When I needed two new carpets I decided to try a local carpet shop rather than using one of the big chains.
I visited Rainbow Carpets (which also trades as AA Flooring) on Westbourne Grove in Bayswater. On my first visit I asked some questions about their service. Here is a summary.
- Measuring – free.
- Delivery – free.
- Delivery time – usually delivered/installed within 2-3 days if the carpet is in stock with the supplier. They deliver and install the carpet at the same time.
- Install charge – £5 per square metre.
- Carpet grippers / edging strips – included in the price.
- Underlay – I didn’t ask about underlay as I’d already fitted QuietFloor Plus sound proofing underlay.
I arranged for a measuring of one of my rooms which was done a few days later. The guy arrived on time and it took less than 10 minutes to measure up and answer some more of my questions.
A few days later I went back to choose the carpet. Because of a previous experience with clothes moths I explained that I was only interested in 100% synthetic carpets. The shop will let you borrow carpet samples for a short time as long as you have already had the measuring done first.
I borrowed two samples, both made of polypropylene. It is well recommended to see the samples in the light of your own home rather than in the carpet shop. They can look very different when viewed at home.
I decided on the more expensive of the two and went back to place the order. They were able to order it for the next day but I delayed the install until the week after as I hadn’t yet finished my sound proofing. I also had hired a door trimming saw for later in the week. They told me in the shop that they could trim the doors for £10 each but I decided I’d rather have a go myself.
You have to pay 50% in advance and 50% on completion.
The delivery / installation day arrived and they arrived on time in their van. Two of them unloaded and unpacked the carpet. They did have to fold it to get it in the lift but that didn’t affect the final finish of the room.
One of the guys remained to do the install, first putting down the new carpet grippers and then fitting the carpet. It took him about 1.5 hours to do.
He asked if I wanted the offcuts to be taken away. I decided to keep one reasonable sized rectangular section in case any future patch repairs were needed, and told him he could take the rest away.
After finishing there were lots of cutting fibres all over the carpet but he advised me to wait a few hours before vacuuming them up to let the carpet settle. Below is a before and after photo. After vacuuming the room looked great! The colour is called ‘claret’.
There were a few minor chips in the skirting board paint from where the bolster was used to tuck the carpet into the gap after the carpet gripper but this is to be expected. These are easily solved with a quick paint touch up – remember to save some of your skirting board paint for this.
The agreement you sign says that you are supposed to pay the fitter after installation but I told him that I wanted to pay by card and so would go the the shop in the next hour to do so. He had to call the shop to check that was ok – which it was.
I paid, got my payment receipt and then thought about the second carpet.
The procedure with the second carpet was the same as with the first. They measured the room; I borrowed some samples, and then chose the carpet. I visited them on a Saturday so they told me they’d have to wait until Monday before they could order the carpet from the supplier.
I called them on Monday to check it had been ordered and then I could start moving the furniture. They confirmed it would be delivered / installed the next day as requested.
Large chains such as Carpet Right often have lead times of 7-10 days whereas these guys can do the whole order/deliver/install cycle in 48 hours. It is definitely worth considering a small independent carpet shop if you want your carpets fitted to a shorter timescale.
As before the guy did a good job with fitting the carpet. I’d make it easy for the fitter by fully clearing out the rooms before he arrived, but the measurer did tell me that they were able to move objects like beds or sofas if necessary.
The service was good, the installation was fast, and there were no problems.
Rainbow Carpets are located at 58a Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, London, W2 5SH.