation Inspection Checklist



Should I Buy First-Quality Carpet?

If you are not picky about color or style, and you want to save as much money as possible, then buying second-quality materials can be a smart way to go. However if you are looking for a specific style, grade or color, then you probably need to buy first-quality goods to achieve your goals.  That means ordering from a sample and waiting for the carpet to be shipped from the carpet manufacturer. You only get a new-carpet-warranty from the manufacturer when you buy first-quality goods.



New Carpet Warranty Requirements

Most homeowners never have a need to make a warranty claim on their carpet. But when it is necessary, it can be a daunting task. New carpet warranties are written in such a way that it is almost impossible for most homeowners to submit a valid claim. 


There so many hoops to jump through and so many care and maintenance requirements that must be performed perfectly that most warranty claims are denied. If you do decide to buy first-quality carpet, be sure you get a copy of the warranty and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to the letter. Keep your sales receipt showing the cost of the carpet separate from the cost of the pad and installation. 


Keep all receipts for periodic professional cleanings, use the recommended vacuum cleaner, use the correct pad type, thickness and density, and be sure to have your carpet installed according to the CRI 105 installation standard guidelines. 


Be sure to buy a carpet that is capable to withstand your level of foot-traffic you have in your home or your claim will likely be denied. Learn more What Carpet Style or Grade Should I Select?



Carpet Remnants and Roll End Discounts

In conclusion, anyone can save a significant amount of money by choosing carpet remnants and roll ends. It takes time and patience to find the right size, color and style of carpet but in the end your savings can be quite significant. 



Negotiating a Better Deal

You are more likely to negotiate a better deal if the dealer has a large selection of remnants. Sometimes dealers have too many remnants on hand and want to make room for other products. This puts you in the driver's seat when the retailer wants to thin out their existing stock. It never hurts to ask for an additional discount, especially if you find several remnants you are interested in. The best place to find a good selection of carpet remnants is a well established, locally-owned flooring retailer. 



Expect Higher Cost for Padding and Installation

It is more difficult to handle, cut. seam and install higher quality carpets and labor prices will increase according to the job requirements. 

  • Patterned and Looped Berber Carpet styles are more expensive to install. 

  • Installing carpet on stairs has an additional labor charge per stair.  

  • Expect a charge for "upholstery work" when patterned carpets are installed on stairs.

  • Stairs that are pie-shaped, have end wraps or spindles will incur an extra installation charge.

For example, if your carpet is designed to last for 20 years, then your padding must be able to last that long too. Make sure the padding you select meets the carpet manufacturer's guidelines for type, thickness and density.  You can call the carpet manufacturer and ask what padding is recommended for any carpet you are considering. It is your job to make sure the correct padding is selected and installed. Learn about Carpet Installation Fees and Charges 


Learn more:


Carpet Professor - carpetprofessor.com

My Recommended

Carpet Stores

I Only Recommend Local Flooring Dealers 

Who Provide Great Customer Service,

Quality Products and Qualified Installation.

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