How to Select Carpet Correctly For Your Rental Property or Personal Home The Right Way

Shopping for carpet involves a huge financial investment. It can also be stressful when you start to look at all the different styles, colors and brands. You want to ask questions to salespeople, but they’re putting the pressure on  you to buy the most expensive ones. By doing some basic homework, comparison shopping and working with a reputable retailer, you’ll be able to buy carpeting that fits your needs. Here are the primary things to think about when you’re shopping for new carpeting. We’ll give you tips on what to look for as well as what to look out for. 


Nylon outperforms all other fibers in durability, resilience and easy maintenance. This is a good choice if you want your carpet to last a decade or longer, for high-traffic areas, and in homes with kids and pets. Higher quality nylon fibers are “branded,” and the carpet label will use terms like “100% Mohawk Nylon.” Lower-quality, “unbranded” nylon fibers are listed simply as “100% nylon.” The strongest, softest, and most expensive, is 6.6 nylon.

Triexta is a newly classified fiber derived partly from corn sugar. It has excellent, permanent anti-stain properties; though nylon must be treated with stain protectors over its life span. It also has good resilience, but it’s too soon to tell whether it will match the durability of nylon in high-traffic areas. Because of its superior stain resistance, this is a good choice if you have young kids or pets.

Olefin (polypropylene) is an attractive, inexpensive fiber that’s strong and resists fading, but it’s not as resilient as nylon. It’s most often made into a looped Berber with a nubby weave that conceals dirt. It has good stain, static and mildew resistance. Olefin carpeting is often selected for high-traffic “clean” areas such as family rooms.

Saxony (also called velvet or plush) is a cut pile that works well in formal dining rooms, living rooms and bedrooms. It shows footprints and vacuum marks and is not a good choice for high-traffic areas and active kids. The basic grade lasts about five years.

Check quality

Bend the carpet sample backward. If you can see the backing easily, it’s a lower quality carpet that will crush more easily. A salesperson might tell you that a certain carpet is a good deal, but don’t rely on his or her word alone. Check the label, handle the carpet and ask the salesperson about these signs of quality.

Salespeople will be glad to take care of all the ordering and installation details, but you might save and get a better installation if you do many of these details yourself. They have a tendency to “overmeasure” your carpet needs. This means you pay for carpet and pad you don’t use. Get several estimates, compare the yardage numbers, and consider paying an independent carpet installer to measure your home.

A lot of carpet problems stem from poor installation. Bad seaming, a too-thin pad and inadequate stretching can make a carpet look terrible within a few years. If you or a friend knows a great carpet installer, use that person instead of one provided by the carpet dealer. The installer will measure your house, tell you exactly how much carpet and pad to get, recommend a quality dealer, and pick up the carpet and deliver it on installation day. You can save yourself some money on the installation by removing the old carpet and pad yourself. Ask your installer how much you’ll save to see if it’s worthwhile.

Get at least three estimates. Tell every salesperson that you’ll be getting several estimates, and don’t discuss details about other carpet bids you’ve received. Have each carpet estimate include a flooring diagram that shows measurements and seam locations. 

Get an individual price quote for each aspect of the job, including carpet, pad, delivery, installation, transition metal pieces, furniture moving, stairs, and old carpet and pad removal and disposal. It’s easy to be overcharged if you just get an overall price for the job.

Make sure you’re home on installation day. Get a sample of the carpet and pad you’ve ordered and compare them with the carpet and pad that show up on the truck. In some instances, retailers deliver a lower quality pad or carpet than you’ve paid for.

Do your research, and make sure a salesperson doesn’t make the decisions for you. Base your carpet and pad decisions on your lifestyle, household occupants (kids and/or pets) and traffic levels. Also consider the desired life span, maintenance requirements, and the looks and price of the carpet. Common sales gimmicks such as “free pad with carpet purchase” can get you cheap pad that can wreck your carpet.

Take the carpet samples you’ve selected to at least three stores and compare prices of similar products. Get every item in your carpet bid priced individually. This will make it easier to compare bids.


Where to Buy Carpet

Visit several retailers, including local, family-owned businesses that survive on customer referrals. Choose the one that will give you the best service, price and guarantee.

2 thoughts on “How to Select Carpet Correctly For Your Rental Property or Personal Home The Right Way

  1. Anne

    Carpet is awful. I used to have it when I first moved into my house, and then I ripped it all out. There was hardwood underneath, and I called a company to come and re-do the floors. They look amazing. Most of the time, carpet is covering a perfectly intact set of wooden planks. Remove the carpet!!


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