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How to Select the Right Grade of Carpet

Alan J Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert and Trusted Consumer Advocate


Fifty years ago all carpets were made to last a lifetime if cared for properly. 


Not any more!


Today you MUST buy a carpet that is designed to meet or exceed your needs, goals and lifestyle or else you will end up with a carpet that wears out way faster than you might expect!


During the 1960's, there were basically three grades of carpet to choose from. Good, better and best. The lowest grade carpet was designed to last 10-20 years or more before it would show any signs of wearing out. Medium and high grades could easily last a lifetime. Many of these 60 year old carpets are still in use today in homes all across America, and still look good!. 


We still see nylon carpets in homes that were originally installed in the 1960's and 1970's. They were made of a heavy gauge NYLON and they survived because they wear like iron. All homeowners had to do was give them a good cleaning every few years and their carpet would look like new again, year after year.


Today, like everything else, carpets are not made nearly as durable as they once were. Today carpet makers cut corners wherever they can to save money and offer a different grade of carpet for every situation. Carpet manufacturers today make at least 12 basic grades of carpet to choose from. The trick for homeowners is knowing which grade of carpet to buy that can meet their expectations and still be affordable.  


Here is a basic explanation of carpet grades and how they might fit into your needs and budget...



Carpet Grades Explained:


There are at least 3 grades of low-end carpets designed for apartments, rental property and is typically called "builders Grade" carpet. These low-cost carpets are only designed to last 3 to 5 years at best. The face weights are generally 22 ounces to 30 ounces. Prices range from $8 per square yard to $15 per square yard for the carpet only. If you are a landlord with apartments or rental property, visit my Landlord Floors Website designed to help you save money on carpet and flooring replacement costs.


There are at least 6 medium carpet grades for those who want a carpet to last for 6 to 15 years. Face-weights range from 30 ounces to 40 ounces. Prices range $18 to $30 per yard for the carpet only. The pile height, tuft twist and pile density are three factors that determine how long the carpet will last and prices increase accordingly. What makes one carpet better than another?


There are at least 3 high-end grades for those who want their carpet to last 15-20 years or more and are willing to pay dearly for it. 


With high- end carpet grades you can expect:


  • The best quality fiber, usually Stainmaster nylon 6.6 or wool. These are made very well, easier to clean, more resilient, resist fading, better color choices, more durable, more styles to choose from, etc.

  • You always get a much better backing system. The backing will have a much tighter weave, is much heavier construction, better materials and is much more durable. This also helps prevent wrinkling and delaminating.

  • The pile density will be higher, often more than 3000. Higher density carpets can tolerate higher traffic applications and and increased ease of cleaning.

  • The tuft-twist rating will be higher (in the 6 to 9 range). Higher tuft-twists make carpets retain their like-new appearance longer. 

  • Costs will be $45 to $85 per square yard for carpet only. Pad and install is extra. Expect to pay more for installation as these high quality carpets are usually heavier and more difficult to install. 


I've just mentioned 12 different grades of carpet to make it easy to understand. But in reality, there are dozens of varying grades of carpet to choose from, all at varying prices and warranty levels. Higher price does not always mean it is a better carpet. Thicker or higher face-weight carpets are not always worth more or more durable. The type of fiber you choose is very critical. Nylon is always a better choice than Polyester if you want your carpet to last a long time and not mat down quickly.


Choosing the wrong grade of carpet is the biggest mistake you can make. Why? Because the carpet you buy MUST meet your needs and goals or you will not get the results that you desire. Why spend thousands on a carpet that won't last as long as you hope? How Much Does Carpet Cost?


You Need To Read This: 


Need to buy a good carpet? Why spend thousands on a cheaply-made, low-quality carpet that will wear out and mat down before you know it? On the other side of the coin, why spend hundreds or thousands more than you need to,  if your going to move in a couple of years? 


Let's be sensible...


If you want your carpet to last for just 5 years, you shouldn't spend more any than is necessary to achieve that goal. The trick is knowing how to determine which grade of carpet can do the best job for you at the lowest possible cost. 


Don't put complete or blind trust in any carpet salesperson. 


Few carpet salespeople are going to be willing to help you achieve your goals. Why? Because most commissioned carpet salespeople are not willing take the time to ask you the important questions that are necessary to help you choose new carpet wisely. They will likely applaud any carpet choice you make, and tell you that it is a good choice whether it is a good choice for your needs and goals or not. 


Homeowners need to learn how to choose the right carpet and avoid bad advice from sly carpet salespeople. I have already helped over a million homeowners since 1998.


Start by taking my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet will best meet your needs and goals. Then allow me to help you choose the Right Grade of Carpet for the Best possible Price from a trusted locally-owned carpet dealer that I recommend near you!





Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers

It's getting harder everyday to find an honest and reputable carpet dealer! That's why I have been putting together my own special hand-picked list of Carpet Dealers who are locally owned, give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and hire qualified installers.

See who I recommend near you!

How to select carpet and pad, get qualified installation, avoid carpet scams and get a fair deal! 




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