How Much Does Carpet Cost To Install Or Replace?
Carpet Installation Cost
The average cost to install new carpeting is between $2 and $4 per square foot with most homeowners spending $2.82 per square foot. The average cost to carpet a 10x12 room is $338, whereas an entire home costs about $1,597. Pricing depends on size and shape of room, carpet style, removing old flooring, labor, and more.
|National Average Cost||$1,597|
|Average Range||$880 to $2,315|
Out of every element in your home, the floor is the part you will connect with the most every day. If you’re looking at your flooring and carpet options, no other flooring option is as nice to walk barefoot on, and next to vinyl or linoleum flooring, carpet is second in affordability.
Table Of Contents
Average Carpet Cost Per Square Foot
The average cost of an entire carpet installation project is between $880 to $2,315 with most homeowners paying about $1,597. This comes out to an average price of $2.82 per square foot for the carpet, materials, and labor.
Here's the average carpet cost broken down by square foot:
|Carpet||$0.69 – $6.31 per square foot|
|Padding||$0.35 – $0.55 per square foot|
|Labor||$0.58 – $1.00 per square foot|
|Old carpet and pad removal, hauling||$0.50 – $1.00 per square foot|
|Total||$2.12 – $8.86 per square foot|
Cost factors that affect your cost is the square footage of the room, carpet selected, previous flooring removal, any repairs, carpet underlay, and the installation labor. The smaller the area you are getting carpeted, the marginally higher your carpet installation prices will be per square foot.
Labor Cost To Install Carpet
Carpet installation labor costs about $0.58–$0.64/sq. ft. on average and usually includes removing and disposing of old flooring, fixing any flooring issues, and installing padding and carpet, plus clean up. An average-sized living room of 330 square feet will cost about $201 for the installation labor and $112 for the removal and disposal of the old carpet.
Installing carpet includes “setting carpet tack strip, rebond pad, unrolling 12'- to 15'-wide carpet, measuring, marking, cutting, trimming one edge, hot melt tape on seams and disposal of debris." 
Average Cost To Carpet A Room
At an average cost of $2.82 per square foot, it will cost around $282 to carpet a 10’ x 10’ room, $338 for a 10x12 room, $406 for a 12x12 room, and $634 for a 15x15 room.
|Room Size||Average Cost|
Depending on the type of fiber your carpet is made of, you can pay between $0.69 and $6.31 per square foot for it, or even $11 a square foot for a pure wool carpet. Choose from the main choices of acrylic, cotton, nylon, polyester, olefin, and wool. There’s no best carpet for everyone, but there is a “best” carpet for your needs based on the amount of foot traffic and stains you expect, how long you want it to last, and how soft you want it to be. Below is a complete carpet buying guide:
Carpet Styles and Options
Fibers are either looped through carpet backing or cut. Cut fibers create plush or cut-pile carpets, while looped fibers are tufted. After that, the fibers are twisted different amounts and given different heights. A shag carpet, for example, is cut higher than a frieze which is slightly taller than a Saxony carpet—a lower cut and smoother carpet.
Carpets are categorized in the following way:
|Carpet Design||Price Per Square Foot|
|Pattern||$0.60 – $9.89|
|Berber / Loop||$0.60 – $10.99|
|Shag / Frieze||$0.69 – $7.39|
|Textured||$0.69 – $11.79|
|Carpet Tiles||$1.24 – $3.60|
A combined loop and cut pile has a soft, stylish look. Carpet fibers also come in a variety of thicknesses, each creating its own texture. For instance, a thicker yarn is called cable, and it produces a very plush and luxurious carpet. Velvet is cut low with only a small amount of twist, and plush is cut high but retains its twist.
|Carpet Feature||Price Per Square Foot|
|Fade and stain resistant,
|$0.60 – $11.79|
|Solution-dyed fibers||$0.69 – $5.65|
|Glue down allowed||$1.05 – $11.79|
|Water repellant||$1.69 – $2.59|
|Padding attached||$1.58 (carpet tiles)|
Carpets are usually constructed from the following fibers. Prices given below are from Carpet Express, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.
|Carpet Material||Price Per Square Foot|
|Polyester||$0.69 – $3.88|
|Olefin||$0.99 – $1.89|
|Nylon||$0.59 – $7.22|
|Wool||$3.89 – $11.00|
|Triexta||$1.39 – $6.50|
- Acrylic – Typically used in area rugs. They resist mold, stains, and moths, and are potentially the least likely to fade with wear and exposure to the sun. Resist most stains and produce little to no static electricity. Cons: Not as durable as wool. Can fuzz up like a sweater.
- Polyester – A synthetic material that is great at resisting stains and moisture, and fading from the sun. Nonallergenic. Look for a dense construction of polyester fibers. Polyester carpets are known for the richness of their colors. Cons: Prone to clumping in piles if not well looked after. Less-expensive carpets fall prey to crushing and creating that high-traffic pattern. Quality of polyester varies widely.
- Olefin – A very popular carpet fiber. Made from a polypropylene compound, it has a wool-like feel to it, is quite strong, and does a good job resisting moisture. It surpasses polyester with its ability to resist mold, mildew, stains, and fading. Olefin is used extensively in Berber and loop style carpets. Cons: Its appearance can flatten and fade. Berber/loop fibers can snag on pets’ claws.
- Nylon – The most common fiber used in wall-to-wall carpeting. It is sturdy, very often staying in great shape for many years, and does a good job fighting off stains. Nylon wears well and is easy to clean, making it a good choice for young families with children and pets. Cons: It can pill. Needs to be solution dyed if it is to be fade resistant and reject, rather than absorb, stains. Should be steam cleaned every 12–18 months to restore fibers.
- Wool – The traditional choice when it comes to carpets. Wool fibers in a carpet give it a durable finish that does a great job of resisting dirt and stains. A wool carpet will outperform any other carpet fiber, lasting for decades. Cons: Wool will absorb moisture, which could become a mildew problem. Low-grade wool is more susceptible to staining.
- Cotton – Also used mainly in area rugs. It’s a natural fiber and lends itself to a more natural lifestyle. It’s strong, static resistant, and heat resistant. Cons: It can stain easily and fade or brown if left in direct sunlight. It’s also flammable.
- Triexta – Another synthetic choice of carpet material often chosen for homes with younger families or pets due to its strong fibers. Cons: It’s usually more expensive. Usually carries more than double the warranty length of a nylon carpet, e.g., 25 years to nylon’s 10.
Carpet tiles are different to carpet in that they don’t need adhesive or padding to install them, and they can be cut to fit any room. They are reasonably durable and are stain, water, mold, and fade resistant. Choose from the peel-and-stick variety to Berber tiles lined with their own padding.
You can also pick floor carpet tiles in sizes from 1–2 sq. ft. or rectangular 1’ x 2’ tiles. Just like carpet, they are available in the pattern, Berber/loop, shag/frieze, and textured styles. Carpet tile installation is a breeze for any do-it-yourself type too.
Carpets are also sold by carpet width, pile height, face weight, warranty type, and PAR-value. 
- Pile – Also know as "nap" or "face," the pile is the height of the carpet fiber
- Density – Carpet density is how tight and packed the carpet fibers are to each other. The higher the density, the higher the cost, but the stronger the carpet is.
- Weight – A carpet's face weight is the fiber on the surface. Quality is directly correlated to a high face weight. Total weight would include the latex, backing, and padding as well.
- Twist – Twist is the number of times each carpet fiber turns per inch. The more twists mean the carpet is higher quality and resists foot traffic better.
- PAR Rating – PAR stands for Performance, Appearance, and Retention. On a scale from 1 to 5, the higher the PAR, the more durable and longer lasting the carpet will be.
Additional Costs & Fees to Install Carpeting
The cost quoted above doesn’t include the cost of the furniture moving, baseboard removing, and baseboard replacing, among other expenses.
- Subfloor Installation – Costs $0.96–$4.34 per square foot to repair or replace, depending on your choice of materials, and $0.67–$1 per square foot to remove old subfloor. The subfloor and carpet padding should be in good condition for your carpet to wear correctly. Uneven spots on the subfloor will cause uneven wear on the bottom of the carpet. If that’s the case, it may need to be replaced.
- Subfloor Repairs or Replacement – Replacement is $0.96–$4.34/sq. ft. to repair or replace, depending on your choice of materials. Removal of the old subfloor is $0.67–$1/sq. ft. Subfloor, usually plywood, is what’s attached to your floor joists. It’s the flat base your flooring will be installed over, so if it has any issues, those will need to be fixed before any new carpet goes in. Sometimes the subfloor is the concrete foundation, and with both concrete and plywood, they need moisture barriers in place to ward off warping and cracking. If you have any flooring with water damage, mold, sunken areas, or springing or squeaks, the cause of the water damage and those areas will need to be repaired, or the entire subfloor will need to be replaced.
- Stairs – Each stair, step, or irregular custom cut that needs to be done will add between $6.50 to $15 the cost depending on the complexity. Box step stairways cost $6.50/step, open riser stairs cost $8.50/step, steps with a sewn edge on one side cost $10.50/step, and circular stair steps cost $15/step.
- Replacing baseboards or trim – Baseboards is a standard add-on that separates the floor from the wall. Replacing trim or baseboards costs about $375 for a typical living room measuring 20’ x 20’.
- New door thresholds – You will usually spend around $100 per threshold that needs to be replaced.
- Removing and storing doors – Take all the doors that the carpet will run under off their hinges and store them somewhere. Installers could charge about $5 per door to do this for you.
- Furniture Moving – At 1–2 hours for each move at $60/hour for two workers or $0.23/sq. ft.; 1,000 sq. ft. would cost about $225 for this job. Decide if you are going to do this yourself or have the installers include this in their quote. If you’ve had the installers remove the furniture, you may want to have them put it back too.
- Radiant Heating – With the old flooring product removed and the subfloor available to you, consider installing radiant heating, which is based on a heating element installed under the carpet to keep the floor and the room at a comfortable temperature. Radiant floor heating can add up to $2,000 to your installation costs, or $10–$20/sq. ft., depending on the size of your room. Some carpets and padding don’t do well with the heat coming through.
- Stain Resistant Treatments – Stain resistance treatment stops or slows carpet fibers from absorbing liquids and oil and grease and thereafter showing stains. Applied as an additive, coating, or finish, the treatment can prevent all unwanted stains for a few years. Teflon and Scotchguard are the two best-known brands which cost around $0.20/sq. ft.
- Alternative Living Arrangements – When getting the bid for the project, ask your installers what length of time they will be in your home. It should only take them a few hours to a day to remove and install all the carpet.
Types Of Carpet
Carpet is created in either loop pile or cut pile. Some manufacturers create elaborate mixes of the two to create texture.
This type is produced when the fiber is threaded through the backing, giving loops of fiber on the walking surface. The strength created by the loops hides footprints and furniture marks really well.
- Level loop pile has an even finish because all the loops are at the same height.
- Multi-level loop pile uses loops that are of different heights for a more organic finish and can allow for design elements to be included in the final product.
- Sisal carpeting has the appearance of having tiny trenches between the tight short loops
The material starts out as a loop, but the ends of the loop are cut off, leaving two strands instead of one continuous strand. In addition to being cut, the pile is often twisted to add some structural integrity and to help prevent it being crushed and lying flat. Cut pile that has a heavy twist will result in a textured finish that will also help conceal wear and dirt. The more tightly twisted pile will yield a more durable surface, and the higher the twist, the more direction the pile will lie in—producing a smooth, random texture.
Generally speaking, depending on the manufacturer and carpet material, the cut pile is a much softer surface to walk on than loop pile. It is the least likely to show footprints and works well in high-traffic areas.
- Cut pile plush features a slightly twisted short pile that is soft and can show footprints
- Cut pile twist is highly twisted and less likely to show footprints. It’s often chosen for high traffic areas.
- Frieze is very durable. Its long pile lies in different directions, giving a shaggy appearance.
Combined Loop and Cut Pile
Because of the contrasts between the different types of pile, this type of carpet can include design features like swirls or square shapes in the finish. Patterns like this on a carpet can create the appearance of a larger room, especially when using a large pattern in a smaller room.
- Level cut and loop pile is when the loops and cut pile are the same height, creating a soft, stylish look
- Textured cut and loop pile is most often used in a patterned finish and hides dirt and vacuum tracks.
Carpet Padding Cost
On average, carpet padding alone costs between $0.37 and $0.79 per square foot. Carpet padding is made up of foam, fiber, or rebond—padding made from scrap high-density urethane foam. While some carpets come with the padding already attached, most do not.
Padding cushions the floor between the subfloor and the carpet and acts as an insulator, moisture barrier, and noise reduction agent. It also helps the carpet last longer. The max recommended padding thickness is 1/2”; any thicker and the carpet becomes too springy or even damages the carpet. Each carpet manufacturer recommends certain types of padding to pair with their carpet lines, and not using it could void the warranty on the carpet.
Carpet Padding Types
The density and firmness of carpet padding will affect carpet durability. Along with carpet padding prices below, we recommend the following carpet padding thickness for each type:
|Padding Type||Price Per Square Foot||Recommendation|
|Rebond Padding||$0.25 – $0.79||6.5 lbs. per cubic foot. An 8 lb. carpet pad or higher density will help your carpet last even longer. Cheap and durable if the right density is used. Less durable than frothed foam and slab rubber.|
|Foam Padding||$0.25 – $0.40||12 lbs. per cubic foot or more. Often free with carpet but doesn’t usually last long—at most 4 years in low-traffic areas. Some are mixed with memory foam scraps for a more durable pad.|
|Frothed Foam Padding||$0.81 – $1.08||12 lbs. per cubic foot or more. Very durable but expensive.|
|Memory Foam Padding||$0.79 – $0.99||Comes in 3/8”–7/16” thick. Often carries a lifetime warranty because it’s so durable. Ideal for radiant heated floors.|
|Synthetic Fiber, Synthetic Felt, Jute Padding||$0.47 – $0.82||30 oz. per cubic foot, preferably 40 oz. Great for high-twisted, low-pile carpets. Natural fibers can grow mold.|
|Waffle Rubber Padding||$0.79||64 oz. per cubic foot, preferably 90 oz. Expensive but durable. Less durable than slab rubber.|
|Slab Rubber Padding||$1.33||21 lbs. per cubic foot. Very durable—can last decades. Expensive.|
Carpet vs. Wood Floor
Carpet is the go-to selection for most rooms in the house, other than for the kitchen—because of the potential for stains from food spills, etc.; but wood flooring is very popular too. Which will work better for you and your home? Figure out what your primary need is first before you choose any type of carpet, deciding in the order of vital to practical to financial.
|Cost||$2 to $4 per square foot||$3 to $9 per square foot|
|Comfort||Warm. Can be very soft on the feet. Great room temperature insulator. Most people won’t slip on carpet. Items won’t usually break if they fall on carpet.||Kind to allergy sensitive people. Hard on the feet. Gives a room a warm feeling.|
|Durability||Carpet doesn’t do so well in high-traffic areas of the home, but some carpet fiber mixes are more durable than others. Develops wear patterns.||Engineered hardwood – Top layer is thin and usually can’t be sanded or refinished. Offers greater heat and moisture resistance than solid hardwoods.
Hardwood – Can last for many decades, even in high-traffic areas. Increases resale value. Absorbs moisture and can warp. With the right finish, it’s wonderfully stain and odor resistant.
|Maintenance||Can attract dust mites and other bugs. Spills can stain carpet and must be cleaned immediately. Vacuum regularly.||Sweep, dust, or vacuum regularly. Clean floors with special floor cleaner. Easy to maintain. Clean liquid stains immediately.|
|Sound||Absorbs sound well, especially with good padding underneath.||Can be noisy and amplify noise under high foot traffic.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does Carpet Last?
On average, the life of the carpet in relation to durability and wear will be roughly 8 to 10 years. Carpet has an upper limit in its lifespan of around 15 years. By dividing the cost of the old carpet by its number of years of durability, you’ll find your investment cost per year. The return on investment will also depend on stain resistance, fading, and wear and tear.
How much does it cost to install carpet on stairs?
To carpet a flight of stairs, the average homeowner spends around $75–$250 of an additional cost to the price of carpet installation. Some carpet installers will charge by the stair at $3–$10—for a basic set of box stairs—or $5–$15 per stair if you have spindles from a handrail. If you have wrapped stairs, they require installing carpet over the side of the stairs on one or both sides, which increases the cost per stair.
What’s the average cost to carpet 1,000 square feet?
A carpet installation estimate for a 1,200 sq. ft. house (without carpeting the kitchen or two bathrooms) will cost approx. $2,895, which includes old carpet and pad removal, waste disposal and haulage, underlay/padding, carpet, and professional installation labor. Many carpet stores will include the cost of labor if you buy more than $700 worth of carpet from them.
How much does carpet removal cost?
Old carpet and pad removal costs about $0.34 per square foot and waste disposal and hauling away is about $75.
How much is the cheapest carpet?
At $0.60 a square foot, low-density polyester is the cheapest carpet. But matched with the cheapest padding available, your new carpet will only look good for about two years, if that.
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