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How Much Does It Cost To Install Carpeting?

National Average Change Location | View National
$1,584
Typical Range
$741 - $2,431
Low End
$200
High End
$4,500

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On This Page:

  1. So What's the Average Cost per Sq Ft to Install?
  2. The Cost of Carpet Itself
  3. Styles & Options
  4. Additional Costs & Fees
  5. Carpet Maintenance

Changing the carpeting in your home is an easy way to freshen up and modernize a space in a short period of time. Unlike some other home improvement projects, professional installation of carpeting is really necessary given the complex tools required to create a finished look. Many home improvement stores and flooring retailers offer "free" installation services with the purchase of carpeting from their locations; however, varying factors such as type of material, uneven floors, staircases, and old carpet removal can drastically increase the final cost of such convenient services, making them not as free as you might have hoped.

Because effectively calculating the costs associated with carpet installation is not as straightforward as it seems, any homeowner looking to update his or her carpeting needs to consider far more than just the price per square foot of the material.

Photo courtesy of Howell Flooring in Greensboro, NC

What's the Average Cost per Square Foot to Install Carpeting?

Many factors go into the final carpet prices and installation job, including room size and shape, carpet style, furniture removal, hauling out old flooring, labor, and more. That's why there is so much variety in our user reports, which show that the average cost of an entire carpet installation project is $1,584, with most homeowners paying between $741 and $2,431 but with some paying as little as $200 or as much as $4,000.

Here's a look at those costs, broken down by square foot:

  • Cost of carpeting: $1-$11 per square foot
  • Cost of padding (if not included in the carpet or labor cost): $0.30-$0.60 per square foot
  • Cost of labor: $0.50-$1 per square foot
  • Cost of labor add-ons (furniture removal, Berber carpet installation, special cuts, hauling away, etc.): $0.50-$2 per square foot

Therefore, a standard 12-foot by 12-foot room without any odd angles or cutouts should cost between $300-$750 for carpet installation using a low- to middle-grade carpet material. That equals approximately $2-$5 per square foot.

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The Cost of Carpet Itself

The single most influential element that affects the final cost to install carpeting is the price of the carpet itself. The range of options is vast, spanning from basic olefin and polyester, priced around $1-$2 per square foot, all the way to wool and patterned Berber, which can cost upwards of $9-$11 per square foot. Basically, the style and materials used to make the carpet determine its cost, which means homeowners need to balance the desired look and effect with their budgets.

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Carpet Styles and Options

Despite the many choices in stores, carpet really only comes in three basic styles known as piles. These three types - cut, loop, and cut and loop - each offer distinctive features and benefits to homeowners and work best in different rooms of the home based on the level of foot traffic.

  • Cut Pile Carpet: Created when the woven loops of carpet are all cut to the same height and tufted at the ends, its resulting appearance is dense and soft. Cut pile carpet includes four subcategories:
    • Saxony or Plush: The most common type of carpet, this looks like a freshly mowed lawn. It’s subject to wear, however, and therefore best in low-traffic areas.
    • Textured Saxony: This type is twisted to create a permanent curl and resist lines and wear. It’s great for medium- to high-traffic areas.
    • Frieze: More tightly twisted than textured Saxony, the yarn from Frieze carpet actually curls over to create a durable product that resists lines and works well in high-traffic areas.
    • Cable: Notable for its thicker and longer yarn, cable carpet is the plushest style. However, it is subject to wear and matting, making it best for low-traffic areas.
  • Loop Pile Carpet: Also known as commercial carpet, loop pile is the uncut version of cut pile carpet commonly found in high-traffic areas of the home and in businesses. It is made of yarn that is actually looped into its backing, making it incredibly durable and resistant to lines. Often multicolored to hide dirt and stains, different types of loop pile carpet may include both low- and high-profile areas to add additional texture and concealment.
  • Cut and Loop Carpet: By combining the techniques used to create cut pile and loop pile carpet, it is possible to make unique patterns and designs that add interest and texture to a room. Alternately known as "cut and uncut carpet" and "sculpted carpet," this style of carpeting is durable and easily conceals lines, making it a good choice for medium- to high-traffic areas.
Photo courtesy of Shop Carpet Corporation in Tamarac, FL

Carpet Materials

There are six common materials used to make carpet: acrylic, cotton, nylon, polyester, polypropylene (or olefin), and wool. While the majority of carpets sold in the United States are made of the synthetic fibers listed, each of these common materials offers homeowners different benefits, drawbacks, and price points.

  • Acrylic: More common in area rugs, acrylic carpet fibers are notable for their spongy feel and resistance to stains, mold, mildew, and moths. Acrylic fibers are easy to clean and dye and are fade resistant. They are subject to pilling, however, and, as the closest material to high-cost wool, are a more premium fiber.
  • Cotton: Also more common in area rugs, cotton carpets are most notable because they are incredibly soft. However, like cotton garments, these carpets stain easily and are subject to fading, so they are not optimal for homes with young children or pets. They also tend to be priced much higher than synthetic fiber alternatives.
  • Nylon: Used in 65 percent of all carpets sold in the United States, nylon fibers are a good option because they are durable and easy to clean, making them suitable for families with kids and indoor/outdoor dogs and cats. Often used in the construction of mid-price carpet, nylon is notably the strongest type of carpet fiber and therefore is often found in high-traffic areas. It is also resistant to mold and mildew. Nylon carpets are subject to static, however, and often receive an anti-static treatment before installation. There are two different types of nylon used during manufacturing:
    • Type 6 Nylon: considered the value fiber. Type 6 is often unbranded and may only meet minimum construction requirements or have inconsistent fiber quality.
    • Type 6.6 Nylon: considered the premium fiber and often branded (DuPont nylon, for example).
  • Polyester: Well-known for its beautiful color applications, polyester carpet fiber also resists fading and wear over time. The fiber itself is also resistant to mold and mildew and is generally considered non-allergenic. However, the quality and density of the polyester weave vary from brand to brand. As a result, some polyester carpets are especially susceptible to tracking and crushing, making them a poor choice for high-traffic areas. To get the most out of polyester carpet, look for higher-density construction and lower profiles but higher twist levels. Avoid high piles, low density, and "blown" yarns, all of which tend to show wear more quickly.
  • Polypropylene or Olefin: The fastest-growing fiber in carpet construction in terms of usage, polypropylene or olefin is used in about 30 percent of all carpets manufactured in the United States and has many of the same characteristics as polyester. It is notable for its incredible stain resistance. It also resists bleaching and sun fading and maintains its color because it is solution-dyed rather than topically dyed. Olefin is also moisture resistant, reducing the occurrence of mold and mildew, and incredibly durable. Buyers are most likely to find olefin fibers in Berber or loop pile carpet, which do well in high-traffic residential areas as cheaper alternatives to nylon.
  • Wool: The most traditional choice when it comes to carpet material, wool is a premium carpet fiber notable for its deep, rich look and luxurious feel. Along with an incredibly high price tag, homeowners who opt for wool should expect a durable, stain-resistant product. Because it is a natural fiber, wool is more susceptible to fading and static, however, and actually absorbs moisture, possibly leading to mold and mildew in wetter areas such as a basement.

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Additional Costs & Fees to Install Carpeting

In addition to the cost of the carpet itself along with the labor charges associated with its installation, there are several other factors that seriously affect the final price tag of any job.

  • Subfloor Installation: This applies to new builds and additions where a new subfloor may not be installed or ready to have carpet installed over the top.
  • Adding Moldings: Used to separate rooms and help secure doors, you may need to add moldings if you are changing floor types from something else to carpeting.
  • Baseboards: Used to define the line between the wall and floor, at a minimum, baseboards may need to be removed and reinstalled for proper carpet installation. However, when adding or replacing carpet, replacing or repainting baseboards is a common add-on.
  • Custom Cuts: Any time a contractor has to lay carpet in anything but a square or rectangular room there may be an add-on to compensate for the extra time and skill it takes to complete the install. This is especially true when carpeting stairs, which is considered a specialty installation and will not be included in most promotional installation offers.
  • Removal of Old Flooring: Carpet installation quotes are based on bare subfloors without any nails or glue on top. If you have existing carpet, tile, or other flooring in a room, it will likely need to be removed before you add new carpet.
  • Moving or Rearranging Furniture: If you currently live in your home, you may either need to clear the room that will be having carpet added or else pay the installers to move the furniture themselves.

Don't wait until the last minute. Get in touch with a carpet professional today.

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Carpet Maintenance

Once your new carpet is installed, getting the most out of its life means performing regular cleaning and other maintenance to keep it looking its best. Tips to get this done include keeping outside shoes off of carpeted surfaces, vacuuming regularly to rid carpeting of dust and dirt, and always removing spots and stains immediately using a blotting method - never rub a carpet stain!

It is also important to carefully consider the foot traffic in any area where you want to put carpet. No matter the style and fiber used in your carpet's construction, if it’s in a high-traffic area such as a main hallway, it’s going to show wear faster than if it’s in an out-of-the-way spot like a guest bedroom. Sometimes the best maintenance you can perform is prevention. You can also ask carpet repair or installation pros.

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Joe Galecki More than 1 year ago
Do you purchase the carpetting, since we know what we want?
Ann Frederick More than 1 year ago
What does it cost to stretch a rug that is already down in my basement wreck room: (about 14 X 20)
Kenneth DeJoie More than 1 year ago
Your looking at a restrech   you need a restrech  most likely. The installers kicked the carpet in instead of using a stretcher  ,we charge. About 3 dollars a yard.  But remember. Furniture has to be removed.   You can do this yourself or there can be a flat rate charge.    Or a charge by yard  A. Restrech. Is done with. A stretcher. Not a kicker don't get  fooled. A kicker you use your n
Knee and bump the carpet. A stretcher cost 400 plus dollars to buy  it comes in a large case  if you don't trust the guys your probably correct  look at their knuckles after ,25,years mine have caluses   and I'm proud of them sales men don't have them  Honest  answers by Coverall. Construction
Kenneth DeJoie More than 1 year ago
A honest. Company. Can purchase your carpet and pad. For you  and make an honest profit.   Large companies make  very large profits. On met.  By like myself. 25 yrs in the business. Installing. and  sales. I know where I can get the same materials. At a fraction of  the cost. Average cost of savings using an honest and proven. Installer.  Well let's just say. I've done.  Jobs for. 1200 dollars and collected a check   and was told after  box stores were trying to get   3600 to 4200. Dollars.     
Al Seefeldt More than 1 year ago
You should distinguish between simply installing carpet and purchasing and installing carpet.
kelly harrington More than 1 year ago
 "I" hope your company is the do-it-all service I think it is. I will give you the best review ever. You were Quick to answer my request. and had high confidence thruout our time of talking about the job. You reaaly have me excited about the actual begining of the job.  GREAT JOB so far. I would recamend you for pc estimates any time.
Sonia Delblridge More than 1 year ago
I'm just getting started with my research. So is it essential to replace the baseboard or is it recommended?
camille nicastro More than 1 year ago
how costly is it to remove old carpeting and installing new carpeting

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How do we get this data?

  1. Homeowners visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a top-rated pro to complete their home improvement project or repair.

  2. Once their projects are completed, the members log in to their accounts and complete a short cost survey.

  3. After compiling and organizing the data, we report it back to you.