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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a professional carpet cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Set up a virtual appointment to discuss the scope of work. Conducting the consultation over video conference or phone call will ensure that you remain within the CDC's social distancing guidelines

Start by messaging a professional steam cleaner or carpet cleaner near you, and ask them if they would be willing to talk by phone or video call. Be sure to ask them how they handle payments and what precautions they have in place to keep you and your household safe. 

How can I find out if a professional carpet cleaner is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

Local and federal governments are currently in the process of defining essential services guidelines, and it’s best to read them to see whether professional carpet cleaning or steam cleaning is considered essential. A good place to start is with your city or state’s government website.

The CISA's Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage identifies 16 critical infrastructure sectors on a federal level. Some, but not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.

Who cleans area rugs?

Like your carpets, area rugs should ideally be cleaned at least once a year to remove dust and dirt and help them last longer. In general, carpet cleaning professionals also clean area rugs. Some rug cleaners bring their cleaning equipment to your home, while others remove your area rugs and clean them at their facilities. Either way, the rug should be cleaned with the solution most appropriate to its specific fabric and construction. It should also be completely dry before you return it to the floor.

Can I use digital payments to pay for professional carpet cleaning?

It’s common for professional carpet cleaners to accept digital payments such as Square Cash, Venmo, Google Pay, Zelle, PayPal and others. The current COVID-19 pandemic is quickly encouraging other companies to digitally transform as well. Make sure the carpet cleaner you hire will accept a digital payment instead of cash or check, and come up with a strategy for complying with social distancing regulations.

Compare carpet cleaners near you to see which types of payments they accept.

Does a professional carpet cleaner or steam cleaner need to enter my home?

Because the majority of carpet cleaning and steam cleaning jobs take place in someone’s home, it’s likely that a professional carpet cleaner would need to enter your home.

When you contact carpet cleaners near you, ask if they will do a video call in place of a standard consultation. Send photos and other materials digitally. Practice safe social distancing at all times, and follow both local and CDC guidelines.

How much does it cost to install carpet?

If you’re ready to bring new life into your house with a makeover from the ground up, you’re ready to learn more about carpet installation costs. Installation costs vary greatly, depending on a number of factors such as the type of carpet, the number of square yards, any necessary repair work, the number of stairs you have, and where you live. Due to these variables, the national average cost of carpet installation ranges between $200 and $4,500.

To start planning for your new carpet, measure roughly how many square yards of carpet you’ll need. Research the main carpet styles and materials you like to get a feel for what they cost. Nylon carpets are typically the least expensive, and wool is one of the higher-end carpets. Prices per square foot might range from under $2 to over $10, depending on materials. Count the number of stairs you want carpeted; each one might average between $3 and $10 (or more for box steps). Carpet removal can be an added cost as well, averaging $1-$4 per square yard, depending on the company and regional disposal costs. 

How much is the cheapest carpet?

If you’re looking to reduce carpet installation costs, there are several ways to save. Start by considering your carpeting needs. Manufactured materials such as polyester and nylon will be cheaper than natural fibers such as wool. From big box retailers, starting prices for olefin-based carpet are approximately 50 cents per square foot — making the cost under $5 per square yard. Indoor carpets made with olefin fibers are typically the least expensive on the market. Keep in mind that olefin fibers are not as soft on bare feet as other fibers, so are often used in areas like basements, playrooms or indoor patios. Nylon and polyester are good options to reduce carpet installation costs while still creating a cozy feel. The face weight, fiber construction and density of a carpet all affect the cost per square foot. The cheapest nylon or polyester carpets can start at just under $2 per square foot, making them about $18 per square yard. Lower-cost carpet tends to wear out more quickly and show stains more easily, so avoid light colors and vacuum regularly to keep the fibers clear of dirt that might age it too quickly.

How much does it cost to install carpet on stairs?

The number of stairs you want carpeted in your home will directly affect your carpet installation cost. Putting carpet on stairs generally increases the labor time and requires a higher degree of detail than laying carpet flat. Where you live in the country also plays a role in your carpet installation cost. Carpet installation companies in smaller towns with a lower cost of living and a lower cost to do business (insurance, company vehicles, employee labor, etc.) can usually offer their customers lower rates than companies in large cities where the cost of living and the cost to do business are higher. Carpet pros will often quote you a flat rate per stair once they do a site visit to provide an estimate. They’ll take into account the size of each stair you want carpeted (including both the step and the riser), and what type of stair it is. For example, the cost might range between $3 and $10 per stair for labor only. On the higher end of the spectrum, box stairs or staircase stairs with spindles that must be worked around might cost between $15 and $25 per stair.

How much does it cost to clean a rug?

Area rugs are typically found in high-traffic areas of the home, like hallways and entryways, so they collect more dirt and stains than simple vacuuming can handle. Similar to carpet cleaning, professionals can come to your home to deep-clean your area rugs. The national average cost for rug cleaning ranges from $80 to $120, but may be higher or lower depending on the rug’s size and fiber type. Rug cleaners generally charge by the square foot; for example, a standard 8-foot by 10-foot rug costs an average of $100 to clean. Natural fiber rugs, such as wool or silk, are usually more expensive to have cleaned than synthetic rugs. A carpeting cleaning company may charge on average $1.50 per square foot to clean a synthetic rug, $2 per square foot for a wool rug, and $3 per square foot for a silk rug. Some delicate rugs need to be washed by hand, which increases the price. Carpet cleaning companies often offer additional services, such as removing odors or applying moth deterrent, which can add 20 cents to 25 cents per square foot.

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