It’s not easy to choose the right carpet for your home, especially if you’ve never done so before. Maybe you struggled with choosing styles, fibers, colors, or something else entirely. Or maybe you were in a hurry or on a limited budget and had to make a decision quickly before running out of time. Whatever the reason or reasons, let’s say you bought a carpet, swiped the card, or signed the papers, and now have a carpet you regret. What do you do when you have a carpet you don’t like? Whether you’ve already had it installed or have the movers on the way; whether you’re wondering if your warranty can help you or if you’ll need to replace it out of pocket, we’re here to help give you some answers and options to explore.
Stay calm (it’s not the end of the world)
First of all, keep calm. This might be the last thing on your mind when you’re standing in front of a carpet you can’t stand and your wallet feels so much lighter after how much it cost. However, remember that it’s just a carpet, and you can change it if you decide to. The options before you will depend on how far into the buying process you’d gotten before realizing that your carpet wasn’t for you. If you come to this realization before installing it, of course, that’s best.
Take a look at the entire carpet (ideally before buying it)
Let’s say you’ve chosen your carpet, bought it, and have it on order from the manufacturer, and now you have cold feet. If you didn’t see the whole carpet beforehand due to choosing a sample piece, ask to see the full carpet when it arrives at the store. That way, you’ll know exactly what it looks like and you’ll be able to come to a more measured decision about whether it’s right for you. If you have sofa cushions, paint samples, lamp shades, or bed sheets for the room in which the carpet will be installed, bring those too so you can imagine it in context.
If you have second thoughts, don’t have it installed
If things reach the point where your installers are at the door to install your carpet, you’ll want to be home to have a chance to overview the process and make a decision one way or the other. Before any installation begins, your installers are going to roll out the carpet to see where excess bits need to be trimmed. Let your installers know that you’d like to see the carpet once it’s rolled out and before the installation begins so you can give it a thumbs up or thumbs down.
Once you reach this stage, look at the carpet carefully. It’s not going to look the way it did in the warehouse because your lighting will be different, as will your wall colors and the supporting furniture pieces. If you don’t like what you see at this point, have the installers stop and place a call to your carpet salesperson.
Read (and take advantage of) your warranty
Most new carpets put out by the big manufacturers (e.g., Mohawk) will include customer satisfaction warranties. Simply put, you’ll get 30 to 60 days of coverage for no-questions-asked replacements of whatever carpets you buy. These aren’t manufacturer performance warranties where you need a defect or similar issue to trigger a warranty-based return. With a customer satisfaction warranty, if you don’t like the carpet, you can send it back and get a new one with little hassle.
Typically, whatever you replace will need to have an equal or lesser value to what you originally purchased, and you’ll also need to pay separately for installing the replacement carpet. However, if you’re choosing between paying an installation fee for a carpet you love vs. saving that money and slowly dying with a carpet you hate, we’d recommend choosing the first option. Statistically speaking, it’s going to be cheaper than buying a complete replacement a year or two down the line when you get sick of the first carpet.
Be honest with your retailer
If you’ve bought the carpet, had it installed, and didn’t get a customer satisfaction warranty, all isn’t lost; try talking to whoever sold you the carpet to begin with. This is also why it’s so important to find a trustworthy and quality retailer. Most of the good ones will want a happy customer, and will do a lot more than you’d think to try to make you happy.
They won’t be able to get you a new carpet for free, of course; after all, they weren’t the ones who decided to buy that particular carpet. However, you might be able to get discounted replacements or similar deals. Alternatively, they might buy the carpet back from you at a discounted price to use as a showroom model, or potentially steam clean it for reselling as a lightly used carpet. The point is that you’re not going to know what your options are unless you ask, which is why it pays to be honest and assertive–both with yourself and with your carpet retailer.
Learn to love what you’ve got (you’ll get used to almost anything)
In the end, if all else fails, remember that you’re dealing with a carpet and not a marriage or a baby. If you simply don’t like it, you can either keep it, get used to it, and maybe even learn to love it over time…or you can have it replaced.
In either case, the world won’t end no matter how much you spent on it. At the very worst, it’ll be a learning experience that you can use to make better decisions the next time you’re in search of a residential carpet.
While you have it, we’d recommend keeping it in good condition; if you decide to keep it, you’ll be glad you didn’t ruin it while you had mixed feelings about it. And if you decide to sell it, as noticed above, you’ll get far more from it if it looks almost new compared to if it’s in awful condition. For deep cleaning, we typically recommend the Bissell 86T3 Big Green, which we review here, while for vacuuming, we like the Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet (reviewed here, here, and here) or the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ (which we review here and here).
If you find our research on PMC helpful, you can follow our efforts to keep maniacally reviewing home cleaning tools by shopping through our links above. We promise to keep fighting the good fight against every horror children, animals, and grown, yet messy humans can inflict upon a clean home.