Carpet installation roughly costs between $500 and $2,200, on average nationwide. However, several factors will influence how much you'll pay to install carpets.
Cost to install carpet:
|National average cost||$500|
To get a better idea of the total cost of carpet installation, let's look at the various factors that move the needle. And, find out how you can find and hire a pro to install new carpet in your home.
What's in this cost guide?
Carpet cost per square foot
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.
Below are examples of national average carpet installation costs per square foot for projects completed on Thumbtack:
|1,501-2,000 square feet||$5,051|
|1,001-1,500 square feet||$3,608|
|501-1,000 square feet||$2,165|
|0-500 square feet||$1,443|
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.
Carpet installation costs are most heavily affected by the cost of materials and carpet fibers. Generally, approximately 90 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 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're 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 repairs to sub floors if needed for about $50-$75 per hour 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.
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.
How to hire a carpet installation pro
Finding and hiring someone to install new carpet (or replace old carpet), requires a bit of research, including:
- Figure out what type of carpet you want. Do you want nylon or polyester? Wool or triexta? All of this information will be important for the pros to know when coming up with cost estimates.
- Decide which rooms you want the carpet installed. And measure the size of the rooms so you and the pro will know how much carpet you'll need.
- Search online for pros nearby. Look up pros' profiles so you can quickly see their specialities, customer ratings, customer reviews and past project photos.
- Get estimates from several pros. Aim to contact at least three or five carpet installation pros and get free estimates. This way, you'll know exactly how much carpet installation services will cost you.
- Look up the pros' credentials. Make sure that any contractor or company you hire has the proper license and insurance in your city and state.
For more tips on how to safely hire a pro on Thumbtack, visit our Smart Hiring guide.