Here are tips on how to find the best discounted carpets on the market:
- Know the lingo. Before you start buying, it’s best to conduct a little bit of research about carpets and carpet installation to avoid getting lost in the common terminologies used. It’s also wise to have a fair idea of which type of carpet you need for your home depending on your preference. Some terms that may be useful to you include Saxony (basic carpet with solid color and basic cut), Berber (made up of fiber that forms knots and loops; very durable), Plush (creates a sophisticated and elegant ambiance) and Frieze (a regular favorite, good for high-traffic areas in your home and very durable). Know also of different carpet textures and carpet shapes. Here’s a little tip: Salespeople have a tendency to offer you their best store rates and prices if you sound like you know what you’re talking about. Get to know “carpet lingo” to help you appear in the know, and also to enable you to ask the right questions that will get you the best discounts.
- Hunt online. There are hundreds of resources on the Internet that offer to sell discount carpet online. Type in “discount carpet” using your preferred search engine. Feel free to do comparison shopping. Get an idea of the going rates for carpets. Make sure that you won’t end up paying more because of the additional shipping and handling charges.
- Go to outlet stores. Instead of going to a department store or a high-end carpet boutique, consider going to a carpet outlet store. A carpet outlet store is usually owned by the carpet manufacturer itself, and so you would enjoy the best prices on the products (as compared with other department stores which typically add on their own rates to the carpet's original wholesale price). While at the carpet discount store, keep your options open. Though you may have an idea about what type carpet you’d like (see number #1), you might not see the exact kind on sale; expect to make some modifications on your choice.
- Go to discount stores. Carpet discount stores typically buy carpets by the bulk from different manufacturers, at wholesale prices. They then resell these carpets at much cheaper rates than ordinary department stores. Look on the Internet for a listing of discount stores near your area.
- Think of quality too. Remember, a carpet should be a long-term investment, so don’t be tempted to find the cheapest one available and thus sacrifice quality. One way of recognizing good-quality carpet is through its face weight, which is the weight of fiber for every square yard of carpet. You can feel this with your hands: the carpet should be dense and not sparse. You should also consider the fabric it’s made of. For example, polypropylene is stain and water-resistant, while woven carpets, though expensive, are much harder to maintain.
- Get the proper padding. You may imagine that the best padding would necessarily mean the thickest, but it’s not necessarily so. In fact, unnecessarily thick padding may result in your carpet disintegrating prematurely. A rule of thumb is that thicker padding should not be installed in high-traffic areas (such as staircases, doorways). Also, know that some carpet types do not react well with thick padding (such as Berber or other widely-looped carpets).
- Get carpet installation services from the store where you bought the carpet. Although you surely can install carpets by yourself, it’s still best to have a professional do it. Know that an improperly installed carpet could have you end losing up to 50% of your carpet's lifespan. Stores usually offer good rates on carpet installation services (as long as you bought the carpet from them). You may even ask if they provide free installation for a certain minimum purchase.
- Consider other options to save on money. Before you finally settle on the installation of carpets in your home, it may be a wise move to get briefed on the advantages of other flooring options as well. For example, you may stick to hardwood (you may opt to have it refinished to give it a more polished look and for easier maintenance), vinyl flooring (which is very inexpensive and resilient to wear and tear), ceramic flooring (which is water resistant and very easy to maintain) and laminates (which are easy to install, look like solid wood though it’s not, and very affordable). You may also consider installing area rugs instead of wall-to-wall carpeting. Area rugs provide decorative accents with a punch and are easily installed or moved around as desired.