Carpeting warms rooms, makes them more comfortable, and reduces noise. Quality carpeting and padding can be a plus when selling a house. The cost to install carpet is about $6.35 per square foot. An entire carpet installation project costs between $775 and $2,650, and the average cost to install carpet is $1,725.
Cost to Install Carpet Per Square Foot
Like other flooring materials, carpet installation is priced on a square-foot basis. Typically, this price includes the carpeting, the padding, and installation.
The cost of carpet installation ranges from a low of about $2.70 per square foot to a high of $9.95 per square foot. On average, the cost to install carpet is $6.35 per square foot.
Cost to Install Carpet
Cost to Install Carpet Per Room
Whether the carpet is being installed throughout the home or only in select rooms, it helps to know the cost to install carpeting in each room.
Cost to Install Carpet
Small living room
Large living room
Cost to Install Carpet Per Material
The type of carpet material you choose plays into the cost of the carpet.
Wool carpeting is natural and durable, though it does require more maintenance than synthetic carpet fibers. Wool carpeting is particularly susceptible to water damage.
Wool carpeting ranges in cost from $4.25 to $20.50 per square foot, with an average cost of $12.40 per square foot.
Though polyester carpeting is fairly inexpensive, it will age faster than other types of carpeting material. Polyester carpeting resists stains well and holds up to light moisture.
Polyester carpeting costs from $1 to $4 per square foot, for an average cost of $2.50 per square foot.
Between polyester and nylon carpet fibers, nylon is the winner in terms of durability. Both materials, though, stand up equally well to stains and moisture. Nylon carpeting is more expensive than polyester carpeting.
Nylon carpeting costs from $2 to $6.25 per square foot. The average cost of nylon carpeting is about $4.15 per square foot.
Olefin is a synthetic carpet material that holds up especially well to stains. Olefin is best for basements, sunroom, and even outdoor spaces.
Olefin carpet begins at around $1 and reaches a high cost of $3.75 per square foot. The average cost of olefin carpet is $2.40 per square foot.
Cost to Install Carpet Per Style
Cut Pile Textured
Thicker, textured cut pile carpeting works well in lower traffic areas and for areas such as bedrooms where you need extra plushness.
Expect to pay a low of $1.75 and a high of $9.50 per square foot for textured cut pile, with an average cost of about $5.65 per square foot.
Textures go deeper with patterned carpeting, for a wide variety of looks that never fade since they are embossed in the material.
Patterned carpet ranges from $2.50 to $9 per square foot and more, with an average cost of about $5.75 per square foot.
Berber is the classic high-durability, low-pile carpeting with tightly woven loops that has served homes for ages—one of the most durable types of carpeting.
You will pay between $2 and $13 per square foot for berber carpeting, for an average cost of $7.50 per square foot.
Other Cost Factors
Room Size and Shape
Unlike other flooring materials, carpeting comes in large sizes: rolls from 12 to 15 feet wide. The size and shape of the room determine the cost to install the carpet because some room shapes create more excess material than others. Carpet technicians reuse as much excess as possible but some of it goes to waste.
Carpet Type and Material
The cost of the carpet itself starts at just below $2 per square foot and ranges up to $7.25 per square foot. The average cost of carpeting is $4.60 per square foot. Wool carpeting is the most expensive carpet material, while polyester and olefin represent the least expensive carpeting materials.
Padding is required under most types of carpeting and can make a big difference with comfort, sound absorption, and durability. Padding also makes a difference with cost. Padding costs from $0.83 to $1.75 per square foot, with an average cost of $1.30 per square foot.
Cost of Labor
Carpeting companies typically include the installation as part of the overall carpet installation package. So, labor is a cost that most buyers do not need to consider.
But if you were to hire carpet technicians separately, the cost of labor would range from $0.60 to $2.25 per square foot, for an average labor cost of $1.45 per square foot.
Removing and disposing of existing carpeting costs from $1.45 to $2.35 per square foot, with an average cost of about $1.90 per square foot.
To install carpet, the floor needs to be flat, level, and free of obstructions. Floor repair starts at $1.50 per square foot and ranges up to $5.20 per square foot. The average cost to repair flooring prior to carpet installation is $3.35 per square foot.
Carpet installation companies will charge from $37.50 to $87.50 per item to move furniture from rooms.
When to Replace Carpet
Here are a few signs that indicate it might be time to replace a carpet.
Carpet Is 10 to 15 Years Old
Though carpeting is one of the least durable types of flooring for your home, it does have a predictable wear rate. In a home with average traffic, it's usually time to replace the carpeting after 10 to 15 years.
Carpet Has Mold and Mildew
Not only can be hard to track down the source of the carpet's mold and mildew, but eliminating mold and mildew from a carpet is difficult. Moisture and dirt are major factors that cause mold and mildew in and under carpeting. If the carpeting has pervasive, wide-spread mold, it's best to remove and replace the carpet.
Carpet Has Been Water-Damaged
In the event of flooding, you must get the water out of the carpeting as quickly as possible. A wet-dry vacuum, rental air mover fans, and dehumidifiers are just the start. If water has lingered too long on the carpeting, mold and decay have likely set in and the carpet should be replaced.
Carpet Has Uneven Wearing
Carpeting heavily worn in some areas but not in other areas usually means that the entire carpeting needs to be replaced. You can repair a carpet with patching in smaller, localized areas. But large worn-down runs, such as in hallways, mean that all of the carpet should be replaced.
DIY vs. Professional Carpet Installation
Do-it-yourself carpet installation is rare, with most homeowners choosing to take advantage of the free installation offers that come with the purchase of carpeting.
Carpeting technicians are experienced at figuring out how to minimize carpet waste, laying the pile in the correct directions, seaming between rolls, and most importantly, stretching the carpeting to avoid wrinkles.
Carpet installation requires special tools like a seam iron, a power stretcher, and a knee kicker—plus, experience at using them.
How to Save on Carpet Installation Costs
The cost of installing carpeting can push this project beyond the budget of some homeowners. But there are several techniques for saving on carpet installation costs, including:
Retailers pay processing fees of two to three percent for transactions. Pay by cash or check and ask if the carpet company will offer you a discount.
Move the furniture: Move all of the furniture from rooms that will receive carpeting and store it in a garage or tightly covered under a patio.
Clear the room: Along with the furniture, move everything like shelves that rest on the floor or which could be an impediment to the carpet installers.
Remove the carpet and padding: Remove the old carpeting and padding and dispose of them by yourself.
Remove old tack strips: If the room previously had carpeting, the tack strips around the room perimeter can possibly be reused if they are in good condition. If not, remove them yourself with a flat prybar and thick leather gloves.
Pick a lower-cost material: Carpeting materials vary widely. Choosing a carpet material like polyester instead of wool can substantially lower the cost of the carpet installation.
Choose a different carpet padding: Picking a lower-cost carpet padding can lower the cost of padding by as much as 50-percent.
Get three or more estimates: Always get three or more estimates for carpet installation. Inevitably, one of the estimates will be the lowest.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is the labor to install carpet?
Labor is often included as part of the cost of carpet installation. If you were to pay separately for labor, the cost would range from $0.60 to $2.25 per square foot.
How much does it cost to install 800 square feet of carpet?
Installation of 800 square feet of carpet costs between $5,000 and $5,100, on average.
Is it worth it to install carpet yourself?
It is usually not worth it to install carpet by yourself. Carpet installation is a specialized trade with a steep learning curve, requiring tools that most homeowners do not own. Professional carpet installation is the norm.
How do you calculate carpet installation cost?
The cost to install carpet is calculated by area, or size, in conjunction with factors such as the type of carpet, padding quality, and material.