Choosing new carpet for your home is a big decision, one you'll likely have to live with for a long time.
"You know it's true that hard surface categories have surged in popularity in the last five or ten years. That's porcelain tile that looks like wood. That's laminate flooring, hardwood flooring of course, but none of these product categories can be a substitute for carpet when someone wants to soften a space," said flooring expert, Harry Tishler.
Tishler knows flooring. His family's experience spans more than a century. He says because people don't buy carpet very often - with proper maintenance it lasts about 10 years - they often make mistakes when trying to select the right color or texture.
"One of the things that some people do is they'll take it outside in the natural light and they'll try and get the true color. Well, the issue is you don't live outside so the carpet's not gonna have the same appearance outside as it is inside," said Tishler.
"Selecting the color of the carpet you're going to put in your house can be a bit tricky. A lot of times people take the sample and are looking at it really up close. Your best bet is to lay it down in the room you are going to be having the carpet installed and look at it from a distance like you are walking in the room. Also, be sure you are looking at it in different lighting. Look at it at night when the lights overhead are on and also during the day when the sun is shining in," said Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks.
Once you've picked your new carpet, experts say don't overlook the importance of padding.
"The padding is the least expensive component of a carpet purchase. So, to move from a basic rate pad up to one step up or a slightly more dense cushion is very, very minimal dollars and everyone should consider it or at least get the option to buy better cushion," said Tishler.
Before the carpet installation begins, talk with your installer about seams and where they'll be placed.
"Having an invisible seam is not something a company can promise before they actually install the carpet. It's a little tricky. So, if they are promising invisible seams they are probably over selling in that scenario," said Hicks.
While seams are unavoidable, you can minimize their appearance by making sure they run with the direction of the light or you can make sure they're placed under furniture.
Angie's List says don't forget to ask what's included in the price of the carpet - does it include padding and installation? You should also ask about charges for services like removing and hauling away old carpet or moving furniture.