Timing is everything, especially when it comes to buying a high-value product, like a carpet that fits your home and budget. From area rugs to natural fiber carpets, there are many options, but some are more expensive than others. This big-ticket item adds durability and a personal touch to your space so knowing when to shop for new flooring (and when not to) is important to get the most out of your purchase—while still finding something you like.
To capitalize on the number of options you'll find on a budget, the best time to buy a new carpet is before and after the winter holidays. Whether you want to find the perfect vintage carpet for your stairs, a statement piece in the family room, or something more natural, there's a carpet for you. However, that's not the only time of year experts recommend you shop. Below, tips from both an interior designer and a rug buyer to make shopping for a new carpet a little easier on your wallet.
The Best Times to Buy Carpet
May through Early June
From May through early June you can also expect to save on new carpeting. It’s also a time to shop the latest trends that have made their way to retail stores. According to interior designer, home product developer, and co-owner of New York-based design company, Motif Designs, Lyn Peterson, “there are bi-annual launches in the market during October and April, which is when you can buy the very latest styles.” Amanda Gee, a senior rug buyer for the home retailer at Birch Lane agrees, “If you're looking for the latest and greatest in trends, March [through] May is one of the best times to buy,” says Gee. “Most of our new arrivals launch this time of year, perfect timing for a spring refresh!”
The demand for new carpets decreases during this time due to vacations, the end of the school year, and a pause in purchasing that predictably drives down the price. If you’re on the fence about buying in May or June, it’s worth it to take advantage of these late spring deals before the demand for carpets inevitably peaks again during the summer, which in turn drives up the price as homeowners try to check home improvement projects off their list.
Stores often drop prices on carpeting by up to 30 percent during the late spring months.
While there may be a lot of shopping for holiday gifts during this season, it’s not a popular time to shop for new carpets. Additionally, installing carpet requires plenty of manual labor and will inevitably create a mess, which means a busy holiday season full of indoor parties and gatherings is less than ideal timing for most.
Sales are much more likely to occur when stores notice entire product categories aren't doing well, and in turn, use a lower price to entice shoppers to buy. This is definitely the case around the holidays. Carpet manufacturers and retailers will slash the prices on carpet purchases and installation, so you can save on a new carpet if you’re willing to deal with the inconvenient timing. If you're not hosting, or opting for low key celebrations, this could be a great time to save on a new carpet.
You'll find sales on carpeting for up to 20 percent off leading up to the holidays.
Some retailers might also have promotions to move through older inventory and make room for new flooring collections. However, given that the average lifespan of carpet can be anywhere from 5 to 15 years, it’s not something that’s constantly being replaced, so they don’t go out of style very quickly.
While you can certainly find savings during this time period, it’s best to wait a little after the holidays to really score a deal. According Peterson, this is an amazing window of opportunity to save. “For bargains, the post-holiday period is a good time to buy carpet because that’s when retailers lower their prices,” says Peterson. “Installing wall-to-wall carpeting during this time will also protect the floors from the elements and provide insulation to make your home even cozier for the winter.”
Shoppers can often save as much as 25 percent after the holiday rush.
The Worst Times to Buy Carpet
If you can avoid it, late summer and the fall season are the worst times to buy carpet based on the popularity of other home shoppers who are also looking to buy new flooring. Around this time of year, it’s far more common to squeeze in last-minute projects and spruce up your space before the colder months and holiday season. However, according to both Gee and Peterson, the home experts insist that “there really is no bad time to buy carpet." It just depends on how much you want to spend on that upgrade and when it will happen.
That being said, in order to save, it’s useful to factor in the impact of supply and demand on industry prices. The uptick in home buying and selling during the summer naturally makes the early fall a more popular time for homeowners to replace their old carpets with new ones. So, with that in mind, many retailers are already anticipating a surge in sales and won’t lower their prices.
Carpet Buying Tips
Now that you know the best times to buy a new carpet, the next step is knowing how to choose the right one. New flooring can transform your space by adding color, character, and functionality, while also being a big investment. To help you choose, here are a few tips to remember when buying carpet.
1. Research What Fits Your Needs First
“Think about the role you want it to play in your home,” says Gee. “Asking yourself these questions will help to make decisions on shape, design, and material much easier!” When it comes to choosing a quality and durable material, go for wool. “It won’t stain or trap odors and it has a nice matte appearance that isn’t shiny,” says Peterson. Carpet made from a synthetic material like polypropylene will also resist stains and hold up to wear and tear.
When it comes to choosing the pile, Peterson and Gee recommend going with a dense, short, flat weave carpet or low-pile rug is better than high-pile — especially in a high traffic area, because it won’t track footprints and recover its shape.
2. Consider Shopping In-Store
From big-box stores to chains, to independent retailers, there are a lot of in-person options when shopping for carpet. While you ultimately may shop online, it's best to feel or see the models before you hit 'add to cart.' Once you're there figure out what that shade of blue really looks like, and if it will work for you.
Plus, you can use that opportunity to test the memory of the carpet by poking your finger into the material to see how well it springs back. In-store, you can also ask about shipping costs and installation fees.
3. Buy a Sample First
Whether you choose to do so in-person or online, ordering a sample and having it in your home is the best way to envision where the new carpet will go. “Use your furniture placement as a helpful reference to choose the right one,” says Gee. This will save you money in the long run since returning or swapping out a color may not be possible without a fee.
4. Don't Haggle, Just Ask
Depending on where you end up shopping, you can negotiate a bit. “If you’re faced with deciding between two options, simply ask the retailer if they can give you a better price,” says Peterson. “Very often I get a yes.”
5. Check the Warranty
From fade resistance to stain warranties, there are a handful of common types that typically come with carpet. When you're looking to buy, make sure to ask what type, if any, comes with your purchase. And then double-check those warranties for exclusions, so you don't get stuck with something you don't want.
Our Favorite Places to Shop for Carpet Deals
The best time to buy carpet is during late spring months, just before summer hits.