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Carpet advice
Old 06-20-2010, 08:20 AM   #1
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Carpet advice

We're looking at replacing carpeting on the upper level of the house. Any advice on who provides a good deal would be appreciated. I've looked at Lowes, Home Depot, Empire and Costco on line. Naturally, there are a bunch of small, local carpet businesses around here, but I thought some of you might have experience with the big companies. They all offer "deals" but it's hard to know how they compare. I'd like to narrow my search to a couple of good ones and go from there. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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Don't let them talk you into replacing the pad underneath unless it really needs to be replaced. They'll say things like "Would you buy a new suit and no change your underwear?"
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:03 AM   #3
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I used the local store instead of the HD or Lowes. The local shop was a solid $500 under the price of the big box stores and had better service I thought.

I try to use local stores whenever possible.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:24 AM   #4
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I used a local shop that specialized in remnants. I got a very high grade carpet for less than the average stuff.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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Don't let them talk you into replacing the pad underneath unless it really needs to be replaced. They'll say things like "Would you buy a new suit and no change your underwear?"
With due respect, and coming from an apartment rental manager rather than home owner perspective, we replace the pad more than 95% of the time. Bear in mind that many of our renters do amazing things to the carpets - if we get 5 years life out of a carpet I feel lucky. After pulling up the carpet there is no way I would leave the nastiness on top of and beneath the pad there. If you are pet free and use a vacuum and don't use that evil baking soda "Carpet Fresh" you might be in a different situation. Then the only issue is how the pad looks - rebond pad, which looks like bits of chewed up foam rubber glued together, gets worn out and squished down in traffic lanes. You might be able to replace just the high traffic areas....

I feel that pad is cheap - we always use a heavy 8# or better rebond pad - a heavier pad gives a luxury feel to even a cheap carpet - a buck or two extra on the pad gives more bang than $5 or more on the carpet. More expensive non-rebond foam pad didn't give significantly better life when we tried it. Once. YMMV.

"Horsehair" pad is a different matter - it gets used under Berber and doesn't give much squishiness, so it's longer lasting, except for holding dirt.

We used to use remnant stores and got much higher grade carpet for the money, but it was a matter of finding enough of the carpet and having it pass esthetic muster with the counter-tops and vinyl - for the last years we've been using a local store and their installers - not as cheap, but I've had them do some callbacks and they treat us well.
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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Don't let them talk you into replacing the pad underneath unless it really needs to be replaced. They'll say things like "Would you buy a new suit and no change your underwear?"
One exception: Absorbed 'stuff' from pets, or weird installations (wall-to-wall carpet in the BATHROOM?). Pads seem to be odor magnets.

If replacing the pad, it's worth going to the higher end rebond pads. We recently replaced the carpeting (after over 20 years!), and the original 'contractor-grade' brown waffle pad had deteriorated to something that looked like a 1/4" layer of our clay soil. Eccch.

We got a high face-weight frieze (shorter, denser, high twist pile) carpet, and a good rebond pad. I'll let you know how this works out in another 20 years or so.
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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I only have generalized advice: have you checked consumer publications to compare the brands of carpet?

This is the first house I've ever lived in that had wall-to-wall carpet. It'll be the last, too. Hard floors for me next time, with area rugs if any.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:05 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone The pad is being replaced for sure. This was a rental place for 12 years and our last tenents had pets. Plus the pad is old, cheap and yucky.

kyounge1956 - agree about hard floors. We removed all of the carpeting from the main level. It was laid over hardwood floors. I don't mind carpet in the upper level - just doesn't get as dirty as carpet on the main level and, in this house, it works well.

I will think about using a local company. There are just so many in this area! I think checking the "big box" stores will give me an idea of what the job should cost so I'll know if I'm getting a decent deal.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #9
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Tell me what you think of this...

Found a local carpet business. They've been in business 15 years and are a faimily run flooring company. Checked them out on the Better Business Bureau and Washington Consumer Checkbook (a DC area resouce for checking out businesses). Very high ratings from both and no complaints filed.

They came out and measured the two rooms and stairs for carpet and pad replacement. Total area measures about 600 square feet. Told me the job would cost $1400-$2100 depending on the quality of carpet and padding we select. The next step would be to go to their showroom, which is only 2 miles from the house, to make a selection and decide if we want to go with them.

Does this sound like a good deal? Any questions you would have? Thanks
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:06 PM   #10
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Found a local carpet business. They've been in business 15 years and are a faimily run flooring company. Checked them out on the Better Business Bureau and Washington Consumer Checkbook (a DC area resouce for checking out businesses). Very high ratings from both and no complaints filed.

They came out and measured the two rooms and stairs for carpet and pad replacement. Total area measures about 600 square feet. Told me the job would cost $1400-$2100 depending on the quality of carpet and padding we select. The next step would be to go to their showroom, which is only 2 miles from the house, to make a selection and decide if we want to go with them.

Does this sound like a good deal? Any questions you would have? Thanks
You mean $14,000 to $21,000 I think.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:12 PM   #11
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You mean $14,000 to $21,000 I think.
Wow. $23 - $35 per square foot? What kind of carpet do usually buy?
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:15 PM   #12
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Carpet is measured nowadays by the square yard. I got some high quality carpeting for my basement ordered (550 sq feet) plus stairs and it's about $2600, but that includes install and we got a 20 year warranty...............
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:16 PM   #13
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I'd say go with hardwood of some sort. Many years ago we had a house where the bedroom carpeting was replaced. It stank, I think from the chemicals in the mfg process.

Ended up keeping the windows open for many weeks, and slept in a spare room. Finally the outgassing of whatever was in it subsided to a near bearable level.

Ended up removing, tossing and installing hardwood floors. All was well with the world thereafter.

YMMV
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:24 PM   #14
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Wow. $23 - $35 per square foot? What kind of carpet do usually buy?
Nothing too good for our tenants.


Dang. Getting senile. Be good to engage the brain before typing, but why start now? Feet. Yards. duh.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:47 PM   #15
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I think 600 square feet equates to about 67 square yards which is the usual measurement for carpet jobs.

Is99 - we did go with hardwood and tile on the entire first level of the house. DH and I think carpet works better upstairs in this very old house.

Anywho, think this preliminary estimate makes any kinda sense?
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:24 PM   #16
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This was a wiiiile back. 8 to 10 years ago. IIRC the carpet was too darn expensive, and was priced by the square feet. Seems it was more per square feet than what I paid 25 years ago per square yard. Hardwood flooring ended up somewhat less expensive than the carpet.

I do have and had multiple chemical sensitivities, hardwood was the right solution. No allergens after the final sealer was put on. None to be collected by the carpet or underlayment.

Our current house is all hardwood floors. Upstairs and downstairs. Was a primary requirement. Life is good.

Just for reference I can't even tolerate new bed sheets, formeldahyde (sp?) used to make them anti wrinkle. Once washed about 50 times then they are tolerable to me.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:39 PM   #17
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Hardwood flooring ended up somewhat less expensive than the carpet.
My experience was exactly the opposite. Hardwood floors were on the order of 5-10X the price of carpet. Prices were (of course) more or less depending on the quality of each.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:50 PM   #18
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Just checked and on 7-27-2009 we paid $10.50/yd for 70 yards of Mohawk carpet, $3.75 for 8# pad, and $4.50/yd for installation. We had pulled the old carpet, cleaned the area, and disposed of the old carpet & pad in our dumpster. $1312.50 total, or $18.75/square yard installed price for a pretty thrifty carpet, decent pad, no disposal, and I hope an ongoing relationship price.
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #19
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Speaking of hardwood floors, here are some before and after pics of the floor we restored on the main level of the house. We pulled up the carpet and found a mess - paint and carpet tacks everywhere. We rented a machine at Home Depot and did the restore job ourselves. Think it turned out nice :-) The flooring guy who came by today was impressed. Still plan to go with carpet upstairs though...
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:00 PM   #20
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Just checked and on 7-27-2009 we paid $10.50/yd for 70 yards of Mohawk carpet, $3.75 for 8# pad, and $4.50/yd for installation. We had pulled the old carpet, cleaned the area, and disposed of the old carpet & pad in our dumpster. $1312.50 total, or $18.75/square yard installed price for a pretty thrifty carpet, decent pad, no disposal, and I hope an ongoing relationship price.
Thanks calmloki

This seems to be in the ballpark of what we were quoted so it gives me a good frame of reference for ongoing negotiations.
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