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Carpet Q & A
Carpet Buying Questions and Answers
I read your ebook and loved all the information. I went armed with my requirements to three carpet dealers this last week, feeling very smart I might add. The problem I'm running into is that no one seems to have the weight, density, twist information and it's not on the carpet sample.
One salesman was good enough to call the manufacturer but no one there seemed to know the twist number (or even what it was). Another one gave a twist of 4.5 on an extremely high quality/expensive (63.3 & 2779) carpet and I have since figured out that number isn't the twist but their rating system of 1 to 5. I've tried Shaw and Royalty directly on line with very limited success - just the weight on the Shaw site and nothing for Royalty.
Bottom line: I've had no success in comparing quality in the carpets I've looked at. I live in a small town area (Medford/Ashland, Oregon) and the carpet stores have limited numbers of samples. The two locally owned stores don't have the same carpets to directly comparison shop. And, of course Carpet One has all private labels. I told the salesman that buying carpet without the spec information was like buying a car because the color is pretty and the seats are soft (don't have a clue what's under the hood.)
Of course he wasn't impressed with my analogy. I have three of them coming out to measure and I have a few carpet samples here at home but am in a quandary as to what would be a good value. I asked each salesman to come with the necessary information relating to each sample I took from them but have my doubts whether they will do it and/or the information will be accurate. Any thoughts on carpet quality/price comparison? Thanks, C.J.
It's getting more difficult to get the dealers to supply the carpet specs, but they do have access to it. You have to be insistent in many cases before they will make the call to the manufacturer. Calling their distributor will not yield the results, so carpet one and others who get their carpet from a secondary source have to dig deeper. It's just not right that consumers should be denied this info. As far as twist rates go, you can count the twists yourself, it's the number of twists per inch, so if the tuft is longer or shorter than an inch you will have to take that into consideration. I look forward to hearing back from you when you have all three bids in hand. They do make a power stretcher for stairs, but few installer use it, so the knee kicker is still the main tool used for stairs.
I found a customer service e-mail for Shaw carpet manufacturer and asked them directly for the specs on two carpets I'm considering. I actually got an answer so if I can get the manufacturer name and style name, maybe that's the way to go. None of the manufacturer general websites are user friendly for finding a particular carpet nor do they have the specs so it takes an e-mail. Are you familiar with a division of Carpet One called No Frills? It is under the Lippert's company name. Thanks. C.J.
Every locally owned carpet dealer that buys directly from the mill has a mill representative that services their account. These reps have all the specs or have access to all the carpet specs.
On the other hand, Carpet one is a huge conglomerate franchise with hundreds of stores. They get their stock from the carpet one source distributor that re-labels popular carpets from Mohawk, Shaw and Beaulieu among others. Their dealers don't have a local mill rep to call. The corporate office does not reveal much about their carpets so that they can limit comparison shopping, and they are reluctant to provide any carpet specifics to consumers. You can try to dicker with them, or negotiate to some degree, but they have a billion dollar company with a huge national advertising budget. This means they don't need to negotiate with you.
Personally I would rather buy from a smaller dealer, who is more willing to negotiate a better deal and still provide first class service on a more personal level. I know you are limited by your location, but you still have the upper hand in a down economy to play your cards well and win.
Put those carpets side by side, compare a Nylon BCF to a Nylon BCF and use common sense to determine the best quality. You know enough to choose wisely. Take your time and keep emailing me if you have questions!
I'm still working on getting all the information on the
carpets we are considering. I'll let you know the particulars and
the price when I get them. No one (we've been to three different
places) seems to be willing to negotiate prices -- first price is their
last price and as far as I can tell, they are similar in what they are
charging. I've told them I'm getting multiple bids but they hang
The price they are charging for the pad $3.24 per yard is reasonable. My goal is to prevent consumers from spending a fortune on a pad they don't need. This price does not worry me unless you have a serious pet accident issue. If I understand you correctly, the total price for the rebond moisture barrier pad is $3.24 per yard, not per square foot or as an upgrade price above and beyond the regular price for pad.
Most Rebond pads have a plastic surface that acts like a moisture barrier of sorts. Padding is stapled down on wood floors and has seams down the middle of the room at every 6 feet widths so even the most costly (so called) moisture barrier pads are not completely sealed and moisture proof. Any liquid in sufficient quantity will find a way to soak through the pad and into to the subfloor.
So many dealers charge so much more for moisture barrier pad. The moisture barrier is not a good thing if you have a serious pet urine problem. Why? Pet urine initially creates a small stain on the top of the carpet (about 3 inches in diameter) and then when it reaches the moisture barrier pad, it spreads out into a much larger diameter underneath the carpet (on top of the pad) and eventually dries undetected. Dried pet urine is worst in hot summer months. This makes it virtually impossible for it to be cleaned from the surface and increases the source of the odor under the carpet. Even if you immediately clean the 3" spot you see on the surface of the carpet, the larger area underneath that is affected will go undetected and be a source of odor every time the carpet is disturbed (walked on). Does this make sense to you?
Alan, Thanks for your answer.
Yes it makes sense. The price for moisture barrier padding is per
yard. It's 36 cents a sq. foot. My carpet measurements (three
people came to measure) came out to be 58, 87 and 60. Obviously the
middle one is off. My measurements were a challenge since the
hallway is a large "U" shape (approx. 44 feet total) with a
small bedroom (9 X 11 & 8.5 X 9.5) at each end plus a set of stairs.
The person with the 60 sq. yd. measurement did add 4 yards because I
didn't want more than one seam in the U hallway. The other seams
will be at the doorways to the bedrooms (and a couple of closet sections).
In your situation, the MB pad wouldn't hurt. Like I said, most rebond pads have a thin layer of plastic on the surface. Is that a 6 or 8 pound rebond? 7/16" thick? that's what you need, and the 8 pound would be better than a 6. Other than that, isn't it amazing how the measuring can swing so far? 87 yards to 58 that's a 29 yard difference!
Alan, What's your opinion on carpet with soft back? It feels almost like felt on the back of the carpet versus a very rough backing for other carpets. Thanks. C.J.
From where I
stand, soft back is just another added expense with little benefit to
the consumer. It is not a necessary feature if you use a qualified
carpet installer who is careful to not scratch your walls when they
bring in the carpet and use a power stretcher to stretch in the carpet.
Alan, That's what I thought. Thanks. C.J.
It's been a month since I've heard from you and I wanted to check in on you to see how your carpet purchase went. Did everything go alright? Who did you buy from, and would you recommend them? What was the name of the person that helped you? I hope I was helpful to you in your search for the right carpet. Your response will help me help others in your area.
Email carpet questions to: AbcCarpetpro@gmail.com
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