'Impossible' to carpet without seaming + Lowes problems

gosalskJune 27, 2011

I apologize for this being a first post here, but I have two issues with a recent purchase and install of carpet from Lowes. The first has to do with the layout of the carpet. Lowes sent a guy to measure the house, and I told him I was considering getting a loop pile carpet, what a lot of people would call berber, though it's just a basic carpet without the loops cut.

It's a split plan house with two kids' bedrooms on one end. Each is about 13' square, and there's a short, straight hallway connecting them. There's some closets and a bathroom between the bedrooms.

I told the guy I was considering carpet that wouldn't seam well, but I was going to get it in a 15' width. He told me there'd be no seams and showed me a crude drawing of the rooms, saying (or at least strongly suggesting) that it'd be one piece on grain with the bathroom cutout used for the master closet.

So, you can imagine what I ended up with--well, not really. Instead of running the grain of the carpet down the hall, they ran it perpendicular. They used the whole 15' width of the carpet from the wall of the bedroom into the hall, so the seam between each bedroom and the hall is 2' out in the hallway. And, to cap it off, the piece in between is actually two seamed together --and they aren't the same size, either. So there's three oddly spaced seams in a 10' hallway. The carpet is a short, fairly dense loop. Even though I'd say the seaming is competent, the seams stand out like a sore thumb.

They also did some damage to the carpet in the master bedroom in the corner doorway to the bathroom, tore several loops and heavily abraded an 18" line in front of the left side of the door jamb. There's two smaller abrasions, one six inches to the left and the other corresponding to the other side of the jamb.

Anyway, Lowes sent their "installation services manager" and the installer sent a guy to look at it. The installer claimed the abrasion was caused by me vacuum cleaning it. And the Lowes guy inexplicably agreed with him. He said calling an inspector would be a formality, and he was sure they would say it was caused by the vacuum. The installer pulled out a pair of wire cutters and tried to start...let's be honest here, destroying the evidence. I told him to stop and ended up raising my voice, gesturing with the vacuum cleaner in the air and daring them to try to make another tear in the carpet with it. I found similar smaller abrasions in the corners of the other rooms, particularly in the closets (which are the far corners), so I know for a fact it wasn't the vacuum cleaner. Not my finest hour, but I'm completely sure about that one.

My question is actually about the hallway. The installer guy, who was the same guy that measured it and told me there'd be no seams, now says "that's impossible" and that seams were unavoidable. He even said, barely able to keep a straight face, that they had planned from the get-go to install it across the grain and piece the hallway with an extra seam... he didn't give me a reason.

Thanks for listening to all that. What I really want to know is if it's actually impossible to have done the two bedrooms and the connecting hallway as one piece as the guy said they would (and now claims is impossible). I don't see why it would be, though I suppose I could have misunderstood what he was saying.

Thanks in advance for any assistance you might offer.

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I am trying to understand your post. Without a diagram of the room, it is difficult. i will say this...rarely and I mean rarely is it possible to do two bedrooms and a hall with out a seam in the door ways. If the rooms are 13 x 13..then it can not be done. if it is a short hallway and both rooms are 13 ft square..then I do not understand why there is 3 pieces in the hallway unless the hallway is greater than 45 ft long...and I know that is not the case. Just by hearing your statements, it sounds like two 13 ft pieces and an approx 4 ft piece for the hallways. Scrap 2 x 13's could be pieced for your hallway closets. it is tough without seeing a diagram..if you could post a pic looking down the hallway and then stating which doors are what and reconfirm the rooms are 13 x 13and the bedroom closets are included in that, it would make answering your questions possible. Wire cutters? You mean shears to snip the abrasion maybe? Any abrasion should dissipate with a hand steamer....an abrasion to me meaning a change in appearance due to the loops be roughed up and our now running in a different direction. Need more info to help you...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 10:37PM
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I apologize for the poor description of the layout. I drew a picture, which I've posted online. I don't know if you'll be able to see it--you may be able to cut and paste it into your browser: http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/8789/layoutere.jpg

As I said, I don't know what can or can't be done when laying carpet. I thought I was doing the right thing by forming my expectations after talking to the professional, trust that seems to have been misplaced. If it couldn't be done without seaming, that's fine, but the guy should have explained that to me rather than letting me believe otherwise. If he'd told me it would be seamed like it is, I would have picked a different carpet. Or, hell, a different installer.

As far as where the seams are located, though, do you agree they should be in the doorways and not 2 feet out into the hallway? My original thought about this is that they'd not ordered enough carpet or had damaged it somehow and had to improvise the layout. Unfortunately they've proven that they're not honest, so I don't trust anything they say.

If you're sure it can't be done without seaming, like I said, that's fine, but I will insist that a new piece be put in the hallway and the seams moved into the doorways. Does that sound reasonable?

BTW when I said the carpet was abraded I mean it was physically damaged. Several of the carpet loops were cut all the way through, the others have multiple fibers ripped out of the loop. This is all in one long, narrow line. Looking at it, it seems obvious to me it was done by the hooks on a stretcher or kicker. There's no way that's going settle. Trimming it would only hide the torn fibers; after they're walked across for a few months or years they'll fray. It's like a hole in blue jeans--it ain't ever going to look better over time. Trimming it only makes the hole bigger, so to speak.

Here's a picture of the big damaged spot: http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/7853/damagee.jpg

There are actually three lines like that in that area, plus several smaller ones throughout the house, all along walls in corners.

I really felt insulted when they accused me of doing it with a vaccum cleaner. Transparent and ridiculous. I couldn't say if I was more upset by the attempt to cheat me or the insult to my intelligence.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 12:50AM
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Nope ..what they did is a disaster...but it saved you money.the cuts should have been 15 x 13-00 15 x 13-00 and a 15 x 4-00 approx. We normally add about 3 inches each to the bedroom cuts so they would be 13-03 each but thats irrelevant to this situation. the hallway...which you had better not been charged for would be about a 15 x4-00 (guessing) so they should have saved you about 60 sq ft of carpet..they let the carpet fly out to the hallway from both sides and then scabbed 2 pieces of waste between the 2 ending points creating 3 side seams. No Way..it was a measuring mistake and they need to find the same dye lot...back it off to the doorways and buy you a 4 ft piece and re seam it in. If they do not have the same dye lot..tell them you want a discount or you can force a total replacement...If the dye lot (same one) is not available to them ...there will be a slight shading difference at the doorway. Was it custom ordered or in stock? Believe me, what they did is not right...and it is an easy fix and I can not believe they are arguing with you at all. oh, wait ii is Lowes and they are not carpet people...learn from this as a good independent would know better than this. It isnt the end of the world for you though..it can be fixed pretty easily. Now the last question is..are you going to be willing to pay for the extra 4 feet (60 sq ft) That's cushion and carpet although they had enough waste for the cushion so tell them to scratch that. Also, the grief factor may nullify the charge for the extra 60 ft of carpet. But it is material that is needed so you have to let your conscious be your guide. we would never charge you for the new piece, but we would not make that mistake or I would be choking someone. It really is carpet 101 and the manager is either a dumb a** or is cahoots with the installer. Check your invoice and post how many sq ft of carpet they sold you. I am curious...They will make it right..it is a no brainier and they should not be arguing here. I would print this post and show it to the manager if they give you any shadow of being reluctance here. let me know what the sq footage they charge you for and then let me know how it turns out. Good Luck. Sorry about the grammar..but I get irked when I am writing this because they should just get out of the carpet business. Go to my3cents.com and read about Lowes..what a stinking joke...but hey, they know how to market themselves and they pay these managers good money too...hard to believe..See ya.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:40AM
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posting your picture live.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 3:22PM
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Of course, few carpet installers will pattern scribe goods, but that is how I would have handled that install for someone who did not want seams. We would pattern scribe hard goods all the time. And yes, Virginia, we would charge more for a pattern scribed installation.

What are the 'abrasions' you mention?

Hope yours gets fixed to your satisfaction. Good to hear they did competent seams.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 6:33PM
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glenn, you looked at that pic and failed to see the abrasions?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 8:20PM
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The abrasion as you call it..may have been top cut with a knife o a knee kick got a way from the installer..somethng happened and I do not believe that shearing the fuzzing at the abrasion will cure it. I stated earlier how the flooring should be installed..i even showed this post to a manufacturer and my earlier post was dead on. The scribing post is incorrect. Not with carpet that you plan to stretch in. With a softbac it could possible be done in one piece but will be wasteful. seams at the doorways in the proper way. Lowes owes you either one helluva discount or a new installation.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 11:24PM
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