Carpet Dye Lot Variation
The day you’ve been anxiously awaiting finally arrives and the carpet installers knock on your door. You’ve been anticipating how nice your new carpet will look for weeks and can’t wait to see it installed. But as they’re laying down the carpet the color seems to be off. “Why does it almost have a pinkish tint?” you think to yourself. They should be installing beige, not pinkish brown carpet. “It’s probably just the lighting,” you think to yourself as it is still morning. Perhaps your eyes are playing tricks on you. But that afternoon after the installers have left, you walk through every room in the house and decide that your eyes weren’t deceiving you. Instead of a nice light brown color, your new carpet is pinkish brown with a heavy emphasis on the word “pink.” What a nightmare!
Surprisingly this happens more often than one might think. It’s called dye lot variation and it’s quite common. The color difference can vary from being barely noticeable to glaringly off color. A slight color and/or texture variation is normal, particularly with wool carpet as it’s a natural fiber and will vary its color naturally. An extreme difference in color between the store sample and the delivered carpet is not acceptable. The sad thing is that often times consumers will shrug their shoulders and accept the newly installed carpet, especially if the color change is small. Many times homeowners don’t want to deal with the hassle of complaining to the store and scheduling an inspection and possibly another installation.
So what should you do if the installers arrive and the carpet color is different from what you ordered? First, you should always request a sample from the store prior to installation so that you can compare it to the carpet that shows up for installation. Amazingly many people don’t bother to do this and end up having to use their memory alone to make sure that they’ve received the correct color.
So the carpet arrives and it’s off by quite a bit. At this point simply refuse the installation and contact the store immediately. Unless you’ve purchased carpet at a “hole in the wall” type place, they should accept your refusal as being reasonable and order more carpet. For the second attempt request that a test sample of the ordered carpet be delivered to you prior to installation for your approval.
Keep in mind that having a color difference after adding new carpet of the same type to an old installation is not a dye lot variation. Carpet color naturally fades due to normal foot traffic, UV light, and other normal conditions present in households. There will be a noticeable difference if you install carpet on the first floor of a house and then add the same carpet to the second floor one year later.
So what do you do if you went ahead and had the off-color carpet installed and after a few days have decided that you just can’t live with it? It’s not too late to call the store and ask for an inspection. Hopefully you’re dealing with one of the larger retailers as in most cases the larger stores will be more willing to rectify the situation even if the carpet has already been installed. They’ll send an inspector out who will hopefully find that there are grounds for a new installation. If the store contacts you and tells you that there’s nothing they can do, then ask to speak with the store manager. Many times a little persistence is all that’s needed to achieve the desired result.