to Shop-at-Home for New Carpet!
Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Trusted Consumer Advocate
Homeowner, I'm Alan Fletcher, aka The Carpet Professor, a 30-year veteran of the carpet business and a
trusted consumer advocate since 1998. I retired
from the flooring business in 2006 and no longer sell or
install Carpet. My goal is to inform and educate
homeowners about choosing new carpet wisely, Save the most money
possible and keep from being a
victim of a carpet scam!
Shopping for Carpet
In-home carpet shopping
is growing in popularity but also has certain risks that you need to be aware of,
and that is what
this website is all about. If you are not careful, you could end up buying
the wrong carpet, get a lousy installation job and pay way more than you
you are considering calling a mobile shop-at-home service, or in-home Carpet Retailer
to bring samples to your home,
there are a few important things you need to know to protect yourself from
being scammed, overcharged and sold the wrong goods or materials. If
you are looking for an honest, reputable, locally owned carpet retailer,
you might want to visit my Preferred
Carpet Dealer Directory to see who I recommend
Scams and Rip Offs!
thing you need to learn about "shopping for carpet at home"
is how to not fall prey to high
pressure sales tactics. For example, pushy salespeople may try to pressure you
into signing a contract before you have a chance to comparison shop by telling you that the price quoted is a "Today Only"
Honest and reputable shop at home
carpet retailers will not strong-arm you into buying right now. Sure, every salesperson would
prefer you to buy from them right now, however, you need
to make sure you take the time to comparison shop and get more than one bid or estimate
before you make your final choice. You should
always consider your carpet choices carefully and take a few days
to compare prices, colors, styles and quality.
all shop-at-home Carpet
are honest and reputable. There are dozens of Carpet Scams you need to
avoid regardless of who you choose buy carpet from. So take your time, read all my carpet buying
and learn everything you can about
buying new carpet before you visit any local carpet stores or have any carpet
dealer bring carpet samples to your
home. I can help you choose new carpet wisely and avoid most carpet scams if you are willing to take the time to do your
if you are able to avoid all the carpet scams you encounter, you still need to
right carpet. If
you choose the wrong carpet, it may not last as long as you expect. That's why I
decided to create a simple Carpet Foot
Traffic Test. My simple two-minute test will help you
determine your level of foot traffic in your home and can help you choose the right grade or quality carpet that can meet your needs and goals.
carpets are rated by the manufacturer. Shaw uses what is called The PAR Carpet Rating System.
This is where they assign each carpet a number from 1 to 5 that indicates the durability
level of the carpet. I think this rating system is flawed and I don't recommend you rely
solely on any carpet rating system to make your carpet choice.
the right carpet will require
that you answer some basic questions about what you want to accomplish. For
example, how long do you want your new carpet to last?
a larger version of my special
Selection - Choosing Wisely!
common problem consumers face when buying new carpet, is choosing the right
quality of carpet. Every homeowner has different needs & goals that need to
be predetermined before a suitable carpet selection can be made. Some folks are retired
or have no kids or pets and therefore may have light
foot traffic. Other folks have
heavy foot traffic from having
large families with lots of small children, pets or active teenagers.
Each different home scenario requires a different grade or quality of carpet. I refer
to this as "Carpet Durability". No matter what the
circumstances, each and every home has very different needs and goals that
need to be identified and considered very carefully before the proper carpet
durability and quality level can be determined. And unless you consider all the variables and factors carefully, your new carpet will not last as long as you might hope.
is Carpet Durability Determined?
are several specifications that determine if a carpet can handle your level of foot traffic.
The main factors are:
are several different types of carpet fibers to choose from. For example;
Nylon is known as the most durable fiber available today and is also the
most expensive to manufacture. But not all nylon fibers are created equal.
Some are more durable than others and some nylon fibers are made softer
than others due to the diameter or "denier" of the strand. The
thinner the fiber strand the softer the carpet will feel. But does a
softer feel make for a less durable carpet?
groups of fiber strands are gathered together and twisted they form into
"Tufts" These tufts are inserted into the carpet backing to
create various styles of carpet. When the tufts are twisted together they
use heat to "set" the tufts - similar to how women use a curling
iron to curl their hair. The number of twists formed per lineal inch is
how they determine the "Tuft Twist" rating. Most plush style
carpets have a tuft twist rating of 4 to 6. Frieze styles are known for
having a tuft twist rating of 6 to 8. Generally speaking, the higher the
tuft twist rating the longer your carpet will retain it's "like
new" appearance. This is because over time the tufts may begin to
lose their twist or "blossom", causing the carpet to gradually
lose it's like new appearance.. Some carpet fibers are able hold their
"twist" better than others and this ability is known as being
more "resilient" Nylon is the most resilient carpet fiber
available today. Polyester is typically known to be the least resilient carpet
fiber which means the tufts will mat down quickly in main walkway areas
from foot traffic.
face-weight is the weight of the fiber that is used to manufacture the
carpet pile. Face weights range from 20 ounces to 120 ounces and most
residential carpets sold today are between 30 to 60 ounces. Generally
speaking, the higher the face-weight, the more durable the carpet will be.
But this does not always hold true. If the pile height is too tall, it may
be more prone to matting and crushing. Depending on your level of
foot traffic, you may need to limit the pile height and increase the face
weight. This is what we call the "Pile Density" rating.
a mathematical formula we can take the Pile height and pile face-weight to
determine the Pile Density rating. Generally speaking, the higher the pile
density the more durable a carpet will be. This holds true more often when
the pile height is not too high as to limit the potential for matting and
crushing of the pile. Once the carpet tufts begin to fall over, crush and
collapse the carpet will lose its like-new appearance. Some carpet fibers
are more prone to matting and crushing than others. With nylon carpet, a
good cleaning may help restore the tufts to their original upright
position and allow your carpet to regain some or all of its like new
appearance. However, carpets made from other fibers may not yield the same
favorable results. What is the best pile height and density rating for the
carpet that will best serve your needs and goals?
carpet has it's own unique manufacturing specifications. It's up to you to
find out what these specifications are and make sure you buy a carpet with
sufficient specifications that will meet your needs. I know it must sound
daunting to you, and it is. However I will help you make sense of it all and
make it less confusing. If you are not familiar with the carpet
specifications listed above, then you should read more about carpet
specifications. You must understand what these terms mean in order to
know how to choose the right carpet for you.
Start with my free Carpet
Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you need to buy. Then
we will go forward from there...