In this article, we discuss the truth about carpet warranties and also some shopping tips.
"Pet proof, kid proof, bullet proof carpet!" I'm amazed at some of the claims by carpet and fiber manufacturers with regard to how well their carpet will hold up. Being in the business as long as I have, I've seen some really outrageous warranties hit the market place. The standard used to be a 5 year stain and 5 year wear warranty. After years went by, and the public got wise to how these warranties worked, a lot of changes occurred.
Let's start with the famous "Wear Warranty". This warranty basically states that in the given period of time, let's use 5 years for example, the carpet won't vanish off the face of the earth. It doesn't state that your carpet won't look horrible, it just says it won't wear away. Since we're usually the ones who bear the brunt of the initial phone calls for carpet warranty problems, we're very honest about this subject. After years went by and the public figured out this game, the manufacturers were forced to start producing better quality, tighter woven, and tighter twisted carpets and fibers. In doing this, they also came up with a new warranty called a "Texture Retention" or "No Matte, No Crush" warranty. This warranty covers the carpet matting or crushing in high traffic areas and in my professional opinion is a warranty you should look for nowadays when you're shopping for carpet.
The stain warranty is probably the most well known by the carpet buying public. Dupont and their "Stainmaster" advertising campaign had a lot to do with that. Carpet warranties generally range from 5 years to 20 years or more. Some of these warranties can be deceiving. You have to look closely into the exclusions. There are certain stains that are not covered such as acid, ink, and other harsh liquids. Additionally, some of the longer warranties you'll come across are usually on carpets constructed of Olefin fiber. This fiber can resist bleach but since it is a petroleum based fiber, has problems resisting stains from oil and oil based materials like tar, etc. These are some of the things the average carpet salesman most likely won't discuss with you. You can learn more about carpet warranties in our Carpet Warranties & Ratings section.
What's the bottom line on carpet warranties? The bottom line is, in my opinion, assume you will end up getting 7 to 10 years life out of a good quality carpet regardless of what the warranty states. This is providing you have normal foot traffic and you maintain the carpet properly. If you get 7 to 10 years out of the carpet, you got your money's worth! If you see a carpet with a 25 Year Warranty and you really think you're going to get 25 years life out of it, you are sadly mistaken. Keep another thing in mind, even if you should stay in your current home more than 10 years, which is unlikely these days, you will probably change the carpet because you're sick of the color anyway. Use carpet warranties as sort of a guide to the quality. For instance, if you see a carpet with a 5 year wear, 5 year stain warranty, chances are you'll only get 2 to 3 years out of this carpet. If you see a carpet with a 10 year wear, 5 year No Matte, No Crush, and a 5 year or more stain warranty, you will probably enjoy the 7 to 10 years life I spoke about. Most of the large carpet manufacturers would probably prefer to list real life warranties on their samples, but unfortunately stiff competition forces them to look for an edge. Carpet can be a hassle to shop for so do your homework prior to getting started.