Carpet installation roughly costs between $500 and $2000 on average nationwide. But installation costs vary due to the wide range of room sizes, carpet type, flooring condition, and carpet quality. Installing new carpet costs about $5 a square yard just for the labor alone while carpet removal costs about $4 a square yard for the labor and proper disposal. To get a better idea of the total cost of carpet installation, let's look at the various factors that move the needle.
What's in this cost guide?
- Cost of carpeting materials
- Carpet construction and style
- Carpet padding and installation
- Trim for new carpeting
- Carpet installation on stairs
- Furniture moving costs
Carpet installation cost is most heavily affected by the cost of materials. Carpet pricing starts at about a dollar a square foot on average nationwide, and typically comes on a roll that is 12', 13' 6" or 15' wide. Carpet tiles are sold as squares with an adhesive backing. Popular tile sizes are 18" x 18", 24" x 24" and 19.7" (50cm) by 19.7"10.
Below are examples of national average carpet installation costs per square foot for projects completed on Thumbtack:
|1501-2000 square feet||$2,252.00|
|1001-1500 square feet||$1,665.00|
|501-1000 square feet||$1,585.00|
|0-500 square feet||$547.00|
Get a free quote for your carpet installation project today.
The cost of carpeting depends on the carpet fibers. Generally, approximately ninety percent of the carpet made today uses synthetic fiber. Natural fabrics, meaning wool, tend to be the most expensive. All the materials have pros and cons, and each will add to more installation costs.
Carpet Material National Average Costs Per Square Foot
|Olefin / Polypropylene||$1.08|
Wool – most expensive
Wool looks and feels great and is extremely durable. It's also prone to fading, shedding and moisture absorption. Wool starts at about $3 a square foot and considered to be the gold standard.
Nylon – less expensive
Nylon is man-made, very durable, looks good and feels good. It is stain resistant and is easy to clean. It comes in a wide variety of colors and is cheaper than wool flooring. Prices for nylon start at about $1.25 a square foot for new carpet.
Triexta – less expensive
Triexta is a brand name for a carpet made by Dupont and is also called Sorona. Mohawk refers to it as SmartStrand. Triexta is similar to polypropylene in the way it's manufactured but it feels more like nylon. It's also very durable and stain resistant. Prices for triexta fall in between nylon and olefin: on average $3.00 per square foot.
Polyester – less expensive
Polyester is similar to nylon in pricing – starting at roughly over $1.00 per square foot. It's also a synthetic and very durable. It is resistant to mold, mildew, fading and works better in low-traffic areas.
Olefin / Polypropylene – least expensive
Olefin is sometimes referred to as polypropylene. It's also a durable synthetic fiber and is priced as low as $1.08 a square foot.
Carpet is made from a backing and a natural or synthetic fiber that's woven or tufted into the backing.
Cut Pile is one of the most popular carpet styles. The fiber is sheared at the top, which exposes the ends and creates a soft feeling.
The twist of the fibers in cut pile refers to how many times the carpet fiber is twisted or turned per inch. This measurement is called “turns per inch," or TPI. A higher TPI can be used as a measure of quality as twisting makes the carpet more durable. The twists can be measured by eye using a ruler.
Carpet density refers to how close the tufts are to each other. Higher density indicates higher quality. Pushing down on the carpet with your finger to feel the backing is a quick and easy way to check density.
Saxony is a cut pile type of carpet with a medium length fiber. Saxony is available in a plush velvety style known as straight or a more textured look called trackless.
Frieze is a cut pile carpet with long fibers and a tight twist – a kind of modern version of shag carpet that is resistant to footprints.
Berber generally refers to as a cut and loop pile carpet where the ends of the carper fiber are woven into the backing. Some Berbers are cut pile as the word also can refer to the color of the carpet.
Cut and Loop is a type of hybrid carpet where some of the fiber is cut and some is looped into the backing to create a pattern. The loops can be all at the same level or on multi-levels to create a more sculptural look for your flooring.
Whatever kind of flooring you are considering, whether it's new carpet, tile, engineered wood or hardwood flooring keep in mind that it will all lay on top of the sub floor. The quality of the sub floor should be inspected by the pro prior to installation. A professional installer can usually make minor repair to sub floors if needed for about $50-$75 per hour (nationwide average) plus the cost of materials. Any major repairs may add to installation time.
Carpet padding goes on top of the sub-floor with costs starting at $1 per square foot of padding, depending on thickness. Typically, 1/2" thickness is recommended for padding under carpet with textures or loops, such as cut pile carpeting. Low pile carpet requires less thick padding. After padding installation, carpet is cut custom for the room and if necessary seemed. It's held in place by tack strips, thin pieces of wood that are nailed to the sub floor. The strips have tacks pointing up which keep the carpet from moving.
If your installation involves new wall-to-wall carpeting, you may also need to replace baseboards and metal trim strips for doorways and other transitions. Figure roughly $200-300 for new carpet trim depending on the size of the job and labor costs for the installation.
An installer may charge anywhere between $3-$10 a stair to carpet a staircase, which includes carpeting for the step and the riser. Box stairs, with walls on each side, or stairs with spindles that an installer must work around, cost about $15–$25 per stair.
Carpet installers may or may not help you move furniture into and out of a room to clear flooring space during the project. It's a good idea to ask first as some will charge extra. Consider installing carpet in a new home before you move in to reduce associated furniture moving costs.
Figuring out the cost of installation for new carpeting isn't rocket science but many factors help decide how big the expenditure will be. A simple search on Thumbtack using your zip code will help connect you to locate an installer nearby. They can help guide you towards getting exactly the kind of carpet you want for your flooring at just the right price.