Should I Buy Carpet from a Home Improvement Warehouse?
Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Veteran of the
Carpet Business and Consumer Advocate
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Buying from a home improvement store
like Lowe's or Home Depot can be very tempting. They have a fair amount of carpet samples to choose from and they
may be having a special sale on carpet, pad or installation going on right
One problem you will encounter when buying from home improvement stores
like Lowe's or Home Depot, is that they have placed private labels on all their carpet samples. They have
changed all the style and color names to prevent you from
being able to comparison shop at other local carpet stores.
What this means to you is that if
you find a carpet that you really like, you will have a hard time finding the
exact same carpet at another carpet store. This prevents you from
determining if their prices are fair and reasonable. I consider "private
labeling" a Carpet Scam.
Chances are good that the same carpet is available at other carpet
stores in your area but are selling under a different style and color name.
Using private labels is how they prevent you from comparing their prices with
other nearby carpet retailers. This is how they can get away with charging you more for
the carpet, pad and installation. They try very hard to take away your right to
shop around to find the best deal. Are their prices fair? How would you know if
you are unable to comparison shop?
Carpet, pad and installation. You want a fair price on
all three. You want a fair price on carpet. You want a fair price on padding,
and you want a fair price on installation. How can you be sure you are getting
a fair price when they sell it as "one price for the job"??? You
can't and they know this very well.
You buy a good quality nylon BCF
carpet for $20 per yard. You buy 8-pound 7/16' rebond padding for $4 per yard.
Buy installation of a qualified carpet layer for $5 per yard including removal
and haul away of the old carpet and pad. The total you are spending is $29 per
yard for the whole job. Times that amount by the number of square yards you need and
that is the total price. You know what you are paying and that is good. You
got a fair deal on all three.
Now, If you go to a home improvement store where they
sell carpet, pad and install for "One Price for the whole job" then
it goes like this:
"How much is this carpet?" you ask. "$34.97
installed." says the salesperson.
"But how much is the
carpet by itself?" you ask. "We don't disclose that information.
it's sold as a package deal" the salesperson replies.
do I get?" you ask. "It comes with the standard 7/16" padding, do
you want the upgraded pad for $3 more per yard?" the salesperson
When they won't tell you how much each item costs how can
you make an informed decision? They change the names, combine the pricing, and
limit the amount of information you have access to. You might as well go in
blindfolded with your hands tied behind your back and give them a signed blank
check. Don't gamble with your carpet purchase. You don't have to!
You need to know exactly what style and grade of carpet
to buy that will meet your needs and budget, get a fair and square deal on the
correct padding, and be sure to have your carpet installed properly by
qualified carpet installers. How do you accomplish all this? The Complete
Carpet Buying Guide. But don't order yet, there's more you need to know first.
"I'd like to know what I'm paying for
installation" you ask. "It's all included in the price. he
"But what if I have
a problem with the installation?" you ask.
"We have an independent company that
our installations. You would have to call the installation company
directly and they will
send out someone to take a look at the problem" says the salesperson.
"What if I have a warranty issue with the
carpet?" you ask.
"You would need to call the carpet manufacturer
about that" the salesperson replies.
You see, even though you buy the carpet, pad and
installation from a home improvement store doesn't mean they can or will help you
should you have a problem, concern or complaint. Should you have any problems with materials or
labor they simply refer you to the installer, the manufacturer or another
company that supplies the materials or labor.
Once installed, the home improvement store
doesn't have any further responsibility to make sure you are satisfied with
your carpet purchase. They made their handsome profit and they are
pretty much done dealing with you beyond that.
Why is getting a remedy so difficult?
Home improvement stores like Lowe's and Home
Depot, don't warranty
the carpet, the
carpet manufacturer does. You have to call the carpet manufacturer and they
will have the final decision on whether or not you have a valid warranty
claim.. Have you followed the warranty requirements to the letter?
You'd better hope so. Have you kept the carpet cleaning receipts? Have you
maintained the carpet properly? Did you buy a carpet that is capable of
handling your degree of foot traffic? Did you select the correct padding
thickness and density? Was the carpet installed according to the Carpet and
Rug Institute guidelines for residential carpeting? The list of questions they
will ask you goes on and
Home improvement stores don't warranty the
the carpet installer does and must offer a one year warranty on his labor. You
must call the company that supplies the installers to the home improvement
store. They will send out the same installer to try to fix the problem. If
that installer no longer works for that company, they will send out someone
else to try to fix the problem.
Home improvement stores don't warranty
the pad, the
padding manufacturer does. Seldom does the padding go bad or have defects, but
it does happen.
So no matter what type of problem you have, you will have to seek a
remedy from one of these other companies. And what makes this even more
interesting, is that each one of these other companies will try to place the blame on
one of the others. It's a never ending cycle of denial where no one will
Wrinkles in your carpet? call the installer. The installer says
it is a carpet defect. Call the carpet mill, they send a carpet inspector out to look. He
says you used the wrong padding. Call the home improvement store and tell them
they sold you the wrong grade of pad, they may tell you that it is your responsibility to be sure that you ordered the correct padding. Now it's your
looks horrible and they tell you that it is your fault! You should have been
sure that the padding was the proper pad for the carpet you selected. It's
written in the carpet manufacturers warranty, didn't you read it? You never
received or read the warranty?
more info? Do a Google search for carpet complaints by
home improvement stores and see what you find.
Q & A
Preferred Carpet Dealers
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 are locally owned,
give free measures and estimates, offer fair and square prices, have
knowledgeable sales staff, and hire qualified installers. Don't take
who I recommend near you!