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How To Choose the "Right Grade" Carpet for You!

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert, Consumer Advocate aka The Carpet Professor


What Homeowners Need To Know First...


I don't sell or install Carpet anymore, I retired after 30+ years in the carpet business and now enjoy helping homeowners learn how to save time & money, avoid retail carpet scams, and make wise & informed Carpet buying choices. It doesn't get any better than that! Looking to buy new carpet soon? I can help you and it is a totally FREE service! 



How To Avoid Common Retail Carpet Scams


There are literally dozens of common Carpet Scams and sneaky retailer Sales Gimmicks you need to watch out for. Make the wrong carpet and padding choices and you can easily overpay by hundreds or more. Even worse is when your new carpet does not last as long as you had hoped. That's why it's so important that you take the time to learn how to choose new carpet wisely and then make sure you buy from an honest, reputable, and locally-owned Carpet Dealer



Honest Carpet Information for Homeowners


First, never blindly trust anything you read on the internet because most of the Carpet Information I find posted online is either wrong, incomplete or misleading. There are dozens of websites that offer free information and advice. Of the dozens I have read, few offer any wisdom or advice that could be helpful to you in the long run.


Websites that sell carpet or who are affiliated with a carpet manufacturer will only tell you the good qualities of their products and forget to mention any of the bad qualities that you really need to know about before you can make a wise choice!





Carpet Specifications


Stainmaster DisplayHow well a Carpet is made plays a huge part in how long it can last and the materials used will determine its level of durability. Every carpet made has it's own unique set of manufacturing specifications that determine the capabilities of that carpet. Take a look at my special Carpet Durability Guide



Carpet Fibers


The most common carpet fibers today are Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, P.E.T., and Sorona. (aka Smartstrand) Each Carpet fiber has its own good and not-so-good qualities, traits and benefits. This is key information you need to know. Learn what you need to know about Carpet Fibers



Carpet Durability


How long do you want your new carpet to last? This is a very important question you need to be able to answer before you can choose the right carpet for your home. Expect to spend more if you want your carpet to last longer. You need to determine your level of foot traffic so you can select the correct carpet grade or level of durability. 





Take My Free Carpet Foot-Traffic Test


The real secret to choosing the right carpet for your home is to select a grade of carpet that is capable of meeting your needs, goals, and lifestyle. Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to help determine What Grade of Carpet is designed to meet or exceed your needs and goals.


Carpet scams are everywhere and it's hard to avoid them! The easiest way to avoid becoming the victim of a scam is to buy from an honest and Reputable Carpet Dealer.


I never recommend buying carpet or flooring from a big box home improvement retailer like Lowe's and Home Depot or from a nationally advertised retail conglomerate like Empire Today or Costco. Learn about Common Carpet Scams


I have found homeowners typically get the best service from locally owned flooring dealers. I have gathered my own special list of flooring dealers that I prefer, I may know of an honest and reputable Carpet Dealer near you to visit and get a free in-home measure and estimate.


No matter who you buy from, you need to make sure to choose your new carpet wisely, select the correct padding and have your carpet installed properly. In addition to all that, you need to make sure you get a fair and square price AND maintain your new carpet within the strict guidelines of the manufacturer's limited carpet warranty.



Smartstrand vs. Stainmaster Carpet Cost and Pricing


Everyone wants to know about Stainmaster and Mohawk Smartstrand Carpet Prices and although these are just two of the many quality carpet brands on the market today, Stainmaster and Mohawk do a lot of national advertising and their carpet prices are typically a bit higher as a result of that. Learn more about Smartstrand and Stainmaster Carpet Fibers.


Lowe's now carries Stainmaster Carpet and their prices are difficult to compare with other locally-owned carpet retailers because they use private labels to prevent you from comparison shopping. They purposely change the style name and color name on their samples to make comparison shopping difficult for you. Read more about Carpet Prices


The main three carpet manufacturers today are Mohawk, Shaw and Beaulieu (pronounced Bowl-you). These big three mills have bought up most of the smaller carpet mills in recent years. This makes for a less competitive marketplace and increases carpet prices for the consumer. See my List of Over 60 Carpet Mill Websites



Homeowners Be On Guard for Carpet Scams!


There are plenty of unscrupulous Shop-at-home Carpet Retailers who are hoping for the chance to take advantage of you. Most of these advertise heavily on TV and offer special deals that sound too good to be true. Their goal is to scam you out of your hard-earned money by selling you a low-quality carpet at a high-quality price. They don't care if your new carpet meets your needs or goals, they only care about making as much profit as possible. They tend to hire pushy sales people who specialize in closing the deal in the comfort of your home! Learn more at: 


Choosing New Carpet wisely and saving the most money possible requires that you learn a few important facts. So before you begin shopping for Carpet you need to learn a few things about how Carpet is made and a little bit about padding and installation too. I've posted dozens of web pages here for you to read and learn from, and it's all totally free. Learn about Carpet Fibers






The #1 Problem with Choosing New Carpet


It can be quite difficult for homeowners to tell the difference between a cheaply made carpet and a well-made carpet. You can't always tell just by looking at the carpet or by feeling the top surface of the carpet. Some carpet salespeople will tell you to rub your hand across the surface of the carpet to feel how soft it is. Yes it is soft, however this softness has little to do with the grade level or quality of the carpet in question. Learn about Carpet Comparison






Some carpet salespeople may tell you they cannot obtain or access the carpet specifications you want or say that they are not available anymore. This is total nonsense! Carpet specifications are readily available from the mill or from the manufacturers sales rep. It may take a couple of days to get them, but they are available if the salesperson is willing to take the time to help you obtain them. 


The only carpet mill I know of that does not freely provide specs to consumers is Karastan. They make high-end carpets and I guess they think you shouldn't need to ask for their carpet specs since they claim to only make the highest quality carpets. They also have the highest cost too! 


Buy Karastan carpets at your own risk, but don't expect to get any help if you want to know anything about their carpet specifications. Call them, maybe this has changed since I wrote this article. Here is their number... 1-800-234-1120 or visit their website at 


I think every homeowner must have free and unfettered access to Carpet Specifications in order to help determine if the carpet has sufficient quality to meet your needs, goals and lifestyle. Unfortunately, way too  many unscrupulous carpet retailers often remove, alter or hide the Carpet Specifications so you don't have complete access to them. Without complete access to all the carpet specifications it is impossible to determine if the carpet in question is capable of tolerating your level of foot-traffic for the length of time you require. Learn more about Carpet Specifications



New Carpet Warranties are Practically Worthless!


Based on what I've learned over my 30+ years in the Carpet business, My advice is that you should never choose a carpet based solely on the new carpet warranty or the Manufacturer's Wear Rating


Commonly advertised carpet "Wear Warranties" or  "PAR Ratings" or something similar are not as accurate or beneficial as you might hope it is, and in my 30+ years, I have never heard of any homeowner getting their carpet replaced due to a discrepancy with a carpet "Wear Warranty".  


Sadly, except for the "manufacturing defect" part of the warranty, where an obvious manufacturing defect is blatantly obvious, my personal experience has shown time and again that most new carpet warranties are rarely worth the paper they are written on and are practically worthless. 


Carpet Manufacturers know how to "legally" word their new carpet warranties in such a way to make it nearly impossible for homeowners to substantiate a valid claim. Even if you manage to prove your claim, they seldom replace the entire carpet, they usually replace only the affected areas and just give you a small in-store credit that is pro-rated based on the size and age of the affected carpet. You may also be responsible for moving your furniture and paying for some additional installation fees and charges. Here is what you need to know: Learn about Carpet Stain Warranties



Learn more about Carpet Installation Cost


Read more about the Cost to Buy Carpet.



Featured Article: When is the Best Time to Buy New Carpet?


Carpet Buying Q & A


Read Over 200 Common Carpet Questions & Answers


Page 1      Q & A - Over 200 Common Carpet Questions & Answers!

Page 2      How visible should Carpet Seams be?

Page 3      Can I "Haggle" with Carpet Retailers?

Page 4      Does fiber face-weight have any bearing on the quality of a Carpet?

Page 5      What's the best Carpet for high traffic areas?

Page 6      Should I buy Berber Carpet if I have pets?

Page 7      My Carpet is matting down, what should I do now?

Page 8      What do you think about Empire Today?

Page 9      How do I select a durable, long-lasting Carpet? 

Page 10    Should I buy Carpet from Home Depot or Lowe's?

Carpet Cost:  Stainmaster® and Smartstrand® Carpet Cost and Prices?  Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers


It's getting harder to find a reputable Carpet Dealer! That's why I've created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned Carpet Dealers nationwide. I believe that every homeowner deserves to be treated Right! And that includes getting FREE Estimates, Fair Prices, knowledgeable Salespeople, Honest Measuring and Qualified Installation! 

See Who I Recommend Near You!


  | Honest Carpet Information for Consumers. How to Buy New Carpet Without Getting Ripped-Off, Free Unbiased Carpet Information & Advice for Homeowners. Stainmaster carpet prices, Carpet cost, Lowe's carpet, Measure carpet, polyester carpet, Stainmaster carpet, Sorona carpet, Smartstrand carpet 












Free Carpet Foot Traffic Test    Carpet Q&A   Big Box Carpet Scams  

Carpet Installation Cost    Carpet Wrinkles - Top 10 Causes

Alan's Best Carpet Cleaning Directory   Common Questions & Answers   

Should I buy New Carpet or have my old Carpet Cleaned?    About Carpet Pad


Carpet Installation Cost - Common Extra Fees and Charges


Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers   Is Stainmaster the Best Carpet Brand?   Sitemap 

Learn more about Carpet Specifications      Learn How to Avoid Common Carpet Scams

How to Install Carpet - Safety    Carpet Installation   How To Measure Carpet

Learn more about Carpet Specifications      Learn How to Avoid Common Carpet Scams


Free Carpet Buying Checklist:    My Blog:





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