You can purchase carpet in a variety of places -- carpet showrooms, of course, but also flooring companies, furniture stores, large department stores and even online. While you can end up with beautiful carpet that's expertly installed using any of these options, your best bet is to select a reputable establishment that specializes in carpeting.
A quality carpet store will carry a large, varied carpet selection, including different fiber options such as wool, synthetics, blends, sisal, linen, jute, coir and woven vinyl. Staffers should be able to easily answer all of your questions and let you take samples home.
The quality of your carpet's installation is just as important as the quality of the carpet itself. A second-rate job can leave you with obvious seams, lumps, bumps and other issues, so look for stores that employ their own installers. This can be difficult, as most carpet dealers use subcontractors. While subcontracted carpet installers aren't necessarily inexperienced, they do tend to be less experienced and less skilled than full-time employees [source: Landry & Arcari]. If you can't find a good shop with its own installers, make sure your carpet dealer's subcontractors have worked with them for many years.