Ashburn, VA

How Much Does It Cost To Reupholster A Couch?

$580 – $1,420

The average cost to reupholster a two-cushion couch ranges from $580 to $1,180, while a large sectional sofa costs between $2,800 and $3,200. Cost varies depending on the size and style of couch and the fabric, skirting, accessories, and labor. Get free estimates from reupholstery pros near you.

Average Cost to Reupholster a Couch

With fabric costs ranging from $5 to $40 per yard, and labor costs ranging from $500 to $900, the average price to reupholster a two-cushion couch ranges from $580 to $1,180, while a large sectional sofa costs between $2,800 and $3,200. Cost varies depending mainly on the size of the couch, labor, and fabric chosen.

Cost To Reupholster A Couch
National Average Cost $1,220
Minimum Cost $580
Maximum Cost $4,950
Average Range $880 to $1,420

Table Of Contents

  1. Average Cost to Reupholster a Couch
  2. Cost to Reupholster a Sofa
  3. Reupholster Couch Cost By Type
  4. Should I Reupholster Or Buy New?
  5. Couch Reupholstery Cost Factors
  6. Couch Upholstery Fabric Types
  7. Furniture Reupholstery Cost
  8. Cost Of Interior Couch Repairs
  9. Upholstery Restoration Process
  10. Upholstery Near Me

Cost to Reupholster a Sofa or Loveseat

The average cost to reupholster a sofa is $580 for a settee, $980 for a loveseat, and around $3,000 for a sectional sofa. If you have a couch with a great frame, but the cover needs to be replaced, you can expect to pay $800 to $4,950+ to have it reupholstered. You’re not just paying to get new material on the main cushions. You’re also paying for a new skirt and all the other embellishments a great sofa needs to get back to its former glory.

Reupholster Couch Cost By Type

The average final couch and sofa reupholstery costs, with no repairs or restoration work, should look like the following:[7]

Couch Reupholstery Costs
Couch Type Average Cost
Arm-less Settee $580 – $620
Settee $580 – $620
Chaise $880 – $1,020
French Provincial Sofa $980 – $1,080
Tight Back Loveseat $980 – $1,080
Camel Back Sofa $1,080 – $1,180
Tight Back Sofa $1,080 – $1,180
Semi-attached Back Sofa $1,120 – $1,220
Loose Cushion Sofa $1,280 – $1,420
Tufted Back Sofa $1,380 – $1,480
Sectional Sofa $2,800 – $3,200

Vintage Leather Sofa Reupholstered

Cost Breakdown

Couch Reupholstery Costs Breakdown
Brand Average Cost
Labor $500
Fabric $500
Skirting $150
Accessories $25
Channels $25
Total $1,200

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Should I Reupholster Or Buy New?

Is reupholstery worth the cost? Depending on the original price of a the couch, here are some thoughts to help you decide what to do.

  • The upholstery materials might outlast the structural elements of the couch.
  • Anything in our lives that we can repair and reuse is a lot kinder to the planet, especially in the case of something as large as a sofa, and you might prefer to do a full restoration.
  • A good quality couch should last around 20 to 25 years.
  • If you have a couch with a hardwood frame, nine springs ‘8 way hand tied’ per seat (where strong twine passes back to front, one side to the other side, and finally diagonally in each direction), and good padding, you have a good, solid structure to do a restoration on.
  • Do you want an exact replica of what you had before, or would you rather change the style of that room to create something a bit more modern?
  • If the couch was less than $1,500, unless you have a tremendous sentimental attachment to it, it is more than likely not worth the cost and is going to be cheaper to replace the sofa.
  • Given that the average reupholstering work on an average-size couch with common materials is going to cost around $1,200, if an exact replacement is $1,300, then that might be the way to go.

Grey Sectional Sofa New Upholstery

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Couch Reupholstery Cost Factors

The cost to reupholster a couch consists of mainly the labor and the cost of fabric.

Reupholstery Labor Costs

Replacing the fabric on the average couch takes about 16–22 hours. A couch excluding double welt trim, buttons, skirts, or any structural replacement or repairs takes between 16 and 28 hours to reupholster.[1] The average labor cost for a basic sofa or loveseat with no work on the cushions, no stuffing, and no channels, looks like:

  • Sofa (Without Skirt): $500–$700
  • French Provincial: $600–$800
  • Loveseat (Without Skirt): $450–$725
  • French Provincial: $500–$700

With average labor costs running anywhere from $31 to $40 per hour, labor alone could fall between $500 to $900 for the large elements of a sofa. Your more ornate couch will see a somewhat more expensive project cost with additional costs of: [2]

  • Up to $150 for skirting
  • $7 to $15 for each accessory treatment and embellishment, like buttons
  • $8 and $15 per channel in a channel back style sofa

In many cases, the fabric costs as much as the labor.

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Fabric Reupholstery Costs

Upholstery fabric costs between $8 and $40 per yard on average. However, you could pay as little as $5 per yard for 100% cotton or as expensive as $557 per yard for heavyweight velvet jacquard, linen-blend fabric. [3]

Brown Vintage Couch Reupholstery

When looking at prices in yards or square feet, one yard of fabric = 18 square feet of fabric. Sofas come in a range of both lengths and depths, so the total yards of fabric required to cover one fall anywhere between 9 to 19.5 yards. A standard sofa ranges from 6 to 8 feet in length. A ballpark price for sofa fabric using moderately priced 15,000 double rub, plain color linen costing $18.68/yd is: [4]

Fabric Reupholstery Costs
Sofa Length Yards of Fabric Average Cost
Loveseat 6–12 yards $112–$224
64” to 77” 9–11 yards $168–$205
72” to 86” 12–16 yards $224–$299
86” to 96” 17–19.5 yards $318–$364

The length alone is not always the most significant contributor to the total yards required. By comparison, the smaller loveseats, which only have space for two people, generally require much less fabric of 6–12 yards. Sectional sofas need a lot more fabric, as do couches with a lot of matching cushions or pillows.

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Couch Upholstery Fabric Types

All fabric is manufactured in a process that weaves strands of thread together, and one of the elements in production that affect the durability of fabric is how tightly packed the weave is; this also affects how the fabric feels. An example of this would be the difference in the way a somewhat delicate silk scarf moves in comparison to a more durable fabric like denim. Prices below are from various online fabric stores.

Couch Upholstery Fabric Costs
Fabric Material Price Per Yard Qualities
Linen $18–$35 Durable. Must be dry cleaned, since it would shrink if machine washed.
Cotton $5–$37.50 Not fire, stain, or crease resistant. Great fading and wear resistance.
Velvet $5–$502 Soft. Difficult to clean.
Twill $5–$7 Hides stains. Can be machine washed.
Chenille $15–$16 Both soft and durable.
Leather $4–$5 Easy to clean. Long lasting. Varying degrees of toughness.
Synthetics $6.50–$52.50 Durable, soft, and better able to stand up to stains.

Antique Yellow Couch Reupholstery

Pattern Change

The visual design of a piece of fabric will determine how much extra fabric you will need to complete a project. To ensure a particular design feature is in the center of the back or front of a sofa, the work cannot merely be started wherever the end of the fabric started when it was cut at the store. Factor in an additional 10%–45% amount of fabric to account for pattern placement.

Durability Rating

The industry rating to indicate fabric durability is called the Weisenbeck rating. Repeated in sets of 5,000 “double rubs” (back and forth), the material is tested until it shows signs of wear or yarn breaks. While the rating for commercial applications is anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 double rubs, the following is the list of the ratings for residential fabrics.[5]

  • Heavy Duty: 15,000+ double rubs. Suitable for family rooms.
  • Medium Duty: 9,000–15,000 double rubs. Versatile. Good for living or family rooms.
  • Light Duty: 3,000–9,000 double rubs. Usually better suited for formal or occasional use furniture.
  • Delicate Duty: Less than 3,000 double rubs. Recommended for more decorative use, as in curtains, drapes, or pillows.

Dye Method

With high-performance fabric—which qualifies as suitable for both indoor and outdoor use—the dye runs through the threads entirely as opposed to being just on the surface, allowing it to maintain the colors and the patterns longer.[6]

If you are visiting a fabric store to look at samples, you should be able to see the rating on the back of the fabric. And for any pieces you bring home for a few days, you can place them on the furniture that needs to be reupholstered to see how it looks in that room.

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Furniture Reupholstery Cost

Furniture reupholstery work on a sofa falls into three common pricing groups, listed below in the order of their expense.

  1. Upholstery - $800 to $4,950. Replacing the entire surface of sofa fabric to either change the look of the sofa or to restore areas of fabric damaged over time from wear and tear
  2. Interior Repairs - $1,400 to $2,500. Adding elements to strengthen the internal frame and springs to renew the structural integrity, which may have shifted after years of use, and taking care of any compression in the padding in the arms by adding additional foam
  3. Restoration - $2,800 to $6,500+. Complete teardown of the sofa, taking off all the surface fabric, removing springs, replacing any broken frame sections, regluing all frame joins, sanding and resurfacing all exposed wood, replacing any damaged feet, replacing decorative nails

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Cost Of Interior Couch Repairs

During the reupholstery work, it is not uncommon that the upholstery specialists will also discover other aspects of the sofa which also need professional attention.

  • New stuffing in pillows and seat cushions - $100–$175 per cushion[8] - For couches in homes with two or more children, even the couch with the best intentions can become weathered after a few years, with the cushions needing new stuffing to return the sofa to its former glory.
  • New padding - $10–$20 per square foot - Additional or replacement padding may need to be put on the arms of the couch or other areas.
  • Frame repair - $50–$240 - When a couch has been moved too many times or has had too many wrestling matches take place on it, you could either have fractured, or completely broken, frame components that result in noises, or the sofa leaning or moving every time someone sits on it.
  • Seat springs replaced - $220–$400 - With significant damage or wear, it might make more sense to replace the collapsed springs, and it is cheaper to do it at the time of upholstery work rather than have someone make an additional trip to do the work. Replacing springs could add another 4–8 hours to the job.

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Upholstery Restoration Process & Costs

For a complete teardown and restoration of a couch, you can expect to pay between $2,800 and $6,500. A complete restoration involves:

  • Taking off all the surface fabric
  • Removing springs
  • Replacing any broken frame sections
  • Regluing all frame joins
  • Sanding and resurfacing all exposed wood
  • Replacing any damaged feet
  • Replacing decorative nails

Refinishing Costs

If there is exposed wood along the top edge of the back of the sofa, or on the arms, it is possible that daily use has worn the varnish thin or off completely. In this case, you will need to refinish the wood which costs $40–$60 per hour.

Transportation Costs

The vast majority of the work done by professional upholstery service providers is done at a warehouse or workshop so your sofa will need to be transported to that location. The more accessible and less time-consuming transportation, the cheaper it will be.

On average, a pickup will cost $49 for a curbside pickup, or between $200–$250 depending on the number of flights of stairs, how close the entrance to the property is to the street, and how close the truck can get parking outside your building.

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[1] http://www.carrscorner.com/labortime.php

[2] http://www.winterssewing.com/node/72

[3] https://www.fabric.com/home-decor-fabric-upholstery-fabric.aspx

[4] https://www.leatherhidestore.com/leather-fabric-reupholstery-guide

[5] https://www.sailrite.com/What-Are-Double-Rubs-and-the-Wyzenbeek-Test

[6] https://www.ballarddesigns.com/howtodecorate/2017/04/whats-the-best-fabric-for-my-sofa/

[7] https://www.jhconklin.net/upholstery-price-guide/

[8]https://www.fabricfarms.com/cushion-restuffing-service.html

Author: Daniel W.
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