You’ll want to do your shopping at stores where you can get good advice, good selection, quality installation services, and honest business practices—at reasonable prices.

Our Ratings Tables will help you find stores with good advice, quality installation services, and honest business practices—at reasonable prices. The ratings on companies’ service quality come from our surveys of area consumers. We primarily surveyed Consumers’ Checkbook subscribers, but also invited other randomly selected consumers to provide ratings. Our Ratings Tables list the stores and installers that received 10 or more survey responses.

We asked survey respondents to rate carpet stores and installation companies they had used as “inferior,” “adequate,” or “superior” on several questions. Our Ratings Tables show the percent of each company’s surveyed customers who rated it “superior” on each question. Click here for more information on our customer surveys and other research methods.

Variety and Layout

Most stores display wall-to-wall carpet samples on racks or in sample books, while carpet remnants and rugs are hung from racks, stacked, or stored in rolls around the store. It’s important that stores have good lighting and enough room to lay out a rug or remnant so you can see what it looks like on the floor.

Convenient Services

Shop at stores that let you take home carpet samples and/or area rugs; most stores offer this service. Also find out if the store will bind carpets for area rugs or arrange for custom-made rugs. Some carpet stores also offer carpet or rug cleaning, repairs, appraisals, restoration, or design services.

Advice

You’re likely to have many questions at a carpet shop. Our Ratings Tables report how stores were rated for “advice.” As you can see, some stores got very low ratings on this question.

Installation Performance

We also asked customers to rate companies on “doing work properly on the first try” and “starting and completing work promptly.” As you can see, some companies got poor scores in these areas.

Our Ratings Tables also show counts of complaints we gathered from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a recent three-year period and the number of complaints on file with the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Office of the Attorney General for a recent two-year period. Click here for more information on reported complaint counts.

Installation Service

Unless you’re a committed do-it-yourselfer, have professionals install your carpet. Almost all wall-to-wall sellers offer installation services, either via their own employees or by contractors.

Installation problems are among the most common sources of carpet buyers’ complaints. A poor job, such as inadequate stretching of carpet, or uneven, bumpy, or loose seams, can ruin the appearance and durability of even an expensive carpet.

Our Ratings Tables show what percentage of surveyed customers rated each company’s installation service “superior” for “doing work properly,” “promptness,” and “overall quality.” Some companies were rated “superior” on some of these criteria by 50 percent or fewer of surveyed customers, but others were rated “superior” more than 90 percent of the time.

Warranty

The quality of a store’s warranty is a good indicator of the reliability of its sales and installation operations. Most carpet stores and installers offer written installation warranties, usually valid for a year or longer.