The decline in carpet is due to one thing and one thing only: Poor quality.

Our industry has killed itself by selling products designed to meet a price point over tangible performance. The worthless warranties and those who sell them are only nails in the coffin.

The increase in hard surface sales IS NOT because people like living on hard surfaces and IT’S NOT about indoor air quality.

It’s because the plastic garbage being passed off as carpet does not perform as desired, promised or expected. Consumers don’t love hard surface they just hate carpet!

PROOF? You want proof that what I say is true?

OK, consider this, since the dawn of humankind, back to the days of cave dwellers and up to the year 2000, humans have sought to live on soft surfaces. This is fact. It has only been the past 15 years that humans have sought to live on sticks and stones … ((and we all know what they say about sticks & stones)) … has the human species under gone some sort of unique alteration in these past few years that makes us want to uncover the cave floor and live on rock? Hardly or the sale of area rugs would not be as popular as they are. No, we humans have simply been the victims of deceptive marketing schemes on a grand scale.


The good news is, today’s consumers will come to realize what humankind has known and understood since the dawn of time: soft flooring in our caves is good. It makes our nest warm… And it’s really that simple.

Soft surface will come back in favor, and when it does, it will be natural fibers and it will be quality product. How so you ask? Because the one thing hard surfaces have done is prove people will spend more on quality flooring if the value they perceive is real.

WoolSell real, sell wool!!!
Buy real, buy wool!!!


This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Alex


    I think the carpets are still very popular. The wood is a much better option but there are people that just love carpets. Wood floors require regular maintenance while carpeted floors are pretty much maintenance free. I was called to hundreds of jobs where the original floorboards were exposed and ready for refinishing only to find out months later that the customer has carpeted the floor.

    Great article

  2. Don Beaulieu

    I have been in flooring since the mid 1960’s and can tell you that the quality of carpets has definately gone downhill. There is hardly any product sold on the market that marked with a name brand to show pride from the manufacturer, but you will never see it on carpets. Not only that, when you buy carpet, you never get a hard copy of the warranty from the manufacturer. The consumer never knows what they are getting. Often, the retailer will switch the carpet the consumer bought for a lower quality and no one is the wiser. Carpet installer are hired with no qualifications other then owning a van and a kicker (even if they don’t know how to use it). I once worked with one and he was stretching the carpet wrong and he looked up at me and said he knew it was wrong, but he couldn’t make enough money by doing it right. On top of all this, the manufacturers are making the carpet so poorly, they have made it manditory that the edge of the carpet be glued by the installer or the warranty is automatically void. The installer does not make the carpet. He doesn’t even get compensated for gluing the edge. Bottom line, carpets are a poor choice for a home and will continually go in decline in sales until things change dramatically.

    1. Jim McClain

      Often, the retailer will switch the carpet the consumer bought for a lower quality and no one is the wiser.

      That’s quite a claim by someone who has been in flooring so long. I think it’s a gross exaggeration. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, just that it doesn’t happen “often.” If it’s done on purpose, those dealers need to be prosecuted.

      And someone who has been involved in this business since the 60s should know the edge gluing procedure you are describing is called seam sealing. While I agree that carpet construction had declined over the many years I’ve been in the business (40+ years) and seam sealing may have been developed to counter the flaws in the technology, it may very well have been beneficial to use those techniques back in the old days too.

  3. Ben

    Side match problem on wool carpet most likely

  4. Karen Trautman

    4-27-17 New Member/ Retailer. I am looking for help for a problem I have encountered with a wool carpet that with inspection has met all the installation procedures. My customer let me know the same day her carpet was installed that when you looked across the carpet you could see a visible color difference from one seam to another. There are two main seams in the room, from a living room through a dining room and into a family room. Two other fill seams are there but are not the full 12′ width The carpet is a light tan/grey color, The manufacturer has stated our claim has been denied, the first time for seaming and color match; the second claim for carpet color feathering that the inspector would not work. I would very much like to speak with anyone that has encountered the same problem Again we have met all inspection installation requirements.. My phone number is 419 423 9203. If there is no answer please leave a message and it will go to my email.

    1. Jim McClain

      Karen, these article comments are not always monitored by their authors. The best way to get feedback on your issue is to join our forums. You’ll find many pros who are active and more than willing to support their fellow pros. Consider this your personal invitation to be a member of our community. Click here for more information.

    2. Lucinda

      We run into this problem from time to time. The manufacturers call it “shading.” Our claims for shading are generally approved.

  5. Heidi Sabe

    It is time for us to replace the carpet in our house and after joining this group and reading about the diff. Kinds of floors and today’s quality, I am highly confused as what to do.

    1. Jim McClain

      Well Heidi, I hope you will take the time to post your questions and concerns as a new topic in one of our forums. We have a lot of pro members who like helping consumers and DIYers find solutions.

  6. Joe Blake

    Compared to 15 years ago, carpet sold today is garbage, and about 2.5 times more expensive.

    We refurbished our home in 2000, paid $18/yard for 200 yards of Nylon carpet, 9/16 height, 16 strands/inch, 16 twists per inch, installed with padding. Don’t know what the denier is, but it appears to be about 50% greater than anything I can buy today.

    When we visit retailers, or have them visit us, we provide a sample of our existing carpet. They then show us carpet that is “comparable”, where comparable means crappier quality, crappier looking and $50 a square yard.

    I would rather litter my floor with $5 bills than replace my current carpet with the crap being sold.

  7. Ken Frango

    This article seems a bit duplicitous as carpet sales are close to half the marketshare, with about 60% commercial and 40% residential, those stats are estimates and vary a few points either way year after year but remain fairly true. Overall, half of all floor covering is carpet (synthetics encompassing an overwhelming majority) the other half of the market is everything else. That seems to me to be a pretty healthy marketshare, and many of the latest synthetic fibers (IMHO) sure do give wool a run for the money when it comes to durability, hand and value.

    I do believe that consumers have realized that a soft surface or the softest surface is a poor choice for high traffic areas, therefore they have embraced “sticks and stones” floors- contrary to what the author suggests. The evolution that has taken place in the last two or three decades has been that sticks and stones became the permanent floor throughout, and carpet went from wall-to-wall to accent and area rugs. Also, this happened in large part due to abundantly poor wall-to-wall carpet installation; where installation would often fail long before the material wears or even uglies out.

    When it’s all said and done- the industry has evolved to a win-win-win, where consumers win because they get to enjoy both hard and soft surfaces, floor dealers win because they get to sell multiple coverings for the same floor space and versatile flooring installers win because they install more sq. footage per contract.

  8. Seasoned Flooring Inspector

    The industry has ruined the carpet for the general public, and having sold them a crap for years, the industry is now moving on to laminate flooring. Having inspected thousands of floors people are now going to tile floors at which time the large companies will also ruin this material as well with poor quality. As for myself I doubt that I would every purchase a cut pile carpet, laminate floor, or tile made by any of the big manufacturers. Their warranties mean nothing and their products are crap.
    Seasoned Flooring Inspector for 30 years opinion!

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