1. Make sure that the carpet has been graded by an independent carpet grading program such as the Australian Carpet Classification Scheme, the Woolmark/Woolblendmark Scheme, or the Fernmark Scheme.
2. When comparing prices make sure you are comparing apples with apples. Most carpets are priced by the broadloom metre (measures 1 metre by 3.67 metre), but some floor products retailers also price by the square metre. If you are comparing carpet prices to other flooring products – vinyl, ceramic, timber, laminate, etc – remember all these products are priced by the square metre.
3. Ask your retailer about the type of underlay best suited to the carpet and your installation. A good underlay will improve foot comfort, absorb crushing forces, overcome minor imperfections in the floor, and improve thermal and acoustic properties.
4. Talk to the retailer about how the carpet will be installed and ask them to provide a installation plan. Where possible, seams should be away from windows where falling light may exacerbate the joins; seams should be avoided in high traffic walk ways such as corridors and doors; and if carpet is being installed in joining rooms, the carpet’s direction of manufacturing should be the same throughout the house.
5. Make sure you keep record of the manufacturer, the grading registration number, the type of underlay, any warranty information and a small piece of unused carpet.
6. Consider buying a little extra carpet as a reserve to replace damaged areas.
7. If you are carpeting stairs, think about buying enough carpet to recover the stairs in a few years time. On stairs, carpet wears faster than in other areas around the home.
8. On the day the carpet is being installed, and for a day or so after, open as many doors and windows as possible. The carpet needs to ventilate and breathe for a few days after it is installed.
9. If you don’t already have one, buy a good vacuum cleaner. Not only will it remove abrasive soil, (which abrade the base of the carpet pile), but modern cleaners with multi-filter systems will safely remove the finest dust particles.