How do you tell good carpet from bad carpet?

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-snip-

Damn-- this is the third time in a couple weeks that you & I agree.<g> [actually I think we agree on most of the on topic stuff- but you post so little of that lately]

What he said.
Jim
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There are carpet rating systems, but even they can be misleading. These three should bring you up to speed. http://www.carpetguru.com/shop200.htm # http://www.carpet-rug.org/residential-customers/selecting-the-right-carpet-or-rug/quality-and-performance/carpet-performance-rating.cfm http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/home-garden/bed-bath/home-decoration/wall-to-wall-carpeting/overview/index.htm
R
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RicodJour wrote:

The advice that page seems to be highlighting is:
"If you don't know Carpet, know your Carpet dealer"
I'm sorry, but that's really useless advice. What am I supposed to do, invite the carpet dealer to dinner, start playing golf with him, make him my new best friend?
I came to that page to "know carpet". If it's not going to tell me anything really useful about carpet, then WTF?
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There's a lot of info in there, but his site navigation is the pits. The stuff is hidden in drop down menus. Did you read the section on carpet scams?
R
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One test I've done is to "pet" the carpet, trying to get it to "shed". Some stores will brush their samples so they won't shed, so if you can try it on a roll. All carpet will shed some when new but some is really bad. $3K is on the low side. There is a *lot* of waste in carpeting, perhaps 30% or even 50%. $3K may be $20/yd carpeting which is pretty low-end.
I found that laminate or better, IMO, bamboo was actually cheaper. You can likely move up to hardwood and come very close to the $70/yd installed price.
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I'm not sure what carpet would have a match requiring that much waste, and if the installer has that much waste he's doing something very wrong - like gouging the crap out of the homeowner. Usually the waste allowance is 10% unless there are odd layouts and restrictions.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=estimating+carpet+waste+allowance You don't even have to click on any links - just scan the hits for numbers. They're all around 10%.
R
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Direction. If you have an 'L' shaped room you can't just run the carpet the direction of the leg, you're going to buy the whole square.
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Believe it or not, it's possible to have these things called 'seams' in wall to wall carpet. They're not all that hard to do, and a good carpet guy can make them disappear. That cuts way down on the waste. Like I said, and those links backup, typical wastage allowance for carpet is around 10%.
R
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Are you intentionally being an ass today, or did you just get up on the wrong side. Of course there are seams but you will *SEE* them if the direction of the nap changes. It'll look like hell. Suit yourself, though.
If the whole house is done, they can often just put a seam in the middle and keep the direction on each half the same, saving a lot. The direction cannot be changed, though. yes 30% or 50% loss is possible, depending on the layout.
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The direction of the nap does not change unless you are turning the carpet around. You do know that they print arrows on the carpet backing so there's no confusion about the nap, right? Even someone who has never installed carpet before would notice it immediately, so I'm really not sure what you are thinking. As far as being an ass, well, opinions vary, but you're simply giving bad information and I'm just pointing that out. Don't take it personally.

It's possible to have 100% wastage if it's installed in the wrong house, if the wrong carpet is ordered, if the installer is a moron, or the guy selling you the carpet is taking total advantage of your noob- ness.
I provided scores of links that show carpet wastage to typically be between 5% and 15%...which is roughly...errr....10%. Show me just one link that agrees with your grossly inflated wastage allowance and I'll apologize. Deal?
R
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How's the search for the 30% to 50% wastage link going, keith? I have an apology all ready to go whenever you are. :)
R
PS I'm just tweaking you - don't take it personally.
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On Thu, 12 Aug 2010 06:05:20 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

So it seems like what one should do is measure the yardage needed for the actual floor, not counting waste, and then he'll have a decent idea of how much is absolutely needed, and then add to that how much be used to because of necessary waste. Dont' forget the halls, the inside of closets, etc.
Even if all the vendors are honest and competent except one, it would be worth measureing on one's own for the sake of that one.
If one does want to sell more yards, he might be able to explain while more is needed.

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I measure for my own information, yes, but I make sure to tell the contractor guy that he's responsible for his own measurements and for allowing for wastage.
A carpet guy told me a story about what he did when measuring. Owners would ask him for the measurements, then go to somebody else who, of course, could do it for $100 less when the dimensions were faxed to him, or the owner bought the carpet online and just hired a moonlighting carpet guy. So this carpet guy starting taking a foot off of each measurement. He'd know the right dimensions, simple addition and easy to remember the offset, so it didn't affect him at all, but the homeowner who was trying to use the carpet guy as a free measuring service would order the carpet and get a big surprise! I thought that was pretty funny.
R
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On Thu, 12 Aug 2010 11:31:29 -0700 (PDT), RicodJour

Definitely. I didn't mean otherwise and thank you for making sure no one got the other impression. Giving the carpet guy your own measurements is something taking your car in and telling the guy what to replace, instead of telling him what the problem is and asking him to fix it. In the first case, if he replaces the part you don't like and the car works no better, it's not the mechanic's responsiblity.
And I read a car list where people jump to all kinds of conclusinos what is wrong with their car. One guy said his cars thermostat rose when he was stopped with his foot on the brake at a red light, and he thought the temp. sensor needed replacing. (It's not an expensive part, but let's forget aobut that.)
I asked him, How would the car know you were stopped at a red light in order to cause the sensor to show a higher temp? Isn't it more likely the car IS hotter when it's not moving forward?
That didn't affect him and he still went off to replace the sensor.

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Yup.
It helps. But it's not magic.

Good pad matters.

Look at the overall density of the carpet; back and pile.

Consider installing it yourself. It's not nearly as hard as it's made out to be, especially if you can avoid seams.
Renting or buying a kicker is essential. Plus an iron if you'll need to seam. I've always been able to get away without a stretcher in normal residential sized rooms. Shears are nice but you can do it all with a utility knife and *lot* of blades.
Best tip I picked up while working as a professional carpet fitter...
Never use regular carpet in bathrooms/toilets. Carpet hates water.
If you (or SWMBO) demands the warmth and softness of carpet, look for waterproof (wet area rated) carpet tiles. They work quite well.
Tile and stone can hold up better but they are cold, potentially slippery, and hard (if any members of the household are susceptible to a fall).
But regular carpet is a big no-no. The stuff I've had to remove from old bathrooms was absolutely disgusting!
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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On Aug 12, 7:15pm, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

I simply bought two big rubber-backed bath rugs at Bedbugs Beyond. Once a week I throw them in the washer and dryer. (Actually, I have two sets, so each set is washed every other week.)
Of course, it helps that the bathroom is only 5' by 10'. The vanity, tub, and toilet take up most of the floor, so those two rugs cover almost all of what's left.
One of the advantages of owning a modest post-war ranch: less to clean.
Cindy Hamilton
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wrote:

If it is, the wrong tile was used.

Our master bath in the previous house was carpeted. It actually wasn't bad when I ripped it out. It was there at least fifteen years when I did it. Carpet in the bathroom is still a dumb idea.

That's what we do. One in front of the shower and each sink, and a shaped one under the commode ; where the feet go.

Tile is easy. Less isn't less work. The additional sink, tub, and shower are.
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Less floor area is less to clean. Why should I clean a 10' x 10' bathroom with a vanity, tub, and toilet when I can clean a 5x10 one? (Additional?) Shoot, come to think of it, it's probably 5x9, not 5x10, since it's no deeper than the kitchen.
Here's a picture: http://www.adi.com/~hamilton/house/insidepix/bath.html (by the way, that's not our stuff; we took this picture when walking through it prior to buying)
Same holds for the 9x9 kitchen (which, frankly, I wish was a little larger), the 9x9 dining room, and the relatively modest 14x23 living room (no family room). Overall, I like a small house.
It's cheap to heat, too.
Cindy Hamilton
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wrote:

The point is that a 10x15 bathroom floor is no more difficult to clean than a 5x10. The tools are the same (better/professional tools are actually easier to use) and the obstacles are the same. Open floor space is *easy* to clean. The commode and other obstacles (heaven forbid, a pedestal sink) that takes the work and the overhead of getting the cleaning supplies out and put back away is pretty much a constant.

I don't. We like space (3BR - 3.5Bath - 2600ft^2 - 2 people).

Heat is cheap.
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I'd rather clean 50 square feet than 150 square feet (minus the obstacles).

3 BR, 1 bath, 1200ft^2, 2 people
(Actually, I would like another half bath. But a little courtesy and consideration makes things work fairly smoothly. For the first few years of my life it was 3 BR, 1 bath, about 700 ft^2, 4 adults and 1 child.)

Depends where you live.
I think what we've demonstrated here, though, is that tastes (and priorities) vary.
Cindy
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