New carpet: 4 Fundamental Questions (and answers) to Know Before Purchasing The thought of new carpet probably has you scratching your head.
- What will replacement cost?
- What should I buy?
- From who?
- What style?
If these are questions you have, you’re not alone—they’re the four most common questions we receive at Carpet Captain. We’ll not only answer these four questions but throw in some relevant tips to help with your purchase.
What does carpet cost?
Kind of like buying a car, there’s no one price you should pay when buying new carpet. However, there is a range for the most common types of carpet. Budget for $2 to $4 per square foot for decent quality new carpet. Also, add in about $1 per square foot to leave room for padding and installation. Some people ask if you can negotiate carpet, and just like a car or any other big purchase, you can. The best way to approach it is to be firm but respectful. Tell the retailer you really like a particular carpet, but you’d like to take a look at what some other stores have to offer unless they’re willing to cut you a better deal today.
Where should I buy my new carpet from?
Depending on your area, you’ll have many options on where you’ll buy carpet. But let’s separate them in 3 major groups: “big box”/corporate retailers, local stores, and other retailers. “Big box” stores are the large corporations you can find in any city. The benefit of these is sometimes they can offer lower costs due to their volume. However, many of these stores are notorious for luring customers in with marketing promises of “buy 3 rooms get 1 free” or other irresistible deals, only to have many hidden charges. Overall customer service and honest help picking out your carpet may be a little more difficult to come by at these stores. Local stores are the ones that have a maximum of 10 locations, most have 2 or 3 and may be “family owned.” These stores are often thought to be expensive. While they may not be the cheapest, many are also more transparent with their prices—the price they quote is exactly what you pay. Since many stores hide behind promotions, this makes comparison of prices difficult, and the local stores may be closer in price than you think. Since local stores live and die by word of mouth referrals versus large-scale marketing, they often have great customer service and knowledgeable staff. Other possible options include online retailers, 1800 retailers, door to door salesman, carpet wholesalers, and direct from installers. Each of these options can present great deals but all come with higher risk. If you go this route, be sure to check references, get (in writing) everything the salesman tells you, know where the business is based out of, and verify that it is established in this location in case you need to contact them.
How long should it last?
New carpet generally has a 10 year life, but it can last anywhere from 6 months to 50 years. Some of this has to do with how you take care of and use the carpet, but a lot of it also has to do with the type of new carpet you buy. Nylon and wool are some of the more durable carpet fibers, but both have their own pros and cons. Other important factors are the density, face weight, and twist level. Look for density of at least 2000, face weight of 35, and twist level of 5, but keep in mind, individual numbers can lie, so you have to look at the big picture.
What are the style options?
There are many styles of carpet, but here’s a secret: it really doesn’t matter which one you pick. Style will have a big impact on how your carpet looks but not a huge impact on performance. When you go shopping, you’ll be able to see the difference between common styles such as Berber, frieze, plush, and shag, and in most cases, you can pick whichever looks best. One style to be cautious with if you have animals or small children is Berber or any other looped style carpet. The animal’s claws can snag the loops and destroy the carpet.
Hopefully some of your most pressing carpet shopping questions have been answered. You’ll most likely have more questions pop up as you look for new carpet. If you do, carpetcaptain.com likely has the answer. It’s a resource designed specifically to help people who are looking for carpet.
Posted by: Brandon Terry, Author of carpetcaptain.com