5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Carpet

How confident are you that you’re ready to start shopping for carpet? If you’re like most others, you have some ideas about what you want but still have some knowledge gaps when it comes to purchasing carpet.

In this post, we’ll get you all set to conquer the carpet buying experience. Read through to the end for:

  • Things to consider when looking for carpet
  • Answers to common questions related to getting new carpet 
  • Tips for buying carpet

What to Look for When Buying Carpet

Buying carpet can be a big deal. It’s highly visible in your home or office and is something you’re going to live with for an extended period of time.

That’s why it’s important to get it right. And to do that, you have to have a firm grasp on what makes a sensible carpet for you. Your needs and preferences are likely to be unique so what works for someone else might not cut it for you.

When shopping for carpet, you’ll need to keep the following things in mind and understand how they impact your selection process:

  • Where the carpet will go. What are the environmental conditions (e.g., humidity or direct sunlight) of the space? Is the carpeting going in a high-traffic area (e.g., kids or pets)?
  • Color, texture, size, and other design or aesthetic aspects. Think about what kind of look you’re hoping to achieve. With the range of materials, styles, etc. — you’re sure to find loads of alternatives no matter what your criteria are.
  • Your budget. How much are you willing to spend? Do you need to finance your purchase?
  • Your proclivity for maintenance. Not all carpets require the same kind and amount of care. Are you prepared for the time and money investment for a higher-maintenance carpet or do you want easier-upkeep carpeting?
  • The long-term plan. You might make different choices if you intend to replace the carpet in a few years than if you’re expecting it to be serviceable for a longer time horizon.

Shopping for Carpet? Ask These Questions!

Now that you have those pools of thought swirling away in your mind, let’s dive into questions you’ll want to pose before purchasing your carpet.

1. How do I choose between a carpet and a rug?

Both are great options. It really reduces down to what your needs and preferences are, though, and how well the available carpets/rugs meet your requirements.

For example, carpets may be a better choice if you have to cover a large or unusual-shaped area. On the other hand, if you want something that’s one-of-a-kind or free-floating, a rug might be a winner for you.

For a more in-depth exploration of this topic, we recommend reading Carpet vs Rug: Which is Right For You? next.

2. How do I figure out which carpet’s right for me?

Start by doing that personal inventory, coming up with responses to those questions about location, style, budget, and ownership. Those answers are your guiding lights! They provide valuable insights that will probably winnow down the overwhelming assortment of carpets to a manageable handful of viable options.

So, only bother to look at carpets that:

  • Fall within the range of money you’re interested in spending.
  • Are colors, patterns, materials, and textures that appeal to you or go with your space.
  • Accommodate the area to be carpeted and environmental or usage factors.
  • Require as little or as much maintenance as you’re willing to do.
  • Will last for the timeframe you need it to.

Additionally, you’ll want to ask the salesperson about the complete breakdown of what’s included in your purchase. Are you just buying a carpet? Or is padding, installation, and removal of your old carpet part of the package as well? You need to know what you’re paying for.

3. What options or customizations are available?

One reason carpets are so popular is that they can often be tailored to meet an array of needs.

  • Carpets are generally mass-produced. This could mean that a given design is available in several colors.
  • Carpets are also usually made as wide rolls. As such, you may be able to cut the carpet into almost any size or shape. Fitting even the most awkward nooks and crannies is doable.
  • Another awesome modification you can make is carpet edging. This enables you to add complementary borders to your carpet or turn carpeting into rugs and runners.
  • You may have options in terms of protective treatments, installation, and more. Be sure to ask your salesperson.

4. How much should I budget for a carpet?

The cost of carpets runs the gamut. Price per square foot (or square yard) for carpet depends on the:

  • Design
  • Pile
  • Brand
  • Materials
  • Customizations
  • Quantity
  • Size/shape
  • Other inclusions (e.g., padding, installation, removal of old carpet)
  • Rebates and discounts

That said, it might be helpful to know that carpeting tends to be less expensive than rugs. And you can find economical options in a staggering variety. Recent reports suggest that $5-$15 per square foot is average for decent quality carpet.

5. Where should I buy my carpet?

Ultimately, you want to give your business to a reputable dealer. Within that parameter, you can go in a few different directions and get good results.

Most people prefer to shop for carpets at a local retailer. This allows them to see and touch the carpets. It’s also likely that you’ll get more personalized and attentive service. Brick-and-mortar showrooms may have better selection and inventory, offer more sales or clearance items, and be able to provide quicker fulfillment.

Check your local retailer to see what shopping experiences they offer. For example, at Landry & Arcari, you can:

  • Schedule an appointment
  • Drop by during business hours
  • Video conference with a sales associate

In-home carpet vendors are popular, too. People like this option because they can see what the carpeting samples look like in the “real world” setting. It can make it easier to match carpeting to the rest of your furnishings and finishes. Plus, having the salesperson come to you may be more convenient — especially for people with mobility issues, kids to care for, or those who need to stay at home/the office.

You can also shop for carpeting online. If you know exactly what you want — this could work for you. It’s important to consider the full cost of the carpet including shipping, the reputation of the website or company, and if they are a local retailer. 

Best time of year to buy a carpet

Although sales and special promotions vary throughout the year from retailer to retailer, the best time to buy carpet is before you start redecorating or remodeling your space. It’s always a good idea to start a room design from the floor up, considering which rug or carpet you might like before buying other elements. So the best time to buy a carpet is right before you start buying other pieces for the room.

More Tips for Buying Carpets

Above, we hit on some of the entry-level questions about shopping for carpets. However, if you want to go beyond the basics, you’ll find the following recommendations incredibly useful.

See if you can get a sample

Ask for a take-home swatch of each carpet you’re considering. This is a great way to determine if the color truly matches the rest of your decor or how the tone changes given the lighting in your home. You can’t always get a sample, but when you can — it’s so helpful.

Don’t underestimate the importance of quality underpadding

Just because you don’t see what's beneath your carpeting doesn’t mean it’s inconsequential. Having the right padding — underpad that’s thick enough and appropriate for the area in which the carpet is going — can improve the comfort, performance, and longevity of your floor covering.

Remember there are a lot of variables

Don’t get overly hung up on or misled by a single characteristic — color, cost, fiber content, etc. For example, avoid the mistake of assuming that two carpets that look alike are the same. They could be made with different materials, available in different dimensions, and so on.

Get a realistic understanding of how much carpet you need

Determining the amount of carpeting you’ll require isn’t as simple as summing up the square footage of your space. Other factors — like the width of the carpet roll, edging technique, kind of pile — play a role, too. We recommend that you measure the room you’re carpeting before going shopping for carpet so your salesperson can use your measurements to figure out the right quantity of each carpet you’re considering.

Get your carpet professionally installed

Expert carpet installation is key to having your floor covering look good, function properly, and last as long as possible. This is absolutely one of those things that’s worth the investment. (Even more so if you are installing carpet on stairs or in other tricky spots.)

Don’t get duped by too-good-to-be-true deals

If a claim or promotion seems over-the-top, it just may be. Frequently, “freebies” and deep discounts are hooks for bait-and-switch schemes. Other times, you’ll discover that the costs associated with the deals are baked in elsewhere as fees or add-ons.

Ask for expert advice

Presumably, you are not a carpeting guru. You have your own realm of experience and expertise…but it’s not floor coverings. That’s why it’s so great to have access to people who are steeped in all things “carpet.” Lean into that! These experts can answer questions, suggest appropriate products, present you with fresh ideas you hadn’t thought of, facilitate your work with interior designers and contractors, and more.

Landry & Arcari, Unquestionably the Best Place for Purchasing Carpets

On top of having a huge selection of carpets — with plenty of options that meet your needs — we are well regarded for our knowledge, experience, and service. It’s our mission to help you find the perfect carpeting for your home. When you work with Landry & Arcari, you’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you’ll love your new carpet for years to come.

Send us a message, call, or come in today to get started.

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