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Carpet Buying Q & A

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate


Buying New Carpet at Wholesale Prices

There are wholesale carpet sellers that advertise on the Internet. Is it safe or sensible to buy a carpet through any of these sources? Will I save money if I buy this way and hire an independent carpet installer?


Alan's reply:

I usually consider it too risky for most homeowners to buy something so expensive from someone in cyberspace. Too many things can go wrong. I always recommend buying from a local "family owned" carpet retailer, but not a national chain store or home improvement warehouse. That's where I believe you will get your money's worth. 


Learn more: How to buy Carpet Wholesale



Apartment Carpet


I live in Long Beach California and own an 827 sq. ft. condo that I will be renting. Approximately, how much should I pay for a nylon plush carpet? Don't count the extra fees, your website helped me out with that.


Alan's reply:


In a rental you could pay a little a $6.00 per yard for apartment grade carpet, or pay a little more ($7-$10) for an upgraded carpet. I don't recommend spending too much money on the carpet, renters rarely take well care of it and you could end up replacing it more often than you think. Don't buy from a retailer; buy from an apartment carpet vendor. 


Don't know of any? Call a local apartment complex and ask them who they use. Then call the carpet vendor and tell them you have an apartment that needs carpet and want to have their rep come by with some samples and to measure your place and to give you a firm bid. Tell them you will be a cash account and will provide a check for the job upon completion. This is the best way for you to go. It will save you a lot of money. Let me know how this works out for you.



Is This the Right Grade of Carpet?


I have no pets, small home, 2 adults. Want something that is easy to take care of and wears well. I live in a wooded area, so fir needles can get tracked in, but basically, we donít wear shoes in the house and donít have any out of the ordinary things going on that would trash a carpet (non smoking etc) I am looking at a carpet that is 100% Solutia Inc Wear-Dated Nylon, Average face weight is 61.3, twist is 5.5, density is 3108. 


I donít know if this is good, bad or indifferent, because it is so hard to compare carpets. I know you recommend nylon. Do those numbers sound ok? Of course, our budget does play into this and we canít afford to just buy the most expensive carpet there is in order to be sure to get the best. Should we be looking at something different?  


Alan's reply:


This sounds like a great carpet for you. However, your work is not done yet. You have not mentioned the price they are charging you for this carpet, and in order to help you be sure you get a good deal, I need to know the brand and style of this carpet and what store you plan on buying it from. You also still need to decide on the right pad, and get it installed properly. Give me some more details and I will help you save some dough. Also, tell me what town you live in. 


Take a look at my free Carpet Durability Chart 



How visible should carpet seams be when first installed?

When my wife and I were shopping for our new carpet I discovered your website. It was amazingly informative and saved us big trouble. We were starting from scratch and were all set to buy polyester from a discount store. Your site really got me thinking about long term value and instead we went to a local family carpet store that had been in the neighborhood for 40 years. We bought a beautiful 68 oz. Lee True Traditions ANSO Crush Resistor III with a 19# Ultimate Bigelow rubber waffle pad. They installed Monday and it's beautiful. Plush too, like walking on air.

However, I do notice the lines where the seams meet in doorways and such. I called our salesperson and she said that these lines would go away over time as the carpet wears in. She said to give it a couple weeks and if the lines don't go away to let her know and they'll make it right. This is our first (and I hope last) wall to wall carpet and I just wanted to get your opinion of this. How visible should seams be when first installed?

Alan's reply:


I bet you bought a light colored carpet, perhaps an off-white or tan? Just a guess, but light colored carpets are much harder to hide seams than are darker colors. Chances are, your seams will not look any better in two weeks than they do today. So, what can they do to make them look less obvious? Well, perhaps they can trim them up a bit or in some cases redo the seams. It doesn't mean they will look any better when they are redone.


If I am correct and you have selected a light colored carpet, you may have to live with the seams just the way they are. Jim, if these seams are very obvious and unsightly, you should expect them to fix it. 


On the other hand, if the seams are noticeable to you because you know exactly where they are, or they are really not too obvious, then perhaps you might think about just having them come out to trim them up a bit and go with that.


My advice: Ask a neighbor to come over and see if they can easily find the seams. If they walk in and are quickly able to point out where the seams are (without you telling them where they are!) then you have ugly seams and you should call and complain, but do it quickly! If your neighbor cannot easily find them, then don't be quite so concerned. Remember that no seam is totally invisible, but you should expect them to not appear too obvious or ugly! 


What carpet is best for a family room with heavy traffic?


We are considering carpeting a family room with either Master's Choice - style Chokio, which is rated for heavy use, face weight of 52 ounces, twist of 7.5, and density of 1910 made of 100% DuPont Stainmaster Xtra Life Nylon, or: Traffic-master (Wear-Dated Carpet II) style Pacesetter , rated about 3.7 for performance (at high end of active traffic wear), 100 % Solutia Wear-Dated II Nylon, twist of 3.85, density of 3.772, and face weight of 72 ounces. Would greatly appreciate your opinion. There are no children in our household, and this is a low traffic area


Answer: Given your application and low traffic situation, either selection would be a great one. You are considering two wonderful quality carpets. They both have the capability to last a lifetime if cared for. If it were me, I would select the least expensive (Master's Choice) of the two, and then take little vacation with the savings. You have done your homework well, good job! 


Follow-up reply:


Thank you so much for replying so promptly and with specific information. I now feel more confident about my choice (which will be the Master's Choice as you suggested). Really appreciate this service! 




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Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers


It's getting hard to find a reputable carpet dealer these days! That's why I've created a special hand-picked list of over 400 locally owned Carpet Dealers who offer Free estimates, fair prices, knowledgeable staff, honest measuring and qualified installers. See my Recommended Carpet Dealers near you!



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Carpet Durability Guide Chart

Carpet Price vs. Longevity Guide

Carpet and Pad Pricing Chart



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