Updated: Jan 27
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I Need To Buy New Carpet - Where Do I Start?
If you've owned a home for any length of time, or you just purchased a new home...chances are you have looked at the carpet in your home and thought, "this old carpet has got to go!"
But, where do you start? What kind of carpet should I buy? How much is replacing my carpet going to cost?
Well, you've found the right place to answer your questions. In this article, we will walk you through the process of buying carpet, as well as some of the items you need to consider, before making your purchase.
Let's first take a look at some of the retail store advertising gimmicks that you want to avoid:
We'll call this first one, "the free installation promotion." You've heard it before:
Free furniture moving
Free hauling away of your old carpet
Free, Free, Free...!!!
Let us be the one to burst the bubble on these gimmicks: nothing about these promotions are "free." Retail stores are not in business in give things away for free. They are in business to make money.
When you see this promotion being advertised, all the store is doing is adding the cost to the price of the carpet. For example, if it costs a store $1.00 a square foot to buy a certain carpet, instead of selling that carpet at a 30% mark-up, $1.43, and then charging the customer for the installation, the store might charge the customer $5.00 a square foot for that same carpet, and then say the installation is free. Make sense? It's a rip off. No other way to put it. The store promotes their sale as a great deal, when in reality, the customer ends up paying an inflated price.
Another one of our favorites is: no finance charges for 12 months. This is very similar to the scam that is used with the free installation promotion. Finance companies charge stores a percentage of the sale for all of their financing programs. The longer the period of time, the higher the percentage. For example: if a store uses a 12 month financing plan, they might get charged 3%. If they use a 24 month financing plan, they might get charged 5%, and so on.
Stores don't absorb that charge. Who pays for it? You do. Whatever financing plan you choose, the financing fee will be added on to the price of the carpet. So, if a store is advertising "no financing charges for 12 months," Guess what? That financing fee has simply been added on to the price of the carpet.
Are you starting to see a pattern? Whatever the promotion is: the customer always pays for it. Rather than giving the customer a fair and honest carpet price, If a store marks-up a carpet 1000%, they can offer all sorts of "free" services.
How about this one: a special invitation for a "private sale." Stores will hire a company to mail out letters to consumers (usually based on zip codes), promoting a special weekend private sale. In reality, there is no special sale. Whatever is being promoted is just a gimmick. You will still pay the very high retail price no matter what is being promoted.
"The customer always pays for it..."
The last one we'll bring up is: the special weekend sale. Stores advertise, a "special sale," usually during special holiday weekend hours. Pricing is only valid for these 'special" days. For the most part, store sales people work on commission. Do you really think if you come in the day after a sale to place an order, the store won't honor the special weekend sale price? Of course they will.
Now, keep in mind, whatever special weekend sale price you received, it is probably not a good deal anyway. But, believe us when we tell you, a store will take your order.
The main point to take away from all of these different store promotions is: nothing is free. If a store is promoting a "free promotion," just keep in mind that you are indeed paying for it. Nothing is free. If a store is paying someone advertising money, you can rest assured they are recouping their money from the store sales.
So, If You Want Us To Avoid Sales Promotions, How Do We Get the Best Price?
We have mentioned this in other blog articles, but it is worth repeating:
"Not All Sales People Are Equal..."
Almost all floor covering sales people work on commission. Retail sales people work with retail pricing. As mentioned earlier in this article, depending on the store, retail pricing can be incredibly high.
Almost every store will either have a manager or a commercial sales person. We will define "commercial," as any sales person that works with: apartments, realtors, new home construction, office parks, schools, hospitals, etc...
These commercial sales people work on an entirely different level. Whereas, a retail sales person writes orders at a 35%-45% profit margin, a commercial sales person writes orders at a 15% to 25% profit margin.
The commercial world of floor covering is completely different than the retail division. Profit margins are much less in commercial work. But...guess what? The majority of these commercial sales people also work on commission. The more product they sell, the more money they personally earn.
So, in order to get the best price on your carpet, you need to align yourself with a commercial sales person. Here is our step by step process on how to get the best price on your carpet purchase:
Step 1: Determine your budget. It makes no sense to fall in love with a carpet that will cost you $5,000, if you have a budget of $2,000. Before you even start the shopping process, you need to look at your bank account and figure out how much money you are willing to spend on carpet. The second part of this equation is to determine how you are going to pay for the carpet. Are you paying in cash? Or, are you going to finance the project and make monthly payments? Not every store has in-house financing. Figure out your budget before you do anything else.
Step 2: Determine your re-carpeting goal. Are you looking to get an affordable carpet to sell a house? Maybe you're looking for a plush, thick carpet for your master bedroom. Are you looking for something that is incredibly durable for a basement? Maybe you have a room that you want to install a pattern carpet in, to give it that designer look? These are very important questions to ask. Determine your goal.
Step 3: Call your local store and ask them who handles their commercial work. You might also look on the companies website. If you have a realtor connection, contact your realtor and ask them who they work with in the area. Once you get 2-3 names of some commercial sales people, call the store and ask to speak with them. Introduce yourself, and describe your project. NOTE: this is a very important step. Never walk into a store without an appointment. Retail sales people work on what they call "ups." They rotate on who gets the next customer. If you walk in without an appointment, you will be assigned to the next retail person. Once assigned, you will be subject to "retail prices."
Step 4: Set-up a free home measurement. Most stores offer a free measurement. Explain to your commercial sales person that you would like to schedule a home measurement. A sales person will come to your home and measure your project area.
At this point in the process, you have determined your budget and re-carpeting goals. You have aligned yourself with the sales person that has the best pricing, and you have had someone come to your home and provide you with a free measurement. Now it's time for the next step:
Step 5: Call your sales person up and schedule a meeting. Describe your re-carpeting goals, give the sales person your budget, and based on the home measurement, ask them to pick out 4-5 carpet styles that will work for you.
Step 6: Create a "maybe pile" in the store. As you look at samples, anything that is a possible option, put in a pile. Those samples that you don't like, put back in the display. Ultimately, you'll end up with 5 or 6 samples that you really like. One of these options should be a carpet that is below your budget price, one sample should be something that is above your budget price, while the other samples should be in your budget range. Take all of these "maybe pile" samples home.
Step 7: Place all of the samples on the floor in the area you are re-carpeting. The lighting in your home is always going to be different than in the retail store. Spend a day or two looking at the samples. Over time, you will either find a winning color, or you won't. If you find a winning color, you're done. If you don't like any of the colors, go back to the store and create a new "maybe pile," and start over again.
I Need To Buy New Carpet - Learn About The Types Of Carpet Fiber
Part of your re-carpeting goal, should not only be the type of style and color you want, but it should also be determining the best carpet fiber for your area. For example: you don't want to put a base grade apartment carpet in an area that is going to get heavy commercial foot traffic.
The type of carpet fiber you pick will help you determine how your carpet will perform. Here is a great video that explains carpet fiber:
Credit: Expert Advice
Polyester Carpet Fiber
Polyester carpet fiber has several advantage: it is a very affordable carpet that is very durable. If you're looking for a nice looking, durable carpet that won't break the bank, it might consider looking ay polyester carpet.
Another great characteristic of polyester carpet is the softness. It is a perfect carpet for family room carpet or bedroom carpet.
Polyester carpet is also very stain resistant. If you have busy household, that has those occasional spills, polyester carpet would be a good option for you.
Nylon Carpet Fiber
Nylon is a wonderful carpet for heavy use. It is even more durable than polyester. Nylon is going to be more expensive than polyester, but it also a very durable carpet...you get your money out of a nylon carpet.
Nylon caret fiber is perfect for stairs, busy hallways and family rooms. You can get nylon carpet at many different price points.
Triexta Carpet Fiber
Triexta is a very stain resistant carpet. Spills won't absorb in the carpet fiber, and can be easily cleaned. triexta is softer than both polyester and nylon. It is the newest carpet fiber, and made famous by Mohawk Industries.
Similar to nylon, you can purchase Triexta carpet at many different price points. It is great carpet for the business rooms of your home.
Credit: Nylon vs Polyester vs Triexta
Bonus: I Need To buy New Carpet - Top Questions
#1 How Much Does Carpet Cost ?
The cost of carpet will depend on a lot of factors. Each carpet manufacturer has their own good, better, best products. Each carpet will have a different price. When figuring the cost of carpet, you will also need to look at:
The cost of carpet pad
The cost of installing the new carpet
The cost of removing and disposal of any old flooring
Is there any furniture to be moved?
As with carpet, stores will have a good, better best carpet pad. Prices on these products will vary
Installation costs will vary, depending on the area in which you live, as well as with the project itself. The more work there is to do to prepare for the installation, the more money it will cost.
We have a few blog articles that talk about carpet costs that provides additional insight to the cost of carpet.
When shopping for carpet you need to evaluate your project goals to determine the best type of carpet you need (for your situation). Sometimes you might want a very thick, luxurious piece of carpet that is very expensive, other times your project might warrant an inexpensive piece of carpet that has a good warranty.
Carpet in the old days was figured by square yards. Today, stores have changed the pricing to "by square foot." This was done has a marketing strategy to make the price tags look more affordable. For example, if you have a carpet price tag that is selling for $15.00 a square yard, versus a price tag that is selling for $1.67 a square foot, from a first glance, which one would you think is the better deal? While they are both the same overall price, the $1.67 looks much more appealing to the customer.
Angie's list has a nice video on Youtube that talks about carpet cost:
Credit: Angie's list
#2 How Do You Measure for Carpet?
There is a process you need to follow when shopping for carpet. If you don't follow this process, it will end up costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. One of the most important parts of the process is to have a general idea on how to measure for carpet.
As a customer, you don't need to determine the exact quantity that you will need. You can leave that up to professionals. However, it is important that you provide a diagram to your local store. We have a great article that dives in to this topic, and explains the entire process:
As a starting point, hand draw a diagram of the area(s) you want to re-carpet. Use a tape measure to measure the width and length of each room. Measurements should be in feet/inches, not just in inches. For example: a room might be 10'0" long, do not say it is 120" long. While it is obviously the same, figuring rooms in inches makes it more difficult for the flooring professional.
You do not need to measure every little curve in your wall. Simply measure the widest and longest points. Your flooring professional will take your information and put together a starting point estimate.
Flooring stores do free home measurements. The point of measuring yourself will help with the overall buying process. Please read: How To Measure Your Room For Carpet to get more in-depth information.
#3 How Long will It Take To Get My Carpet Installed (Once I Make My Purchase) ?
It usually takes between 7-10 days for a store to order and receive your carpet from the manufacturer.
There are several variables that might take place in receiving the carpet. For example, if the carpet is out of stock at the mill, the production time might slow down the shipping process. Stores will learn about any delays when ordering, and should relay this information to the customer.
Most stores will schedule the installation once they receive the carpet. It is never a good idea to schedule installation before the carpet arrives. Typically, a store can schedule an installation within 2 weeks of receiving the carpet in their warehouse.
If you need a quicker installation, make sure you discuss this with your flooring professional, BEFORE you order. A lot of stores have in-stock rolls that would be available to be installed right away.
#4 How Long Can I Expect My New Carpet To Last ?
That all depends on the type of carpet that you purchased, the traffic the carpet gets, and how the carpet is maintained.
When you are looking at carpet, you need to consider the type of product you are doing. for example, if you have a high traffic area to re-carpet, you would not want to install a low price-point carpet that does not have a good warranty. Review the carpet warranty before you make your purchase.
Each carpet manufacturer has a maintenance manual, as well as instructions for cleaning (to maintain your warranty). When purchasing, make sure you consider the cleaning procedures and guidelines as part of your buying process.
Credit: Amerifirst Home Mortgage
#5 Why Is My New Carpet Fuzzing ?
The little carpet fibers found in your vacuum cleaner are usually the normal result of the manufacturing process, and nothing to worry about. Most of the time, after about 6-12 months after installation, these little carpet fibers will go away.
It is extremely important to have the right type of vacuum for your new carpet. Make sure you check with your maintenance manual to determine the type of vacuum that is recommended for your carpet. Not all vacuum cleaners are equal. You need to make sure you don't damage your carpet by using the wrong type of vacuum.
#6 How Do I Choose A Good Quality Carpet ?
The type of carpet you pick should be determined on the goals you have for your project. Once you determine what you are trying to achieve with not only your project, but with your project budget, then you can make a determination on picking out a quality carpet.
Keep in mind that every carpet manufacturer has good, better, and best carpets. Plus, they all use their own marketing names for their warranty programs. We have some good articles that will be helpful in determining a good quality carpet:
When picking out your carpet, a good warranty should cover spills, stains and wear. Plus, you should always involve your local store flooring professional. They will have information on the types of carpet they sell.
#7 How Long should I Wait To Walk and Put Furniture On My New Carpet ?
There is not a waiting period for walking on new carpet. You can walk on it as soon as it is installed.
#8 How Do I Clean My Carpet ?
You always want to follow the guidelines provided to you by the carpet manufacturer. This is extremely important as your carpet warranty, in part, will be based on you following their recommendations.
For example, if the maintenance instructions advise you to have your carpet cleaned by a professional twice a year, you will want to save those payment receipts, in case you ever need to file a performance claim.
Another example would be the type of vacuum you use. Some carpets that are thicker need to have special types of vacuums.
As stated above, you always want to follow the guidelines provided to you by the manufacturer.
#9 When Is The Best Time Of The Year To Buy New Carpet ?
You often read about buying carpet (to get the best price) in Mid-December, or during the cold winter months.
In our opinion, there is no best time of the year to buy carpet. If you follow our purchasing strategy, you will always get the best price. Our article, "How To Save Money When Shopping For Flooring," will give you all of the information you need to never paid the retail prices again.
Keep in mind that floor covering sales people all work on commission. Not only do they want to sell you product, but they also have the flexibility to negotiate with you on pricing.
Not all sales people are equal. You need to make sure you align yourself with the right sales person.
Don't fall for the promotional sales gimmicks like: "buy one room, get one room for free," "no installation charges," "free furniture moving," "no payments for 12 months," or "free carpet pad." While these sales are legitimate, they are never giving the best deal to the customer. Stores are in business to make money. They are never going to give away anything "for free." The costs are simply hidden in other areas of the sale.
#10 Who Is The Best Carpet Manufacturer ?
There is no "best manufacturer." Each carpet manufacturer offers good, better and best products. Likewise, not all stores carry the same carpets.
Stores will align themselves with certain brands of carpet for business relationship purposes. When picking out a carpet, you need to consider the goals of your project, the style & color of the carpet and price.
2021 Flooring Trends
Credit: 2021 Flooring Trends
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