Four Ways to Save a Ton of Money when Shopping for Flooring

We all try to save a buck here or there.

But when it comes to flooring- it seems like most everywhere you go, there are hidden fees and mark-ups galore that keep stretching your budget.

Well, as always, we’re here to help. Here are four awesome ways that you can save money when shopping online or in-store for flooring!

Check out the ‘Little Guys’

You may be surprised at just how marked up the big guys are. Here’s the thing- buying flooring is no different than buying groceries from the supermarket. The way I see it, you have two choices:

You could go to a more conveniently located ‘Big Guy’, maybe get a small discount and have to begrudgingly choose from an overwhelming amount of inventory without even seeing a store associate until you get to the register.

Or-

Go to a smaller grocer where you’ll find incredible promotions and sales and wonderful, friendly staff that just want to make sure you have a great experience *Plus- Freshly baked bagels!*.

Chances are, when you realize you’re out of sugar just as you’ve cracked the last egg for that birthday cake you’re making- you head straight for the Big Guys while still in your pajamas because they’re open at 11:52pm on a Sunday. But when you are planning out your weekly shopping list, you probably compare prices and sale fliers from several smaller grocers to make sure you get the best price.

When you buy flooring from the ‘little guys’ like Carpet Express– you get the little guy experience. Amazing customer service, willingness to help, personalized sales, and incredible, unbeatable prices.

Give them a call!

What happens when you take a break from  clicking through those thumbnails of carpet and call that phone number at the top of the screen?

You get to talk to some pretty awesome people. You’ll also probably save a pretty penny. Speaking with someone will give you some great insight into the world of flooring.

There’s a lot of flooring options out there. Let them help you navigate through the dismal caverns of shag, out of the cracked, stained, and unstuck peel-and-sticks, and into the light- gleaming hallways of oak and maple.

By talking to someone, you’ll also have a much better idea of what your specific project will cost you, and they may even have some incredible deals that no other retailer can touch. You just have to ask!

 

 Do It Yourself

DIY! DIY! There’s a reason why the DIY movement has gained such momentum over the past few years. The average homeowner is loving learning how to install fixtures, paint, and do whole house remodels. Yes it is a lot of hard work, but the pay off is worth it. Luckily, there are tons of resources out there and just know that you’re not alone in your endeavors. One website estimated that carpet installation and materials would be approximately 37% higher if you chose to have it installed rather than doing it yourself.* Let me reiterate. You may pay thirty seven percent more money to have someone else do it for you. And just as a head’s up, that ‘Free Installation’ that the big guys offered.. it’s not free. Not by a long shot. You’re paying for it whether you know it or not through mark-ups or special fees tacked on.

DIY not for you? It’s ok. Check out Home Advisor, Yelp and other websites that are dedicated to giving you non-biased reviews on handymen and companies in your area. You’ll find the help you need and you’re also helping to support local business- yay you!

Look for retailer brands

Let’s go back to that Supermarket comparison. When you go to the store, you may purchase the so-called “generic brands” to save a few cents here or there. But those cents add up and pretty soon, you’re living the store-brand life, and swimming in those extra coins, Scrooge McDuck Style.

via GIPHY

*Carpet Express does not condone diving head first into a cartoon pile of gold coins*

Take for example, The Showcase Collection available exclusively from Carpet Express. Same green certifications as the other brands, same amazing quality fibers, same color schemes. For some inspiration, check out some of the images below..

 

Let us know if these tips helped you in your quest for the perfect floor for less!

 

Click here to check out the Carpet Express Showcase Collection!

Whenever you’re ready, give us a call. We’re here to help. We are Carpet Express.

*Estimated DIY costs- http://www.diyornot.com/Project.aspx?ndx2=8&Rcd=22
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Mohawk Releases 2015 Sustainability Report

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Recently, Mohawk Industries released its 2015 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.

Here are some of the key achievements that the company made last year:

  • Exceeded the 2020 reduction goal for waste to landfill intensity
  • Reached 95% of the 2020 water intensity reduction goal
  • Expanded the “Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill” program to a total of 44 sites
  • Delivered a low global safety recorded incident rate of 1.75, a 60% reduction from seven years ago

Mohawk Industries had a great year and if you would like to read the full report, please click here.

 

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Carpet Care

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Here are a few tips on how to care for carpet:

  1. Always have clean walk-off mats at all entrances to capture outside soil before it is brought inside.
  2. Use a quality carpet pad of the correct thickness
  3. Use a professional carpet installer for best results
  4. Vacuum regularly
  5. Have your carpet professionally cleaned using deep cleaning extraction every 12 to 18 months
  6. Clean up spills and accidents immediately by blotting the spill with a damp, absorbent towel.

These are just a few tips on how to keep your carpet clean. We also have an article that details how to spot clean solution dyed carpet.

Click here to learn more about how to clean carpet.

Click here to see our selection of residential carpet.

spot-cleaning

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What is Bamboo Flooring?

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What is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a grass that is found all over the world, except in the North and South Poles. Bamboo has over 1200 species and there are many uses for bamboo. Bamboo is one of the most efficient plants at removing carbon from the atmosphere. It can be harvested and replenished with barely any impact to the environment. Bamboo can regenerate without having to be replanted, and it has a rapid growth cycle so it can be harvested in 5 to 6 years. Other trees take ten to a hundred years to develop so they can be harvested. In addition bamboo grown in temperate regions is better for flooring than bamboo grown in tropical regions. Bamboo from tropical regions is softer and less stable than bamboo grown in temperate regions.

Construction of Traditional Bamboo Flooring

  1. After the bamboo is harvested, the poles are dried in a commercial kiln.
  2. After the poles are dried, they are cut into strips.
  3. The strips are aligned and milled to a uniform size.
  4. The strips are then glued together to form a board that can be sanded and finished.

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Construction of Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring

  1. After the bamboo is harvested, the poles are dried in a commercial kiln.
  2. After the poles are dried, they are cut into strips.
  3. Resin-dipped bamboo splits are loaded into an industrial press.
  4. The press uses 100,000 Metric tons of pressure to compress the strips into a solid log.
  5. The log is strand woven and it is more than twice as dense as traditional bamboo.
  6. After the log is conditioned for months, the log can now be cut into veneers. The veneers are then used to produce planks of flooring.

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Horizontal Grain VS. Vertical Grain

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Bamboo floors that have a horizontal grain are known for having the classic bamboo look, and it features large darkened nodes throughout the floor’s surface. The individual slats of bamboo are put down horizontally and glued together,which is where the horizontal grain gets its name. The name does not refer to the direction the grain runs.

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Bamboo floors that have a vertical grain do not have the classic, dark nodes that many people associate with bamboo. The individual slats of bamboo are put down vertically and glued together. Once again the name does not refer to the direction the grain runs.

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Strand Woven

In Strand Woven bamboo there is no horizontal or vertical grain distinction. Strand woven bamboo has an organic grain look because strands of bamboo poles are compressed together under hundreds of tons of pressure. Strand woven bamboo is rated over 3,000 on the Janka Hardness Scale. This bamboo flooring is ideal for high traffic residential and light commercial settings.

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Maintenance & Care

  • For regular maintenance, use a soft bristle broom to sweep the floors and a vacuum with a soft floor attachment if your bamboo floor has beveled edges.
  • Clean your floors periodically with a professional wood floor cleaner.
  • Wipe up spills immediately with a slightly damp towel.
  • Use throw rugs inside and outside doorways.
  • Use a humidifier during the winter months to keep bamboo movement and shrinkage to a minimum.
  • Do not wet-mop a bamboo floor.

Click here to see our collection of Bamboo flooring.

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The Difference in Wood Grades

SW483-00296-roomWood grade is described as the visual of natural wood. Wood grade is evaluated along a wide spectrum that ranges from very uniform to significant color variations, streakers, short lengths, open knots, and worm holes.

Here is a list of the different wood grades, their characteristics, and allowable defects:

1st Quality/A Grade –
Wood is cut from the center of the log and they have a highly uniform appearance with few knots. The sap content of the wood is low so color variations are minimal. After finishing, the face of the boards have a clean appearance.
Allowable defects – Natural color variations, off-color streaks 6 inches in length, and occasional very small knots or pin-worm holes.

2nd Quality/B Grade –
The planks will have more wood characters that are normal to the species, but the face of the boards will still be even and smooth after filling and finishing.
Allowable defects – Small worm holes, season and kiln checks, dime-size broken knots, larger open knots if they are properly filled and finished, and some sapwood, torn grains, and burns.

C Grade/Mill Run –
This grade of wood will have more color, bigger knots, and creamy-colored sapwood. There will also be some unfilled or unfinished open characteristics on the face of the planks. The boxes of this type of wood will also have shorter pieces.
Allowable defects – Some finish irregularities, bubbles, small skips, lines, stain, color variations, and surface handling scratches.

Cabin/Tavern –
This grade has shorter board lengths, more color variations, small dings, and other quality imperfections because of machining issues. This wood grade has more than a 10% waste factor.
Allowable defects – A small amount of unfilled knots, and small finish defects such as skips, color variations, scratches, and bubbles.

Click here to see our collection of hardwood flooring.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or call one of our sales representatives at 1-800-922-5582.

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How Much Does a Nice Residential Carpet Cost?

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That is a really good question. I assume you want a price for installed carpet, which would include carpet, pad, and installation. My short answer is about $20 per sq. yd. but let’s break down the cost and look at your options.

There is a very large selection of carpet styles and designs that would qualify as nice carpet. So let’s focus on carpet made from nylon and polyester, which are the two most popular residential carpet fibers.
Besides the carpet, you also have pad and installation to make up the total cost of buying carpet for your home. All three have a wide price range and are many times priced together, or maybe buy the carpet and pad and you will get free installation. This is obviously a marketing scheme and the consumer needs to compare the total price.

First let’s look at the carpet. Nice carpet for your home will range from a 35 oz polyester at about $8.99 per sq. yd. on the low end to a 55 oz nylon at about $23.99 per sq. yd. on the high end. A 35 oz nylon would cost about $14.99 per sq. yd. on the low end of nice nylon carpet while a 55 oz polyester would cost about $14.99 per sq. yd. on the high end of polyester carpet. As you can see nylon is more expensive than polyester. Both polyester and nylon are available in soft fiber, which will increase the price about 20%.

Next we will look at the pad. The best pad for your money is a 7/16″ thick 8lb. rebond pad at $2.99 per sq. yd. There are several pads, such as Shaw’s “St. Jude Hope Cushion,” Mohawk’s “Decorate for the Cure,” and Stainmaster’s rebond pad that cost around $4.95 per sq. yd. As with carpet, there are several pads that are more expensive such as Healthier Choice or solid rubber pad.

Last but not least you obviously need quality installation. A basic installation costs about $4.50 per sq. yd. This number can increase with extra charges for removing and carrying off old carpet, which costs about $1.00 per sq. yd. Moving most furniture will cost about $1.50 per sq. yd., and moving heavy furniture such as pianos, pool tables, and entertainment centers have extra charges. There are also extra charges for installing berber carpet and patterned carpet, as well as carpeting steps.

Now we need to combine the cost of carpet, pad, and installation to get our total cost.

A nice residential polyester carpet should run about $16 to $25 per sq. yd. installed.
A nice residential nylon carpet should run about $22 to $31 per sq. yd. installed.

The nylon carpet will be more durable, but the polyester offers the best apparent value. Remember the denser and lower the pile, the longer your carpet should last. However, no matter how nice your carpet, it will show traffic patterns with time.

Important!!! Carpet may be priced by the sq. ft. instead of the sq. yd. There are 9 sq. ft. in 1 sq. yd. so a carpet that costs $18.00 per square yard cost only $2.00 per square foot. Don’t get confused and be sure you’re comparing apples to apples or square feet to square feet or square yards to square yards. There is a huge difference.

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mm vs mil: What’s the difference?

The units of measurement used for laminate and vinyl thickness have similar sounding names. This has been a source of much confusion. The millimeter (mm=1/1000 of a meter) is used for measuring the thickness of laminate flooring. Laminate is typically somewhere between 7mm to 12mm thick. 12mm laminate is just short of a 1/2 inch thick.

The confusion arises from the term “mil.” It is used to measure the thickness of sheet vinyl flooring. This term does not mean millimeter. It is 1/1000 of an inch, and outside the USA it is commonly referred to as a “thou.” However, engineers in the US have started using “thou” due to the confusion with millimeter. It’s origin comes from the days of industrial revolution. It is a unit invented to streamline the tedious work of engineers. Instead of using fractions like 1/8’s and 1/16’s, engineers were able to speak in tenths. Today mils are used to measure everything from aluminum foil to your credit card (and vinyl of course). To give you some reference, a dime is about a millimeter thick, and just over 39mils. See the graphic below for a visual. Vinyl usually runs between 50 to 125 mils thick.

Please remember that the thickness of vinyl and laminate flooring does not necessarily correlate with its quality. Density, construction, and thickness are all details to consider when comparing products.

millimeters vs mils

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Ask the Experts: VCT in the Garage?

Question: Can the VCT tiles be successfully used for a garage floor where cars will be parked?

Thanks, Ralph

Ralph,

This is a good question because the average weight of a car is about 4,000 lbs. and that is a little too much weight for most types of floor covering. However, I think that VCT tile would be as good of a choice you could make to park your car on. I don’t think any VCT tile manufacturer will warranty their product under these conditions but it should hold up for quite some time. It would be wise that when you buy your VCT tile to buy just a little extra just so you can replace any tiles that might crack or get stained from the tires. Make sure that you try to drive in or back out as straight as you can for this will help eliminate some possible damages. One thing I think you should know, VCT tile will be slippery when it gets wet so when you drive your car in on rainy days be careful.This will only work in an enclosed garage and if you are going to experience some extremely cold temperatures you might want to heat this area with a space heater.There will also be some other variables in putting VCT tile in your garage but overall this should work fine.

Thank you for your question and feel free to call if Carpet Express can be of any help.

Mike Jones
Carpet Express
800-922-5582

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Ask the Experts: Carpet Pad in Wet Environment

Question: I am in New Jersey and have remodeled a sunporch with concrete floor that has wet kids coming in from the pool in the summer, but is also used year round as a TV/game playing room.

The indoor/outdoor carpet has been removed, and we want to re-carpet with something low-pile, but would like a little more cushion. What would be a good pad to put down that can get a little wet (not too wet, just some wet feet and swimsuit bottoms)?

Thanks,
Frank

Answer: This is a great question because padding can make a big difference in the performance of your carpet. Based on the information that you gave me, it sounds like the only water that will be getting on the carpet or padding is just what the kids bring in from the swimming pool. I would compare this to a situation very similar to walking out of the shower into a bedroom with carpet in it.

This is not a lot of water, but is still something to be concerned about. They make pads with a moisture barrier on them, such as Stainmaster pad to name just one of many, so I would check out some of these type pads which would seem to be the most suitable for your situation. If I can be of any more help in finding you some of these type of pads, please just let me know.

Thanks for the question,
Mike Jones

Carpet Express, Inc.
(800) 922-5582
915 Market Street
Dalton, GA 30720

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Ask the Experts: Home Depot Carpet

Question: We purchased carpet from Home Depot manufactured by Dixie Home. Began to notice matting and packing down in front of chairs, then in high traffic areas. We have had inspection by Stainmaster and Dixie Home. They say that is normal, not covered as normal traffic, and I have no claim. This began to show after only one and a half years. Warranty was for 7 year against normal wear, against matting and packing. We are in our 60s, and are not in this home but around 8 months of the year, so we just want people to question and read the fine print on the warranty.

Sincerely,
Anita & David

Answer: I am sorry that you are not happy with your carpet that you purchased at Home Depot, but some carpets just look more matted or crushed compared to other types. For instance, a real loose Frieze with a long yarn might look matted compared to short tight twisted carpet. It will not matter what the yarn is, it will just appear to look matted and that’s why the warranty may not apply in your situation.

I don’t know this for sure, but Stainmaster is usually pretty good about taking care of claims. I just don’t know if you were sold the right carpet for what your expectations were. Sometimes inexperienced sales personnel don’t really listen to what the customer’s needs are, and they get lost in just trying to close the sale.

If we can in any way help you get the proper carpet for your home, just call or email us here at Carpet Express. We’d be glad to help you get the carpet you’re really looking for.

Thanks,
Mike Jones

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