There’s nothing better than a new carpet to make a room more welcoming and comfortable. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize the true cost of installing new carpets and are surprised when they hear quotes that exceed their expectations.
If you’re thinking about installing new carpets, this article will help you learn about all the associated costs of getting new carpets so you’re not blindsided when you head to the store. We cover the cost of materials and labor for the most common types of carpets, as well as what you can expect to pay for optional add-ons like removing old carpets, stain-resistant coatings, and more.
Looking to install carpets in your home? Find a local contractor to get started today.
How Much is Carpet Installation?
Installing a run-of-the-mill 200-square-foot room will cost between $800 and $2,000, based on national averages. The total price of installing carpet comes from the materials you use and labor costs. Different types of carpet will have different costs, with a wool carpet costing significantly more than a nylon one.
Carpet installation costs will also vary depending on where you want the carpet installed. Some contractors charge a flat rate based on the square footage, while others charge more for carpet installations in more complicated areas, like stairwells.
Average Cost of Carpet Installation by Materials & Styles
The three main factors that determine how much your carpet installation will cost are the carpet material, the style of the carpet, and where you want the carpet installed. Of course, installing carpet over a larger area will also cost more, as will having your contractor remove old carpet before they begin.
Carpet Cost by Material
What material you use for your carpet will affect the overall cost of your carpet installation. The following sections briefly summarize the pros and cons of the most popular carpet materials and discuss the average costs of each.
Cost Per Square Foot of Carpet Material
Here’s a table summarizing the average cost per square foot of the four most popular types of carpet.
|Carpet Material||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Polyester||$2 to $3|
|Nylon||$3 to $7|
|Olefin||$2 to $4|
|Wool||$5 to $10|
Polyester carpets are popular because they’re cheap. Polyester carpets are known for being stain-resistant, and they’re great at handling moist environments, making them a perfect choice for basements. However, they’re not very durable, so you shouldn’t install a polyester carpet in a region with a lot of foot traffic.
The average cost of polyester carpets is about $2.50 per square foot.
Nylon is only slightly more expensive than polyester, but it is much more durable, making it worth the higher price of $3.50 per square foot. Nylon carpets resist water damage, are eco-friendly, and offer an excellent return on investment, making them one of the most common types of carpets.
Triexta is a new type of nylon that’s been gaining popularity recently. It’s even more environmentally friendly and durable than ordinary nylon, with the downside that it also costs more.
Olefin is a type of carpet made of polypropylene, an affordable synthetic fiber that resists stains and water. Olefin is a popular choice for new carpet installations due to its low cost and low maintenance requirements. Most olefin carpets cost between $2 and $4 per square foot.
Wool is one of the most expensive high-end carpet types, usually costing between $5 and $10 per square foot. Wool carpets are not stain-resistant, prone to mold and mildew in wet conditions, and are not well-suited for high-traffic areas of your home.
However, some people love the look and feel of wool enough to put up with its shortcomings. If you’re one of those people, you’ll have to bite the bullet and pay more for a genuine wool carpet since synthetic fibers don’t come close to mimicking wool. With that said, natural fibers are more prone to shedding carpet fibers and water damage than synthetic materials, so you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons and make sure it’s worth the additional costs and maintenance.
Carpet Cost by Style
Two carpets made of the same material might differ in cost if they’re made in different styles. The three most common carpet styles are textured carpets, patterned carpets, and Berber carpets.
Carpet Style Cost by Square Foot
The following table summarizes the cost per square foot of the three most common types of carpet.
|Carpet Style||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Textured carpet/cut pile||$2 to $5|
|Patterned||$2 to $6|
|Berber||$4 to $7|
Textured/cut pile Carpet
Textured or cut pile carpet is probably the most common carpet style you’ll find in people’s homes. Textured carpet comes in tall and short varieties, with tall pile carpets offering a softer, more comfortable experience underfoot and low pile carpets offering increased durability. Tall pile carpets like shag and frieze are more for show, while lower pile carpets are usually more utilitarian.
Both tall and short textured carpets are prone to fraying, so you should be prepared to notice wear if you put one in a well-trodden area of your home. You can expect to pay between $2 and $5 per square foot for textured carpet.
Patterned carpets are made by combining looped and cut-loop carpets to give them the unique patterned look their name implies. Pattern carpets are better at handling foot traffic and moisture than textured carpets, so people often use them in their main living areas.
Patterned carpets cost slightly more than textured carpets, between $2 and $6 per square foot, on average.
The final type of carpet is called Berber carpet, named after the North African people who traditionally wove the carpets by hand. Berber carpets feature a tight loop pile that makes the carpet highly water-resistant and helps it hold up to intense use.
Berber carpets are often found in residential basements and are used heavily in commercial settings for their advanced durability and long lifespans.
Berber carpets are more expensive than textured or patterned carpets, costing between $4 and $7 per square foot.
How to Calculate Carpet Installation Cost
The total cost of a new carpet installation will depend on what type of carpet you want, the size of the area you want to be covered, and whether or not you need your old carpet removed. Many retailers will include carpet removal in the installation cost they quote, so make sure you understand what’s included in each company’s quote when comparing different vendors.
Installation costs are easy to estimate since they’ll typically come from your contractor. Some carpet installers charge more for installing carpet in difficult areas like staircases, but most simply charge by square footage. Some companies off free installations, although usually that just means the price they quote already includes the cost of installation.
Carpet materials make up a sizable chunk of the cost of installing a new carpet, especially if you choose a more expensive material like wool. To calculate the cost of materials, you need to know the area of the room(s) where you want your carpet installed. Once you know your room’s dimensions, multiply them to get the room’s area in square feet. We recommend adding approximately 10% to the square footage to account for cuts and waste.
Take your 10%-padded room area and multiply it by the cost per square foot of the type of carpet you want to purchase to determine the overall cost of the carpet you’ll need. Finally, add the cost of any carpet padding or underlayment to arrive at the total cost of materials. Add your cost estimates for the materials to the labor costs to get a sense of the total project cost.
The Main Factors to Consider When Installing Carpets
Before you purchase new carpets, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure you make the best decisions for your home.
Not all types of carpet work equally well in all locations. A fine wool carpet might work well in a bedroom but will fray and wear quickly in a living room. Similarly, Berber carpet is appropriate for basements and commercial offices but might seem out of place in a home office or bedroom.
Think about where you want to put your new carpet before you head to the store. It will be much easier to make the necessary decisions if you know where you plan on putting your carpet ahead of time.
Installing carpets in a basement can be more involved than in other areas due to the increased likelihood of finding pre-existing issues that need attention. It’s all too common for a homeowner to discover a moldy subfloor or rotting joists during a basement carpet installation, so do your best to address these issues before you start installing carpet. Delaying a professional installation can be costly, and you might have to wait longer to reschedule than you’d like.
Do you need stain resistance?
If you’re considering installing a carpet in a living room that’s likely to see its fair share of spills and messes, you should consider purchasing a carpet with a pre-applied stain-resistant coating. Such coatings aren’t too expensive and can increase your carpet’s longevity by protecting it from water damage and stains.
You can also apply something like Scotch Guard after your carpet is installed if you don’t mind doing it yourself. It costs about $0.08 per square foot to treat a carpet, on average.
Old Carpet Removal
Some companies will remove and dispose of your old carpet for you, saving you the hassle of doing it yourself. Carpet removal services rarely cost more than $1 per square foot and often cost significantly less.
You should remove the furniture from any room that’s getting new carpet before the installers arrive if you can. Most contractors charge a flat fee for moving furniture, $100 to $200 for the usual assortment of couches, dresses, etc. If you’re physically able to move furniture yourself, it’s a great way to save a little bit of money.
Sometimes, adding a layer of carpet padding under your carpet is the right move. Padding makes a carpet softer and more comfortable underfoot, but it isn’t compatible with every combination of floor type and carpet style. Ask your contractor ahead of time if padding is an option if you think it’s something you want.
Padding is relatively cheap, costing about $1 per square foot on average.
How to Prepare for Carpet Installation?
If you’re hiring a contractor to perform an all-in-one carpet installation, there isn’t much you need to do beforehand to prepare. However, if you want to save some money and you have the time, there are a few things you can do to make things go more smoothly on installation day.
Remove Old Carpet
If you’re replacing old carpet, you’ll have to remove it ahead of time unless you prefer paying your carpet installer to do it for you.
Most people can easily remove their old carpet with just a carpet knife and some elbow grease. You might also need a claw hammer or crowbar to remove those pesky carpet tacks and tack strips.
Similarly, if you’re physically capable of moving furniture — and if you have some good help available — you can save a few hundred dollars by moving furniture yourself.
Depending on how much furniture you have and how heavy it is, it might be worth spending the extra money to have the professionals take care of it; just make sure they’re willing to move furniture before making any assumptions. Some carpet installers expect your rooms to be clear when they arrive.
Inspect Your Flooring
Problems associated with old flooring are the most common roadblocks that delay carpet installations. It’s in your best interest to carefully inspect your flooring before you schedule a carpet installation so you can fix any problems that might be hidden by any existing carpet.
Some types of flooring require more work to install carpet on top of, so it’s also a good idea to make sure you know what kind of flooring you have before you talk to a contractor.
Should You Hire a Professional or DIY Carpet Installation?
If you have the right tools and are up for a moderate challenge, installing your own carpet is a great home improvement project and an excellent way to save money. However, you’ll need a carpet stretcher, which most homeowners don’t have, and you’ll need to be careful not to void your carpet’s warranty when you install it. Most of the time, the additional costs you’ll incur by doing it yourself will be higher than the price of hiring a professional.
Most people are better off hiring a local pro to install their carpet. It will be done faster, and you won’t have to worry about purchasing or renting specialized equipment from Home Depot or rendering your warranty null and void during installation. Professional carpet installation is usually included in the quote you’ll get from an end-to-end carpet company, so you might be surprised at how inexpensive it is.
Hire a local contractor today to help with your carpet installation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does carpet installation take?
Most carpet installations take less than a day. If you’re having carpet installed over a large area — larger than 3,000 square feet — and also need furniture moved and old carpets removed, it might take more than a day. For an average carpet installation in one or two 200-square-foot rooms, it should only take a few hours.
If you’re installing a new carpet yourself, it might take considerably longer, especially if you don’t have the right tools or enough experience.
How much does it cost to install carpet for an entire house?
For an average 2,000-square-foot home, expect to pay between $4,000 and $10,000, based on an average price range of $2 to $5 per square foot or $18 to $45 per square yard. If you want an expensive type of carpet, like wool or sisal, you’ll have to pay significantly more.
Keep in mind that the total cost of a carpet installation depends on the room size or floor size you want to be covered. Installing carpet throughout an entire house is fairly uncommon.
What do I need to do before my carpet installation?
If you’re hiring a professional contractor, probably not much. However, you can typically save some money by moving any furniture that will be in the way yourself. You can also remove your old carpet if you’re having a carpet replacement, although this is fairly labor-intensive. Most carpet installers will remove old carpet for an additional fee if you don’t want to spend the time and effort yourself.
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