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How to Shop-at-Home for New Carpet!

By Alan Fletcher - 30-year Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate


Welcome I'm Alan Fletcher, a 30-year Veteran of the Carpet Business and Consumer Advocate since 1998. I retired from the flooring business in 2006 and no longer sell or install Carpet. Now as a consumer advocate my goal is to help homeowners learn how to choose new carpet & padding wisely; how to obtain qualified installation; how to save the most money possible; and how to keep from becoming the victim of a Carpet Scam! It doesn't get any better than that, and it's a free service!



Shopping for Carpet At Home


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 should. 



Where to Buy Carpet?


If you are considering calling a mobile shop-at-home service, or Carpet Retailer who has a showroom but is willing to bring samples to your home for your consideration, 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 near you. 



How To Avoid Common Carpet Scams


One thing you need to learn about "Shopping for New 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. They may tell you that the price quoted is a "Today Only" price. Never agree to buy anything if you feel pressured. You have the right to get several estimates and take your time making up your mind.


Honest and reputable shop-at-home carpet retailers will not strong-arm you into signing a contract right now. Sure, every salesperson would be happy if you agreed to buy from them on their first visit. 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. 


The majority of Carpet Dealers who offer shop-at-home services are honest and reputable, but 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 articles below 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 homework!


Read more about...   Carpet Scams        Bait & Switch Scams        Measuring Scams



How to Select the Right Carpet Durability


Even if you are able to avoid all the carpet scams you encounter, you still need to select the 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 but powerful Carpet Foot Traffic Test. This simple two-minute test will help you determine the level of foot traffic you have in your home and help you determine the right grade or quality carpet to meet your needs and goals and lifestyle.  Then take a look at my Carpet Durability Rating Guide to get an idea about how to select the right grade of carpet.





Click here to view a larger version of Alan's Carpet Durability Chart (PDF Format)


Some carpets are rated by the carpet manufacturer using a simple method called the PAR Carpet Rating System. This is where they assign a number from 1 to 5 that indicates the durability level of the carpet based on a typical family of four scenario. 


I don't recommend you rely on any carpet rating system solely to make your carpet choice. Buying 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? 


Best Carpet Selection - How to Choose Wisely!


A 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 selecting 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. 


Read more about: The PAR Carpet Rating System



How is Carpet Durability Determined? 


There are several specifications that determine if a carpet can handle your level of foot traffic. The main factors are:


Carpet Fibers

There 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?

Tuft Twist

When 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 the least resilient carpet fiber.


Carpet 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.

Pile Height /Density

Using a simple 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. I prefer a pile height of less then 3/4". 


Once the carpet tufts begin to fall over, become matted or crushed, the carpet will quickly lose its like-new appearance. Some carpet fibers are more prone to matting and crushing than others. With nylon carpet, a professional steam cleaning will usually restore the tufts to their original upright position and allow your carpet to regain all or most of its like-new appearance. This is because nylon is a very resilient fiber, meaning it has the ability to bounce back to its original position.  However, carpets made from fibers like Polyester or P.E.T. Polyester are not as resilient as nylon and will not yield the same favorable results. 


What is the best pile height and density rating that will best serve your needs and goals? 


Every 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 my Carpet Buying Guide ebook before you begin shopping for carpet. You must understand what these terms mean in order to know how to choose the right carpet for you. 


Start with my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you need to buy. Then we will go forward from there.


Common Carpet Questions & Answers:


Alan's Top 10 Carpet Information Pages:

  1. The History of Carpet

  2. In-Home Carpet Scams

  3. The Bait and Switch Scam

  4. Common Carpet Measuring Scams

  5. How to Choose the Right Carpet

  6. Determine Your Level of Foot Traffic

  7. About Carpet Fibers  - Nylon and Olefin

  8. About Carpet Fibers - Polyester and Sorona Smartstrand

  9. Visit Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory

  10. Instant Download eBook: Alan's Complete Carpet Buying Guide


Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers

It's getting harder to find an honest and reputable carpet dealer these days! That's why I've created my own special hand-picked list of over 350 locally-owned Carpet Dealers who offer Free estimates, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring, have fair prices and provide qualified installers. It doesn't get any better than that. See Who I Recommend Near You!








 My 30+Years of Carpet Buying Secrets Will Save You Time, Money & Headaches! 

Alan's Complete

Carpet Buying Guide eBook  

By Alan Fletcher - 30-year Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate


 Instant Download eBook ................. Only $14.95 


Simple PDF Format - 136 pages - Full Glossary & Index, Easy to Read Print & Save.


Own A Kindle?  Order my Kindle Version at Amazon.com for just $9.99! (You Save $5.00 Now!)

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