Free Carpet Installation Checklist

Free Carpet Buying and Installation Checklist for Homeowners.

By Alan Fletcher – Carpet Expert and Consumer advocate

Learn what questions you need to ask and what you need to do before, during and after you have new carpet installed in your home!

Learn little-known insider tricks and tips to make sure you get the job done right the first time and what you must do to keep your new carpet warranty in force. Discover smart ways to ensure you side-step common consumer mishaps and avoid costly carpet buying and installation problems and mistakes.

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How Do I Choose the Right Carpet Fiber? What is BCF?

What Does BCF Mean? Q. I have four kids and three dogs. I need a carpet that is able to take a beating. My question: I am confused about carpet specifications. What is BCF?  I see these initials on the back of some carpet samples but not others? What does this mean?

Alan’s response:

BCF stands for Bulked Continuous Filament. You want to buy a carpet made from a continuous filament fiber.

The work “Bulked” refers to a process where the manufacturer makes the strand of fiber beefed up, or bulked to create a fatter and more beefy feel.

Think of it like using a volumizer on your hair, it makes it feel thicker and fuller. 

The “CF” or Continuous Filament, means the strand is formed or “extruded”  in one long strand. 

When they make carpet from a CF fiber is virtually eliminates the shedding and fuzzing that you experience with a carpet made from a Staple Fiber. 

Learn About My Carpet Buying Guide

What is a Staple Fiber?

A Staple Fiber is short lengths of fiber, usually 3 to 10 inches long, that are spun together to make a long strand. 

Strands are then twisted to form a tuft. When carpet is made using staple fibers, the carpet will tend to shed and fuzz for up to a year after installation.

While this is normal, it is not a result that most homeowners enjoy living with.

When you vacuum up bag after bag of loose fibers, it makes you think your new carpet will shed so much it will eventually become totally bald!

So unless you like vacuuming three times a day, I suggest you be sure to buy a carpet made from a Continuous Filament Fiber.

Carpet Dealer DirectoryIt’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?

Berber Carpet Cleaning Complaints

Berber Carpet Cleaning Complaints

© By Alan Fletcher

Why do some Berber carpets attract dirt and are hard to keep clean? 

While Berber styles are elegant and beautiful when new, there is a common complaint from homeowners with Berber carpets made with the Olefin fiber. Consumers often report that within a week or two after a professional cleaning, previous spots and stains tend to reappear as if they were never cleaned at all. This is because the Olefin fiber is inherently oily and often makes Olefin hard to clean and prone to attracting dirt like a magnet. Old stains tend to reappear like magic.

Read full article here

Carpet Install Cost – Common Fees and Charges

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Much Does Carpet Installation Cost? Typical Carpet Layer Pricing.

New Carpet Installation prices?

How much does it cost to have carpet installed? If you are looking to find out how much it costs to install new carpet I have all the answers you need.

In different parts of the country, (The USA) the price of carpet installation may be higher or lower depending on the supply and demand. In our current down economy, there are a lot more hungry carpet installers out there looking for work. This is good news for those consumers who have money to spend on home renovations and are willing to do a little legwork to find a qualified carpet installer and negotiate a good deal. I bet you can negotiate as much as 30% off their normal carpet installation charge, especially if you are willing to pay them in cash at the end of the day.

Buyer beware: print out my free carpet installation checklist. You want to be sure your carpet is installed right the first time!

Getting the job done right, regardless of cost.

The main thing you want to be sure of, is that the carpet installers use a power-stretcher to install your carpet. Gone are the days where a simple knee-kicker will do the trick unless you’re installing cheap carpet in a very small room on a very hot day. Carpet needs to be stretched in tight, and the only way to insure this is to use a power-stretcher. If they don’t use a powerstretcher, then find an installer that does! Otherwise you might void your warranty!

Cheapest Carpet Installation Costs!

In the southern states, there is much more competition and carpet installation prices are much lower. For example, in Miami, Florida you can get carpet installed for less than $2.00 per yard. I’m not saying it would be a qualified install, but there are plenty of hungry people in the area willing to work very hard for little money. Making sure your carpet installer is qualified is up to you. Don’t assume that every carpet installer is qualified to install your carpet. In fact, I believe that less than 35% of all carpet installers are properly trained.

The States with the lowest carpet installation costs have typically been Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and southern California. Other southern states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas and Southern Arizona have fairly inexensive carpet labor and installation costs.

I am not suggesting you go for the lowest installation price, in fact, getting your carpet installed properly is extremely important if you want your carpet to last as long as it was intended. I go into great detail in my incredible money-saving ebook, The Complete Carpet Buying Guide. It’s only $14.95 and I guarantee it will save you ten times that or your money refunded!

The northern states are the highest priced which includes Northern California, Oregon, Washington State and the Northeatern States including New York, Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, and Connecticut. I find that Midwest States have their share of hungry installers too, especially in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska.

The Real Numbers:

You can expect to pay at least $2.50 per yard for installation in the southern states and as much as $6.50 per yard in northern states.

Some Carpet Retailers Pad Installation Costs.

Some carpet retailers choose make additional profits by padding the installation charges, often adding as much as 25% to the total installation cost. I feel this is an unfair charge to the consumer. Carpet retailers already make a fair and reasonable profit from the carpet and pad. Charging more for installation costs is unwarranted and unethical in my opinion. If your carpet retailer has higher than usual installation costs, you might want to shop around to see if other nearby carpet stores have lower and more reasonable installation prices. The main thing is to get qualified installation at a reasonable price, not just the cheapest installation you can find!

Beyond the basic carpet installation

Some carpet retailers and home improvement stores offer low-cost specials on carpet installation. Some of these specials are just too good to be true. $37 for carpet installation sounds good when you hear about it, but in the end, is it really as good as it sounds? Not always. Their basic carpet installation price does not include any extras. If your carpet installation job needs any extras, then you may find that the final bill for yor carpet install will be much higher than you originally expected. Don’t assume that their super low price for installation is valid in your situation. When your carpet is installed, you may be faced with a sizable final bill that you did not expect.

It’s the unexpected extra fees and charges that can add up in a hurry if you’re not careful. Installing carpet on stairs will almost always demand an additional charge. Depending on the type of stairs you have it may cost anywhere from $3 for each standard box step to as much as $15 per step for a double-wrapped stair with a pattern match Berber. The longer it takes to upholster a step the more it will cost. The standard flight of stairs will usually cost about $75 to $125 in addition to the cost of carpet installation.

Other unexpected carpet installation costs.

Removing the old carpet and padding.

Tearing out of the old carpet and padding can be anywhere from fifty cents per yard to $3.00 per yard. They may also try to add on a dump fee of $10 to $50 depending on how much old carpet and pad you have. A good carpet team of three can remove 100 yards of carpet and pad in less than an hour. I think $2.00 per yard is more than enough to remove the old carpet and padding and haul it away. Most carpet retailers have a dumpster available onsite for their installers to use. I don’t think a dump fee of more than $25 is a fair charge unless they don’t have a dumpster and they have to take the old carpet to the landfill or recycling center.

Installing new tackless strips.

All new construction will require that new tackstrips be installed. It’s easier to install tack strips on a wood floor than on a concrete slab. The fee for new tack strips on wood might be an additional 25 or 50 cents per yard. The fee for installing tackstrips over concrete might be an additional $1 per yard or more. In existing homes with damaged tackstrips that need to be replaced, the fee should be about $2.00 per each four foot section.

Some installers charge by the hour to do any work that is preliminary to the installation. In this case, It’s usually about $50 per hour (per person). This includes moving furniture, sealing floors and doing any floor patching, leveling or dry rot repairs.


The carpet will meet other flooring types and must have a transition of some type. Examples are: Carpet to vinyl, carpet to hardwoods, carpet to vinyl tiles, and carpet to ceramic tiles are some of the possibilities.

Transitions can be made of wood, metal, rubber or plastic. Each transition is available in different quality levels and depending on the application, the correct transition must be used to ensure a long life without failing. The cost of transitions vary widely and should be discussed with your carpet estimator/retailer before the bid final is drawn up. The cheapest gold or silver colored transitions are generally priced at $1-$2 per foot. A rubber transition in a utilitarian application should cost about $3-$5 per foot. A transition of prefinished hardwood can easily cost $5 to $20 per foot. Brass or other specialized transitions can be quite costly.

Threshholds are another story. If your front or back door is in need of a new threshhold, plan on spending at least $50 for a new one. Usually these are made of aluminum and have to be cut to fit. If you want a snazzy threshhold made of a prefinished hardwood, expect to pay much more. Installing a new threshhold is not always a quick and easy job and may require expert finish-contractor capabilities.

Trimming doors

If your new carpet is thicker than the last carpet installed in your home, your doors may need to be trimmed at the bottom. If your installer is qualified and well equipped to do this, then the charge can be anywhere from $10 per door to $50 per door depending on what your doors are made of. Trimming the bottom of doors is not a job for the inexperienced. It is not easy to do correctly and it is easy to ruin a door if it is not done properly.

You can’t just run a skillsaw or jigsaw along the bottom of a door and expect it to look nice when you are done. Some woods like pine or mahogany will easily splinter and fray on the backside and end up looking horrible unless you have the proper sawblade and take steps to keep this from happening. Again, depending on what type of wood your doors are made of will determine how to trim your doors without damaging them. If in doubt, call in a skilled carpenter.

If you want more information about carpet installation costs or how to find a qualified carpet installer please visit my free carpet information website at

Locate a Preferred Carpet Store near you!

Please visit Alan’s Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory at

Each carpet retailer listed in Alan’s directory is hand-picked and must pass stringent requirements in order to be included in this consumer-friendly National Carpet Dealer Directory.

Alan Fletcher is a 30-year carpet and flooring expert and a consumer advocate for over a decade. Alan’s goal is to help consumers choose the right carpet, find the best carpet deals, locate qualified carpet installers and avoid common carpet scams.

Visit Alan’s Network of Free Carpet Buying Information:

Looking for other types of Flooring Products? is a Free Flooring Resource Guide for Homeowners. All types of flooring products are discussed in depth, including application, selection, installation and maintenance issues.  Helpful information and advice is provided by Alan Fletcher, a 30-year veteran of the flooring business.

What Every Homeowner Should Know Before Buying New Carpet.

What Every Consumer Should Know Before Buying Carpet.

 By Alan J Fletcher – Consumer Rights Advocate, aka The Carpet Professor

If you are thinking about buying new Carpet soon then you’ve come to the Right Place! I am a 30-year veteran of the carpet business and a Consumer Advocate for the last 10 years. Would you like to know “insider” secrets to buying carpet wisely? Would you like to learn how to avoid the common retailer Carpet Scams? Do you want to discover the tricks to getting a great deal on new Carpet for your home, home office, business or rental property? It’s easy to save hundreds on your next carpet purchase if you have an expert advising you what to do and what to avoid.

Getting a good price on your new Carpet is just one of five critical factors. You must follow my detailed guidelines in all five areas in order to be totally successful in buying new Carpet. But before we get into that, you first need to ask yourself these FOUR  important questions…

What style and grade of carpet should I select?

Not all carpets are created equal. Some carpets will last for 20 years, and some will wear out in less than 5 years. They may even cost about the same. You need to know how to tell the difference between a well-made carpet and a poorly made carpet. If you buy the wrong carpet you could be making a very costly mistake.

What PADDING  type, density and thickness should I select?

Selecting the wrong PADDING can void your carpet warranty and cause your carpet to wear out prematurely. In a sea of different PADDING options which pad should you select? You must select a padding that matches your carpet AND your traffic level. Many consumers pay way to much for padding.

How can I be sure my carpet is installed properly?

If installed IMPROPERLY your new Carpet could lose HALF of its potential life span. The problem is…A good carpet installer will charge the same amount as bad carpet installer and it is often hard to tell the difference between the two. You need to know what questions to ask your installers BEFORE they begin installing your new carpet or you might discover that your carpet was installed improperly after it’s already too late.

How do I get a good price on new carpet, padding and installation?

Knowing where to buy carpet is just as important as where not to buy carpet. Being able to recognize a good price when you see it is very important too. In the carpet business, you can easily pay too much for cheap carpet, but you’ll seldom find a bargain on top quality carpet. If it sounds too good to be true… The problem is, it’s hard to tell the difference between a Good Deal and a sneaky retailer Carpet Scam.

Don’t be fooled, some carpets are just not worth buying no matter how inexpensive they may be. They may look and feel absolutely wonderful when they are brand new but cheap carpets just won’t last very long. You need to know which carpets are worth buying and which you need to avoid and why. I can help you navigate through the sea of carpet choices and help you quickly narrow down your choices to a few that will work well for you and your family.

Finding the right carpet at a fair and square price will make you a happy camper but you still have a long way to go! Here’s what I mean…Let’s say you have found the perfect carpet at a good price. It’s a good quality carpet, you absolutely love the color and it can withstand your amount of foot traffic for years to come. Now what? You still need to get a good price on the Correct Padding and get a good price on Qualified Installation. This is just as important as finding the right carpet.

The dealer will try to sell you everything in a package deal.  They don’t want you to know how much the installation is, and they don’t want you to know how much they are charging you for the padding. They just want you to write a check for the full amount due.  This is not good for you. You need to learn how to overcome this.

Many retail carpet stores have reasonable prices on their carpets but then they charge extremely high prices on their padding and installation fees. This is a common carpet scam. You need to be sure you get a good price on the carpet, the pad, and the installation. But wait, there’s more you need to watch out for!

How much carpet do you really need? Who’s doing the measuring? Did they measure accurately? Are they charging you for more material then you actually need? How would you know if they were over-charging you for materials and labor?

You stand to lose hundreds if the carpet salesperson measures your home wrong.

Let’s say you find carpet, pad and installation for $30 per yard, if they charge you for 10 yards more than you actually need, you stand to lose $300 or more.

Retail carpet salespeople over-measure all the time, it’s how some unscrupulous retailers make extra money and it’s so easy to get away with because most consumers don’t have a clue about how much carpet they really need.

Buying carpet is confusing.

Most Carpet RETAILERS and MANUFACTURERS are working hard to make buying new carpet more confusing for you than ever! They are removing the carpet specifications from the carpet samples and change the style and color names on the carpet samples to prevent you from comparison shopping at other stores. This is called “private Labeling” and it is not good for you. You need to know how to overcome these obstacles and get the information you need to make  informed carpet choices.

There is only one easy way to be sure you get the right carpet at the right price and avoid the dozens of common carpet scams that exist in the marketplace today.

You need the advice and wisdom of a carpet professional like me. No, I don’t sell carpet, but I can help you choose the right materials, save time and money, get it all measured and installed properly and help you avoid the scams.

How to get started,

Read some of my free carpet buying information articles on my website. It will open your eyes to many more important things you need to be aware of. But remember – carpet is a big investment and you must take it very seriously. If you don’t, you stand to lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

When you are ready to get started shopping for carpet, simply order my Complete Carpet Buying Guide eBook before you begin shopping and read it start to finish. I have it priced low so everyone can afford it at just $14.95. It’s quick and easy to read – There’s nothing complicated or confusing and most people can get through it in just one evening. Then, fully armed with the information and knowledge you need, you can head out and start looking for your perfect carpet. Take your time! After a weekend looking at carpets I am sure you will have a few questions for me.

As a way of thanking you for purchasing my ebook, I will be happy to answer any carpet buying questions you may have along the way. Immediately after you purchase my ebook I will send you a thank you e-mail that includes my special e-mail address.

Take a moment to read my testimonial page to see what others have to say about my eBook. It’s truly incredible! I have also compiled a nationwide list of preferred carpet dealers. They are all hand-picked by me personally, family run carpet stores that truly care about meeting your needs and goals and ensuring your complete satisfaction.

Visit for more information about this content.


Alan J Fletcher aka The Carpet Professor

Take My Carpet Buying Quiz

Do you know enough about Buying Carpet to avoid making Serious and Costly Mistakes? Take this Quiz before you start shopping for carpet to find out.

Can you make all the right choices and get the whole job done right from start to finish? Maybe so, my simple carpet quiz will put your carpet buying knowledge to the test!

The Carpet Buying Quiz

Are You Ready to Buy New Carpet Wisely?

The Carpet Quiz Answers are on the next page

  1. Do you know which carpet padding to use for your home? Which padding is the best deal?
  • Rebond
  • Foam
  • Rubber
  • Synthetic fiber
  • Recycled fabrics
  1. Here are some common features padding may have for an extra charge. Do you know what benefits they provide? Which of these features do you think are worth paying extra for? 
  • Moisture barrier
  • Odor eating
  • Anti-microbial
  • None of the above
  • I don’t know
  1. Do you know what padding Density to choose? 
  • 4 pound
  • 5 pound
  • 6 pound
  • 7 pound
  • 8 pound
  • 10 pound
  • Don’t know
  1. Do you know what thickness of pad is required?
  • ¼”
  • 3/8″
  • 7/16″
  • ½”
  • Don’t know
  1. Do you know about carpet fibers? Which fiber is most resilient?
  • Nylon
  • Olefin or polypropylene
  • Polyester or P.E.T.
  • Nylon / polyester blend
  • Sorona
  1. There are different ways to make carpet.  Would you choose a Continuous Filament fiber or go with a Staple Fiber?
  • Continuous filament
  • Staple fiber
  • I don’t know

Carpet Care and Maintenance

How well you care for your carpet will determine how long it will last. 

  1. How many people live in your home? How many days per week do you vacuum on average?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  1. What number is higher?
  • Your answer to How many people live in your home?
  • Your answer to How many days per week do you vacuum?
  • Both answers are the same
  1. Do you have a good vacuum with a beater bar?
  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know
  1. How often do you have your carpet professionally cleaned?
  • Never
  • Every 6 months
  • Once a year
  • Every other year
  • Every three years
  1. Do you keep all the receipts for the professional cleanings?
  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know
  1. Do you know what the following carpet definitions / conditions mean? Which of these conditions are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty? 
  • Appearance retention
  • Crushing
  • Fading or color loss
  • Footprints or indentations
  • Matting
  • Shading
  • Shedding
  • Filtration soiling
  • Wrinkles
  • Yellowing
  1. Have you visited the website of “The Carpet and Rug Institute”? (CRI) 
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Are you familiar with the requirements set forth in “The Carpet & Rug Institute’s Standard 105 for Residential Installation”?
  • Yes
  • No
  1. Do you know which manufacturer’s warranties apply to your particular carpet?
  • Yes
  • No
  • I don’t know
  1. If some of your carpet is found to be defective and you file a valid claim with the carpet manufacturer, what do you think will typically happen next?

They will…

  • Refund my money 100%
  • Refund a percentage of my money
  • Replace all my carpet with another carpet of my choice
  • Remove all of the old carpet and install new carpet of the exact same type and style.
  • Remove the defective carpet areas only and install new carpet of the same type and style.
  • Issue a pro-rated credit to your retailer equal to the cost of the carpet material only, for the affected area only, the credit is good only toward new carpet from the same manufacturer. They will not pay to remove your old carpet, nor will they pay to have your replacement carpet installed.
  • Pay to have the carpet repaired if possible

Carpet Installation

How your carpet is installed will determine how long it will last

  1. What is the best day to have your new carpet delivered to your home:
  • The day it is to be installed
  • The day before
  • The week before
  • I don’t know
  1. What is the best climate to have your carpet installed
  • On a warm day with the doors open
  • On a cool day with the doors closed
  • Any day with the heater on (66*F) before and during installation
  • I don’t know
  1. What should do you do before the carpet installer begins to install your new carpet?
  • Move all small breakables and valuables into a safe and secure area
  • Make arrangements for kids and pets to be out of the work areas
  • Check to make sure the installer will use a power-stretcher
  • Take photographs or a video of the entire area in case you need to prove damages in court
  • Make sure the installer has brought the right carpet style, quality and color
  • Have the installer roll out the carpet so you can check the carpet for obvious defects.
  • Make sure you have the original carpet sample so you can compare it with the carpet delivered
  1. What should you do after the carpet installer is finished installing your carpet?
  • Call all your friends to come over and see the new carpet!
  • Inspect the carpet installation completely. Withhold final payment until you are completely satisfied.
  • Pick up all the carpet scraps and vacuum the carpet well.
  • Show the installer where you want all the carpet and pad waste to go.
  • Find out how long the carpet seams will look so obvious.

Buying carpet is not as simple as it was 20 or 30 years ago. but today it is very easy to make the wrong carpet choices. Smart carpet shoppers do their homework and research before making such an important and expensive purchase of buying new carpet.

First, take your sweet time! There are hundreds or thousands of your hard-earned dollars at stake! Second, have a game plan! You should already have a good idea about what carpet style and main characteristics of the carpet and pad you want to buy.

You should know how long you want your carpet to last and about how much it’s going to cost for the carpet, the pad and the installation, long before you reach for your checkbook.

When you visit any retail carpet store, you don’t want to start asking advice from the carpet salesperson. Most of your carpet buying questions should have been researched and answered long before you start shopping for carpet.

Any questions you have for the salesperson should be limited to  “How much does this carpet cost per yard?”,  or ” Do your installers use a power-stretcher?” or “Can I see a copy of the manufacturer’s carpet warranty?”.

“After you visit several carpet stores, you’ll almost think you’re buying carpet from a used car lot.”

The last thing you need is high-pressure salespeople and a garbage can full of conflicting information.  You will quickly understand the reason why you don’t want to ask carpet salespeople for advice.

Quiz Answers

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?