What to Do if You Chose the Wrong Carpet

Shopping for carpet
Hill Street Studios / Stockbyte / Getty Images

Choosing the right carpet can be difficult for a number of reasons. It can be hard to pick a color from a tiny swatch, and some carpet salespeople out there are less than helpful. Or perhaps you were trying to replace your carpet in time for an upcoming event and were therefore limited in your options of what was available at the time. Whatever the reason, you’ve ended up with a carpet that you don’t like. What can you do about it?

Don’t Panic

The first step is to remain calm. That may be hard to do when you’re looking at a carpet that you don’t like and you’re thinking of the amount of money you just spent on it. But, take a deep breath. It’s only carpet, and it can be changed.

The options available to you, to change your carpet, will depend on what stage of the process you were at when you realized that you’ve chosen the wrong carpet. Obviously, if you’re feeling like you aren’t sure of the carpet, the best time to act is before the carpet is installed.

See the Whole Piece

If you chose your carpet from a sample and the retailer had to order in the piece of carpet, request that the salesperson call you when the carpet arrives at the retailer’s store or warehouse. That way, before the installation, you can go to the store and see your carpet in a large piece. Don’t be shy about asking the retailer to roll out the carpet for you. Trust me, a good retailer wants you to be happy with your purchase, and will gladly take the extra bit of time to make sure you feel comfortable with the carpet you chose. Bring along all of your paint samples, sofa cushions, or other décor elements, and see how everything works together.

If, at this point, you’re questioning the carpet you chose, speak up. This point of the process is the easiest at which to change your mind. However, if you’re already past this point, don’t worry – there’s still hope.

Stop the Installation

When the installers arrive at your home to install your carpet, make sure that you are home. Before they actually install the carpet, the installers will first roll it out in the room, to begin trimming any excess. Ask the installers to let you know once they have the carpet rolled out, and to wait before proceeding beyond this step until you’ve given your approval.

Once the carpet is rolled out in your room, take a few minutes to really look at it. It will look different than it did in the store, because of different lighting, wall color, etc. If you don’t like the way the carpet looks in your home, ask the installers to stop the installation process, and phone the salesperson to discuss your options.

Activate Your Warranty

Many carpets sold by large manufacturers (Shaw, Mohawk) now carry a customer satisfaction warranty. This is usually a 30-day or 60-day warranty that will cover the cost of replacement, no questions asked. This is different than a manufacturer’s performance warranty. There does not have to be a defect or any other issue for enacting the customer satisfaction warranty; it is specifically for cases in which the purchaser doesn’t like the carpet.

With the customer satisfaction warranty, typically only the cost of the new carpet (of the same value as the original carpet purchased) is covered. That means that you will likely be responsible for the cost of installation of the replacement carpet. Depending on the area being carpeted, that could be fairly costly. However, you will have to weigh the cost of replacement now, against the option of living with carpet you don’t like for years to come. Paying for only the installation at this point will be less expensive than paying for a full replacement in a year or two when you decide you can no longer live with the carpet.

Talk to Your Retailer

If your new carpet has been installed, does not carry a customer satisfaction warranty, and you don’t feel that you can live with it, talk to your retailer. This is why choosing a good retailer is so important. As stated above, most retailers want you to be happy with your purchase and will do what they can, within reason, to ensure that you’re satisfied.

The retailer won’t be able to cover the cost of replacing your carpet. After all, you chose it, and they gave you the product you asked for. However, they may be able to work with you, to offer a discounted replacement. If you decide immediately that you don’t like your new carpet, there is a chance you can work something out with the retailer, where they can perhaps credit you some of the cost by taking the carpet to use on their showroom floor, or maybe even steam clean and re-sell the carpet (with full disclosure, hopefully).

Look Elsewhere

The key thing is to be open and honest with the salesperson and discuss the options available to you. If the retailer is unable to help, then consider if any family or friends are looking for new carpet and if your carpet would work for their home. If so, perhaps you can work out a deal with them that would enable you to recoup some of the cost of the carpet, which you can put towards the cost of the replacement. As a last resort, you could try posting the carpet on an online classifieds site.

Learn From Your Mistakes

Regardless of which avenue you take to have the carpet replaced, learn from the mistakes made when selecting the first carpet. Be sure this time that the color, style, and quality of carpet are suitable for your home.