Unbiased Carpet Buying Guide (& Bad Carpet Brands to Avoid)

Average Cost To Install Carpet Flooring Price Range: $845 - $1,650
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With this carpet buying guide you’ll learn everything insiders know about carpet prices and how to buy carpet.
Carpet Captain doesn’t sell carpets, but we have helped nearly one million people buy it
without a sales pitch.

Captain’s Carpet Highlights

Carpet Captain
  • Many people buy carpet based on appearances, warranties, and salesman recommendation but these can lead to bad purchases (more on why in chapter 3)
  • No floor matches carpets softness, insulation, and comfort, but hard floors have their advantages
  • The fiber material will have the biggest impact on durability (I like nylon for most people).
  • Density or face weight is next in line for how long your carpet will last (greater than 3k or 40oz is a good goal)
  • Padding is the unsung hero. It can make or break your carpet purchase
  • Installation is also. It doesn’t matter how great your carpet is, it needs good installation (we’ll cover how to find a good installer)
Cost to Install Carpet
SQ. FT.
Prices
Low End
Mid Range
High End
Materials
$272
$313
$435
Labor
$351
$404
$562
Total Cost
$624
$717
$997
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“I’m really amazed at all the information in it and wish I had this knowledge when I purchased my carpet back in 2007 … Your website is an example of how useful the internet can be.” -Dan S.

Chapter 1: carpet vocabulary reference

You can skip this section (nothing to see here, folks).

But if you’re out shopping or researching carpet and come across a word you don’t know, here are a couple of good references:


Captain’s note on carpet tiles! Below you’ll learn the details to buying the perfect carpet, but they don’t 100% apply to carpet tiles. If you’re considering carpet tiles, I recommend checking out my carpet tile guide.

Just remember these links are here if you want to come back to them later. But for now, we can dive into the finances of buying carpet…

Chapter 2: Carpet prices, budgeting, and financing options

Step 1: Carpets prices and budgeting

You might want to sit down while reading this section.

New carpet probably costs more than you think. Maybe I just say that because I’m always in temporary shock from the cost of home improvement projects.

Either way, it helps to get an accurate estimate before you start.

Why get an estimate before starting? Here are the benefits:

  • Helps you budget
  • Know what quality of carpet you can afford
  • Decide if there’s a better time to buy carpet
  • Determine if you’ll need financing
  • Most important reason: decide if you’re getting a fair deal

The last point deserves a little more explanation. The #1 “scam” on flooring projects is overcharging and overmeasuring by retailers and installers (I’ll cover more on common scams in the ‘Getting a good deal’ section. That may sound obvious, but it’s easy for a flooring store to recommend a carpet to you that is priced similar to other carpets but is lower quality (overcharged) or for an installer to add a little extra square footage to your house (overmeasured).

These small differences can make hundreds (if not more) dollars difference in what you pay. Getting an estimate on your own is easy insurance against these scams.

Sound complicated?

It can be, but I’ve tried to do most of the work for you with my carpet cost calculator. You just have to answer 2 questions, and it gives you a ballpark estimate. A detailed breakdown of carpet prices by carpet, pad, and installation is also included on that page, so you can see how much certain changes impact your cost.

Want a free estimate from an installer? Get estimates from 3 pre-qualified installers in your area by filling out this short form from HomeAdvisor.

Now that you have an idea of what your carpet project will cost. Let’s decide the best way for you to pay for it.

Step 2: What is the best way to pay for my carpet (and the best ways to get cash back)?

If you don’t have enough cash to cover your ballpark estimate from ‘Step 1,’ this section will guide you on the best ways to pay.

But even if you do have the cash, there are ways to optimize how much cash back you get. I’m not talking about scammy “deals” or “rebates” sites. Like buying a car, flooring is such a big purchase you can come out financially ahead by the way you pay.

So what are the ways you can pay?

  • your cash
  • borrow from a friend or family
  • credit card
  • retailer financing
  • home equity loan
  • HELOC

Each of these has advantages. Some are safer, some are better options if you don’t have the money or have bad credit, and some will give you more money back. It’s too much detail for this guide, but there is one thing I want to point out that is often overlooked:

Cash can have more risks than most people think. The main reason is you don’t have someone to fight for you if you get ripped off on the carpet or installation (credit can give you this advantage), but you also miss out on hundreds of dollars that you can get if you use financing correctly.

I have a page on carpet financing for good and bad credit. It’ll break down the benefits and risks of each way to pay for your carpet. It’s worth checking out unless you’re 100% set on how you’re going to pay (and even then it may be worth checking out 😉 )

Now that we’ve covered how much you’ll pay, and how to pay. Let’s move on to planning what carpet and pad specifications will make the best fit for your home.

Chapter 3: Plan the perfect carpet and pad for your home

Many shoppers walk into a store and hope to buy carpet based on the looks, the warranty, and the salesman recommendation.

In other words, they just have faith that it’ll turn out to be a good carpet, but shopping for carpet doesn’t have to be done this way (and shouldn’t). But there are problems with this strategy…

  1. looks now don’t tell you anything about looks 3 years from now
  2. warranties are a joke (you can read about why I don’t ever trust carpet warranties here)
  3. and salesman lie

Number 3 may be a little harsh. There are many honest salesmen, but there are 2 main problems with salesman recommendation. Some aren’t given proper training on the products, so they have to BS you. Others take-home pay can depend on pushing products that lead to the most profits for the company but aren’t necessarily in your best interest. It may be pushing “premium” features that you don’t need, or it could be recommending a product with high-profit margins that doesn’t last as long.

There is some good news. Learning what will make a carpet last long, which specs are misleading, and what is worth paying for and what isn’t doesn’t take long. I’ve laid it all out in this chapter.

Step 3: Decide your carpet style (it’s more than just a look)

Berber, frieze, plush, cut and loop, saxony…

Any of those sound familiar?

Each is a different style of carpet, but carpet style is more than interior design. There are two reasons to learn about carpet styles:

  1. So you know what your options are for the look of your room
  2. Because some styles will have an impact on how long your carpet lasts especially in special cases like with kids or animals

Like shopping for clothes, this part can be fun (that is if you like shopping for clothes).

The quickest way to research is to visit my carpet styles overview page.

After you’ve narrowed down the carpet style you want, you can read more about it to be sure it’s for you:

While we’re on the topic of style, here’s a couple of other tips:

Carpet color is similar to carpet style because it mostly is a design choice, but it also can impact how long your carpet lasts or even how big your room looks.

Check out my guide on choosing the best carpet color. It’ll cover more than you’d imagine about how color will impact your home.

You can also get design interest from the Carpet Captain Pinterest page. It’ll cover carpet and other flooring options.

P.S. I’d love you to follow Carpet Captain on Pinterest. It helps support the site by spreading the word. Follow simply by clicking this button: Carpet Captain

That’s it for style.

Now, the fun is over. Let’s move on to one of the most important decisions you’ll make with your carpet purchase…

Step 4: Choosing your carpet fiber material (maybe the most important decision you’ll make)

There are at least 6 important specifications when it comes to carpet durability.

But if I had to rank the specs, carpet material is the #1 factor determining how long your carpet will last.

That said, it’s not 100% straightforward. Different fiber materials have different advantages. Let’s use a toy as an analogy:

A toy that is made of metal might be “built to last” but “heavy.” Another toy made of plastic might be “lightweight,” “inexpensive,” but have “health hazards.”

Carpet is no different.

There are 5 common carpet fiber materials. It’s worth reading the comparison of all carpet fibers on my best carpet material page.

But here is a brief rundown of the types of carpet fibers:

  • Is durability your top priority? Nylon may be your best bet.
  • Want excellent stain resistance? You’ll have options but Smartstrand usually leads the pack.
  • Want a less expensive fiber that still resists stains? Polyester is popular and olefin is an option.
  • Don’t forget about the luxurious, all-natural, and also extremely durable fiber–wool

Click any of the links above to get more information on the carpet materials (and you should before buying it–remember, this may be the most important decision you’ll make). Also, I have a page directly comparing nylon vs polyester if you’re deciding between those two (they’re the two most popular)

There are a few other articles you should consider.

Many times you’ll run into blends of carpet fibers. For example, a carpet might be 70% polyester and 30% nylon.  Learn how carpet blends perform (wool-nylon, polyester-nylon, etc).

One other important thing: brand names. Typically, the material and specs (more on these in step 5) of the carpet tell you more than the brand does. But there are some areas brands can make a big difference, especially with stain resistance. Read about carpet brands.

That should cover everything you need to know about carpet materials. You’ve got arguably the most important carpet buying step down.

But remember the saying, “It’s only as strong as the weakest link?”

That holds true for carpet. So let’s move on to the other important details that will determine how long your carpet lasts.

Step 5: Picking the perfect specifications that impact the durability of your carpet

I told you earlier that carpet material is the most important factor in durability.

That true, but there are 7 other specifications you’ll likely run into:

  • density
  • face weight
  • par rating
  • pile height
  • total weight
  • twist level
  • wear rating

Total weight is misleading, so I’d ignore it altogether. The rest will make a difference in how your carpet performs–some more than others.

I rank all of these factors, let you in on common ways they are used to be misleading, and give ranges you’ll want for each in my guide to carpet face weight and durability. This is my most recommended page for people to read on Carpet Captain.


Captain’s left out the backing! In 95% of cases, carpet backing doesn’t matter. It’s almost all made out of the same or similar materials today. Sometimes you’ll see “fancy” backings marketed, but they mostly just add weight and softness that doesn’t add to the performance. You can read more on carpet backing here if you’re interested.

Step 6: Planning the perfect padding

Out of sight out of mind?

Not true for carpet padding.

Padding is like the structure of a bridge. It may not be what you drive on, but you better hope it’s made right. And yes, you won’t plunge down 50 feet into water if you mess up the padding. But you could waste a perfectly good multi-$1,000 carpet.

So how do you pick out a high-quality pad?

For most people, you’ll do well with a 7/16” rebond pound that is a minimum of 6lbs (preferably 8lbs+). But there are cases where you are better served with something else. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a loop style like Berber?
  • Do you have a pet urine problem? What about basement moisture?
  • Could you save money going less or more durable?
  • Are newer technologies like memory foam worth it?

Our guide to the best carpet padding is one of the longer pages you’ll read, but that’s because it’s packed with information. It’ll be the only page you need to read on the important topic of carpet padding.

Congrats!

You’re now through all the details of buying the best carpet for your home.

The next steps will cover specific cases (eg. pet owners, wheelchair users, etc) and how to get the best deal on your investment in carpet.

Step 7: Check out our carpet case studies for specific situations

You learned how to buy the perfect carpet above, but what about specific situations…

Maybe you have a cat. Or need a kitchen carpeted. Or have a wheelchair. Or…

The list goes on.

Here are some special cases for carpet and the Captain’s recommendations. Feel free to read any of the articles below that apply to your situation…

Best carpet for pets
Best carpet for kids
Best carpet for stairs
Best carpet for the kitchen
Best carpet for wheelchairs and power chairs

Here are a few other articles that are specific cases but you can browse and decide if any interest you…

How to install carpet on stairs
Most durable carpet in the world
Best carpet to resist stains
Most luxurious carpet
Best value carpet (aka best for the money)
Why an expensive carpet failed
Can carpet remnants save you money?

Now you’re really finished with choosing your carpet.

The next steps will help you get the best deal.

Chapter 4: Getting the best deal

Now that you know what carpet you want and about how much you’ll pay for it, let’s talk about how to get the best deal.

This is about where to buy, when to buy, and how to buy.

Step 8: Who should you buy from? Local store, big-box retailer, online, in-home salesman

Today, you have flooring stores competing for your business.

Competition is fiercer than ever. This can be both a headache and an opportunity for retailers. But for you, it’s pure opportunity. Retailers compete to offer you better deals, more flooring options, and an overall better experience.

But with all this competition, is there a best place to buy?

The short answer… No.

But there are pros and cons of each type of store. Here’s a sample of some of the advantages of each:

  • Big box stores will always be there if you have a problem with your carpet
  • Local stores have surprisingly competitive pricing and survive based on their customer service
  • 1800 and online carpet retailers potentially offer the lowest prices but are still difficult with carpet
  • Buying leftover carpet from an installer might be even cheaper
  • Samples-to-your-home (eg. Empire Today) you can shop in the comfort of your home

Each store also has disadvantages. Some may surprise you. So check out our article covering where to buy carpet.

With the trend of buying everything online, carpet is a little behind. There are multiple reasons, but the biggest reason is that people are more comfortable shopping in store for a product that’s a big investment and they know little about. This gap is closing. After reading this guide, you’re way ahead of the game on your carpet knowledge, and I’m confident you can make a good purchase. So even though it’s not common, I walk through how to buy carpet online in case you’re interested.

Time to head to the store.

Next decision: When do you want to leave?

Step 9: When should you buy your carpet?

Does it really matter?

It does if you care about money and health.

Maybe that sounds a little extreme. And I’ll admit: you can buy carpet any time of the year and not harm your health or bank account.

But on the other hand, there are times of the year that you can buy carpet that make it easier to keep your family healthy and make it easier to negotiate a good deal.

The health idea probably sounds weird to you, but it has to do with the new carpet smell. That smell can be toxic (depending on the carpet). It’s best if you can air out your house (open doors and windows) the first few days after installation. So depending on where you live, certain months will work best. There’s more to it than that. I highly recommend you read the information on the page linked above on new carpet smell, especially if you have children or small pets.

Oh, and I also mentioned saving money. There’s nothing super-secret here. Just simple supply and demand. When fewer people are shopping for flooring, retailers are more willing (and have more time) to cut a deal with you.

So when are retailers eager to make a deal? Check out Carpet Captain’s research on the when is the best time to buy carpet.

Step 10: Mentally prepare for the shopping experience (and red flag the good and bad salesman)

Are you ready to go carpet shopping?

I can answer for you. You are. And you know more than most salesman will (except for the really helpful stores). This not only helps you choose your carpet, but it helps you sniff out the bad stores or salesman.

But to keep the momentum going, it helps to know what to expect when you step into the store.

Before you leave, grab some lunch. Low blood sugar = poor decisions. You might also do some light reading on the most common carpet scams. It helps to know the traps people fall into before you shop.

Now you’re ready to walk into the store.

You step in and hear, “Welcome to XYZ Carpet Store! Looking for anything specific today?”

A salesman that cares about you and not just your money will ask questions that get to the root of what you need in new flooring. Here is a sample of questions you may hear…

  • What rooms are you wanting to install flooring?
  • What’s motivated you to get new flooring?
  • Is this for your primary home, rental, or vacation home?
  • How long do you plan on living there
  • Do you have pets?

In other words, he will need to get to know you. At least well enough to have an idea of what you need in flooring.

What if he asks you none of these questions — just what type of flooring you need?

Personally, it’d start raising red flags for me. Even though I know what I want, a store that cares about its customers has to ask some questions about how they live to recommend a good product. If they don’t have your interest in mind here, I’d be nervous they won’t have your back if things like installation go bad down the road (more on installation in step 13).

So how much are you trusting the store? If you have a good feeling, I’d still get at least one other price quote.

If you feel like they aren’t really getting to know your situation, I’d move on.

Once you’ve found a store you like and a carpet you love, it’s time to figure out the final details.

Step 11: What to do before sealing the deal

You’ve picked out the carpet you dreamed of. Time to hand over your credit card?

Not quite yet.

You’ve already done the two most important things: done your homework on your carpet and the store.

But the end of the deal is where stores can sneak in little surprises. And usually, these aren’t the fun type of surprises.

These surprises might be add-on fees for things you thought would be included in your original price (this is especially common if they’ve let you negotiate a good deal or baited you in with an advertised good deal). Check out common hidden fees to watch out for.

One other final check off is don’t let the retailer sell you on the carpet’s warranty. If you’re having second thoughts about the carpet, and that’s how they’re convincing you, walk away.

I talked about this earlier, but in my opinion, warranties are marketing. There are too many loopholes, and manufacturers know that there will be very few successful claims. This allows them to give super long warranties to get you to buy. More on why I don’t like carpet warranties here.

The final step before you close the deal is ironing out the installation details. I know… we already went over this. But there’s one last thing to emphasize…

Is the installer subcontracted or a store employee? This is important because if the installer is subcontracted (not an employee of the store), the store may try to blame the installer if things go bad. And then the installer might blame the store. And the end result is they argue while nothing gets done.

So what to do? If the store claims they take responsibility for the installer, make sure it’s in writing (or that the installer is truly an employee). If the store is upfront and says the installer is responsible for their mistakes, at least make sure you’ve hired a good installer (we’ll cover this in step 13).

Now the details are ironed out. Let’s close the deal (and get the best deal you can)…

Step 12: Closing the deal (negotiating a good deal without it being awkward)

You might not be on Shark Tank, but you still have to close the deal.

You can do that one of two ways:

  1. Take the offer they give you
  2. Negotiate a better offer

I lay it out this way because most people take the offer they are given. And that’s not surprising. Most Americans feel awkward negotiating unless they know it’s the norm (like with cars).

The truth is it’s normal to negotiate carpet: retailers play with their pricing all the time, there are multiple fees that can be negotiated, and a small percentage discount can be huge savings (saving 10% on a typical carpet purchase would leave $400 in your pocket).

So how should you negotiate without it being awkward? Check out my guide on how to negotiating flooring without making an enemy. It takes the concepts from my favorite books on negotiating (listed in the article) and makes it specific to flooring. The “secret” is getting a win-win for both of you, and it’s not too difficult.

Deals done!

You’ve picked the perfect carpet, padding, and negotiated the best price on it.

Almost time to relax, but let’s talk about installation because it can make or break even the best carpet purchase…

Chapter 5: Hiring an installer and installation checklist

This may seem a little out of order. You’ve already completed the carpet buying deal.

Some people hire the installer before buying carpet, some after. There’s no perfect way.

But whichever you choose, this chapter is as important as any. I’ve seen excellent carpet look terrible because of poor installation, invoices where people were way over-charged on installation, and plenty of other horror stories.

On the other hand, a great installer can be your partner all the way through the carpet buying process.

Step 13: Hiring a great carpet installer (and why you might want to do it before you buy the carpet)

I like to hire installers before buying the flooring because they can often give you tips specific to your home. Maybe, they know a certain pattern carpet will add a lot in cost because of the way your room is shaped. Or you’re a new homeowner, and they know the homes in your area tend to get water damage… and what floors hold up well and which don’t.

Basically, installers can be your ally in buying flooring.

The other option is to wait until after you purchase. That way is fine, but you won’t get the benefit of their free opinion. Many stores will have installers they use, but just be aware, they usually aren’t employed by the store. So the store may not stand behind the work they do (even though you think they would, the “blame game” between retailers and the installers has been a huge headache for some carpet shoppers).

Whatever way you choose to hire an installer, read my guide on finding the best carpet installers in your area. It’s my only article on choosing a carpet installer, and it covers 6 ways you can find your installer with the pros and cons of each.

My preferred way to hire an installer is through a service like HomeAdvisor that does the homework on installers for you. You can get quotes from 3 installers in your area for free by filling out this short form. Full disclaimer: I get a small commission if you go this route, but I truly feel like it’s a good way to go. HomeAdvisor makes sure the installer has all the proper credentials and insurance (which many you find other ways don’t). And just the fact that HomeAdvisor is willing to stake their reputation on these installers gives you confidence that they won’t keep them around if they are getting complaints.

Now your carpet is on the way, and you have the best installer in your area. Let’s prepare for installation day…

Step 14: Final checklist before installation day

We’re almost finished.

Just like the installer is important, it’s important to make sure installation-day goes smoothly. There are multiple ways it can go wrong: poor installation, wrong carpet or pad shows up, or hidden charges pop up on the invoice, etc.

Here’s a small checklist you can go through to help make sure it’s a good day (some of it is a review from previous steps you took):

  • Give the installers a heads up that you’ll want to verification of their license and insurance (requirements vary by state, but it’s worth checking your state’s requirements if the installer says he’s not licensed or insured)
  • Verify the carpet and pad at your home is the one you purchased (sometimes the wrong carpet shows up whether it’s a scam or accident by the retailer.)
  • Lock up or remove any valuables (your installer is likely an honest person, but making sure there are no misunderstandings benefits both of you)
  • Verify what the retailer said about who covers (installer or retailer) any future issues with the carpet
  • Review the ‘red flag of a lousy installer’ on the best carpet installers page
  • Keep pets and children outside for the day (remember the issues with new carpet smell and how to avoid it?)

Step 15: Installing your flooring

The installation day is here.

Review the checklist in the last step if there’s any left to do (like your carpet isn’t arriving until the installer does).

From here, you can sit back and let the installer work their magic.

In my opinion, it helps to be around (maybe outside?) to help the installer with any quetsions, and it doesn’t hurt to occasionally check-in and see how the job is going. You could catch issues before the job is too far in (like installing carpet in the wrong room… it happens).

That said, I would mostly stay out of the installer’s way. No one likes someone hovering over them while they’re trying to work.

Oh yeah, and offer snacks, maybe lunch, and drinks. Your installer may decline, but you don’t want a dehydrated or hungry installer trying to rush through the job. You’ve seen the Snickers commercials.

That’s it!

You’ve completed the perfect carpet project (or at least as close to it as you’re going to get).

Don’t forget to protect your purchase. Here are a few tips…

Chapter 6: Best vacuums and carpet treating tips

This is bittersweet. You’ve graduated the Captain’s carpet buying course (sweet!), but now you don’t need me (bitter!).

Before you go, I want to give you a few tips on getting the most out of your carpet.

You probably know vacuums are important because they extend the life of your carpet (by getting rid of the grimes that tears up the fibers) and make your carpet more sanitary.

But… many people overlook that carpet combined with the right vacuum can be a benefit for allergy sufferers over hard flooring. The reason is dust and allergens hit get trapped by carpet. The carpet acts like a filter that the vacuum can “empty.” This is compared to hard flooring with the allergens sit on the floor but are kicked up in the air as people walk by (until it is mopped).

Keeping your carpet clean is crucial to preventing pests like black carpet beetles from turning it into their new home. So choosing the right vacuum is an absolute must.

My favorite vacuum for 2020 is this one, but every home and budget is a little different. I break down the best vacuums by the amount you want to spend and your needs on my page ranking the best vacuums.

Oh yeah, one final thing. Every once in awhile, you’ll probably have a spill or accident on the carpet. I have pages to help you through it (you can bookmark this page which leads you to everything on carpet care), but you may also consider having some of the recommended cleaners just in case. My favorite cleaner to have on hand for red wine stains (it’s actually designed for clothing but works great!) is this one called best carpet padding.

Captain’s parting words!

Well, that’s it.

This should give you the ammo you need to be a smart carpet shopper. And as you know, it’s not a small investment to best to shop with the power of knowledge.

That said, if you still have any questions, I’m pretty good about answering in the comments within a day or two.

Any questions on how to buy carpet? Let me know in the comments below.

Average Cost To Install Carpet Flooring Price Range: $845 - $1,650
See costs in your area

106 thoughts on “Unbiased Carpet Buying Guide (& Bad Carpet Brands to Avoid)”

  1. Wow, just Wow! This was an invaluable asset to our carpet hunt! We are replacing floors installed in 1995. I spent well over an hour here looking at your different informational gems and got lots of of good info and no sales pitches. I now feel a lot better and more confident about our buying and installation decisions. Thanks!

  2. What do you know about the Pomona dream weavers carpet. See below

    April,

    The carpet In The Know is manufactured by Shaw. It has a 43.9 oz face weight with a twist of 5.68. It is polyester with a minimum of 50% recycled plastic.

    The Carpet Pomona is manufactured by Dream Weavers. It has a 56 oz face weight with a twist of 5.75. It also is polyester with a minimum of 25% recycled plastic. The padding is 1/2″ with an 8 lb density, the best padding available and is the pad recommended to validate warranties. I hope this answers your questions. If you need anything else please let me know.

    John

  3. Hi Carpet Captain!
    I absolutely LOVE your site. You are so informative, hands down the best! So here is my question:

    We will be replacing carpeting on our downstairs stairs; 30+ year old carpeting. I love the look of berber, but want something that will be durable and not get squashed down immediately. Our very experienced and excellent carpet guy said most carpets now will get squished down early on, even expensive ones. Can you recommend a carpet or carpet type for high traffic stairs; look nice, durable?
    Thanks in advance!

  4. We are looking for carpet for our basement. We will be selling the home in a couple of months and don’t want to overspend on something someone may pull up but also don’t want to put in something to cheap for re-sale.
    We have been advised by two different local carpet stores to install commercial grade carpet and glue down without a pad. Your thoughts?
    Thank you and I love this site. So helpful!

  5. Carpet Captain

    Hi, thanks for reading!

    First, both density and twist are important numbers. Twist, in particular, is usually overlooked, but ignoring it can prove costly. 7 or more twists per inch is good to aim for, for maximum durability. However, higher density is also important. We’d say Carpet B offers the best tradeoff. We discuss carpet durability in detail in our article about Most Durable Carpet in the World.

    As for your padding choices, we think rebond is definitely a good choice in terms of durability and cost. The only reason you might not want it is if you have a carpet warranty that calls for something else. You’ll want to read up on our Carpet Padding Buying Guide for more details.

    Best,
    The Carpet Captain

  6. Hi. I am between 2 carpets. We have 1 cat and 2 adults. This will be throughout the house.

    Stainmaster PetProtect Snowba11; 06 Memo Pattern Carpet:
    Face Weight: 38 – Pile Height 0.433 – Density 3160

    Stainmaster Duration Artistry Pattern Carpet
    Face Weight: 48 – Pile Height 0.50 – Denisty 4201

    Biggest factors are:

    • Durability for at least 10 years.
    • Easy to clean pet and people stains
    • Will not pull easily from cat scratching
    • Do not want to see footprint/vacuum marks

    Do you think it’s best to go with the PetProtect because of our Cat or better to go with the Better Carpet? Both are comparable in price.

    Thanks so much for all of your resources and research, it has been invaluable! Appreciate any feedback you can give.

  7. Shameless advertisement (that I think will help you): A good vs bad carpet installer will not only make or break your carpet purchase, but they also can help you choose the best carpet pad for your home setup. Click here to enter your zip code and get free quotes from 3 top installers in your area.

  8. Hello Captain,

    Do you have any experience with Shaw Bellera high performance PET fiber? Specifically https://shawfloors.com/flooring/carpet/details/perpetual-ii-e9693/freckles. I’m looking at replacing 1,700~ sq ft of carpet in our master bedroom, stairs, and 2nd floor. We initially were looking at only nylon fiber carpets, but liked the look and feel of Perpetual. This line has only been out for a couple years (2018) so I can’t find much real world data on it’s durability. Shaw claims it will look the same after 5 years of residential traffic, but I always take manufacturer claims with a grain of salt. My main concern is crushing/matting on the stairs. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

    1. I think you’re right on with the concerns – decent chance a PET doesn’t last well on stairs. If there’s high traffic, I much prefer nylon.

  9. I’m looking to replace my baseboards at the same time we replace carpets. Does it make sense to replace baseboards prior to installation? Should I remove the old baseboard, do installation of carpet, and then install new baseboards? What makes the most sense in terms of getting the carpet installed correctly and having the correct spacing to the baseboard?

    1. Carpet Captain

      It can be done both ways, but most people I’ve seen who do both install the baseboard first. Some carpet installers like the baseboards installed last because it makes their job easier (don’t have to worry about damaging the baseboard, and it’s out of the way when tacking down the carpet). On the other hand, nailing in the baseboard after the carpet is installed is more difficult–this can be a bigger headache.

  10. I am confused on pile height and weight. It appears that more weight equals higher pile. I assumed a higher weight would be more durable but am being told that a lower weight is better for stairs and high traffic areas. Currently looking at a 60 oz/sq yd Beaulieu carpet l. It is also available on 40 and 80. Haven’t found any info on density on any carpet in Canada just the weight.

    1. Carpet Captain

      You’re right–density is best because it accounts for both. With face weight, you still want higher, not lower, but you’re correct that a shorter pile will make the face weight lower (you just still want it not to be too low).

  11. Debbie Connelly

    We carpeted our newly renovated home in 2017 with a beautiful Mohawk carpet that has been discontinued. It is the nicest carpet I have ever had, very luxurious and walking on it is like walking on marshmallows. It was called summerset cove 12. Unfortunately a cleaning person spilled a bleach type cleaner in one of the bedrooms and it has ruined the carpet. Since this has been discontinued the entire upstairs bedrooms, hallway and stairs need replacement. I have been reading and learning about what to look for to get that feel again, would you happen to know what might be comparable to the carpet we now have? The sad thing is, it is hardly worn because the upstairs rooms were not used often.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Sorry, that happened! The main features that gives the feel of the carpet are the material and pad. I’d say the next but much less important is face weight. There is also something called denier (or how thin the strands are) that comes into play, but usually, you just need to know if your carpet was a “soft carpet” or not. I’m not familiar with the exact line (they have hundreds), but I’d try reaching out to Mohawk and see if they can give you the information on that line related to the features I listed. Good luck!

  12. Hello!

    I have been reading everything on this site in depth, and was confronted with an unexpected scenario. I decided to go with nylon or Smartstrand, but the Smartstrand carpet I was quoted (Mohawk) was only 50% Smartstrand, and the rest was 50% PET Polyester. I cannot seem to find any resources on this particular blend, but it would seem to me the only reason to put 50% PET polyester would be to reduce their cost….the “salesman” kind of got a glazed look in her eye when I asked about this, I truly believe she didn’t know the answer.

    1. I have a page specific on carpet blends, but basically, you’re going to get 50% qualities of each carpet. Assume you think Smartstrand has more foot traffic durability than polyester (which I’d imagine if you’re buying it you do), than that advantage is going to be reduced by about 50%.

  13. Hi
    I’m wanting to supply a carpet for a resident of a care home. The resident has spills of tea, coffee and orange juice. The care home have prematurely, I believe, removed his (cheap) carpet and replaced with vinyl. It is all a little undignified and less than homely. I require something that is cleanable and wears well . I have noted SmartStrand carpet advertising. Within reason, price is a secondary issue compared to practicality. Any advice is welcome. Thank you

    1. I think Smartstrand is great for stain protection, so it might be a good one to try. You mentioned durability, but I might go the other direction and pick a less expensive, less durable carpet and replace it more often if it’ll take a beating. Polyester carpets could fit that mold–they’re very good with stain resistance, don’t hold up to footwear well, but are cheap.

  14. HI

    I want to protect wall to wall carpet in three bedrooms in a rental from any possible pet issues. I want to put it down especially into the corners and along the edges of the room. I was going to put down carpet film but I read it can cause mold. Three are the carpet protector rolls with the little prongs on the bottom and then I could use basic 24-30 inch wide carpet runner from places like costo to cover to the edges of furniture. – they could be easily replaced if there was an issue. Then I could invest in area rugs for the center of the area. the part I would walk on

    Your mention of trapping moisture really concerns me. I do not want to create a breeding ground for bacteria or mold to grow. I have no idea how a vapor barrier would work in a wall to wall carpeted bedroom.

    I also hate that vinyl- chemical smell from carpet protectors and I would like to find a PET free or eco-friendly product that is not off-gassing. I am chemically sensitive and really need a non-toxic floor and a way to protect against pets

    While I would LOVE all hardwood, tile or other effective non- carpeted homes but that has proved extremely hard to find as a renter. I am not a homeowner and I cannot just rip out the carpet

    The idea is to protect the carpets from any pets’ issues and when I leave, leave a pristine carpet behind.

    Will you suggest a product to purchase and where I could find the product?

    1. You’re saying a product to go over the carpet (since the landlord takes care of the carpet)? I agree the plastic protector rolls can be nice. I haven’t seen anything that would work well for the corners, expect to mmake a physical barrier (eg put a storage bin or something in the corner).

  15. We thought we did our research and bought carpet in late 2017 and it started to mat/crush 6 months in and the areas affected have spread and worsened. We bought an anso nylon and followed formula for quality including Density = 3951 oz per cubic yard
    Face weight = 43.9 oz
    twist rating = 7.10
    fibre length = 0.400 inch
    durability rating 4 out of 5

    We are now looking at what to do as all the low and high traffic areas are matted. We have followed all warranty requirements with vacuuming, using a cri certified vacuum, getting it cleaned. We are seeking a replacement through manufacturer but are at a loss as to what to get. I’d love to get some old school nylon as opposed to the softer nylons manufacturers are making.

    1. Surprised it went bad so fast. Face weight is great and nylon is probably the least resistant to matting. My only suggestion would be you could go with a low pile height/fiber length. If not that, you could consider a different floor like hardwood, luxury vinyl, or laminate.

  16. Ann McGetrick

    Thank you so much for all the good information – it sure helped as I shopped for carpet today!
    God bless you!

  17. Martin M Weber

    Thank you for your awesome info! I’m starting phase 1 tomorrow. I’m concerned about brands, everyone has their preferred. What is Carpet Captains preferred brand if you don’t mind sharing.

    1. Carpet Captain

      You can read this page on carpet brands. Fair warning: I don’t give recommendations on specific brands for a few reasons. The main reason is that within brands there are wide ranges of quality, and the other is most of carpet durability comes from things like fiber material, density, and padding not the brand name associated with the carpet. It’s not like cars where Toyota is much more durable than Kia.

  18. Hi – Thanks for all of your information. I was considering a carpet from Earth Weave, but when I got down to the warranty, it just didn’t seem right. It basically says the carpet is guaranteed to be free from manufacturing defects for 5 years. Matting, crushing, soiling, staining or any other changes in appearance are not considered manufacturing defects and are excluded from the warranty. There are no returns on cut carpeting. There are other limitations, but these are the ones I’m concerned with.

    On top of this warranty, the dealer has what they call their “warranty” and shipping page that is really a Disclaimer, not a warranty. Disclaimer: EXCEPT FOR SPECIFIC MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTIES INDICATED ON PRODUCT PAGES AND/OR IN THE WARRANTY APPENDIX THAT FOLLOWS THIS AGREEMENT, GOODS AND SERVICES PURCHASED FROM OR THROUGH COMPANY ARE PROVIDED “AS-IS,” AND “AS AVAILABLE,” AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, ARE DISCLAIMED (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE DISCLAIMER OF ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE). It is also required that I make note of all damage on the shipping ticket and if there is any hidden damage that I am responsible for paying for replacement carpet.

    It appears if the carpet arrives stained or anything else that I have no recourse and that I would have to accept 2nd grade or 3rd grade carpeting for this very expensive wool carpet. Some of the other dealers don’t require the As-Is statement, but the manufacturer’s warranty seems to indicate that the carpet needs to be accepted as-is too and doesn’t cover much of anything other than the separation of the carpet from the backing, it appears.

    Even going with a different dealer and due to the fact that the manufacturer wouldn’t put anything in writing for me about what would be covered if there was hidden damage on arrival, in fact he lied to me a number of times, my instincts are to not buy this carpet. Could you please let me know your thoughts on this.

    1. Carpet Captain

      My general rule of thumb is if I start getting a headache reading it or feel like I need a lawyer to decipher it, then I ignore it. The problem with this rule is it eliminates most all warranties. So I don’t think this company is unique in having a “loophole” warranty. But I also agree with you that the language seems a little concerning basically saying it is “as is.” But if I understood, the is the store/dealers disclaimer and not the manufacturer’s. And they say the manufacturer’s warranty still stands. Either way it’s confusing, so red flag.

  19. Hello and thank you for the assistance you provide in this often confusing process! We’re considering the Shaw Floors Platinum Texture Tonal EA579 100% Anso BCF Nylon carpet. Any thoughts on the quality and durability of this carpet brand/type?

    Thank you!

    1. Carpet Captain

      Shaw Anso Nylon is a good fiber. So it’s a good start, just make sure to check out all the other durability factors in the guide (including padding) to make sure the fiber doesn’t go to waste.

  20. Mary Lynn Crandall

    Hi, and thank you for all the information you share! We are considering a loop carpet. I see that you mention that there might be a problem with crushing and matting, as well as pulls that require repair. We are considering a Shaw loop style called Good Thinking. The fiber is Anso R2X. The cost is $3.99 square foot.
    My questions:
    1. Do loop carpets have a twist rating? If so, is the twist rating less important for a loop carpet?
    2. If the carpet is low (ie: .359), and the density rating is 4100, and the face weight is 40, would that be a dense enough carpet to prevent the matting/crushing issue?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Since the fiber doesn’t have an exposed end (it is threaded back into the backing), you’re right the twists are less important. You’ve got a good fiber, face weight, and density. Crush/matting can be a problem with loops but really any problem. Loops get a bad reputation often when they’re used with a poor quality fiber (yours isn’t). I think you’d be happy with it (the snagging issue is still there if you have a pet or other reasons to think the loops will get caught).

  21. Captain – Can you comment around your thoughts of the Carpet and Rug Institute? I’ve followed your guide, started to get into the warranty of my selected carpet, and basically every vacuum you can buy at target or best buy is not ‘CPI’ approved, meaning the warranty is invalid from day 1. Likewise if you don’t select an approved vendor for carpet cleaning once a year your warranty is invalidated. Is my Roomba and Dyson really that toxic to any carpet I choose?

      1. You may know more than me on this. I’m familiar with the CRI but don’t really know anything about the inner workings or whether money passes hands influences their suggestions. As for the vacuums, I’ve seen their list and it did leave out many vacuums I really like. I think both Roomba and Dyson have some of the best vacuums (Dyson is best on many of my lists including my best for pet hair list). As far as warranties, that’s why I say they’re mostly worthless. There are always ways for companies to get out if they want to when you read the fine print. I think warranties are more or less marketing materials “This is a great new technology carpet. To prove it, we backed it with a 15-year warranty!”

  22. I am looking at two carpets, both polyester . They seem to have essentially the same specs other than face weight and density. One offers 65oz face weight with 2582 oz/cu yd density, the other offers 56 oz face weight with 3225 oz/cu yd density. We plan to carpet most of the house, including two sets of stairs. We have two children and a large dog and I am worried about durability and wear and tear on the carpet. The carpets are essentially the same price, but I want to make sure that we are going to pick the one that will show the least amount of wear. What do you suggest? Thanks!

    1. Carpet Captain

      Everything else being equal, I favor density over face weight, so I’d go with the second option. The bigger question concern might by the polyester. It’s not the most durable carpet fiber. If you haven’t already, you can read about carpet fibers here.

  23. About 3 months ago I read all of your advice and decided on purchasing Stainmaster Pet Protect from Lowes. Good face wt, density, twist,etc. The estimate had a 38% waste, which I thought was ridiculously high for the area I was having carpeted. Went back, redesigned the layout (seam placement, placement of “waste “carpet in the closets,etc)-salesperson agreed the new design was legit. However, it was declined by her manager, stating 12 foot rolls could not be used, even though all but one area was less than 12 ft in width/length. They wanted to sell me another brand in 15 ft width, that “matched the color “I had picked out, but specs were not even close! I’ve searched everywhere for the original carpet I picked out with no luck. Shopping for another carpet has been very frustrating, as I can never easily get the specs, am told just pick a color you like,the specs mean nothing (and when I can get the numbers, they are crap). I’m back to square one and totally at a loss. What are other fans of your website purchasing??

    1. Getting the specs should never be difficult… get why that’s frustrating. Also, 12ft is usually most common so surprised that wasn’t an option, but with a particular carpet, that can definitely be the case. Unfortunately, it sounds like a bad experience overall. I’d find a place you can shop where they’ll readily give you the specs (there has to be somewhere in your area… I might start by just calling around so I didn’t have to waste my time going in if stores are reluctant). Then, I’d shop purely on specifications and not brand. Sorry the experience has been such a pain.

      1. Thank you for your advice. After trying 3 retailers, I finally found one that printed out the specs as soon as I asked. Finally! Think my pick for 4 bedrooms and a hallway ( no young kids, one big dog) Nylon, 6.1 twist, 58.5 face weight, 3290 density $6.60/sq ft including 8# rebond pad, installation and carpet removal ( have to check if that includes disposal-(thanks again Cpt for that tidbit). How’d I do?

  24. Help me Carpet Captain!
    I am overwhelmed by the carpet buying decision making experience. I have to pick carpet for about 5oosq feet of the unfinished part of my basement (it is a split level house). The space will be where we take off shoes, laundry and storage. And I can’t figure out with all the traffic what would be the best kind of carpet (nylon or smartstrand) or style of carpet for the space. What can I put there that won’t get black and smooshed within a month. And I live a northern climate so there will always be snow and salt for a few months a year.
    Help!
    Or should I scrap the carpet idea and just put in luxury vinyl?

    1. It sounds like foot traffic is more of a problem than stains. In that case, I generally recommend nylon, but I’d also check out both my pages on nylon and Smartstrand if you haven’t already to see some of the major differences. Since you’re interested, I’d check out the luxury vinyl guide. It gives some pros and cons. I’d favor it if you were tracking stuff in a lot (salt, asphalt stains, moisture).

    1. I may change this in the future, but I shy away from ranking brands. There are a few reasons but one of the main problems is each brand is huge with many different lines of carpet. Each line of carpet performs differently. At some point, I might give a breakdown of at least a few of those brands, which I think would be more helpful. That said, if any readers want to comment on their personal experience of the brands, they’re welcome to.

  25. Thank you for all this valuable information! We want to re-carpet our whole house, about 2100 sq. ft., including stairs … we plan to stay here for a while, mortgage paid off, Phoenix-area … found small family owned business with excellent reviews … picked out a Shaw premium carpet (platinum), 1/2. in/8lb. pad, price includes moving all the furniture and carpet removal. Quote was about $6.80/sq. ft. or roughly $14,100 for the job. Does this sound about right or should I keep looking for a better deal? Thank you!

    1. It’s definitely not unreasonable for high-end carpet. Using my carpet calculator for a large house (2000 square feet) and choosing “I want my carpet to last” the estimate is $14k, so almost identical to yours. Of course, all the details of the carpet matter, so make sure what you’re getting matches with high-quality in that article.

  26. OMGoodness, was this ever helpful – thank you so much. Do you have any information like this for buying wood floors or for tile floors? I plan on putting carpet, wood and tile in during our remodel. Once again – thanks!

    1. Thanks. Yes, I cover about every type of flooring. Here’s my hardwood guide (still being worked on but still has everything you should need to know), and here is a tile guide. Also, you may want to consider laminate or luxury vinyl, which you can find in the top navigation.

  27. We are getting Stainmaster Pet Protect from Lowes. for bedrooms, hallway and family room. They offer SM “Select” (bonded?), as the one that comes with the carpet, and “Splendor” i (Duraplush), s the upgrade. I saw your link for SM padding. Lowes only offers thes 2, plus memory foam. You said don’t be deceived by softer padding. The upgrade is definitely softer.. What is your thought, please?

    1. The select is a rebond pad and the Splendor is a foam pad. Both are low VOC, Green Label certified pads and have breathable moisture barriers. The select is 8lb which is great for rebond. I know The Pet Protect Stainmaster Supreme is a 100% foam pad, which I’d consider the best padding available. But foam pads vary a lot, and I’m not sure what the difference in the Splendor is. I suspect it has viscoelastic gel with it, which makes it more difficult to call how durable it would be. Something I’ll try to look more into, but not knowing anything else, I’d stick with the “standard” pad because it should be good quality without an upgrade price.

  28. Ordered twp 12×13 sq ft rolls. Paid extra for sevond cut. One for bedroom, other for hall. Sales says it is in stock. Card info given and ship date will follow soon. Let’s say purchase was on 8th. I call the mill and they have my order in cutting. Ship next day or day after. Then the big wait. I called yesterday due to installer getting busy and still no ship info. Emailed the sales person who apologized for being new and messed up. All I wanted was estimate of ship. I know it takes time from GA to IL. I will be picking up at ship terminal Monday to save time that it say waiting after cutting to go to shipper. I then get an email explaining process and suggesting I was too impatient. Lead times can be two weeks. What?
    Sales already said they were sorry. What could I do?I texted, called and emailed. No response. 14 days later, it is waiting in container for driver to bring to IL. Then I will get from there.
    Bad experience. Was it me?

    1. Was this an online order? It does sound like there was some excessive delay, but in some cases, it can take time. It’s really all about how it was communicated to you. I think they should give you an expectation of when the carpet will arrive when you purchase it, and if it’s significantly past that, it’s on them. Sounds like there was poor communication throughout.

  29. I am wondering how often this website is updated (copied from second comment:) Specifically, is there any updated information about SmartStrand? I know that it is fairly new and it’s claims cannot be validated for a period of time.

    1. Hi Marianne – it’s updated regularly (near daily) as a whole. Certain pages are updated more and less, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask on the page and I always return comments. You can check out our page on Smartstrand carpet. The opinions still stand, but you’re welcome to ask any questions there.

      1. I have a 13×10 normal bedroom including closet I have before, and still can install carpet
        the tack strips are in place and still workable, I have the pad, all my need’s are is a piece of carpet. Can you please email me two or three firms where I can buy a piece of carpet from George Taylor

  30. I really liked your tip to figure out when and where you should purchase your carpet flooring to get the best deals. I am replacing my old hardwood flooring with carpet before I sell my home. I will be sure to study on where and when I should buy the new carpet flooring because I want the best deal. [link removed]

  31. Excellent Information ! Ive been studying & becoming an educated consumer as Im shopping for my carpeting.
    So,. a few questions : Im installing carpet in a small condo vacation rental (which I also use with my family about 15weekends a year) There are stairs and an area that every one go thru to get to the kitchen.
    Therefore wearability n durability and stain n soil resistance are my primary concerns. As such Ive decided on nylon and will go with an 7 or 8lb rebound pad. Im considering the DreamWeaver Triumphant series. Specs are: cut pile, 50oz face weight (ozs/yd squared ?) , Total weight 80.7 , density is listed as
    2216 ozs/yds squared , 5.75 turns/inch Finished pile thickness 26/32″ , tufts 9/inch. Your opinions on its durability ? Im concerned that the density # is below your recomendation. But everything else seems ok as far as meeting my concerns.

    1. The great face weight and density being a little low usually happens with a higher pile height (taller strands of carpet). You can ignore the total weight. Sounds like you’ll still have a pretty durable carpet. For what it’s worth, I tend to like less durable carpets (polyester etc) in rentals and then replacing every few years.

      1. Thank you for all the excellent information! I’m responding on this thread because of the mention of Dreamweaver carpet. We are considering that brand, and my first question is your overall opinion of the brand because that name was new to me. Secondly, we are considering 2 options – both nylon: Lakeside plush (face weight 70, density 3103, twist 5.25), and Perfectly Blended frieze (face weight 67, pile 2978, twist 5.50). Pad for both – rebond,8lb, 7/16″. Assuming no problems with the brand, would either of these be OK in 3 bedrooms with no kids or pets? The local business (recommended on your website) also carries Shaw -should we consider that brand over Dreamweaver?

        1. Carpet Captain

          My response on Dreamweaver is kind of boring, but I’m neutral. And that’s how I am with most carpet companies. Occasionally, you find a proprietary stain coating or different way of manufacturing, but mostly it’s not like a car where you buy a Toyota and it lasts forever where another brand may be known for lemons. It more comes down to the specs, which brings up your next point: I think both those carpets should do great in your home. They look like nylon with good specs, which should even hold up to kids.

          1. Micki McLaughlin

            Thank you! After studying your information, I felt like my specs would be OK – I used the chart and the puzzle as good visuals. (The carpet salesman said he could tell I am “informed.”) I was interested in your opinion of the Dreamweaver brand, but felt comfortable that, as you say, in the long run it comes down to the specs. Sooo much great help in a situation that can be overwhelming. I also feel very good so far with the experience I’ve had with the flooring company you recommended in Burleson, TX. Thanks again!!

          2. Micki McLaughlin

            CORRECTION: Carpet Captain provides a significant amount of helpful information on his website. I’d like to point out my mistake in the comment section above, in that he did not recommend a flooring company, as he urges his readers to go to Home Advisor. I appreciate his wide-ranging thoughts about buying carpet and have found them extremely helpful.

          3. Usually. If it was carpet that wasn’t walked on much, you might be able to get by without replacing it. But padding is relatively cheap and important to your carpet lasting, so I recommend replacing it 99% of the time.

  32. The website is very helpful , you would learn a lot of things but before you learned, theres a lot of introduction, before you get to the details you want. But is a good website. Thank you for the tips!

    1. Thanks Irene and appreciate the feedback. I’m planning on continuing to edit and design the guide to make it easier to use and agree the intro should be shortened some.

  33. By far THE MOST concise and helpful how to guide I’ve ever seen. We were almost ripped off from Jack’s Carpet here in Houston but thankfully after a local consumer reporter got on the case we got a refund and canceled the install.
    They made us pay in full the day we bought. Since we were lied to over and over concerning installation, my husband is very leery about handing over 100% prior to install. Would it be wise to pay by credit card instead of check?
    Also, a Huge factor for us is comfort. I’ve had 7 foot surgeries so you can understand why.
    I’ve read your guide but didn’t see much on comfort for bare feet. What do you suggest for pad as well as carpet?
    Also could you recommend a retailer in the NASA area in Houston? 77505
    Thanks so much in advance

    1. Thanks for the compliments! I have an article on different ways to pay for carpet. I personally prefer credit cards because I find they give you one more “tool” to use in the event you need a refund. Also, you get cash back which can easily be $200+ with the example I show on that page. For soft underfoot, I think you’d benefit more from a higher face weight and good pad because soft carpet fibers would just be soft to touch, not impact. You could consider a high-quality memory foam, but I’d read my comments in this article and comments section. I think a high-density rebond could also work. Sorry, don’t now any installer in the Houston area 🙁

  34. In your discussion on carpet padding, you state about 15% less pad than carpet is needed. With respect to carpet, you state that about 10% should be added to the actual sq ft measure, for waste and matching. If I apply the 15% reduction for pad to the carpet sq ft, including the 10% increase, I would get then get less than the actual sq ft measurement. For example, if the actual measure is 1,000 sq ft, with 10% increase for carpet to 1,100 sq ft, applying a 15% reduction to the 1,100 would equal 935 sq ft. Don’t I have to purchase enough pad to equal at least 1,000 sq ft?

    1. Carpet Captain

      Good catch and you’re understanding correctly, but the 15% and 10% are rough estimates and two separate examples. In the example, you’d only need 15% less pad if the waste/extra carpet was 15%. I’ve heard carpet waste estimates anywhere from 5-30% from my readers, and most the time is between 10-20%. So when I quoted the 10% added to the square foot measure, that is on the low end. And when I quoted the 15% waste, that is right around average. Thanks for pointing it out; I may link the two examples so other readers don’t get confused.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Denser isn’t always better (and in some cases worse) for impact noise–foot traffic, objects hitting the ground etc. BUT it will be better for “air noise”–voices, music etc. That said, I don’t know the exact numbers for your pad, but I’ve seen where double the density only made a small impact on noise reduction (it’s more about the material), do I doubt there’s much of a difference. Here’s an article I have on soundproof flooring: https://www.carpetcaptain.com/flooring-options/sound-proof-floor-guide/

  35. How often do you up date your list of recommended retailers. My zip code is 75088. Dallas/ Garland area. Also I have a specification data sheet from a carpet manufacturer that reads Face Weight ozs/yd2: 56; Density ozs/yds3: 2934; Total weight ozs/yds2: 86.8. I am a little confused about the yds2 and yds3. Could you explain?

    1. Carpet Captain

      Unfortunately, I haven’t kept a good update on retailers I recommend, but I’ll probably try to in the future. You can ignore the y2 and y3; it’s just the (standard) unit for the face weight and density. Face weight uses yards squared and density yards cubed.

  36. Having bought and laid a good pad is it necessary to replace the pad if you are replacing the carpet.

    1. Carpet Captain

      Don’t know exactly what you’re asking. New pad isn’t always required when installing carpet. In some cases such as a room where pad wasn’t used much, pad was installed later than the carpet, or certain types of pad, you may get by re-using it. 99% of the time you’ll want to replace the pad.

  37. I own a carpet cleaning company, Integrity cleaning [link removed], This article is so darn good! So many of my customers get the cheapest carpet they can buy at replacement time or they get sold something expensive that isn’t suited for them.
    The question should be “what carpet is best for my needs?” pets? kids? climate? material?

    You guys did a killer job at explaining what to think about when replacing. Can I send this to my customers?

    1. Carpet Captain

      Appreciate the comment, and appreciate you letting your customers know about Carpet Captain! Had to remove the link to the site because once I allow one, there’s a flood of spam.

  38. Thank you for all the wonderful information. I feel very confident and am ready to go shopping tomorrow, wish me luck.

  39. Great guide. One other comment I would add to the health factor is that taking out old carpet can release dander and dirt and allergens into the air can be more problematic for sinuses and watery eyes than the off-gassing. Ventilation is key to minimizing this issue.

  40. So I guess we got lucky 14 years ago when we bought carpet for our whole house. It has only shown wear for the past couple of years and we are shopping again. These instructions are invaluable to a buyer and I learned so much from your tips, that I am ready and confident to start the carpet buying process again. Thank you so much for the simple and straightforward tips you have given from the types of carpet to negotiating price. So happy I found your buying guide.

    1. Carpet Captain

      I’m glad you found it too, and hope you get lucky on your carpet again (after all, it is St. Patrick’s day)!

  41. Kevin VanderWall

    Great article. At FIBR Carpet Recycling we specialize in Commercial Carpet Tile Recycling, and Repurposing. We are a Great resource for Recycling, and purchasing at Wholesale prices. Let’s connect. fibrcarpet.com

    1. Appreciate it! Don’t consider myself an amazing writer but always working to make this the most useful carpet buying guide possible.

  42. I have specs on several carpets which I am considering, but am at a loss as to which factors outweigh others in the final decision (density over twist? Soft nylon vs regular, SoftBac vs regular…etc.). Could I send you the information for your opinion? It might be a little long for a website comment….

    1. Need your zip code first! But really, always happy to recommend local stores in your area if I know of any–just shoot me an email in the contact form.

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