The average cost for carpet installation is $3 per square foot. Hiring a carpet installer, you will likely spend $2,500 for a 1,200 sq. ft. home. The price of carpet installation can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). When you're ready, get free estimates from pros near you.
Out of every element in your home, the floor is the part you will connect with the most every day, and no other flooring option is as nice to walk barefoot on. Carpet is a common selection for most rooms in the house, other than for the kitchen—because of the potential for stains from food spills, etc.
Next to vinyl or linoleum flooring, carpet is second in affordability. Costs vary widely depending on your location, the type of carpet you are having installed, and what size the room is. Carpet can start as low as $2 per square foot and go up as high as $100 or higher.
The options on flooring are listed below, from least expensive to most expensive.
|Flooring Type||Price relative to carpet|
|Vinyl or linoleum||-73%|
|Porcelain or ceramic tile||Similar cost|
|Natural stone tile||+27%|
|Laminate (wood like surface)||+67%|
If you previously installed a harder type of flooring finish, switching to carpet will be a choice your feet will thank you for every day, and newer carpet types can be even softer. However, carpet doesn’t do so well in high-traffic areas of the home, such as the hallways, foyer, dining room, and living room.
The most popular choice. It is strong, very often staying in great shape for many years, and does a good job fighting off stains.
Potentially the least likely to fade with wear and exposure to the sun. Resists most stains and produces little to no static electricity.
Appearance can degrade. Made from a polypropylene compound, it has a wool-like feel to it, is quite strong, and does a good job resisting moisture.
This synthetic material is prone to clumping in piles if not well looked after, but it is great at resisting stains and moisture.
Before synthetic materials were used in carpets, carpets were made from wool. Wool fibers in a carpet give it a durable finish that does a great job of resisting dirt and stains. Different breed of sheep can give higher and lower levels of durability to the carpet, with the wool from around the neck reserved for finer carpets. Sheep from higher altitudes produce wool with a shinier appearance. Generally, carpets made from wool will be more expensive.
This is another synthetic choice of carpet material often chosen for homes with younger families or pets due to its strong fibers. It’s usually more expensive.
When choosing your carpet, consider the option some contractors give of being able to visit their showroom. This can be a great way of seeing and feeling textures up front before making a final decision—better than trying to gauge your choice based on a 2”x2” sample on a board.
Carpet are created in either loop pile or cut pile. Some manufacturers create elaborate mixes of the two in order 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.
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 its 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. 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, 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.
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 in a carpet can create the appearance of the room being somewhat larger, especially when using a large pattern in a smaller room.
In most cases, there will be a different criterion used to select the carpet and installer based on whether you are putting in the carpet for your own family to enjoy for years to come versus carpeting to make the home look its best for the purposes of selling the home.
When carpeting for one’s own family, elements like durability, stain resistance, feel, warranties, matching color scheme, design, or patterns, etc. will all play into guiding you toward your final decision. When carpeting for a resale, many homeowners will have a shorter list that leans toward having the best-looking job for the money at the time of the sale.
Dpc Construction Texas Painting in Austin, TX, who ranked best of 2017 on HomeGuide says:
On average, the life of the carpet in relation to durability and wear will be roughly 8 to 10 years. A carpet has an expected 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.
Electing to carpet the home for resale can speed up the sales date by up to two months because it now shows so well. This is especially true if you are replacing linoleum, stone, tile, or wood flooring that is in bad condition.
While some manufacturers introduce new styles at different times, the best time of the year to begin looking for carpet is in the spring, because that is when the vast majority of carpet manufacturers release their latest styles.
During the summer months, the main focus for most families is on the outdoors, so carpet vendors experience less foot traffic to physical stores and less traffic to their websites. Because of this, you may experience quicker responses and installation dates over the summer months.
Generally, a lot of manufacturers run their promotions in the fall because they want to release any remaining inventory of last year’s products before the new products are released in the spring. This is the best time to shop for a good deal.
There are quite a few variables that go into trying to work out what your cost per square foot could look like, including where you live, the size of the room, carpet selected, previous flooring removal costs, any repairs needed to repair the subfloor, and the quality of the installers. The smaller the area you are getting carpeted, the marginally higher your cost per sqft will be.
When you're looking to carpet a flight of stairs the average homeowner spends at minimum $75 to $250. Keep in mind, that is in addition to the price for carpet installation. Some carpet installers will charge by the stair and you can expect to pay $3 to $10 per stair for a basic set of box stairs, or $15 to $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 installation cost per stair.
Anything you can do yourself that the install team doesn’t have to do will definitely save you money. For many families, the additional time and longer disruption to the family might not be an attractive byproduct though. Tasks you can consider to keep your costs down include:
Decide if you are going to do this yourself or have the installers include this in their quote. If you have furniture that has a lot of content like plates and glasses, etc., you’ll need to store the content before the furniture is moved. Figure in 2–3 hours per room for emptying and removing all furniture. If you’ve had the installers remove the furniture, you may want to have them put it back too.
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.
Flooring removal costs will vary depending on the type of flooring you are going to remove, with ceramic tile and wood flooring glued to the subfloor being the most expensive. The base costs for removing carpet include the following average ranges for a 10’ x 10’ space.
The full cost of removal will average between $2 and $4.50/sqft. Some carpet installers may have a cheaper line item for removal if you bundle that service with the new carpet installation.
If you have a newborn, or someone in the house works nights and needs to sleep during the day, you might want to plan around this for the duration of your installation job. 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.
In general, labor costs are equal to product cost, so if your carpet costs $2–$4/sqft, you’d think labor would be half of that cost. However, it is unlikely that you will save on the materials because installers, or carpet shops that do installation, will generally get the carpet at a much better price than you can as a nonprofessional.
If you value your time and the pain that can come from kneeling, squatting, and pulling, having a contractor do it for you can be well worth the extra cost.
When looking for installers to make it to your final list of 3–5, choose contractors who stand out from the crowd because they:
After you have requested bids from your shortlist of contractors, you should be in a great position to make your final selection.
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