Beware of Carpet Fraud View all Articles

Every consumer, who plans to purchase carpet for their home, needs to have a basic understanding of how to determine how much carpet they should buy. Unfortunately, many customers depend entirely on their installer or salesperson to tell them what size roll they need to order. This leads to thousands of unknowing Americans being scammed each year, and most of them never have a clue they've been robbed.

carpet Fraud

Here's How the Scam Works

Someone, usually an installer or sales person, measures your home or looks at your floor plans. After figuring how much carpet you need to buy, he simply adds on some extra carpet and gives you the total. If you question him he has the perfect excuses. Some of their favorites are: "you're right, I just miss-figured, I'm sure we would have caught it later" or "I forgot to use the leftover piece from the bedroom in another part of the house, I'm sure we would have caught it later." My personal favorite is, "we always order 5% extra to be sure we do not run short on the job."

They are not talking about 5% more carpet than square footage you are covering. They are talking about 5% more carpet than you need.

You obviously do not need 5% more carpet than you actually need. If you don't catch him or question him during the sale, I doubt you will ever have a clue during or after the installation how much carpet was actually installed or even brought to the job site. Remember, when you get scammed, you don't just pay for the extra carpet, but you are also paying for extra pad and installation. It's easy for a "slick" salesman or installer to add 5% to 10% extra to a job, but in extreme cases they may add as much as 30% extra to a job. Women beware! Unfortunately, it seems that woman are the primary victim of the extreme cases of this type of fraud.

How To Measure for Carpet

Confusing Facts about Purchasing Carpet

First of all carpet is purchased by the sq. yd. or sq. ft., but it comes on 12', 13'2", or 15' wide rolls. So if you are buying a 12'x75' piece of carpet, it is 100 sq. yds. or 900 sq. ft. This is fairly simple math, but I think this has customers already a little confused so they are not as likely to question the number of sq. yards they are told to order.

Also, figuring the yardage you need to properly cover your home is not an exact science. Carpet can be run different directions, but not in the same room and seams may be added or removed. These different options must be addressed to determine the amount of carpet you need to purchase. Before purchasing carpet it is imperative that you review every cut and every seam of the proposed installation. Only then can you determine how much carpet to buy.

A Typical Sad Story

Carpet Express was asked to inspect an installation done by an independent installer. The home owner had seen an extra roll of carpet on the installer's trailer, which the installer said was for another job. Something didn't seem right so she called us for help.

When we arrived, we found a large home with beautiful new carpet. After a short visit, we measured her home and determined that she needed approximately 450 sq. yds. to do the job. She had purchased 700 sq. yards of carpet and only a small roll and a few pieces of scrap were left. We asked her, "Didn't that seem like a lot of carpet?" Her answer surprised us.

She said, "I also got a quote from a "Big Box Store" and they said I needed about 650 sq. yds. so 700 sq. yds. seemed reasonable."

These installation crooks were only caught because she questioned the carpet on their trailer and she called Carpet Express for help. She had never questioned the amount of carpet she was told to purchase. If the installer had only told the home owner he was taking the small roll back to the store for a credit, he might have been a hero and never been caught.

So how much did they steal?

  • 250 sq. yds. free carpet at $15.00 sq. yd. = $3,750
  • 250 sq. yds. pad at $2.50 sq. yd. = $625
  • 250 sq. yds. installation at $4.00 sq. yd. = $1,000
  • Total = $5,375.00

Wow! Over $5,000 stolen on one job, which is a little better than the $1,800 he was paid for the installation.

This was an extreme case of fraud, but think if dealers or installers only pad their orders by 5% or 10 % and they never even order the extra carpet. All that money for the phantom carpet, pad, and installation goes straight to the bottom line.

Let Us Help

Let Us Help

Carpet Express is available to protect you against flooring fraud. We will gladly figure the amount of carpet you should buy when making a purchase from Carpet Express. Just give your sales person your room sizes, or send a simple floor plan showing the rooms, halls, and closet sizes (in feet and inches).

If you are purchasing your carpet from another store, we will figure the yardage you need to purchase for a fee. This could be the best money you ever spend. The following rates are refundable if you are purchasing carpet from Carpet Express.

If you are buying from Carpet Express the service is free! If you'd like us to double check your project, see below for the rates.

  • $20.00 minimum
  • $30.00 for a 2,500 sq. ft. home
  • $50.00 for a 5,000 sq. ft. home

Start your flooring material audit today

  • Draw a quick sketch of your rooms with the sizes listed.
  • Take a picture of it with your smart phone and email it to customer.service@carpetexpress.com or just fax it to 706-275-8763.
  • You can also send an email to customer.service@carpetexpress.com just listing your room sizes.
  • Please provide your contact information like phone# and name when you do. A sales rep will be contacting you shortly.

You may prefer to use our carpet installation guide to determine how much carpet to buy.

Facts about Carpet Installation:

  • Figuring how much to buy is not an exact science. Generally the more T seams, the less carpet you need.
  • T-seams work best in bedrooms.
  • Always use the waste from one room in another part of the house.
  • The width of stairs is what determines how much carpet you will need to cover them.
  • When carpeting an entire house, there is usually a smaller percentage of waste than when carpeting only one or two rooms.
  • When carpeting an entire house, 12' carpet may be more efficient than 15' carpet. You should figure both and use the one that works best.
  • You usually (nearly always) need 5% less pad than carpet.
  • It is a big mistake to just order 10% more carpet than the area you plan to cover. You are probably buying either too much or too little carpet.
  • The pattern repeat in patterned carpet must be considered in order to purchase the correct amount of carpet.
  • It's always nice to get a second opinion on the best way to install your carpet.