Carpet allergies « Carpet Buying Blues

I always refer my readers to The Carpet and Rug Institute to learn more about carpet allergies and related information.

Top 20 Carpet Buying Questions Answered 

  1. Is it better to steam clean it or Chem-dry it? Is there a better way?
  2. Is 7/16″, 6-pound padding a good pad for my home?
  3. Would you recommend Stainmaster carpet?
  4. So, now that I have this PET carpet and it is doing exactly what it says on your informative site, what can I legally do now? 
  5. I would like to install Mohawk Berber carpet in our basement (an olefin/nylon blend). The house has been waterproofed, but when we get a very severe storm, some minor seepage can still happen, usually leaking from the foundation onto the floor. I have chosen a 65 oz. Mohawk Berber, but the salesman worries that it is so thick that it will not dry out should seepage occur. The next lesser weight down is 52 oz.; am I better off with that?
  6. DuPont claims to have developed a new fiber that is as resilient as Nylon but has the cleaning properties of polyester. It is known as Sorona or Smartstrand. It is not the same as PET polyester. Mohawk manufactures the carpet. Do you have any experience with this new carpet fiber?
  7. Do you know anything about Empire Today carpeting? They come to your home, no showroom. I’m not sure about quality of carpet or installation.
  8. The carpet I chose is the Carpet-One gold series 100% Nylon Zwerlon with a 15-year wear warranty, 7 year stain resistance warranty and 5 years texture retention. From this info, can you tell me if this is a quality carpet? I need one that will wear and resist traffic patterns.
  9.  Is Gulistan a high quality product?
  10. Does the brand of carpet pad make any difference? One business recommended their pad, which was Mohawk, 6-lb. 1/2 inch. Said they used to use Carpenters, but like the better quality of Mohawk. Would the cheaper price be a good deal if I purchase the Flexible Foam Rebond pad?
  11. I know you have addressed the P.E.T. question multiple times, and are very much in favor of Nylon. We have found a Nylon/P.E.T. blend carpet from Beaulieu that is very nice (at least on the sample!). This is for a very large family room in our basement that will be used for entertaining. Our two children are older (teens), and none of us wear our shoes in the house… ever! The face weight is 70 oz, twist is 5.65 and density is 2897 – this stuff feels great to the touch. Do you have the same (or similar) reservations for the 80% P.E.T. / 20% BCF Nylon blend carpets? Given our situation, if we have found a carpet with the coloring and “feel” we like – would we be OK with the blend – which is priced comparably to some of the mid-tier nylons we’ve looked at? 
  12. I had a salesman out tonight who said even though his carpet is polyester, it is an excellent wearing carpet. My question is, have you heard of Empire Today Carpets? I want to know if you know if polyester can out perform a nylon Stainmaster carpet.
  13. What is the best time of the year to get the “best deals” on carpet?  
  14. I’ve read your ebook–it’s packed with information, and I am appalled at how ignorant I’ve been about buying carpet. Thank you for imparting the wisdom you’ve gained in your 3+ decades in the business.  Before buying your book I wrote to you about choosing carpeting to cover the concrete floor in the playroom area of our basement. (Based on your response, I decided against Berber–thanks for saving me from a bad decision.) We have waterproofed our 1920s home, but once in a great while water still finds its way inside. Either through the foundation wall if there’s an extremely severe storm, which happened in October and caused water problems for many homes and businesses here in the Chicago area, or up from the drainage hole leading out to the street. Our street has lots of old trees whose roots tend to clog up the drainage tiles we’re working on solving this. I’ve decided, a bit hesitantly, to go ahead with carpeting but to have it bound all around, on the theory that if it gets wet, it can be easily pulled back and allowed to dry and the affected padding replaced reasonably easily as well. I’ve done some shopping and have some questions for you before I proceed: 1) I am considering two Mohawk carpets. One is a nylon frieze; the other, a more economical polyester. Your book warns against any carpeting with polyester and/or new fibers; sure enough, the local (and long-established) carpet store did show me a “new” polyester made by Mohawk. Its called Horizon and it’s made of Smartstrand 3GT Polyester with DuPont Sorona Polymer.” It’s supposedly highly resistant to wear and stains and comes with a dizzying array of warranties. Should I continue to consider this option, or should I ignore it and go with a nylon frieze? 2) The local carpet store recommends a felt pad, but a shop-at-home service I consulted recommends eight-pound rebond. The carpet store offered felt for two reasons: one, they get a deal on it so it’s supposedly cheaper for me, and second, they’ve found that although this padding retains water when wet, it tends to keep the water away from the carpeting itself. Who is right? I’m worried that if the felt pad gets even the least bit wet, it will need to be replaced; might rebond pad withstand at least some moisture better, or would it mildew just as easily?
  15. I read your book this morning and went on a mission to search for carpet today. Boy, what a task that is! Your book is incredibly helpful though and allowed me to narrow my search immensely. I went to about 6 different places and ended up back at the first place I went. It is an owner operated store in business for 25 years and they had one particular carpet that seems reasonably priced, although it is more than I intended to spend so I wanted your opinion before I make the purchase. It is a Shaw style: Windswept Magic (Q0382), Color: Light House, 100% DuPont Tactesse Continuous Filament Nylon, Frieze (just love that style), Face-weight: 49oz, 7/yr Stainmaster Xtralife, 5/yr Texture, 10/yr Abrasive, Lifetime Anti-Static. The only thing I don’t know for sure is the twist but I told them I was looking for a 5 or better and it seems to be at least a 5 from what I can see. Using your charts & forms I calculated (rough estimate) 10 yards for the stairs with risers & 45 yards for the basement and their pricing was $1970.62 total. I was given a total price for the job so I had them break it down for me: Carpet:$23.47 yd. (on sale) Pad: $4.09sy 1/2″ 6lb rebond. Installation: $4.50 yd. Stair Steps: $6.00 per step (13 steps), Stringers: $45.00, Metal Door Strips: $1.50ft (9ft). I’d just like your opinion to make sure I’m not paying too much for the carpet or anything else.
  16. Home Depot is selling a “home depot brand” carpet that is named Traffic Master. It has a nylon fiber that is solution dyed. The claim is that the color is completely through the fiber. Do you know anything about this carpet or the claims for solution dyed?
  17. Thank you for writing such a helpful book! My husband and I are beginning our carpet buying adventure and with your help, it is not so overwhelming! Some info on our situation: Our current carpet is in bad shape…it is old, stained, wrinkled, and several seams are coming apart. We have pets and are parents of a 10-month-old, who is the main reason why we need to get new carpet ASAP. We can not keep putting off this major decision any longer because, wouldn’t you know it, she notices every separating seam and pulls at them even more…occasionally detaching several carpet fibers to snack on if we would let her. We’ve concluded we want to by carpet to last 10 years: Material: textured nylon (A sales lady told us that frieze holds dirt longer than other carpets if not vacuumed regularly. Is that correct?) Face-weight approx. 40 oz, pad- 7/16 in., 8 lb. I wish I could spend more time researching and shopping around for the best possible choice but as a starting point, we have 2 types: (1.) Mohawk: Elk Grove and (2.) Shaw: Essential Silver or Essential Gold. I like the feel of Essential Gold more than the Silver but since we have pets and will possibly have more children, I don’t know if it will be better to get the Silver. (I don’t know the type of nylon or the face weight of the Mohawk, but it was in the middle price range.) What are your thoughts about our decisions so far? Is there a benefit of choosing one over the other? Could we go with thinner, 6-lb. pad? I also would like your opinion on the backing of the carpet. The Shaw carpet has a “SoftBac Platinum” backing which is supposed to prevent wrinkling. Do you have any experience with this? The salesman said it does not scratch the walls during installation. Even though it feels soft, I thought it could possibly hold moisture and possibly start to mold or mildew over time. Does the carpet backing cause any major problems like that?  
  18. Is there a carpet that people that have allergies can use in the house. I have dogs and I try to keep the fur up. We put laminate in our living room, but I really would like to go back to carpet.
  19. I just purchased your book the other day and am thankful I did. However, my wife and I went to a couple of retailers yesterday and are now in awe of the prices for Frieze carpets. Either your price estimates are years out of date or the info from your book will probably save us over $600 for a 32 square yard family room carpet. I was expecting to pay ~ $40/square yards for a top-quality nylon Frieze carpet, 8 pound pad, and carpet removal and installation. As you mentioned in your book, many retailers use the square foot method (we went to 3 and they all use square foot measurements). The best price we found for carpets we liked is $6.25/sq ft to $7.60/sq ft. This includes delivery, pad, install, and lift/removal of existing carpet. Transition bars are included with the $7.60 carpet and we need 14 feet. The carpets we looked at (I have samples in my hands now) are; Queen Carpet (Shaw), Style: San Giovanni (S) Q0801, 100% Anso Caress Continuous Filament Nylon, R2X stain and soil resistance, SoftBac Platinum backing, and 10 year Texturegard warranty. Cost ~$7.00/sq ft. That’s $63.00/sq yd!! Masland Carpets and Rugs (Belize), 9380-613 Native, 100% DuPont Continuous Filament Tactesse nylon, Stainmaster Xtralife carpet, Textured cut pile. $7.60/sq ft or a whopping $68.40/sq yd. Anyway, you get the idea. We really like the carpets above, but can you clarify if the prices above are exorbitant or normal for the brand and style? Your book states we really shouldn’t pay more than ~$40/ sq. yd for a very good quality nylon carpet. Are the carpets above top-of-the-line or are your quotes a few years old? You highly recommend finding a carpet installer, but we’re new to the area and don’t know enough people to ask for references and the yellow pages only had one name. Do you have any other ideas on how to find a good installer? Again, your book is great!! I never knew the carpet industry was so complex and I’ve learned much. I just wasn’t prepared for the price quotes from yesterday. Thanks for your time and any feedback you can provide is greatly appreciated.
  20. I just purchased your ebook on buying carpets. Very valuable information. Thank you for sharing all that you know. I have a friend in the carpet business in another state. He suggested I contact Carpets Direct in Michigan where I guess you can get carpet wholesale. What do you think of going this route?
  21. I need new carpet and I have pets. If they have an accident, would plush be easier to clean than frieze? You recommend not buying a special pet pad, if there is a bad accident should I have new carpet and pad pieced in?
  22. Your ebook is great…lots of awesome advice. I am looking to complete a very large job of a set of stairs, a long upstairs hall and 5 large bedrooms. I also have 5 kids, age 1-10. You have convinced me to order from a small family owned company with an installation guarantee. I am also looking at nylon only carpet, and will try to steer away from the type with Tactesse for added softness. My questions, would a tightly packed, somewhat curly frieze (Mohawk) with regular nylon (no Tactesse) do well on the steps? I realized I should steer clear of the Berber, but everyone tells me I should get frieze. This is very nice carpet, but I am wondering if I should go to something shorter? Also, many products have a “platinum soft back”. The Mohawk I am looking at does not. Is the soft back all that important? Also, any suggestions on pad density and thickness? I think I am confused because I am trying to carpet both stairs as well as bedrooms with the same thing, so I need something that will do well with heavy stair traffic.
  23. What is the best buy when buying carpet. The square foot, the linear foot, the square yard?
  24. I have a question about carpet dry cleaning versus hot water extraction cleaning. Most carpet manufacturers recommend the hot water extraction method but your emails seem to indicate potential over-saturation problems. Does the dry cleaning method really clean as well?
  25. (from question 20) Alan – thanks for the quick reply. I spoke with a certified Master Installer that I found on and he was extremely courteous and helpful. He referred us to Prosource carpets and we have an appointment for 6pm Thursday. Are you familiar with either CFI Installers or Prosource Floors? Anyway, the Master Installer and the Prosource floor representative were more knowledgeable and courteous than the retailers my wife and I visited this past Saturday. Go ahead and say it…I told you so, “to find an installer and work with them”. Your ebook and advice are extremely helpful in this process. I’ll keep you informed on our progress. Alan – every once in a while I get lucky and things fall into place. Well, ordering and reading your ebook was one of those fortunate times. Although the installer I found and his recommended store had a better price than the big retailers, $50/sq yd versus $65/sq yd, I still felt that the carpet we wanted could be had a better price…all because you said it could. Well, I tried one more store, a reputable family owned local retailer (I found them through a little luck and perseverance). Are you ready for this? I found exactly what we wanted…Masland Belize frieze with 8 pound ½ inch rebond pad, pull and removal of old carpet, fully installed and warranted for $43/sq yd!! If they had to move the furniture it would have been $1.00 per yard more (which I still feel is a fair price), but we’re going to move it ourselves. For 36 square yards of Masland Belize Frieze, 8 lb. rebond pad, removal of existing carpet, installed and warranted; Big name carpet retailers (3 total) quoted prices of $63 – $65/sq yd ($2340). Certified carpet installer, using his recommended store quoted at $50/sq yd ($1800). Local family owned flooring store (since 1942) quoted at $43/sq yd ($1548). Reading your e-book and following your advice saved us $800 from start to finish, (that’s a pretty good return for approximately 10 hours of research on line and at stores). As a matter of fact I would love to have a job making $80/hour!! As a side note, the only store that didn’t sell their carpet by the square foot was the family owned store. They still used the square yard technique and it made me wonder if perhaps there is a correlation between the measurement technique and price, AKA “rip-off potential”. It’s one of those things that made me go…Hmm. On a final note…the fact you provided your email contact information, quickly answered the emails I sent you, and provided personalized advice is a rare and unparalleled service that I greatly appreciated. It’s not common to find customer service as good as yours. If you like please feel free to share the email above as a testimonial on your web page. Just sign it as “Steve from Pennsylvania”. I hope your business prospers and thanks for your help.
  26. Thank you for providing such a fantastic website! I only wish I had stumbled across it before we carpeted our house two years ago! We are now ready to carpet our walkout basement and are considering commercial carpet. We have a Tuftex frieze upstairs, which I love, but I want something more suitable for knee hockey, ping pong, lots of people, etc. I have gotten different stories from every salesperson I have talked to (I have gone to 6 locations, with an almost $2000 difference in price for what seems like the same carpet). I checked your website for commercial carpet advice, but I didn’t find any. Here are my questions: 1) First of all, do you recommend commercial carpet for a residential use? 2) Should a pad be used (I was told 3/8″ Rebond at one store) or no pad (this is not our preference, but one salesman said the warrantee would be void with a pad). One store said to use 7/16″ pad to help make the carpet more comfortable (I don’t think this could be correct). 3) If we don’t use commercial, would frieze be the best choice? 4) The carpet we chose is Philadelphia “Dateline” 100% nylon 28-oz. sq. yd. This is less than the weight you recommended, so I wondered if it is as durable. 5) Have you heard any reports of Costco’s carpet service? I have a rep coming this week for a free quote (my final quote!). I look forward to hearing back from you, and thank you in advance for your expert advice.
  27. Has anything changed with Polyester carpet recently?  I spent a significant amount of time with a carpet salesman, then the manager Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Both would not back off what they called the facts of Polyester carpet being more durable, more stain resistant, more crush-proof than nylon. Everything about it was better to them…I’m stuck!
  28. We recently purchased carpet from Home Depot for our retirement home to which we’ll be moving next summer. This is what the sample reads: SHAW Style: Sunridge II 250HD Fiber: 100% Nylon That’s all the info I have. It’s VERY dense and we chose it because the carpeting that was installed in the manufactured home was obviously extremely cheap. We didn’t research – just picked what looked and felt like the best. We’ve spent weekends totaling about 3 weeks of full time living there and suddenly there are little “fuzzies” all over the traffic areas. They won’t vacuum, but can easily be hand picked (which of course is not an option). My husband thinks if this keeps up the carpet will be bald in no time. I’m hoping it’s like just needing to wash a new blanket to get rid of the lint. What do you think? It looks terrible now and we’re wishing we’d gotten tile and room rugs. Thanks. I just hope we haven’t thrown away a lot of $$$.
  29. What do you think is the best vacuum to buy?

Top 20 Carpet Buying Questions Answered 

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The Carpet Professor

Alan Fletcher - aka The Carpet Professor, a 30+year veteran of the carpet and flooring business and trusted consumer advocate since 1998. Alan provides free unbiased carpet buying information to consumers. Visit http://www.CarpetProfessor.com to learn how to save time and money; how to select new Carpet or Flooring wisely; and learn how to recognize and avoid common retail Carpet scams! Free! Visit http://www.floorprofessor.com to learn more about selecting natural or engineered wood flooring, waterproof vinyl tile or vinyl plank flooring for your home, office or rental property. Free!

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