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Carpet Questions & Answers

By Alan Fletcher - Carpet Expert and Consumer Advocate


Q. I bought a new house last year and the carpet is less than 1 1/2 years. My roommate has a cat the messed up the carpet 20 times? Is it better to steam clean it or Chem-dry it? Is there a better way?


Alan's Reply:

You have a problem. 20 times is a lot of mess. If it was solid mess then a steam cleaning might do the trick, If it was urine, it has soaked into the carpet and pad and may not be easy to get rid of the smell, if at all. Even so, I would try hiring a professional steam cleaner, it would give results much better than renting a store machine. 


Q. I am re-carpeting my bedroom. I have heard different things about carpet padding. Is 7/16, 6-pound padding a good pad to get.


Alan's Reply:

Yes that would be a standard padding. It would not work for all carpets though, Berbers and other commercial goods need special padding. Read more about  Carpet Pad


Q. We have two active dogs, and we are looking for new carpeting in our house. Would you recommend Stainmaster?


Alan's Reply:

Most carpets come with anti stain protection and they are all good. Some are
better than others. With active dogs you want to avoid Berber carpets and
any carpet with loops. Stainmaster carpets, Mohawk, Shaw, they all have good
and not so good carpets. Selecting the right carpet when you have active dogs is not as easy as it was in years past. You have to buy a very durable carpet. What brand you select is not as important as the fiber, twist and density ratings.


Q. So, now that I have this P.E.T. Polyester plastic carpet and it is matting down exactly as you said it would on your informative site, what can I legally do now? This is a carpet nightmare. I filed with the BBB and the owner of the shop came and an inspector (independent) came just today. Wish I had done more of my homework and knew of your site.


Alan's Reply:

The carpet makers cover themselves very well in their limited warranties. They don't usually cover crushing or matting which is what you are experiencing. Sometimes they (the retailer) will replace your carpet if you make enough stink about it and they are willing to save face in the community. But in most cases you are up a creek without a paddle. 


Your best bet to get a decent resolution (carpet replaced or a store credit) is to convince the retailer (not the mill rep) that you have a lot of friends, relatives, large church congregation, PTA members, etc. And that you will be informing all of them about this transaction, if you are not satisfied with the final outcome. 

Word of mouth is the most important factor for most locally owned businesses and a negative vibe in the community can surely take its financial toll on any business. If you bought from a smaller local dealer I think your chances for a satisfactory outcome is better than if you bought from a big box retailer like Home Depot or a shop-at-home conglomerate like Empire Today. 


You cannot win against the carpet mill by legal pursuits or intimidation alone, they have clearly defined limitations in their warranty. This does not mean that they (the mill) won't side with you and agree to replace your carpet, they may. But if they do, it is usually only because they cherish the relationship with the retailer and may agree to replace the carpet in order to keep the retailer happy. 


You want the retailer to be on your side and be willing to go to bat for you so don't make enemies by being totally unreasonable or hard to deal with. The retailer may say to their mill rep that "we do a lot of business with you guys, and we want you to take care of this issue because if you don't we may decide not order as much carpet from you in the future, there are other mills to order from who are more helpful to us and our clients.


I hope to prevent others from going through your "nightmare" so I will post your story on my site if you will allow me. I am very interested in hearing all the details from start to finish if you have the time. What did the salesperson tell you about this carpet before you bought it? Did you get a copy of the warranty? How long was it installed before you noticed the problems developing?


Polyester is a cheap fiber to manufacture and they make a lot of money selling it. It sure looks good when it is new and is so soft. It is really deceiving to the general public who usually knows very little about carpets. Well, I hope this helps you to understand the position you are in, and how to best gain leverage and exactly where to focus your attention.



Q. I would like to install Mohawk Berber carpet in our basement (an olefin/nylon blend). The house has been waterproofed, but when we get a very severe storm, some minor seepage can still happen, usually leaking from the foundation onto the floor. I have chosen a 65 oz. Mohawk Berber, but the salesman worries that it is so thick that it will not dry out should seepage occur. The next lesser weight down is 52 oz.; am I better off with that?



Alan's Reply:



If you have the possibility of water getting to the carpet then I suggest you either fix the problem or forget Berber. Water is the worst enemy of Berber, regardless of the face weight. A wet Berber will fall apart. Try it yourself, take a small piece of Berber carpet and run it under the tap for a moment, Wait one minute and then you can easily peal the backing right off. The loops will pull right out without any difficulty. The problem is, they use a lot of latex to hold the loops into the backing and once water soaks in, the (water-based) latex fails and the loops are free to unravel.



Are Any Frieze Carpet Styles Available Wider Than 12 Feet?


Do you know of any manufacturers that sell frieze carpet in something wider than 12' width? We have a room layout that will not work with 12' width and we are pulling our hair out trying to find something we like in a 13'6" or 15' width.
We have found some Saxony carpets, 100% nylon, twist 5, density 3108, face weight 58 oz, but we don't know if this will take the high traffic of our hallway and living room. Also we aren't sure we like the way it looks. 


We really want frieze, but we have only found ONE in over 12' and we've looked and looked. We found one by Milliken in 13' 6" (which will work) but it is pricey. The density seems rather low at 1874. Twist is 7.5 TPI, and weight is 40 oz. Which one of these do you think will stand up to heavy foot traffic and kids best? If you could point out any other wider frieze carpet we would be grateful.



Alan's Response:


I would suggest having your salesperson contact their various mill representatives by phone or email and ask them what Friezes are available in wider sizes. The mill rep. can then make arrangements to make those samples available to you.

While the Saxony and frieze carpets you have mentioned are plenty durable for your needs, I always suggest that my clients buy the carpet they like best. Don't settle for a Saxony when you really want a frieze (my favorite). If all specs are virtually alike, a Frieze style will inherently more expensive than a Saxony style but will retain its like-new appearance longer due to the tighter tuft-twist.



Read More Q & A


Alan's Preferred Carpet Dealers


It's getting hard to find a reputable carpet dealer these days! That's why I've created a special hand-picked list of over 400 locally owned Carpet Dealers who offer Free estimates, fair prices, knowledgeable staff, honest measuring and qualified installers, And my personal recommendation! It doesn't get any better than that! See my list of Recommended Carpet Dealers near you!


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How to get the best deal on new carpet and avoid carpet scams. Get honest answers to your carpet questions. Free Consumer Carpet buying advice. Best basement carpet, carpet buying advice, Carpet buyers guide, Carpet comparison, carpet measuring,  Lowe's carpet, Home depot carpet, Empire carpet, carpet scams.



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Carpet Specifications Explained

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Best Carpet Choice for Kids Dogs Cats & Pets?

Retail Carpet Scams and Rip-Offs Revealed

Buy Carpet at Home Depot Costco Empire or Lowe's?



Carpet Padding Choices

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Types of Carpet Padding

Specialized Carpet Pads



Carpet Installation Facts

Carpet Installation Cost

How to Find a Qualified Carpet Installer



FREE Forms, Guides, Charts and Coupons

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Carpet Durability Guide Chart

Carpet Price vs. Longevity Guide

Carpet and Pad Pricing Chart



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