How should I choose a carpet installer?

Need tips on what to find out about a potential carpet installer? Check out our suggestions so you’ll be prepared ahead of time.
Carpet installation is a big decision for many homeowners, and being prepared as you wade through the sea of potential contractors can seem like a huge feat to overcome.

Though significant time goes into selecting the right style, color, and type of carpet, you need to spend the same amount of time knowing the facts about your potential carpet installers. Not only will you educate yourself on the carpet installation process, but you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you chose the right contractor for the job.

The following are some helpful tips on what to look for in a good carpet installer:

Tip 1: Go with the more experienced carpet installers.

  • Carpet installation requires precision and attention to detail, so make sure you choose an installer who has at least five years of experience installing different types of carpet in residential or custom homes.

  • Carpet installers with limited experience can end up costing you more time and money in the long run. Complex carpeting jobs are not meant for novices.

Tip 2: Make sure the carpet installers are licensed and bonded.

  • Always ask if the carpet installer’s work crew is licensed and bonded.

  • Request copies of licensing and insurance information. Be wary of contractors who don’t willingly provide you copies of this information.

  • Familiarize yourself with state license requirements regarding carpet installation contract work as shown on

  • In the event that damages occur to your home, furnishings, or your new carpet because of faulty or negligent work practices or carelessness by the workers, you can be assured that repair and replacement costs will be covered by the installer if they are bonded. Keep in mind that some installers will only offer to repair or replace items up to a certain dollar amount if damages occur, so be sure to ask what that dollar amount is.

Tip 3: Ask for at least three carpet installation references.

  • Ask for a minimum of three references for jobs done by the carpet installer within the last year.

  • Be wary of contractors who aren’t willing to share customer details and success stories with you.

  • Contact the references yourself to gauge if the carpet installer is a good fit for the carpet installation job you have.

Tip 4: Ask about a carpet installation warranty.

  • The installer should provide you with a clearly written warranty for the contracted work, listing what is covered/not covered, duration, and a description of procedures if a service call is required.

  • A written one-year warranty is the industry standard to cover poor workmanship and faulty materials used during the carpet installation.

  • Obtain and review copies of all warranties offered by the fiber producer, carpet manufacturer, and retailer as well. Keep in mind that an installer’s warranty will be different than these other three types of warranties.

  • Be wary of contractors who don’t offer a warranty in writing.

Tip 5: Get a copy of the CRI 105 Carpet Installation Standard.

  • Educate yourself on the industry carpet installation standards by obtaining a copy of the CRI 105 Carpet Installation Standard through the Carpet and Rug Institute.

  • The standard provides a step-by-step instruction of proper carpet installation procedure.

  • To obtain a copy of these standards, contact the CRI at (800) 882-8846 or visit the CRI web site.

Tip 6: Use a checklist to inquire about installation procedures.

For comparison purposes, create a checklist to ask for the same information from each installer you consider. Be sure to include the following:
  • Cost of installation based on the specific type of carpet you have purchased

  • Estimated square yards to do the job

  • Grade of padding to be used and how much to upgrade (if applicable)

  • Charges for removing old carpet/padding

  • Placement of seams

  • Use of a power stretcher to assure carpet tautness

  • Method of carpet attachment—for example, staples, tacks, glue, and so on

  • Accountability for proper adjustment of doors if the new carpet is too thick

  • Cost of adding floor transitions and thresholds

  • Responsibility for removal and replacement of furniture from each room

  • In-home measuring of your home’s floors prior to ordering new carpet

  • Drawing of the area where carpet will be installed with exact measurements

  • Disconnecting appliances and electronics

Tip 7: Only choose an installer who will provide an estimate in writing.

  • Always get it in writing. A verbal agreement for services may come back to haunt you if terms of the job are changed without warning.

  • Be sure to get an anticipated start and end date along with the written estimate and contract.

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