Keep reading for more about these best and worst times to purchase a new carpet. You will also find advice on buying a new carpet, how to save money, and how to tell if your carpet is really ready to be replaced.
Best Times To Buy Carpet
When it comes to carpet sales, it's as simple as supply and demand. There isn't a huge turnover in carpet, like "last year's models" that need to be discounted and cleared off the floor. While carpet designers do change their styles every year, the average homeowner doesn't replace their flooring that frequently, and the time it takes for an old carpet to go out of style is fairly slow.
For this reason, most savings can be found when carpet sales are slow. If no one is buying, the store is not making money. So what times of year see a significant downturn where prices are slashed just to bring some sales in?
Christmas Holiday Season
This one is relatively self-evident. Who wants to replace their carpet the week between Christmas and New Year's, while they have Aunt Debbie staying in the guest bedroom? Even if you don't have to deal with fitting carpet installation around holiday plans, most people don't have extra money for carpeting. They are already saving for presents, travel, dinners, and other holiday-related expenses - redecorating just doesn't fit the budget.
Similar to Christmas, this is just a time of year where a young decorator's thoughts turn to...well, not carpeting. There are just too many other things competing for attention. Kids in school are finishing up their work and finals (and parents are coaching them through it). People are beginning to make summer travel plans, maybe even putting aside money to book their arrangements.
Because of this, there aren't many people with enough time, energy, and money to worry about new carpeting. However, if you can take advantage of this lull, there are plenty of carpet stores waiting. They are more than ready to embrace you with open arms and deep discounts. Note: This is also when new carpet styles from January tend to hit the stores, so if you like to follow the latest trends, this is the time to buy.
Worst Times To Buy Carpet
Just like carpeting is best bought when demand is low, the worst time to try to strike a bargain is when demand is high. At certain times of the year, there's no shortage of people waiting to pay full price for a new carpet. As a result, sales and bargains aren't particularly hard-hitting.
Frequently, promotions on carpeting might be found at these times, trying to draw in a wide audience of available shoppers. But if you look closely, the deals and sales prices aren't much of a bargain - it's awfully similar to the regular, everyday prices.
Tax Rebate Season
As soon as tax refunds start coming in, around mid-February, there's plenty of shoppers with a significant chunk of change. Replacing carpeting is a high priority for many of them. It's not uncommon for people to have to push off a significant purchase like carpeting until they have some extra money. It's easy to delay the purchase (it's not quite as pressing as a broken furnace, for example), and it can be hard to get enough funds together.
Tax time, for many, is the one (maybe only) time of year that they suddenly hold enough money to make their dream a reality. Unfortunately, with so many people interested in visiting carpeting stores, there's little incentive to offer deals and bargains. If you can, and love a good deal, save your tax refund until sales hit in late spring.
Before the Holidays
Much like how no one wants to buy carpet around Christmas, it seems everyone wants to buy it from mid-October to mid-November! If you plan to have company, guests, or parties during the holiday season, new carpeting may be on your list. It makes sense to have the job done before Thanksgiving when things start getting hectic - and that's exactly what consumers do.
October is also the time of year that, for most people, there's a bit of a lull in our schedules. The back to school rush is over, but the holiday season hasn't started. The weather has cooled and forced us to spend more time in our homes - with plenty of time to look around with a critical eye and find changes to make.
How Often Should You Replace Carpet?
Carpet doesn't last forever. It will need to be replaced every 5-15 years (10 years is considered standard). Signs you need to replace your carpet include:
- Carpet fibers are matted, worn, or frayed
- Water damage or mold
- Smells or odors that can't be removed from the carpeting
- Carpet padding is damaged - for example, it is uneven, or there are wrinkles underneath the carpet
If you only have stains or damage in a small area, you might be able to patch it without replacing the whole thing. See Can You Patch A Carpet? [Here's How To].
What Should You Look For When Buying Carpet?
There are several factors to consider. The right carpet for you depends on variables such as where it is installed, how much traffic it sees, and who uses it.
- Wool is warm and soft. It is also durable, but expensive. It's not especially tolerant of spills - may not be the best choice for a home with active children.
- Polypropylene is inexpensive and can take a beating. However, it tends to feel "cheap" - it's not luxurious by any means. A good choice for a place where function matters more than style, such as a playroom.
- Polyester doesn't fade or wear down quickly. However, it tends to flatten and lose shape underfoot.
- Nylon is a popular selection. It's cheaper than wool but more stain-resistant. It's durable and can withstand heavy use. Some blends look just as good as wool selections.
- Sisal is strong and tough, but it can feel rough. Better for an entryway than a bedroom.
- Cotton is soft and natural, but stains easily.
- Blends combine wool and nylon, bringing together desirable qualities from both. The downside is that they often pill, and they aren't as stain-resistant as 100% nylon.
As a general rule, the denser the carpet, the better quality it is. You can tell by bending the carpet sample with the tufts facing out. The less of the backing that is visible, the denser (and better) the carpet is. You can also read the carpet information - look for a density of 2000 or greater.
Loop Or Pile
Loop carpet is hazardous for pets who trip when claws get stuck in the loops. It also requires special care, as the loops snag easily.
Cut pile carpet doesn't flatten as easily. However, it can show tracks and footprints easily. Select one with a heavy twist. Heavy twist carpets will hide dirt, marks, and wear the best.
You'll also need to decide between low, high, or mid pile. Read more about selecting carpets here: How Long Does Carpet Last? [Inc. Specific Carpet Types].
- Light colors show dirt and stains quicker. On the plus side, they can make a room seem bigger.
- Dark colors can hide stains, but make a small space seem claustrophobic. They can also show lint.
- Some people prefer carpets that blend and speckle both light and dark shades together. Others, however, feel like they always look stained, due to the intentionally placed dark spots.
How Much Should You Spend On Carpet?
New carpet costs, on average, $3.50 to $11 per square foot. Labor adds approximately $1 per square foot to the total cost. Read more on this topic: How Much Does Carpet Cost? [Inc. Installation & Material By Type]
How Can You Save Money On Carpet?
The most obvious way a lot of homeowners try to save on carpeting is to install it themselves. This, however, is rarely a good idea. Unless you have a lot of experience with laying carpet, the job may be bigger than you expect.
Better still, wait for a home improvement or carpet store to run a special offering free installation. Then you can let a pro do it and still save some cash. Some home improvement stores even offer free carpet installation if you purchase the carpet from them. Other ways to cut costs include removing the old carpet yourself, moving the furniture out of the way, and prepping the subfloor if you're handy.
If you're looking to buy a new carpet, you can save the most by waiting until the Christmas holidays or around May. Low demand for carpets tends to lower prices and drive up sales while carpet stores compete for business. While installing carpeting yourself seems like another way to save money, it's harder than the skill set of the average DIYer. Leave carpet installation to the pros and save the stress.