One of the major sources of concern for manufacturers and consumers is carpet warranties.
Every consumer loves to leave with the assurance that the item they just purchased will last. Those working in the marketing department of the carpet mill are willing to give the consumer this assurance and close the sale. The carpet mill's legal department then masks the warranty using languages that make it easy for them to deny the details if the need arises.
A denied warranty is no good.
No one wins at the end of the day. The buyer feels disappointed because their newly purchased carpet failed to meet their expectation, and the claim is easily denied by the carpet mill. The mill's marketing team is worried and struggling to understand why there's a steep decline in the market share of carpet when compared to other alternatives. And every member of the legal team is not happy because they are constantly dealing with customers who are unhappy and threatening legal action. And the floor covering dealer gets blamed for a warranty he is completely clueless about.
It gets even more complicated when the yarn manufacturer, who supplies the manufacturer, is the one offering the warranty. When consumers are trying to lay claim to a warranty, and they are told that a certain yarn manufacturer, a company they've never heard of, is the provider of the warranty, they get confused the more.
To satisfy everyone, someone somewhere needs to have a reality check. Carpet isn't everlasting. It will definitely WEAR OUT, STAIN and SOIL.
If a consumer wants a carpet that is inexpensive, he shouldn't expect a 20-year lifespan even if that is the claim in the warranty. You will end up being disappointed and wasting your money.
Quality carpet will always perform well regardless of whether it is backed by a warranty. Inferior carpet will have a poor performance regardless of whether it is backed by a warranty or not.
You've probably seen TV commercials where a white carpet is heavily stained with chocolate cake, wine or spaghetti, and then the carpet is shown to have been restored to its original form moments later. Is this really possible?
Well, the truth is that these days' carpets show more resistance to regular beverage and household food stains, unlike carpets from decades ago. Some fabrics can be resistant to stains, but they can't be stain-proof. If it were possible to have stain-proof fabric, we all today would prefer to wear stain-proof clothing. But we don't have such scenario. And there is nothing like stain proof carpet either. Let's look at it from this angle: if carpet were stain proof, then we would only have one particular color of carper, as it would be impossible to dye it into various colors.
So is it possible to achieve the type of stain removal we see on TV? The key here is that you have to act immediately! You are more likely to get the stains removed if you act as soon as the staining occurs.
So what do stain warranties entail? Everything is excluded. Stain warranties sometimes contain a disclaimer like: "excludes stains from very strong dyes." So if you are faced with a situation where your carpet gets stained by mustard, all the manufacturer has to say is: there's a strong dye contained in mustard (and this is indeed true).
We also often come across this disclaimer: "doesn't include anything that causes permanent changes to the color of the carpet." I wonder how it's easy for them to do this. Isn't that what a stain is?
And if you haven't used the services of an IICRC certified professional carpet cleaner every 18 to 24 months, or you fail to produce receipts that prove that you have used such a service, you will likely have your claim denied. There are lots of good cleaners who don't even have IICRC certification.
If a manufacturer wants to avoid covering a claim, they can hide behind a number of disclaimers just to avoid the claim by all means. Also, a manufacturer that backs their product will do so even if the exact situation is not covered under warranty. You will find manufacturers that will under-warranty consumers that should be covered, just as some will over-warranty consumers that do not have any covering.
If you want to spare yourself a whole lot of trouble, just keep these three items out of your home: mustard, orange soda, and grape juice. And if you must keep them, restrict the kids to eating in the kitchen.
There are so many misconceptions about wear warranties. Many consumers see a flattened down carpet and believe it would be "worn." They wonder why their carpet is almost completely flattened despite its 20-year warranty.
But according to the manufacturer's definition of wear, there has to be visible wear of at least 10% on the fiber. It is even stated in the warranties that the wear must be evenly distributed throughout the whole surface of the carpet (remember that areas under the sofas and at the edge of the carpet are not likely to experience any wear). They fail to cover appearance. A yarn that has become matted and seriously flattened will still not be covered by the warranty because it is still physically in place.
Furthermore, it is often stated in the warranty that only a section of worn carpet in the middle of the room can be replaced by the manufacturer. I bet that isn't what you are expecting.
Synthetic pile carpets only UGLY OUT. They DO NOT WEAR OUT.
Some consumers began to express concerns that appearance was not being included in wear warranties, so a new warranty, known as Texture Retention Warranty was introduced by some manufacturers. More disclaimers. More requirements. And like the previous one, it fell short of the consumer's expectation.
So what's the way forward?
You should not be worrying about warranties. Just apply some common sense. The greatest help can come from your floorcovering dealer. First and foremost, we are a team of professionals, and we have experts handling every section. Our knowledge about flooring is unrivalled, and we've got what it takes to make reasonable decisions. Feel free to approach us with your concern.
And if we are convinced that you have a legitimate concern, we'll forward it to the mill, and there's a good chance it will be approved. For instance, do you know what is referred to as "poor yarn bundle encapsulation?" Never mind. We understand what it means, and we can relate perfectly with flooring manufacturers.
In conclusion, only purchase quality carpet. Not going for the right quality is the main reason for premature wear. We all love to save, but compromising the quality on one of the most used items in your home is something we would not recommend. Buy the right carpet and be rewarded with many years of stress-free enjoyment.