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Expert Carpet Buying Information- For Homeowners

By Alan Fletcher - A 30-Year Veteran of the Carpet Business and Consumer Advocate


Welcome to, guaranteed to be your best source for free and unbiased carpet buying information and free expert carpet buying advice. I retired after 30+ years in the business and I no longer sell or install Carpet or any flooring products...  


This is great news for homeowners!  Now that I have officially  "Retired", my goal now is to teach you (all homeowners) the insider secrets that I've learned for over 30 years! 


I have had the unique privilege of being "Included" on virtually all the little-known and well-kept carpet industry secrets that they don't want you to know! 


About Me...


My father was a carpet mill representative for over 35 years, my brother and aunt were also in the carpet business for many years too. My uncle owned a retail carpet store for over 40 years. Can you imagine what it was like for me to sit at the dining room table on holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter Sunday dinners? All they talked about was Carpet Carpet Carpet! This is why it was natural for me to get into the flooring business. It's amazing how much you can learn at the dinner table! 


Carpet Professor's Advice...  Make sure your kids turn off their cell phones, tables and other hand held devices while eating dinner with the family! 


I started in 1977 at age 18 as an installer apprentice and after five years, I  ended up starting my own carpet / flooring sales and installation business, eventually employing my two sons as they became teenagers. As you might imagine, my family's many ties to the flooring business and my own hands-on experiences has given me a very wide and unique knowledge and experience that only a few possess. I am passionate about the flooring business and my goal is to continue to be on top of the current carpet and flooring scene.  Have Carpet Questions? Just ask! 


Almost everything you need to know about how to Buy New Carpet Like a Pro can be found on my website. Scroll down to get started....



What Every Homeowner need to Know...

  • What makes one carpet More Durable than another? 

  • What main characteristic makes a carpet able to tolerate heavy foot-traffic? 

  • What makes one carpet able to resist stains better than another?

  • How to avoid common Carpet Scams and Rip-Offs...

These are just a few of the important things you should learn about before you buy new carpet from any retail source. My ultimate goal is to make sure you are happy with your carpet or flooring purchase for many years to come and this is a free service I provide to all homeowners. Read on...



Carpet samples often shown at local flooring dealers How to Avoid Carpet Scams


Carpet Manufacturer's don't lose sleep if you choose the wrong grade of carpet, but they will lose sleep if they don't make enough PROFIT to satisfy their stockholders!


"You must first realize that you are solely and completely responsible for the quality or grade of carpet and padding you select"


If you do not choose your new carpet wisely and it wears out sooner than you anticipate, you lose. If you try to make a warranty claim... they will simply deny your warranty claim say you purchased a product that was unable, or incapable of tolerating your personal level of foot-traffic you have in your home. Now you will need to buy new carpet again or live with the carpet you are unhappy with until you can afford to buy new carpet again sometime in the future.


Choosing the wrong grade carpet can cost you dearly! You might hope to buy carpet that will last for 15 years. What will you do when it wears out in just 5 years? Take a little time to learn Your Carpet ABC's before you begin shopping for new Carpet! Choosing the right grade of Carpet is not as easy as most folks think. It's not like it was 20 or 30 years ago when all carpets were made quite well. Today there are thousands of different colors, textures, patterns, grades and quality levels to choose from. Choose the wrong carpet today and I guarantee you will end up having to replace it sooner than you think! What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?


Whatever Carpet you buy,  it will wear out based on your level of foot traffic. What level of foot traffic do you have? Low traffic, medium traffic, heavy traffic? Some Carpets are designed to last for only 3 years... and some are made to last 10 years. Some are designed to last 20 years or longer! How long your new carpet will last has absolutely nothing to do with the manufacturers warranty or wear rating. It all depends on the amount of foot traffic you have in your home verses the grade or quality of carpet you select! 


The real problem is not clearly visible... While a simple low-cost, cheaply-made carpet might be obvious to most folks (costing less than $10 per yard), it can be very hard for most homeowners to tell the difference between a medium grade carpet (priced about $15 to $25 per yard) from a higher grade carpet (costing $30 to $45 per yard or more) just by looking at the Carpet sample or by feeling the surface fibers with your hand. One carpet may last 10 years in your home, the other may last 25 years, all depending on your foot traffic. (and also how well you care for your carpet. Check out my Carpet Care Guide


Fact: All Carpets look and feel great when they are new!  However, cheaply made carpets (made from Polyester and P.E.T. Polyester can quickly mat down and lose their shine, they will quickly mat down in heavy traffic areas, hallways and on stairs. Once this happens, there is virtually nothing anyone can do to fix the problem. There is no warranty remedy to help you if you choose the wrong grade of carpet. The carpet manufacturer will simply deny your claim. 


Carpet Specifications: The Key to Selecting the Right Grade of Carpet.  

You need to learn all about Carpet and Padding Specifications to be sure you 

choose wisely. The "Carpet Specs" are what allows you to determine the grade or quality level of a carpet or padding. Carpets that are made from low-quality materials will wear out faster than those that are made using higher-quality materials. You need full access to the specifications of any carpet or padding you are considering.



The 5 basic Carpet Specifications 

  1. Fiber Type - This is most important - Learn more about Carpet Fibers

  2. Pile Height - 3/4" pile height or less helps resist matting and crushing.

  3. Tuft Twist- Less than 5 is considered poor, 6 is considered good. 7 or above is excellent

  4. Face Weight - 35 to 65 ounces is considered good for most residential carpets.

  5. Pile Density - The higher the number the more durable, generally 1800 or more.

    Learn more about Carpet Specifications


Next... you need to be sure you:

  1. Choose the Right Grade of Carpet - Take my Free Carpet Foot Traffic Test

  2. Have your home Accurately Measured... (It's not so easy to obtain accurate measurements)

  3. How to Choose the Correct Padding (This is very important!) 

  4. Get Qualified and experienced Installation - (Most installers are not properly trained and lack experience)

  5. Get a fair & square price on the entire job - (Read about Carpet Cost )


After that... you must properly maintain your new carpet by:

  1. Vacuuming frequently with a good quality vacuum - Learn about best Carpet Vacuums

  2. Professional cleaning every other year by a Certified Carpet Cleaner

  3. Spot clean as necessary using approved methods!

  4. Visit Alan's Best Carpet Cleaner Directory

  5. Retain all maintenance and cleaning receipts - Read your warranty carefully!

  6. Follow all the manufacturer's care and maintenance instructions to the letter!

  7. Carpet Stain Warranties - What You Need To Know


Confused About Choosing Carpet?

  1. Read through my website, it's free!  Sitemap

  2. Ask me questions via email, 

  3. Visit my list of Recommended Carpet Dealers here 

  4. Take your time choosing and don't buy from high-pressure salespeople. 

  5. Consider ordering my Carpet Buying Guide eBook. Learn More

  6. What Grade of Carpet Should I Select?


How to Select The Right Carpet and More...


Many homeowners choose their carpet based on color, look, feel and price. However, there are many other important factors that need to be taken into consideration. From start to finish you must make all the right decisions to be successful and satisfied with the final outcome. Choosing the right Carpet, the correct padding, getting qualified installation and a reasonable price is just the tip of the iceberg!  Learn more about Carpet Comparison



Where NOT to Buy New Carpet 


Where you buy carpet is a major factor because not all carpet retailers have your best  interests in mind,  and some carpet retailers should be avoided at all costs! Never be pressured by any salesperson into buying right now! Take your time, take some samples home for a few days and make wise and informed choices! Buying new carpet wisely starts with knowing how to select the right grade of carpet for your home! The last thing you want to do is buy the wrong grade of carpet and have it wear out in a hurry. 


There are many other key factors for you to consider too including - Selecting the correct padding; obtaining qualified installation; and getting a good price! Learn more about  Best & Worst Places to Buy New Carpet



Costly Carpet Buying Mistakes / Common Carpet Complaints...


Here is a list of common carpet complaints from homeowners who bought new carpet and why they were unhappy with their carpet purchase. My years of experience and ongoing research has revealed that fewer than 14% of consumers make ALL the right Carpet choices from start to finish. The other 86% either spend too much, choose the wrong materials, end up with installation problems or  unhappy in some way with their Carpet Buying Experience. What can go wrong you might ask? Plenty! These unfortunate homeowners didn't do their carpet homework and have lost thousands!  Read more about how to avoid Costly Carpet Buying Mistakes 



How To Avoid "Retailer" Carpet Scams!

There are lots of Carpet scams to watch out for. The best way to avoid scams is to buy from a reputable carpet dealer. Stainmaster carpet prices, Smartstrand carpet cost, Best Carpet for pets, Best carpet for kids, compare carpet, How to buy carpet, Best Carpet for basements, Read more about Carpet Scams



How Much Carpet Do You REALLY Need?


Carpet Professor Tape MeasureMost Carpet Salespeople are not very accurate at measuring for carpet and that could spell bad  news for you. Why should they be accurate when adding more materials to your order will only make them more money???? What you want as a consumer is to get ACCURATE MEASURING, not too much and not too little. The goldilocks scenario! Just Right!


Over-measuring or under-measuring can cost you time, frustration and hundreds or even thousands in over-charging or delays. Greedy salespeople might try to sell you more carpet than you actually need just to make more profit from the sale. Inexperienced carpet salespeople might under-measure leaving your job unable to be finished in time! 


Maybe if they were to use my special Carpet Professor Tape Measure they would be more accurate?! 


Bad measuring can easily add hundreds to the total cost of your carpet job. You need to learn how to avoid this common carpet measuring scam! 



Learn more: How to Measure for Carpet Yourself!



How Much Should You $$$ Spend on New Carpet?


New Carpet is WAY more costly than most homeowners expect. There are so many different factors to consider. Installation is almost always more costly than you might imagine. There are 3 questions you need to answer... 


1. What grade of carpet do you require for your home?

2. How long do you want your new carpet to last?

3. How much money do you have to spend on this project?


There are no shortcuts and no specials to help you alter any of these three parameters. Don't fall for those home improvement store specials that advertise free or whole-house discounted carpet installation. If you do not have enough money, the you need to do your project in stages. Do not lower the carpet quality to meet your budget limitations. If  funds are tight, either wait until you have more money or replace your carpet in two or more stages, for example: Do the downstairs this year and then do the upstairs areas next year. 


Beware of Nationally Advertised Carpet Scams!


I think most nationally advertised Carpet specials you see on TV are rarely as good as they appear to be. Don't fall for those offers to sell you three rooms of carpet for the price of just one room until you get a chance to read all the fine print. You don't need to buy from any dealer who advertises in this fashion. I think you can get a better deal from a local, family run dealer that has your best interests in mind!


I never recommend buying from any nationally advertised carpet retailer. You would be amazed at the number of horror stories I've heard from unsuspecting homeowners since I started my website back in 2000. If the deal sounds too good to be true, then carefully read all the fine print.  Home Depot & Lowe's $39 Carpet Installation


Never pay for your carpet in-full upfront!


It is customary for reputable carpet dealers to ask that you pay up to 50% of the estimate upfront for your carpet, pad and installation. You will be asked to pay the balance-due upon competition and upon your complete satisfaction of a job well-done. Never pay the balance due until you are completely satisfied.. You should always do a walk-through with the installer to inspect the job before he leaves your home. Take a look at my free Carpet Installation Inspection Checklist.


Buyer Beware


Never pay a fee to have a salesperson measure your home, and never never buy from pushy salespeople who pressure you to buy right now or say the price is a "Today Only Price". Never sign any contract until you have received and reviewed at least three bids or estimates from several locally-owned carpet stores. Take a look at my Carpet and Pad Pricing Chart to get a good idea about how much new carpet is going to cost you.  


Next: How Much Does Carpet Cost?


Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers

Carpet Scams are Everywhere! It's getting harder every day to find honest & reputable Carpet Dealers! That's why I have compiled my own special list of hand-picked carpet dealers who have passed my test, who are locally owned, give free measures and estimates, offer fair and square prices, have knowledgeable sales staff, and hire qualified installers. Don't take chances... 

See who I recommend near you!

















Alan's Carpet Buying Guide

 Key information for homeowners who want to make wise & informed choices 

  $14.95  -  PDF Format eBook  - 136 pages - Full Glossary & Index, Read - Print or Save to ANY Device

Satisfaction Guaranteed   Learn More




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