Timing is everything, especially when it comes to buying a high-value home product like a carpet to fit your space and budget. Carpets add durability and a personal touch to your space, so it's important to know the optimal time to shop for new flooring and how to get the most out of your purchase. Below, you'll get some inside advice from an experienced interior designer, learn about the home decor market, and find out why the post-holiday and late spring seasons are the best time to buy a carpet.
The Best Times to Buy a Carpet
December through January
Sales are much more likely to occur when shoppers are spending less on a product and are enticed by a good deal. While there may be a lot of shopping for holiday gifts during this season, it’s actually not as popular of a time to shop for new carpets. Additionally, installing a 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.
For that reason, carpet manufacturers and retailers often slash the prices on carpets and installation during this time, so you can save up to 25 percent on a new carpet if you’re willing to deal with the inconvenient timing. While you can certainly find great savings during this time period, it’s best to wait until after the holidays to score an even better deal. According to Lyn Peterson, interior designer and co-owner of New York-based design company, Motif Designs, this is an amazing window of opportunity to save. “For bargains, the post-holiday period is a good time to buy a 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.”
Some retailers might also offer promotions to clear out older inventory and make room for new flooring collections. However, given that the average lifespan of a 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 ideal for living room carpets.
May through Early June
From May through early June you can save big on new carpeting. It’s also a time to shop the latest trends that have made their way to retail stores. “There are bi-annual launches in the market during October and April, which is when you can buy the very latest styles,” says Peterson. 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. At this point, new carpet styles have already been released and hit retail stores, so if you’re keen on finding trendy home options this is the best time to buy. However, if you can wait until the end of spring, you’ll be able to land a great deal on fresh styles. 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.
The Worst Times to Buy Carpet
If you can avoid it, late summer and the fall season are the worst times-mistake to buy carpets 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 carpet. 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 a low-pile rug is better than a 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 a 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 when buying a carpet 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.
The best time to buy a carpet is during the late spring months, just before summer hits.