Carpet Professor

FREE Carpet Installation at Lowe’s and Home Depot?

$199, $99, $39, $37 and now FREE Carpet Installation?

I don’t like to mention names of business that I have a negative opinion of or complaint about, but homeowners out shopping for light bulbs, potting soil or hand tools at a big box home improvement warehouse might also notice a sign or banner offering free carpet installation.

Carpet samples on display

Free carpet installation sure sounds like a great offer, but is it really free? Or are they just increasing the price of this item to give you a discount on that item. One thing I know for sure, carpet installers do not work for free.

Carpet installation at Lowe’s and Home Depot was once advertised on TV for $199 and then it dropped to $99. Then it went down to just $37! Now they are saying it’s free. Why do you suppose that is? How can they offer free carpet installation?

Big Sale On New Shoes!
Today’s special:
The Left Shoe is Free!

Carpet Installer

You wouldn’t fall for a shoe sale like that would you? Big box stores want to entice you to buy carpet from them and it would seem that they are willing to give you a fantastic deal on carpet installation to do so. But is their offer for Free Carpet Installation really a good deal for you the consumer?

There are several very good reasons why they are giving away carpet installation for free. One reason is to limit their responsibility to you. When you have a complaint, they don’t have to help you.

It may be because they have had so many complaints posted on the internet from unsatisfied homeowners claiming poor carpet installation and workmanship.

Another reason is to entice you to shop for carpet at their store. They have many requirements, limitations and exclusions attached to their offer of free carpet installation that are only revealed in advance if you read the fine print.

Free carpet installation card

I did a simple search for Home Depot carpet installation complaints on the internet and it revealed plenty of horror stories from angry homeowners. Check it out for yourself if you are interested.

If you get free carpet installation and the installer does a lousy job, what recourse do you have?

Maybe they will try to fix it. Maybe they will say it’s a carpet defect. Maybe they will refund your money…  But wait, if you didn’t pay anything for your carpet installation, what is their financial liability in the event they cannot satisfy you?

Big box retailers used to hire their own carpet installers. But they had a real hard time finding and keeping qualified installers. So they decided contract out all their carpet and flooring installations to various independently owned flooring installation service companies. Do they hire qualified installers?

This limits their liability since Home Depot and Lowe’s now have nothing to do with the carpet or flooring installers. When something goes wrong with your carpet installation, they simply refer you to the installation company that they contracted with to facilitate your install.

What is free carpet installation worth? Do you want to spend thousands on new carpet and then pay nothing for the most important aspect of the job? It doesn’t make much sense to me and I have been in the carpet business over 30 years. Any carpet you buy must be installed properly or it will wear out prematurely.

The Carpet Installation was free, what did you expect for nothing?

Let me ask you… Would you allow an auto repair shop to rebuild your engine for just the cost of the parts? The labor to rebuild and reinstall your engine is free. It sounds like a great deal right? But would you really feel safe taking a long road trip in that car, not knowing if it was rebuilt by a properly trained mechanic?

You see, if you buy carpet from a home improvement warehouse and you have a problem with your carpet, you have to contact the carpet manufacturer to seek a remedy. If you have a complaint about the carpet installation, you have to contact the installation company directly to have it fixed. You won’t know if the installer they send out is qualified to install your new carpet.

Home Improvement Warehouse Carpet Sales

Just because you paid your money to the big box retailer doesn’t mean they will be there to help you when you have a complaint. They tell you to contact the carpet manufacturer or the installation company to seek a remedy. They will say that since they did not manufacture nor install the carpet, you need to go through the appropriate channels to address your complaint.

What a sweet deal for the big box retailers! There is no risk for them. They collect all the money upfront, take their profit right off the top and never have to worry about dealing with homeowner complaints. They even use an independent company to do all their in-home measuring, and they charge you a fee for that.

It all depends on the meaning of the word ‘basic’

Let me also inform you that their free carpet installation for basic carpet installation is defined in a very narrow way. If your home requires anything beyond their definition of “basic” then you will be required to pay quite a bit extra for those services.

I get emails from unhappy homeowners that say the prices they charge for anything beyond their definition of a basic installation are incredibly high and can easily run into the hundreds.

“DO NOT FALL FOR THE CHEAP INSTALL PRICE AT HOME DEPOT! My estimate for installation after adding in all the ‘extra costs’ was over $1200! Of course I had already paid them for the $50 estimate…. wasted money.” Go elsewhere.  J.D. Wilson

“I just had Home Depot give me a measure and quote for carpet. The basic installation is $99, then it is an additional $195 for tack strips, and an additional $85 because it is a mobile home. I’ve called other carpet installers and they charge less for padding ($3 vs. $5.65) and more for installation ($4/yard), and it will still cost me $250 less than at Home Depot!” B. Bennett

“I’m having problems right now in getting a straight quote from Home Depot. They want $30-$60 a room extra to move furniture when one room only has a shelf. Plus, they are telling me I have to go with a padding that is double the cost of what I see in store and somehow they found an extra 270 Sq Ft over my measurements! I know I’m not a pro but that is a 30% difference” S.J.

Thanks for reading. Visit my website to read all of my informative carpet articles and friendly carpet buying advice. Table of Contents


Carpet Dealer Directory

It’s hard to find an honest and reputable carpet store these days! That’s why I created my own special hand-picked list of locally-owned carpet and flooring stores. They give free estimates, offer fair prices, have knowledgeable staff, provide honest measuring and use qualified installers. Are there any recommended Carpet Stores Near Me?

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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!

10 thoughts on “FREE Carpet Installation at Lowe’s and Home Depot?”

  1. Barb Bennett says:

    I just had Home Depot give me a measure and quote for carpet. The basic installation is $99, then it is an additional $195 for tack strips, and an additional $85 because it is a mobile home. I’ve called other carpet installers and they charge less for padding ($3 vs. $5.65) and more for installation ($4/yard), and it will cost me $250 less than Home Depot!

  2. if u think u can get carpet installed for 99.00 dollars u go ahead. on average it cost 4 to 5 dollars a yard. Wilson Carpet Rome GA

  3. As a carpet cleaner, I can confirm that poor quality carpet installation by Home Depot and the other big box store is a major problem. I run into at least a few jobs each month where carpets only a couple of years old are already showing signs of excessive wear do to low quality padding and other installation problems. The old saying, you get what you pay for, is true, but in this case you usually end up paying more for poor quality padding and workmanship. My advice is buy from a locally owned company.

  4. We also do carpet cleaning and repairs and we’ve seen several carpet installations that gone bad. A piece of advice, get someone who can do the job better. You can check online for carpet companies near you and check as well the reviews and testimonials of previous customers. You can phone them first and ask what they can do if the end result doesn’t meet your expectations. In that way, you can decide wisely which company to go for.

  5. J.D. Wilson says:

    DO NOT FALL FOR THE CHEAP INSTALL PRICE AT HOME DEPOT! My estimate for installation after adding in all the ‘extra costs’ was over $1200! Of course I had already paid them for the $50 estimate…. wasted money. Go elsewhere.

  6. Georgia Marty says:

    I’ve never had a problem with The Home Depot in 15 years. With my last order, I compared 3 other places and HD still came out cheaper and the installs have all been fine. In fact, the last one was completed within 3 days of placing my order. The cheap install price is just a marketing ploy to get you to sit down with them. Nothing is free. It’s built into the pad typically, which is higher there. There are installation extras to look out for such as furniture moving, stairs and removal of old carpet (if any). Just know how to compare apples to apples and you won’t get all worked up.

    1. alanjohn1 says:

      Marty,
      It is possible to get a fair deal at the big box retailers if you know what you are doing. The problem is, most folks have never bought carpet before and don’t do their carpet homework. If you buy carpet blindly, you stand a good chance of ending up unhappy with your purchase in some way. With the big box stores, you can’t rely on the hired help you and provide accurate and knowledgeable answers to your carpet questions. After the carpet and padding selection has been made, any retailer who farms out their installations to another company is not doing the consumer any favors. You will never know in advance who will be installing your new flooring and if they are qualified to do the job. If there is a problem with installation it can be very difficult to get a quick remedy. My advice? Buy from a locally owned reputable carpet dealer!

      Alan

  7. I’m having problems right now in getting a straight quote from Home Depot. They want $30-$60 a room extra to move furniture when one room only has a shelf. Plus, they are telling me I have to go with a padding that is double the cost of what I see in store and somehow found an extra 270 Sq Ft over my measurements! I know I’m not a pro but that is a 30% difference! They still come out cheaper but all of the deception is causing me to balk.

  8. Janice Walker says:

    I have had lots of carpet installs as my husband and I have owned several rental properties over the years. I am also a Realtor and need to advise customers on affordable floor replacement. Measurers do over measure but you must also know that the carpet nap has to run the same direction throughout the house or the color or shade will appear to look different if laid the wrong direction. In my rentals I cut back on carpet measuring by running carpet in closets the wrong direction and using left overs for this. This cannot always be done and most carpet installers will advise you against it. You also have to go by the width of the carpet as well. If your room is wider than 12 feet, I would advise you to pick a wider roll of carpet. You may have to buy twice the amount of carpet to make up for wider with if your roll is not wide enough to start with. If you ask for carpet to be seamed you will have an additional charge as well, so you have to weigh your options. Installers want to be able to just cut the carpet to the size of the room in one piece and that includes the closets. Just remember a 20 x 17 room is not going to be charged based off of that square footage. It is charged based off of the width of the carpet roll. So if the width of the carpet roll is only 12 ft. then you will be charged for 12 x 20 (assuming the long length is the direction the carpet needs to be laid) plus an additional 12 X 20 for the left over 5 x 20 to finish the width of the room. Or you could choose to split this piece in half and seam it and only order an additional 6 x 20 to do that area.(Remember the nap has to run the same direction) They also add a few inches on the measurement for fitting and stretching.
    Always have your seams in the least conspicuous areas of the room and try to avoid high traffic areas. Just know I have had many an argument with measurers and sometimes they don’t even understand Geometry. They are just told to measure by the width of the roll without trying to conserve on the materials. And if you choose to try to conserve on materials your installation may cost you more.

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