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Common Carpet Questions and Answers


Carpet Shedding and Fuzzing?

Q. I vacuum a lot, and in 2 months I got about 10 bags filled with carpet FUZZ. The store says it is because it is a heavy nylon carpet and will stop fuzzing in a couple of more months. I paid a lot of money for this home improvement. What's up with this?



Carpet Professor CapAnswer:


You bought a nylon carpet made from staple fibers, these are short pieces of nylon fiber, about 8 inches long. Better quality carpets are made of a continuous filament nylon, one long extruded strand. These carpets are labeled CF or BCF for "Continuous Filament". Yes, you will be vacuuming up fibers for awhile, but it will subside eventually, up to a year. You should have been told in advance that you were buying a carpet made with a staple fiber and that you would be seeing a lot of fuzz. 



Q. How would you know if you were getting a good deal on your carpet or flooring? 



Carpet Professor CapAnswer:


There is no carpet "Blue Book". There are no consumer advocate flooring magazines that I am aware of that will help you compare carpets.  My website offers the best and most complete information to help consumers obtain a square deal on carpet. Until now, all carpet buying consumers could hope to do was to shop around from one store to another to hopefully find another similar or identical products to be able to compare prices. It is very time consuming and not easy to compare carpets side by side.


Q. What about the great offers of Free Padding or Free Installation with my carpet purchase?



Carpet Professor CapAnswer:


Its easy to fall for those "FREE" gimmicks! It is very common for retailers to "hide" those FREE  items in the price you pay for the carpet. Make no mistake, they know if they can lure you into their store, then they'll have a good chance to convince you to buy carpet from them...Beware, you can spend hundreds more than you need to.... You can get a good deal on carpet but you need to get informed!



Q. What about the banner hanging outside the carpet store that says, "Wholesale to the public?" or Factory direct prices? Is this really true?



Carpet Professor CapAnswer:


No, their statements are just a play on words. Carpet retailers are middlemen, they have a brick and mortar store to operate and employees to pay. All these signs, banners and other gimmicks are used to lure you into their store. Once you go inside, they will use every trick in the book to get you to select one of their products and buy from them. Beware, you can save hundreds by avoiding these type of retailers.


The truth is, there really is no free lunch!  Anything offered to you for free will be charged to you one way or another, or else the free item is not worth having. Often, a retail flooring salesperson will ask you to feel how soft the carpet is with your hand. dig your fingers into the pile. Feel how thick and luxurious it is? Perhaps they will have you walk on a swatch of carpet with a square piece of pad underneath it to show you how good it feels underfoot. 


These common sales techniques are just like the test drive at the car dealership. If they can get you to imagine in your mind how great the carpet would look and feel in your home then they know you will buy it. You need to check out some carpet samples and take them home for a few days! This will give you the opportunity to consider and compare!

How a carpet feels and looks when it is new has absolutely no bearing on whether or not it is a quality product, if it will last, if it will clean easily, and especially if it is the right carpet for you!


  • Be very cautious, 

  • Do your homework, and learn about carpet fibers.

  • Don't fall for sales gimmicks and don't buy under sales pressure!

  • Don't be pressured into buying right now, take some samples home for a few days!

  • Take flooring samples home and take your time making your selection.

  • Tell them you want to take some carpet samples home and then take those samples to other carpet stores to compare prices with similar products. 



Q. Baseboards up off the floor?

We are remodeling our house and will be installing carpeting in the bedrooms over hardwood floors.  Should the baseboards be installed on top of the floor, or install 1/2 “ off the floor.    I have been given conflicting advice on this subject so am not sure which installation to go with.  One installer mentioned that it was better to have the baseboards flush with the floor so create a better seal and not allow air and dust to come up from under the house and prevent that dark edging that can occur around the perimeter of the room.



Carpet Professor CapAnswer:


You could go either way, but I think installing the baseboards 1/2" off the floor is best. If there is a gap (to prevent dust and airflow) it needs to be sealed first using some caulking. The tackstrip can then be installed after the molding is installed and be placed in the proper position for carpet installation.



Q. Are Carpet Specifications important?


We are shopping at Home Depot for carpet and noticed the weight, density and twist is listed on the back of each sample. Other carpet stores in the area don't list that information on their samples which makes it difficult to compare. How do I handle this and is that information critical to the carpet purchase?



Carpet Professor CapAnswer:


Some stores show the carpet specifics and some don't. Those that don't are hoping you won't ask. Would you buy a car without knowing what engine size it was? Of course not. So why buy carpet from a dealer that wants to keep you in the dark. I'd simply say, if you want my business I need to know the numbers, if you can't or won't provide them I will take my business elsewhere.


The Tuft Twist count is very critical. Defined as the number of twists each tuft has per inch, the more twists, the longer your carpet will look like new.  5 to 7 twist is good, less than 5 and your carpet will mat down faster. Frieze styles have the best twist ratings.


Pile Density or how thick the pile is, is important too. The more tufts per square inch the thicker the carpet. In a nutshell, if you can easily find the backing through the pile the density is low. If you have to work hard to separate the tufts to be able to see the backing, then the density is higher.


Fiber Face-Weight is important too. You need enough fiber weight if you want your carpet to last. 


With cheap carpets you can see the backing without spreading the tufts apart. Dense carpets don't crush as easily. It's like the grass on a putting green, thick and dense. Lots of thick grass is good and it wears well. Same goes with carpet. Learn more Carpet Specifications


How Much Should Carpet Cost?


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About The Carpet Professor:

Looking to buy new carpeting but feeling overwhelmed by all the choices, options and potential scams? The Carpet Professor's website is a free unbiased carpet information resource and buying guide for consumers. Alan Fletcher is a retired 30-year industry expert and consumer advocate. He maintains a special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores to recommend to his readers.


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