Carpet Professor

Free Carpet Information and Buying Guide


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By Alan Fletcher - 30 Yr Carpet Expert / Consumer Advocate - I do not sell carpet. ABC



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There are many questions you need to ask the installers before they begin installing your new carpet. There are also many questions you need to ask after your new carpet is installed. 


When the installer arrives, First, make sure he brought the right carpet and padding that you ordered. 


Do a walk around throughout your home with the installer before they begin. Make sure you know where all the carpet seams are to be placed. You have spent a small fortune on this new carpet project so make sure you are involved in every detail of the installation process. 


You should also do a complete walk-through with the installer AFTER your new carpet has been installed and before he leaves your home, to make sure everything has been done to your complete satisfaction. 


Don't be afraid to point out anything that you think is not right, unusual or odd. If you complain, and say that your installation has not been done properly, your complaint may be dismissed as frivolous. 


Sly carpet installers or retail carpet managers might try to convince you that ugly seams will eventually look better over time. This is never true. Ugly seams today will not look better in the days or weeks following installation. They are hoping that you will stop complaining and live with the poor quality of installation you have received if they ignore or invalidate your complaints. 


Never pay the final amount due until you are completely satisfied with the installation!



More Facts You Need To Know:


Before You Buy New Carpet:



During The Carpet Buying Process...


  • Shop for The Grade of Carpet you require first, and then find several carpet styles and colors that you like.

  • Take several carpet samples home to consider your best carpet choice for style and color.

  • Get estimates from several locally-owned carpet dealers (click here to see who I recommend near you)

  • Get all bids and estimates in writing and have every detail written in the contract! Do not accept verbal promises.

  • Don't be pressured into buying or agree to buy on the first in-home visit. (in-home or in-store)

  • Take your time selecting new carpet. Take samples home. Compare side by side. 

  • Make sure you get accurate carpet measurements. Estimates will vary. Learn about measuring for carpet yourself.

  • Take your time choosing the right carpet and padding for your needs and goals.

  • Keep the original carpet sample until after the carpet has been installed, for comparison purposes.

  • Keep your carpet sales receipt and make sure the price of the carpet is shown separate from the price of the pad and installation. You will need this as proof if you ever need to file a warranty claim.

  • Obtain a complete copy of your New Carpet Warranty and read it. (read your new carpet warranty)



If you plan to hire an independent Carpet or Flooring installer... Read this article


  • You have the right to know the name of everyone who is working in and around your home!

  • Ask for the full name and phone number of the installer, and the names of all the helpers.

  • Ask for his State Issued Contractor's License Number. Verify it online here.

  • Ask if he has a surety bond and liability Insurance. 

  • Ask for an insurance rider to be issued in your name and mailed or faxed to you prior to having any work performed. (it takes about a week to mail it)

  • If he has helpers, ask to see the Worker's Compensation Policy Rider that lists the names of all helpers.

  • Check the policy dates carefully to make sure the policies are current and all premiums have been paid.

  • How to Verify a Contractor's License, Surety Bond, Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation Insurance Policy (Check your State Regulations here)



Before The Installers Arrive, On Installation Day:


  • Have all the furniture, wall pictures and knick-knacks removed from all areas to be carpeted.

  • Make sure all jewelry/valuables are put away safe and secure. Do not expose your purse/wallet/checkbook.

  • Have all rooms pre-heated to at least 70 degrees, at least 3 hours before and during installation.

  • Make sure kids and pets are safely out of the way in all areas to be carpeted.

  • Never allow kids or pets to roam freely during installation.



On Installation Day, Verify these things before they begin work: 


  • Did they bring carpet of the right color, style and grade you paid for?

  • Did they bring the correct padding type, thickness and density?

  • Are there any visible carpet defects? (have them roll it out so you can see if possible)

  • Will they be using a power-stretcher? This is a must!

  • Will there be any additional installation fees or charges? You don't want any surprises!

  • Have they discussed seam locations with you? Make sure you know where the seams will be.

  • Will they be replacing all the transitions with approved styles and colors? Don't allow re-using of old transitions.

  • Will they roll up and leave all sizable carpet leftovers for you? You may need these for future repairs.



After Installation...Inspect Your Newly Installed Carpet (Before the installer leaves!)


  • Do all the seams look good? (No seam is invisible, but should not be obvious)

  • Are seams in the best locations? Seams should NOT be placed in high-traffic areas if at all possible.

  • Is the carpet neatly tucked-in along the room perimeter?

  • Is the carpet NAP going in the same direction in all connecting rooms? 

  • Is the carpet stretched in tightly? Make sure there are loose areas, no visible waves or ripples.

  • Have all the doors and heater floor vents been put back in place?

  • Have all the leftover scraps been picked up? Have they vacuumed thoroughly?

  • Did you get your installation warranty in writing?

  • Did you get the name and phone number of your installer?



  The Carpet Professor Says: Want your new carpet to last longer?


Carpet Care and Maintenance... How to make your carpet last years longer!


  • Consider buying a new vacuum. Visit my Best Vacuums page to learn about types and prices.





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