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I have a quote, one from a big name national store and one from a local carpet store, the specs i.e. face weight, thread twist, density, etc are exactly the same, both are made from nylon, etc. However, one has a 25/15/15 warranty while the other has 10/7/7. And both are comparable in price.

My questions are:

  1. How is it possible the warranties are so different if all other stats are equal.

  2. How much difference does the longer warranty make in terms of quality of carpet?

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1  
Stupid question perhaps, but what do the numbers in "25/15/15" and "10/7/7" represent? –  ChrisF Feb 1 '11 at 23:34
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not a stupid question, they stand for manufactures, stain, and abrasive warranties and it is measured in years –  z - Feb 2 '11 at 1:02
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1 Answer

From what I understand, carpet warranties are all but useless. They have so many conditions that it is effectively impossible to actually make a warranty claim. For example:

  • You must have your carpet cleaned professionally every 16-24 months. You need to produce receipts showing a professional company came to clean this frequently since installation
  • Stain resistant warranties not covering non-food/beverage stains, such as caused by animals or cleaners
  • Other limitations on stain warranties, like "there can be some slight loss of stain resistance in high-traffic areas such as stairs (and hallways, in front of doors). The warranty excludes any residual stains that my occur in those areas."
  • Warranty may only cover replacement of the affected area (so say a 5x8 area is affected, they'll just cut out and replace that bit), and may not even be 100% - apparently they can degrade, so after say 3 years, they'll only cover 60% of the cost. They won't replace your entire carpet because there's a problem in one small area.
  • Warranty may not cover labor after some period of time. Worse, you may be forced to use a specific installer at whatever rates they charge (thanks, shirlock)

I have no direct experience trying to get warranty on it, but because of all of this, I would put very little faith in the warranty numbers. If you can never effectively never file a warranty claim, they may as well offer a 25 year or even lifetime warranty. What's it matter - if you were 2 months late having your carpet cleaned 4 years ago: warranty voided.

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2  
Greg is right on many points. Read the fine print. If the specs are identical, the warranty after 10 years is all marketing. I'd be more influenced by the cost of similar products. Warranties usually don't include labor after a short period of time. All good questions to ask the supplier. –  shirlock homes Feb 2 '11 at 11:41
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