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 Best Carpet Buying Q & A

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate


Q. Reasonable Price for Kathy Ireland Brand Carpet?


I am installing a Dri-Core sub-floor system in the 1,200 SF basement of my newly constructed home. The basement will serve as a family room & play area for my family which includes 2 children under the age of 5 and a de-clawed (front & back) cat. I have been looking for a good quality frieze carpet to put over the sub-floor.  


I have received a quote of $4.17 per square foot installed on the Kathy Ireland carpet listed below. I have had carpet installed from these folks before and have been very pleased with the installed carpet and the professionalism of their carpet installers. The carpet installation is $.44/SF. The carpet pad is an 8 lb. 7/16" rebond made from virgin materials which costs $.50/SF. This leaves the cost of carpet only at $3.23/SF. 


Does this price range sound reasonable for the style listed below? The carpet sample from the store does not have any information on pile twist, density, face wt., etc.


Alan's reply:

This is excellent carpet and may be just right for you. Kathy Ireland is a brand name carpet and thus is higher priced than other non-branded carpets. However, $5000+ is a lot to spend on 133 yards of carpet! I think you can do it for about $4200 or less and still get the high quality you are after, if you choose a less famous brand name.

The labor cost is reasonable, but I think the padding price is a little high. $3.50-4.00 would be a more reasonable price. They are charging you $4.50.


My advice: If you want to save some money here's what you can do: Select a non- branded carpet instead. Sure, Kathy Ireland has great colors and some that cannot be matched, but take the carpet sample, and shop at some other stores and see if you can find a comparable carpet to the one you are considering now. You should be able to find a comparable carpet for about $20-24.00 range. Padding cost should be about $4 Labor is about right at $4.00


Since you have two young children, and children spill a lot, you may want to consider a lesser grade of carpet and plan to re-carpet in 5 to 10 years. Many people do this because in a few years the children will not be as hard on the carpets and spills and stains will not be such an issue. No carpet warranty covers all types of stains. Either way you go, a nylon frieze is a good choice for you.



Is there a simple test to see if a Carpet is made of Nylon or Polyester?

Alan's reply:

There are no simple tests that I am aware of to quickly determine Nylon from Polyester. Nylon is stronger and more resilient than polyester but you would have to have a reference point in order to quickly identify them. Polyester is softer than nylon and there is also a difference in the melting point of the fibers. I am sure that a chemist would know a way to test these, but for consumers, it is not easy to tell the difference with the naked eye. Great question! Thanks!

Stinky Carpet?


Iíve just installed Mohawk wall-to-wall carpet throughout my home. I do not have the paperwork with me as I write this, but I remember it is a new type of carpet that resists pet problems more than any other type, and the pad is the standard type. The problem is a very strong odor has developed within 2 days of the install.


The odor resembles mildew...as if someone left wet towels piled up. Every room smells and it seems to be getting stronger every day. Now 5 days later, we have moved to a motel while the carpet people contact a rep from Mohawk and determine what the problem may be. They say they have never experienced this. Any ideas?

Alan's reply:

One of my most important rule for consumers for making a major purchase, (car, appliance, carpet) is to never buy a product that has just been released to the public. I always wait until all the bugs have been ironed out and make sure that the product has stood the test of time. In this case, it sounds like you have purchased Mohawk's newly released Odor Eaters Carpet.


Now, while I do not know what the smell is, I would be willing to make an educated guess that it has something to do with a reaction between the Odor Eater chemicals, and the type of padding you have used. I am very interested in knowing what the carpet rep has to say. Please keep me informed!



Best Carpet Selection for Living Room


I have learned so much about buying carpet by reading your web-site. What a wealth of information! My husband and I have pretty much made up our minds about the carpet we are going to purchase for our living room and hall. I thought that I would run it by you first, just to see if we had done our homework correctly. We have two older children and no pets. We are looking at a Mohawk product called Bigelow Chateau. It is 100% DuPont Tactesse BCF nylon. Its face weight is 45 ounces. We will pay approx. $27/square yard. The pad that has been suggested is a rebond pad that is 8lb. for approx. $5/square yard. What do you think?


Alan's Response:


I'm sure it is a beautiful carpet! The price is good and I think it will do you nicely. The padding is where I see a little problem. $5 per yard for 8 pound rebond is HIGH. Not only that, but your carpet does not require an 8 pound pad, a 6 pound pad would be less expensive and a little softer underfoot. The 8-pound pad would be quite a bit stiffer. A good 6 pound, 7/16 inch, rebond should only be about $3 per yard (unless you live in Hawaii or Alaska). That will save you $2 per yard! I bet you will save at least a hundred bucks and be happier with the outcome. Thanks for the kind comments! 



What is the best type of carpet you recommend for a older dog?


I am thinking of purchasing a Mohawk carpet, the heavier weight one that is made out of the recycled plastics. I have been told that this is easy to clean, but I thought that nylon was the easiest to spot clean? I have an older dog that does have urine accidents and this is what I am faced with. I plan on putting down a moisture barrier pad, that I think will help w/the cleaning. What is the best type of carpet you recommend for this situation?


Answer: The recycled plastic carpet you mentioned is made of polyester the worst fiber to make carpet from. Please don't buy polyester, you will not be happy with it. You need to buy nylon, with stain resisting treatment applied. Don't spend a lot on the carpets where your dog will be mostly, because if your dog does his duty often your carpet will not survive very long. Although nylon cleans the best, dog urine never completely comes out. Don't spend a lot on special pad, whether urine is on it or in it won't make that much of a difference. 


You are better off sealing your floors underneath so the urine doesn't soak into the wood or concrete. Trust me, I am a first-hand expert on pet urine. If you need more info on this procedure let me know.


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