5 ways to ensure a quality carpet purchase

5 ways to ensure a quality carpet purchase

I have been a professional carpet cleaner and a carpet inspector for more than 30 years and I have heard many sad stories from home and business owners about what they wish they had done differently when they bought their floor covering. 

Below are some things I have learned that will help you get a top quality carpet, get it installed right and have the best possible carpet buying experience.

1. Know your retailer’s reputation

Purchase your carpet from an established flooring retailer with a good reputation. If you are an Angie’s List member, you are already on the right track. If your friend “knows a guy” or your “retailer” is selling carpet out of a van, this is not going to help you if the carpet has a manufacturing defect or problem later.

2. Insist on top quality carpet

There are lots of big box bargain stores or factory outlets that offer carpet at super low prices. In many cases, they are selling “seconds.” This could be carpet that did not make the cut and likely has a manufacturing related problem of some kind. 

They can sell cheap because they are buying this defective carpet for pennies on the dollar. Regardless of what they may tell you, such carpet has no manufacturers warranty.

3. Ask to see the warranty 

Ask for a copy of the manufacturer’s warranty for the carpet that you are considering. Don’t settle for the condensed summary that is printed on the sample. Remember that a warranty not only tells you what is covered, it also tells you what is not covered. 

4. Don’t skimp on the pad 

The cushion under the carpet is like the foundation of a building. Most carpet cushion is made of a urethane foam material that is rated by weight, which pad manufacturers refer to as density. 

It is not about thickness, but about density. The higher the density, the better the pad. A four-pound density is very light and will crush easily under furniture, leaving dents in the carpet that are difficult to remove. Six-pound density is considered to be medium density and will hold up longer. Eight-pound or higher will last much longer and help your carpet to last longer as well.

5. Have an installation plan 

A true professional flooring retailer will insist an coming to your home or business to measure all of the rooms and show you a drawing of where the carpet seams will be, what types of edges or transitions to rooms with different flooring materials will be used and so forth. A quality retailer wants you to be aware of how the carpet will be installed and will want your input and approval on these things ahead of time.

So, what if you do all of the above and still end up having a problem of some kind?

Carpet manufacturers generally have claims departments to help work things out for end users in a fair and equitable manner when their product has a legitimate manufacturing related defect. 

Even with rigorous quality control efforts, a small percentage of defective carpet can and does slip through. Manufacturers make allowance for this and have policies and procedures in place to help consumers and businesses to resolve problems with their product. 

Let your retailer and the manufacturer know that you want a carpet inspection performed by an IICRC Certified Senior Carpet Inspector. Carpet inspectors act as unbiased third parties to identify manufacturing defects in carpets. 

An inspector will thoroughly inspect the carpet, perform various tests and send a written inspection report to the manufacturer that will show conclusively whether or not the carpet has a defect that warrants replacement or not.

If you follow these guidelines, the odds are in your favor to get a great quality carpet and have a pleasant and positive carpet buying experience.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Mike Brummett is the owner of BASIC Carpet Care, providing carpet cleaning services in Lawrence, Kan. Since 1979, BASIC Carpet Care has specialized  in carpet repair, air rug and upholstery cleaning, furniture and carpet spot dyeing and carpet re-stretching. Mike is an IICRC certified master textile cleaner and senior carpet inspector. 

As of July 25, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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