Year Old Carpet Already Biting the Dust !

About a year ago, I had new carpet installed in my house, and I'm already having a problem with premature wear. I bought this medium-high quality major brand carpet through Home Depot, and after less than a year of use, there are distinct wear patterns along high traffic paths. With only three people in the home, the carpet is not being subjected to an unusual amount of traffic.
After discussion with the store, HD arranged for the manufacturer to arrange for a local third party carpet inspector to come to our home and look at the carpet. Today, I got a call from Home Depot (and a faxed copy of the inspector's report). The report, a combination of the original inspection plus the manufacturer's response, indicated that there was, indeed, the appearance of wear patterns in high traffic areas as a result of "pile compression", which the manufacturer claims is not covered in the warranty. However, the inspection report goes on to discuss another problem called "pooling" or "watermarking" that is taking place elsewhere in non-traffic areas (something we had not even recognized as a problem). This is described in the report as a condition where the pile surface runs in a different direction from the surrounding area giving the carpet a different appearance. Based on this problem (not the footpath wear), the manufacturer has offered to replace the carpet at their cost (including labor) with the same carpet, or allow an upgrade at our cost. This is a one-time only offer.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable response, right? Well, only to a certain extent. The report suggests that the replacement may do the same thing, which would leave us in the same boat in another year or so. I must say that the wear patterns are unacceptable at this point already, and I hate to think what it will look like in another year or two. Besides, I'm a little bothered that the manufacturer is not offering to replace the carpet because it is wearing prematurely. If it were not for this other problem, they would essentially be saying 'tough luck' about the excessive wear in a one-year old carpet.
The carpet in question is marked as "100% Solutia Wear Dated II with R2X Nylon". It has a face weight of 50.7 oz and a PAR, or performance appearance rating (wear) rating of 3.5 out of 5. The density is 3725 and a 4.8 twist. Oh, yeah, and on the label, it promises a "100 percent satisfaction guarantee". According to my pre-purchase research, this is an above average carpet, not the best by any means, but not junk, either. I'm operating on the assumption that after only a year of light-to-average use, I should not be able to see clear wear patterns in all the higher traffic areas. It's apparent immediately after vacuuming, and after, say, a couple of days, it's really obvious.
So, despite the seemingly reasonable offer by the manufacturer (Shaw), I'm still going to come out on the short end of this. The person at Home Depot confirmed that in the only other case like this in which she was involved, the replacement carpet had exactly the same problems again.
If I upgrade, then I lose the color we chose (the wife's really not going to like that, I mean reeeeaaaalllly not going to like that) and there's no guarantee that even an upgraded carpet by this manufacturer will fare any better.
I'm not asking for solutions here as much as trying to find out if this is a common problem and what others have done to remedy it. I realize that replacing and upgrading is probably the best choice, but I'd like some more information before going forward with that action. Any thoughts and experiences would be most welcome. I'm posting this to misc.consumers.house group as well, but would appreciate any comments made to this group.
- Magnusfarce
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On Mon 17 Jan 2005 11:31:23p, Magnusfarce tittered and giggled, and giggled and tittered, and finally blurted out...

It's possible that you made an unfortunate choice of carpet style and texture. There are very few carpets that won't show compression patterns in high traffic areas. Commercial carpets of wilton or axminster weave will show the least of this.
I doubt you'll be happy with an exact replacement. Let your wife choose the upgrade and be done with it. Hopefully the new carpet will perform better. I'd say your lucky that the manufacturer is offering the replacement at all. The carpet clearly didn't wear out.
We had the same situation with long hallway runs in a previous house. We replaced the carpet with an axminster weave which had extremely dense low pile and the problem never recurred.
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I'd look into upgrading with one that has a random pattern to it, to avoid the pooling issues. Actually spending on top-grade under padding is more important in the long run than high quality carpet.
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Try Berber, they almost never wear out. Great for apartments because they're easy to clean.
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One snag will pull all the way across the room. I'd never do it.
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Not true. We have it in our finished basement and sometimes the vacuum will catch a strand. Well, sometimes is more like 3 times in about 5 years? The weave is strong enough to hold it's own and slow down the beater brush to the point that the belt will squeal. After you cut the strand and untangle everyting, you'd be hard pressed to point out where the snag was.
The best thing to do is use scissors to trim any fray/snag you see down flush before vacuuming.
One of the best things about berber is that it seems to last forever. It is showing no signs of wear whereas regular carpet in other parts of the house (installed at the same time) are starting to show wear patterns.
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You're both right. It depends on the berber aand the $ you pay.
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Magnusfarce wrote:

Hi, Have you used a good underlay? I always go for little less carpet but never go for cheap underlay. Tony
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