How to Make Your Carpet Last YEARS Longer!
By Alan Fletcher - aka The Carpet Professor - 30-Year Flooring Expert and Consumer Advocate
Carpet Care and Maintenance
How well you care for your carpet is a big factor to making your carpet last years longer. Most homeowners don't do it right.
If you don’t clean your carpet before it gets dirty and vacuum on a regular basis, then you can kiss about half of your carpet lifespan goodbye. And your carpet warranty demands that you follow some basic carpet cleaning and maintenance guidelines.
See my Carpet Cleaning Directory
Another thing you might need to consider… Did you have your new carpet installed properly? If not, you may lose up to half of its intended lifespan. Installed improperly will void your carpet warranty. Most carpet installers are not properly trained and finding a qualified installer can be difficult and time consuming.
Choosing the correct padding is critical too. If you choose the wrong padding, guess what? It voids your new carpet warranty and another half of your carpet's life span may be lost forever. With the wrong pad your carpet could develop waves and wrinkles, the backing could fall apart or it could begin to wear out & mat down quickly in all the main walkways.
Common Carpet Shopping Mistakes
Most homeowners don't realize just how many costly "mistakes" can be made during the carpet buying process. Any one of these simple mistakes could cause your expensive new carpet to go the way of the dinosaurs faster than a blazing comet!
Unscrupulous or inexperienced carpet salespeople surely won't or can't tell you if you are choosing the wrong carpet or padding. They will allow you make your carpet selection based on the color, the style, or based on what you can afford. This is the wrong way to choose new carpet wisely.
You must choose your new carpet based on how long you want it to last, how much foot traffic you have in your home and how well the carpet is constructed. After you find the right grade of carpet that is capable of tolerating your level of foot traffic for the length of time you have in mind, then you can go about looking at colors, styles and prices.
Don't Let Carpet Salespeople Make Your Choices.
Most carpet salespeople are afraid they will lose the sale if they try to convince you to spend more money on a better grade of carpet, even if it is the right thing for you to do! Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you need to buy.
Don't Buy a Lower Grade of Carpet!
If money is tight, consider doing part of the home now and then do the rest after you save up some more money. You must buy the right grade of carpet that can tolerate your level of foot traffic in your home, otherwise it will wear out in a hurry and you will NOT be happy. There is no warranty coverage whatsoever if you choose a carpet that is not designed to tolerate your level of foot traffic.
Be Realistic About Your Carpet Choices
Sadly, way too many homeowners are more concerned about buying a carpet that doesn't show footprints or vacuum marks then they are about selecting a carpet that can withstand their level of foot traffic. Folks, if you are on a budget and want to get the most value for your money, then finding a carpet that doesn't show foot prints and vacuum marks should be a low priority.
Would you rather not see footprints but have your carpet wear out in a short time? Start by knowing what grade of carpet will withstand your level of foot traffic. Then consider cost. Weigh those two factors out first before you move on to choosing the best color and style that you prefer.
Don't Throw Your Money Away!
In the 15 years that I have been online helping homeowners choose the right carpet, I have discovered that there are very few homeowners that can buy new carpet from start to finish without making at least one or more serious and costly mistakes along the way. Some folks are lucky and they get professional help from a reputable carpet dealer, but finding a reputable flooring dealer is becoming more difficult every day.
Even if you have a good friend in the carpet business, you still need to do your carpet homework before you begin shopping. You can't expect any carpet salesperson to make your carpet choices for you. If you do, you will have no one to blame but yourself when your carpet doesn't last as long as you had expected. See who I recommend near you
About Carpet Warranties
I have to add a final word about carpet warranties that you will find posted on the back of carpet samples. Some will list the amount of time in which each aspect of the warranty will be covered. For example, some carpets have a 10 year stain warranty. Others may have a lifetime stain warranty.
Either way, no carpet is stain proof and there are limitations to these warranties that you need to know about. There is a long list of stains that are not covered under the warranty.
Most carpets today come with some type of limited "Texture Retention" warranty. This is where they give you some idea about how long your carpet will continue to look like new. In this case, they are talking about the appearance of your carpet. When the tufts start to untwist your carpet will start to look bad. Carpets don't typically wear out, they just end up looking "ugly".
If this happens to your carpet and you want to submit a warranty claim, you will have some hoops to jump through. In the end, it is highly doubtful that you will win your claim but even if you do, they just give you a partial store credit for the affected areas and leave you responsible for paying for all the extra fees and charges. Rarely do they ever replace all the carpet unless you can prove that the carpet has an obvious manufacturing defect. Good luck with that!
In the end, should you fail to follow any of the manufacturers warranty instructions to the letter, your carpet warranty will be null and void.
Here are just a few of the requirements YOU are responsible for:
Having your carpets professionally cleaned and keep all the receipts. Read your warranty.
Having your new carpet installed in accordance with the Carpet & Rug Institute's guidelines,
Select a padding of the correct type, thickness and density rating, for the carpet you select.
Chose a carpet capable of withstanding your Level of Foot-Traffic.
Take my free Carpet Foot Traffic Test to see what grade of carpet you need to buy.