If you’re about to spend thousands of dollars in rugs and carpeting in your home, you’re probably going to want a warranty to support what you’re buying. Carpets today come with a range of warranties, and it’s important to know what you are and aren’t getting in case life gets in the way (as it always does). Today we’re going to look at some of the most common warranty and coverage protections for carpets, as well as what they mean and the degree to which they should affect your purchasing decisions. We’ll also cover our preferred residential carpet cleaners and vacuums to help keep your carpets in top condition longer.
Carpet wear and quality assurance warranties FAQ
Nearly every carpet bought new today will include a wear or quality assurance warranty; it’s the most basic warranty in the industry. It guarantees that the carpet won’t fall apart. While that sounds good, keep in mind that it doesn’t cover anything else besides your carpet spontaneously disintegrating before your eyes. And if you’re spending money on a new carpet, you’re going to have higher standards.
Appearance retention and texture retention warranties typically cover…
This warranty is perhaps the most important of any you’re likely to see. It offers protection if the carpet loses its texture, or original appearance, due to fiber unraveling and untwisting. Carpet fibers start out twisted from the factory, but wear and tear tends to unravel them; this is what leads to carpets looking fuzzy and flat.
As a result, many carpets won’t carry this warranty, and it’s important to read your warranty information thoroughly. Your warranty will act like a crystal ball, allowing you to see what the manufacturer thinks of their own carpet’s longevity and quality. A 30 year appearance retention warranty, for example, lets you know the manufacturer actually expects their carpet to last that long (or else such a warranty wouldn’t exist), and that you’re almost certainly going to be getting a resilient and durable carpet. At the other extreme, a lack of such a warranty is a good sign your carpet’s going to end up in front of your house or in a landfill in the next five years.
What do stain and soil warranties cover?
Stain and soil warranties have to do with carpet stains and removing them. To understand what’s covered in this warranty, it’s important to understand the difference between soiling and staining.
Staining refers to a color transfer caused by contact between a foreign substance and your carpet. For example, if you spill coffee, red wine, or orange juice on your carpet, you’re going to see brown, red, or orange stains unless you clean them up.
Soiling, on the other hand, refers to stains caused by residue in carpet fibers mixed with dirt. Residue can refer to pretty much anything, including oil from your skin through the soles of your feet. The residue attracts dirt, and the mixture creates an embedded stain.
Because manufacturers often consider stains and soils separate things (even though they’ll look and behave similarly), you’ll want to make sure you have warranty coverage for both and that the coverage is sufficient, as it can vary for both in the same carpet.
Most stain and soil warranties will also exclude certain substances from warranty coverage, including herbal teas, bleaches, urine, mustard, and other unusual substances. Quality carpets, however, will include “no exclusions” warranties, which will cover anything spilled. Kraus Perpetual Carpets are an example of carpeting with this kind of coverage. Overall, the fewer exclusions you have to abide by, the better.
Are fade resistance warranties worth it?
Fade resistance warranties refer to protection against fading over time from exposure to air pollutants and direct sunlight. More carpets offer this coverage these days than before. However, whether you have such coverage or not, you’ll still want to try to keep your carpets in shade via curtains or blinds during your local peak sunlight hours, particularly if you have carpets in rooms (e.g., sunrooms or south-facing rooms in the Northern Hemisphere) that catch a lot of sunlight. If you do have such a warranty, we’d say it’s well worth it. Ideally, try to pick a carpet that’s been solution-dyed, as this process is naturally more resistant to color loss than traditional dyeing methods.
Are carpets on stairs covered in warranties?
It’s important to note that many carpets on stairs don’t have warranty coverage, even when the carpets have coverage for installation everywhere else in a home. This is because many manufacturers consider stair traffic “abnormal wear and tear” despite the fact that stairs are a normal part of many houses. Stairs do receive high levels of traffic as well as greater force since people step harder on stairs than they do on flat surfaces thanks to gravity.
However, once again, some carpet manufacturers have begun offering stair coverage too; one example is the Mohawk SmartStrand collection. As always, you’ll want to read the fine print to be sure.
Bathrooms and kitchens are two additional areas in homes that often don’t have manufacturer warranty coverage, as these two areas in a home are typically exposed to a lot of water through water vapor (moisture) and spills.
Which carpet cleaners and vacuums help preserve warranty coverage?
While no carpet cleaner or vacuum can guarantee warranty coverage, especially against a manufacturer that offers poor coverage to begin with, we’d always recommend investing in quality carpet care appliances to increase your odds. When it comes to carpet cleaners, we consistently recommend the Bissell 86T3 Big Green because it consistently does a good job on pretty much any kind of carpet you can buy for a home.
When it comes to vacuuming, we’d recommend the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet for carpets you want to keep around for a long time. It’s capable of vacuuming carpets of all piles without skipping a beat. Like the Bissell, it’s also a buy-it-for-life machine, and despite its high initial cost, it’s a worthwhile investment. It’s also pretty much a required one when it comes to cleaning and maintaining soft carpets, which tend to stop most normal vacuums in their tracks.
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