Author Topic: Buying New Carpet  (Read 1332 times)

jtraggie99

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Buying New Carpet
« on: July 11, 2018, 07:58:22 AM »
I need to replace the carpet in my 3 bedrooms, probably around 600 sqft worth.  I have never bought carpet in my life.  And aside from my assumption that it is supposed to be pretty cheap (which I have found is not necessarily the case), I know nothing.  I've started doing some research, but I would greatly welcome any advice or suggestions that anyone has.  I am trying to do this as inexpensively as possible, but I also don't want something that is going to took terrible and beaten down within a few years.

dcheesi

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2018, 08:14:43 AM »
All I can tell you what NOT to do. I went to Lowe's on a Sunday, and wound up dealing with some random guy who didn't even normally work in that department. He entered in my order, but everything was screwed up, so the dept didn't know what kind of carpet I ordered. Which in turn meant that the guy they sent to measure my rooms used the wrong roll width in determining how much carpet was needed. The guys who installed it had to cut down carpet in places, and of course wound up with lots of wasted material.

I was trying to save money by going with a cheaper carpet (prepping the house for sale). But by the time you added in all the wastage, I could have had the better quality carpet for almost the same amount.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2018, 08:34:22 AM »
If you plan on staying in the home, consider a budget friendly carpet, but an upgraded pad.

Our house has a super upgraded pad and it's a noticeable, positive difference. If we ever replaced carpet we'd ensure that we had a good pad.

jtraggie99

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2018, 08:37:23 AM »
Thanks for the info.  And I just bought this house in March, so I'm not planning on moving any time soon. 

Dicey

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2018, 08:54:31 AM »
FIRE'd carpet rep, reluctantly reporting for duty. Tell me more about your lifestyle/expected timeline for living in the home/pet situation, please.

Also stay the hell away from the big box stores. Find a locally owned Mom & Pop shop. Abbey, Carpet One, or similar independently owned place. And run away from anyone who advertises buy one room, get [insert number] free. Totally consumer sukka bullshit.

Pro Tip: Pay close attention to the proposed layout. Too many fills and poor seam locations can ruin your job.

Also, carpet isn't a cheaper option, it's just a different option.

jtraggie99

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2018, 09:02:39 AM »
FIRE'd carpet rep, reluctantly reporting for duty. Tell me more about your lifestyle/expected timeline for living in the home/pet situation, please.

Also stay the hell away from the big box stores. Find a locally owned Mom & Pop shop. Abbey, Carpet One, or similar independently owned place. And run away from anyone who advertises buy one room, get [insert number] free. Totally consumer sukka bullshit.

Pro Tip: Pay close attention to the proposed layout. Too many fills and poor seam locations can ruin your job.

Also, carpet isn't a cheaper option, it's just a different option.

Thanks man.  So it's my master bedroom and two kids bedrooms, one 8 year old and one 16 year old.  Obviously they get heavy use.  And we have a cat, although we typically keep her out of the bedrooms.  The cat only has back claws, although I've read to avoid berber as their claws can catch and damage the carpet easily.

I would say at this point I plan to be in this house at least until my kids are out of school, but that could of course always change. 
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 09:16:33 AM by jtraggie99 »

Sibley

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2018, 09:10:05 AM »
@Dicey  Can I jump on that bandwagon? I will be putting in carpet later too.

Living room, dining room, small downstairs hall, stairway, and possibly upstairs hall (depends on condition of the hardwood under the current carpet). All these areas run into each other. Lots of main traffic areas, 2 cats (with claws). No kids. No plans to move anytime soon. Durability is important, so is cleanability. I've got a local business less than a mile from me that I'll be buying from.

SunnyDays

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2018, 12:12:42 PM »
I put in really good quality carpet in my living room and bedrooms, hallway and stairs 25 years ago, and it's still in decent shape.  And that's with dogs and cats, but no kids.  Cost me $3000.00 at the time.  So price does matter.  And yes, a good underlay.  Don't know if it's relevant by now, but it was called "Queen" carpet.
I'm looking at a carpet book now, and it tells me there are different textures: uneven (multi-level loop, cut-loop, frieze and random shear) which is more informal, and smooth (like saxony), which is more formal.  There are other types too, like shag (!) that it doesn't mention.  One thing to watch out for is whether footprints show.  That would drive me nuts, as it always looks chaotic and messy.  Nylon is the most durable, and a tight twist of the individual fibers makes it longer lasting.  If the surface has a poorly-defined, shaggy look, that's loose twist.  Neat and well-defined is good twist.  And to judge density, bend the sample backwards - if you can easily see the backing, it's a thin and cheap carpet, and will wear down quickly.  Poke your finger in there too - if you can easily scratch the backing, it's cheap.  DuPont is a good brand.
If you google "carpet styles," there's lots of info there.

FiftyIsTheNewTwenty

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2018, 02:49:52 PM »
FIRE'd carpet rep, reluctantly reporting for duty. Tell me more about your lifestyle/expected timeline for living in the home/pet situation, please.

Also stay the hell away from the big box stores. Find a locally owned Mom & Pop shop. Abbey, Carpet One, or similar independently owned place. And run away from anyone who advertises buy one room, get [insert number] free. Totally consumer sukka bullshit.

Pro Tip: Pay close attention to the proposed layout. Too many fills and poor seam locations can ruin your job.

Also, carpet isn't a cheaper option, it's just a different option.

Great advice.  Local independent stores often have their own installers, either on-staff or contractors they work closely with.  They can often get it done pronto, with much better workmanship.  Last time I checked, the bigbox stores had a 6 week wait, and a constantly changing roster of freelance installers.  Workmanship matters -- especially if seams are necessary, which they will be in any room wider than 12'.  Experienced installers will be much better organized, and able to finish far quicker, with everything going more smoothly.

Agreed about the "different option" too.  These days it's hard to beat laminate or LVP.


lbmustache

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 06:16:32 PM »
Cheap, but still looks decent 5+ years down the road... laminate or better yet, luxury vinyl planks (LVP).

Dicey

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 07:43:25 PM »
OMG, I am a huge fan of LVP. I want to use it on our flip house, but DH says NO! He thinks it's too down market for a house that should go for about $1.2M. He might be right, alas. His other reason is that the current floors are "wavy", which would show with LVP,  but not if we use a thicker, engineered hardwood.

Okay, I will respond in more detail at some point soon, but it's hurting my brain to think too much about my former industry...

Couple quick things: best and most expensive carpet in the world is wool. It's buy it for life stuff, and it really is awesome. Crazy expensive, but looks new for decades.

"Queen" was actually the name of a carpet mill. It's now owned by Shaw. Not safe to assume the quality is the same, but it could be. And DuPont is not a brand of carpet. They make fiber that mills make into carpet. They are most closely associated with Mohawk. Stainmaster is more heavily favored by Shaw.

The right type of carpet for the application is more important than who makes it, so don't get too hung up on brand.

Every manufacturer says their shit is the best.

Shaw and Mohawk hate each other. Each one says the other's stuff is crap. They control most of the industry. News flash: there's not nearly as much difference as they want you to think there is.

No carpet in the world doesn't show footprints at all. Carpet is made from fiber. Get over it. Some are better (random patterns, friezes, multicolors ), some are worse (thick plush, smooth velvets), but footprints happen. Also seams. People claim to hate them, but if they're well placed and well done, you will hardly see them. Pants have seams, so does carpet.

Carpet axiom: The uglier it is, the longer it lasts. Our flip house is 50 years old. We just pulled out the original shag carpet. Ghastly.

Carpet sort-of myth: good pad does help, but crap carpet is always gonna look like crap carpet. Good pad won't make ugly carpet prettier.

Oh, and warranties are pretty close to worthless. Yup, I said it, and it's true. Buy the right product, don't buy the warranty.

I did have something slightly less jaded to add, but I can't remember what it was...maybe I'll think of it again later. Oh, yes, here it is: Most carpet is still made in the good old US of A. Really.

One more thing, the mills hate to have excess inventory, so shit is constantly out of stock. If you've chosen carefully and what you want is back ordered, take a fucking chill pill and wait for it. Carpet is expensive and you're going to live with it for a long time. Don't change or substitute just to make an arbitrary deadline. You don't want to make a hurried mistake, 'cuz you'll be looking at your mistake for a good, long time. Plan carefully so you don't get caught in a bind. Even if you're selling the house. Carpet manufacturing/installing/replacing is very consumptive of resources. Choose wisely so it doesn't get ripped out and redone.

Damn, that turned I to something of a rant, didn't it? Guess it's obvious how much I adore being FIRE.


inline five

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 09:25:53 PM »
Spend a couple hundred more on the upgraded carpet quality with a tighter weave. Keep it fairly short or it will lay down over time. Don't cheap out on the lowest end stuff.

Our quote for around 1100 sq ft including stairs was $3300, $3000 for the cheapest stuff they had.

In the main living areas I did laminate, I don't like it as much but it was sooo much cheaper as I could DIY.

Lmoot

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 10:03:45 PM »
They still make carpet? If I wanted a soft floor I'd much prefer a hard surface with and oversized rug, or several layered rugs. Can switch out the designs, clean under, replace easily.

wbranch

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 09:31:07 AM »
We are remodeling a duplex right now for a "house hack" or whatever people like to call it. We did DIY LVP on the main floor and one full bath it turned out great. Carpet sales guy that did the measuring said we did a great job, but might have just been trying to make sure got the sale. For stairs, small hallway/landing and two upstairs bedrooms we did hired out carpet. The carpet was just installed yesterday, purchased from one of the local mom and pop stores like carpet one and had a great experience. $2 something a sq ft, look at too many numbers to remember exact price right now.

We originally had an order with Home Depot but kept getting the run around and it was pushed out another 4 weeks, so it would have been 8 weeks after we paid for full order. Thankfully we were able to cancel and they did not try to charge the restocking fee. For the local place we did tear out ourselves and it was 14% more. Based on our experience so far, the extra $ was worth it.

We considered DIY LVP for full duplex but decided on carpet for the upstairs area.


Dicey

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2018, 04:17:31 PM »
They still make carpet? If I wanted a soft floor I'd much prefer a hard surface with and oversized rug, or several layered rugs. Can switch out the designs, clean under, replace easily.
Why the snark? Carpet does have benefits, especially in bedrooms. Since OP specifically asked about c-a-r-p-e-t, can we please not second guess them?

Lmoot

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2018, 05:47:31 PM »
They still make carpet? If I wanted a soft floor I'd much prefer a hard surface with and oversized rug, or several layered rugs. Can switch out the designs, clean under, replace easily.
Why the snark? Carpet does have benefits, especially in bedrooms. Since OP specifically asked about c-a-r-p-e-t, can we please not second guess them?

Oh no snark intended. This was a compromise a friend of mine and her husband (who wanted carpet), came up with, and he ended up liking the flexibility and ease of cleaning/replacing rugs. It wasn’t something he’d thought of as a pro-carpeter so it was a genuine suggestion. I admit I personally dislike carpet, especially living in a tropical-like climate, but also for environmental reasons, but I don’t think I was ridiculing anyone for liking it.

Dicey

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2018, 08:07:11 AM »
"Quick Facts About The Carpet Industry:
- Carpet accounts for 51% of the total U.S. flooring market.
- The carpet and flooring industry employs 29,830 workers in 227 establishments in Georgia with a payroll topping an estimated $3 billion – the largest of any manufacturing sector in the state.
- Georgia is also home to 9 of the top 20 carpet manufacturers in the U.S.
- On the list of the top 50 manufacturers of all U.S. floor covering, there are 14 carpet manufacturers located in Georgia.
- More than 85% of the U.S. carpet and rug market is produced by mills located within a 65-mile radius of Dalton, for an estimated $8 billion in business activity.
- Georgia supplies more than 45% of the world's carpet and rugs"

I don't think this source is unbiased, lol. There's no date given, which makes me skeptical of the 51% claim, because the carpet industry surely is not growing. But $8 Billion in and around just Dalton, GA is nothing to sneeze at, even if it, too, is a tad optimistic.

So yes, it made your question sound very snarky indeed, Lmoot.

And rugs are a trip hazard. They also can ruin your wood floors because they prevent even fading. Ever been to a home where you can see exactly where the rugs used to be? Costs a fortune to fix, if it can be fixed at all.

There is no perfect solution. We're in the process of flipping a high (-ish) end house. Our budget is sufficient to do whatever we want. Downstairs is getting Engineered Luxury Vinyl Plank everywhere, including kitchen, bath and laundry. It looks like wood, is waterproof, indestructible and easy to install.  Upstairs hall and baths get same stuff. Bedrooms? Carpet. Lovely, luxurious carpet.

gillstone

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2018, 09:20:58 AM »
We went with a local warehouse that purchased rolls in bulk.  This let us buy higher quality for a lower price than Lowe's.  The only downside was that there was less selection than the hundreds of options at the box stores.  More important than the carpet is the pad.  Don't skimp on it.  For an extra $0.20/sqft we got the cushy pad that not only feels great, but was sealed against moisture. 

When our laundry room flooded and soaked part of a carpeted room, we were able to preserve rather than replace the pad so it paid for itself right there.

Dicey

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2018, 07:55:29 PM »
We went with a local warehouse that purchased rolls in bulk.  This let us buy higher quality for a lower price than Lowe's.  The only downside was that there was less selection than the hundreds of options at the box stores.  More important than the carpet is the pad.  Don't skimp on it.  For an extra $0.20/sqft we got the cushy pad that not only feels great, but was sealed against moisture. 

When our laundry room flooded and soaked part of a carpeted room, we were able to preserve rather than replace the pad so it paid for itself right there.
Oh, you've stirred a dormant brain cell or three. Most pad is made of ground up other pad. It's called rebond. The better stuff is closed cell foam with a moisture barrier on both sides. It's denser, waterproof and naturally, more expensive. Pro Tip: be around when they're installing your carpet. Some dopes will try to staple it down, like rebond, which punches a zillion tiny holes in your moisture barrier. Pad with moisture barrier is supposed to be taped at the seams, not stapled. Rebond is easy to spot, because it looks like exactly what it is. It's sold by pound weight, typically called six- or eight- pound pad. The closed-cell stuff is sold by thickness i.e. 5/8" or 7/16" pad. Oh, and pad is usually sold in 6' wide rolls, so there is always seaming or stapling involved.

Places that carry rolls of carpet in stock are a great option. The mills need to keep the looms running, and typically offer significant discounts to "Stocking Dealers". Selection is always limited, but accounts always try to stock the most popular stuff. Be careful of dye lots. If your job is big or has rooms that touch, dye lot matters. If you're doing bedrooms that don't have a common carpeted hallway, it doesn't matter as much.

Bonus trivia: any carpet installation where the width is 12' or less, thus not requiring seaming, is called a "flop".

Bucksandreds

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2018, 10:55:30 AM »
I went high end for the living room for my little kids to play on and don’t regret it. Had builders grade stuff when we built the house and it was garbage within 1 year. 4.5 years of the expensive stuff and it’s nearly new looking. My experience is that high end carpet is luxurious when used in the right situations (ie not kitchen, dining room, bathrooms) bedrooms I prefer carpet and not cold hard floor when I wake up, a great room floor for the kids to play on is also better in carpet.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2018, 06:51:06 PM »

I prefer the sound deadening of carpeting in the home theater room rather than the echo of flat reflective floor surfaces.  Of course, I like carpeting better in general, but not everywhere.

Zette

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Re: Buying New Carpet
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2018, 07:59:45 PM »
We bought carpet from Home Depot, and were happy with the quality and installation. Look for the carpet they have displayed for quick 7 day install.  When we bought it was the best deal.   There are fewer colors to choose from, but it is the exact same carpet at a lower price.

Go for two tone or carpet with “flecks” of other colors, it hides random dirt and lint better in between vacuuming. We replaced some two-tine with a solid color and I’m really regretting it because I have to vacuum more often.

I saw some recently that has a waterproof backing. I will totally go for that next time so that pet accidents are less likely to soak into the pad.

Doing the stairstep  so that they cut each vertical and horizontal piece (instead of a continuous piece that is just tacked on each stair) is definitely worth the extra money, looks much nicer IMO.