It was a busy weekend of cleaning, organizing, and rearranging the upper level of our house after having our carpet replaced last Friday. Over the holidays, I spontaneously ordered carpet and took advantage of a free installation promotion. Long story short- our installation date got moved up and we scrambled to move our furniture and get things in order for our carpet to be installed at the end of last week. It turns out, carpet can be a tricky purchase and a difficult flooring material to select, so I wanted to share some things I learned, as well as the process. This was our first time having carpet installed in any of our homes, so I gathered a lot of new information and insight! Click through for a detailed post on all things carpet. We landed on a beautiful wool option (pictured above), and we’re really pleased with it…
Our existing carpet (pictured above) was here when we moved into our home, and I’m pretty sure it was an afterthought or attempt at selling the house more quickly. Feel free to check out our move-in tour here. After the previous homeowners moved out, they had the entire house painted a warm gray color and installed a basic new carpet throughout (even in the bathroom… remember that?!). It always felt uninspired and drab to me. The carpet wasn’t great quality, was a cool gray color, it wasn’t holding up well to our dogs, and it definitely was not my preferred style. Back in 2021, I actually shared a blog post on carpet & runners, and I what I eventually envisioned for our home. However, moving our furniture, budgeting for something that was lower on the priority list, and choosing carpet kind of seemed like a daunting task, so I kept putting it off. Fast forward to the recent holiday season, I spontaneously started painting the guest room and one thing led to the next (as it usually does). I found myself standing in Home Depot, looking at carpet swatches, noticed a free installation promotion, and just went for it.
You’re accustomed to seeing us install hardwood flooring & tile throughout our home. This being our first home with carpet, many of you were surprised to see us updating the carpet in certain rooms, rather than replacing it altogether. I actually like carpet for a multitude of reasons and feel it’s situational, but here are some of my pros for installing it over other flooring products:
- It makes bedrooms feel cozy and is soft underfoot.
- It fit our project budget / can be less expensive than other materials.
- It’s less labor intensive & time consuming for installing, as opposed to other flooring options (something we didn’t have to install ourselves).
- It adds warmth and helps with heat.
- It’s quiet and improves acoustics.
- It added variety to the flooring in our home (I enjoy mixing materials for a layered look).
In the theme of spontaneity, it only took me 20 minutes to grab swatches in the store and check out 4-5 boards to bring home for further contemplation. I did already have a pretty good idea of what I was looking for though… see my criteria below:
- Spill & Stain Proof
- Natural Material
- Timeless / Traditional Aesthetic (a berber, wool, or sisal look)
- Low Pile
- Easy Maintenance & Cleaning
- Pet Friendly
After chatting about our options with Emmett and estimating what best fit our budget and goals, we landed on a carpet by Natural Harmony (style: Terrain / color: Straw). It’s just over $6 a square foot, looks very similar to densely woven sisal, but with the softness of wool. It’s made of 100% Wooltex- which equates to 51% wool and 49% olefin. Obviously wool is a natural material that is antimicrobial, naturally moisture wicking, and eco, while olefin is resistant to spills, mildew, fading, and is highly cleanable- offering the performance aspect we were looking for.
Our carpet also included a limited lifetime stain warranty and a 25-year wear & tear warranty, since it’s supposedly fade & wear resistant. In regards to upkeep & cleaning… this particular carpet should be vacuumed regularly (like any carpet), since spills don’t absorb, they should be blotted immediately, and professional steaming is also recommend every 1-2 years.
There were only a handful of carpet pads to choose from, so I landed on good average option… a dense SpillSafe foam that prevents absorbing liquids, odor, and offers a nice dense feel underfoot. It wasn’t the least expensive option and it wasn’t the most- a good middle option to help our budget go further elsewhere.
In regards to design… there were a lot of great colors to choose from in this style! For our house, Hazelnut (top swatch) and Straw (bottom swatch) made the most sense. I popped a quick poll into my Instagram stories, and over 80% of you voted for the cooler toned swatch (Hazelnut). Obviously I went in the opposite direction and ordered Straw because given the light in our house, I knew it would take on a cooler appearance. Hazelnut would have looked too gray and less like the sisal look I was going for. It just goes to show- color is unique to each space. The same color in my home will most likely look totally different in yours. Consider this your reminder to bring swatches home to analyze them in your space prior to committing!
GETTING AN ESTIMATE
Once you’ve selected your carpet and carpet pad, the next step is to schedule an estimate. A day after my store visit, a carpet estimator showed up to professionally & thoroughly measure our upper bedrooms (it took about an hour). Before they arrived, I needed to have the following information nailed down:
- What rooms would receive new carpet (including closets).
- The carpet specifications, including the color and SKU number.
- The carpet pad specs, including the SKU.
- What type of thresholds and transitions I wanted.
- An idea of the square footage I was dealing with, so I could compare pricing & overage.
Once measuring was finished, the formal estimate arrived to my email the following day. I looked everything over, approved the estimate, paid for our materials, then all that was left was to schedule the installation.
For planning purposes, it’s worth nothing that you need to be home during installation. Emmett & I both had to take time off from work, so we could shuffle furniture, approve decisions on the fly, and go over everything with our installers. The night before install, we emptied our entire upstairs… took apart & removed furniture, rugs, and anything on the floor (including the closets). We also had to remove our bifold closet doors in three bedrooms. It was no easy feat! You can pay extra to have the installers move large pieces of furniture, but for the sake of time, our budget, and our belongings- we just did it ourselves. Funny enough, Emmett calculated that it was equivalent to moving out of our previous house (the same square footage), which seems kind of crazy to me.
Carpet removal is included, so the first thing the installers tackled was ripping out our existing carpet, as well as the carpet pad. They pulled everything to the subfloor.
During installation, it’s important to keep your home above 75 degrees Fahrenheit… it’s essential for the curing process, so we cranked the heat once the installers arrived. While things are underway, keep an eye on how everything is progressing and be vocal with your questions. Our installers were amazing and excellent with communication. They constantly asked me if everything looked ok, my thoughts on seam placement, if things were up to my standards, and were quick to point out any flaws. They were very professional and excellent at their job. I would definitely work with them again! As for the thresholds, Emmett actually did those the day of install. He worked alongside the carpet installers to ensure each transition was perfectly flat, installing a piece of matching horizontal hardwood, rather than a raised threshold…
Seams were honestly my biggest concern because with wool, berber, and sisal style carpets, seams can be blatantly obvious and difficult to match (not the goal). The two installers perfectly hid our seams and discussed the placement with me, which I really appreciated. They turned out great!
Once installation was finished, we asked the installers if there were any remnants or leftover carpet. You can always have excess carpet bound into matching rugs to use elsewhere in your home. We only had one small remnant, but it should be enough for a doormat that leads into our home from the garage. We were instructed to keep the temperature set at 75 for the remainder of the day. We were also immediately able to move our furniture back into each room, and took it as an opportunity to deep clean, maintenance furniture (condition leather, oil wood, etc), purge, organize, and restyle. It was honestly really refreshing and upper level has never felt this clean! I also marked a reminder in my calendar to have our carpets professionally steamed next January (the one year mark), to keep them looking their best.
From choosing carpet to the finished installation, it took less than two weeks. I was impressed with the quick turnaround time! I’m really happy we decided to tackle this project, even though it was pretty spontaneous. I’ll link some of my top Home Depot carpet picks with you below, if you’re also in the market…
Check out my picks by clicking directly on each swatch below- everything is clickable…
Our upstairs bedrooms are looking so good, feel really clean, and the new carpet has motivated me to knockout some quick bedroom renovations & makeovers in the coming months. This year, we already have quite a few house guests on our calendar, and I’d like to get our guest spaces honed in. My sister-in-law and her family will be here visiting at the beginning of February, so I definitely want to wrap up the largest guest room (the one I recently painted). I’ll have that reveal for you very soon… I’m just waiting on my artwork from the framer! I’m loving the way it’s coming together though- I’m excited to share it with you. Let me know if I can answer any of your carpet questions in the meantime!