Flooring samples are a great way for consumers to see how a product will look in their home before spending thousands of dollars on flooring. You’ve probably noticed rows of colorful little squares when you’re walking through your local hardware store, whether it’s porcelain tile, laminate, or engineered bamboo flooring.
Carpet samples are available as well, although they can be harder to come by compared to other styles of flooring. With that in mind, our list will show you where to find cheap or free carpet samples from brands like StainMaster, Mohawk, Shaw and other leading brands.
Best Places to Get Cheap or Free Carpet Samples Locally
Shipping can be convenient, but you’ll get instant gratification if you can manage to locate samples of the carpet you’re looking for locally. As this style of flooring isn’t as popular as engineered flooring or luxury vinyl, a flooring store is the first place you should begin your search.
Regardless of where you live, there will be a flooring store within driving distance, and most will have dozens of carpet samples in the store for you to view. What you can actually take home will vary, but a good carpet dealer or floor store should be able to order anything they don’t have.
They are usually your best option if you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, but there are some popular chain stores as well. Two of the largest and most reliable are David’s Abby Carpet and Floor and Flooring America; each with a variety of styles and brands to choose from.
Major hardware stores an also an option, which means you can turn to local hardware stores depending on where you reside. While there are too many smaller chains for us to cover, three stand out for carrying a wide variety of carpet samples.
Lowes is one of the best places to get flooring samples from harder materials like wood and laminate, but they also have hundreds of carpet samples. What’s available in your local store will vary as you could be limited to swatches on boards in some locations, depending on your needs. Online is a different story; however, as they carry nylon and polyester carpet samples by the hundreds along with of Olefin-based carpets.
StainMaster, Shaw, and Mohawk are the top brands available from Lowes. Swatches range from textured and classy to shaggy while covering a variety of the company’s product lines and sub-brands. You won’t have any problem finding products with the popular PetProtect treatment, and there are several interesting options from Phenix and Cornerstone as well.
Most of the samples we checked from Lowes were listed at 8” x 8” and prices starting at $4.68 for high-end products like StainMaster Vellore and LiveWell. While there are hundreds of samples in the $1.00 range, you can expect to pay an average of at least $2 to 3 for swatches from Lowes. When it comes to shipping, free store pickup is an option along with paid shipping.
You’ll find the same kind of flooring samples available through Home Depot as you will from Lowes. Again, what you will find locally can vary wildly from one region to the next. Overall, Home Depot doesn’t have as many brands or styles as Lowes, although they do have an advantage in another area.
Over half of the carpet swatches from Home Depot come from their store-branded Home Decorators Collection. Polyester is their fiber of choice with styles that cover the spectrum from a bright red textured Candy Apple more subtle options in grey or earthen tones. LifeProof carpeting is another store exclusive, although this one is manufactured by Mohawk. They are the second most prevalent brand in their carpet catalog followed by TrafficMaster and PetProof.
Home Depot is an excellent place to get cheap or free carpet samples, and their carpet swatches are listed at only $1.00. They also ship for free if you don’t want to drive to your local store and pick up samples in person. Some styles are limited to 3 per order, but for the most part, your options are only limited by your carpet sample budget.
While Menards doesn’t quite have the reach of the big two, they are an option locally if you live in the upper part of the Midwest United States. They ship most of their goods nationally, however, including carpet and have some excellent prices on everything from Frieze carpeting to regular and themed carpet tiles.
Menards carries five types of traditional carpet with Plush, Frieze, Berber, and Sculpted carpeting. You can get samples from most of these categories along with indoor and outdoor carpeting. The company has around 70 styles of Frieze carpet available, each with anywhere from two to a half-dozen variants. Most of the carpeting is from Mohawk, although Shaw and Milliken are also well-represented.
The majority of Menards Berber carpet is made from Mohawk, as are their Sculpted styles of carpeting. You’ll find over 50 samples between those two categories and more than 100 styles of Plush carpet. They also have a handful of outdoor carpeting styles mixed in amongst their turf from companies like Foss and Lancer. While we didn’t put it to a hard count, there are hundreds of samples to choose from.
Samples from Menards run $4.85 per swatch, which are listed as having a minimum size of “4 x 4”. While they have a large selection keep in mind, only products that are marked as “Shipping” or “Ship to Store” will have samples, and you’ll need to pay for delivery if you don’t live near a Menards.
Best Places to Get Cheap or Free Carpet Samples Online
If you read our piece on the best place to get cheap or free flooring samples, you may assume you can acquire carpet samples from the same selection of online retailers. Well, that isn’t the case as places like Build Direct, Lumber Liquidators, and even iFloor specialize in hard flooring, so they don’t carry carpet. Green Building Supply is the exception with samples at $6.95 each, although they only carry wool, not nylon or polyester.
Mohawk is one of the larger carpet manufacturers and a great place to turn if you want carpet that’s reasonably priced and resilient. They also have around 1,400 carpet samples available online from their popular lines like SmartStrand Silk and Air.O. While you won’t find any Berber or carpet tiles, there are hundreds of patterned and textured options and more colors you’ll find anywhere else.
You can find some of Shaw Floors carpet samples from Lowes or through Home Depot’s exclusive line, but you can also browse over 100 styles online directly from the company’s website. That includes products from their TruAccents, Colorwall, and Bellera collections in both nylon and polyester. Shaw’s samples aren’t as cheap as other brands, but they do ship for free.
Karastan is one of a handful of carpet companies that full into the “Premium” category, so you’ll only find their carpet in flooring stores and through reputable dealers. Thankfully, you can also pick up samples directly from Karastan, and they offer some of the largest swatches we’ve seen at 9” x 9”. Currently, they have over 100 samples available online, and the ordering process is the same as you’ll find with Mohawk, the parent company of Karastan.
As the name implies, Carpet Express is a company that sells carpeting as well as products like sheet vinyl, VCT, hardwood, and turf. They have one of the larger selections of residential and commercial carpeting available online and carry everything from Sisal to Berber carpet to carpet tiles. They will send you up to 5 samples for free, depending on the styles you have in mind.
Flooring Inc. carries a wide range of flooring, including specialty styles like rubber and foam, along with more traditional options. They also have carpet tiles and carpeting by the roll with products from brands like Shaw and Joy Carpets. Their sample program is simple as you’ll get 3 samples for free with a $4.99 shipping charge. Additional samples are $0.50, and their shipping process is speedy.