Carpet Installation Cost Guide: What You Need to Know

Don't be caught off-guard when the bill comes for carpet installation! Find out what your being charged for and where you can cut costs.


Carpet Installation or Carpet Replacement can be a tricky thing to price out, as the factors that go into it are various and numerous. From padding, the carpet type, to size, and more, it’s hard to know where to begin.


To simplify the buying process try thinking of what you need this carpet to do. Ask, are you using it replace an old carpet because you’re selling your home? Do you want to update the look of the interior? What if you just found your dream home and you want the best carpet to last the rest of your life? These are some ideas to help categorize your needs and help reduce your cost on the carpet installation.


For replacement or installation, there are other factors to account for when pricing or budgeting out for the total cost. Though the prices may vary, some typical expenses are:

Carpet Removal


Subfloor Installation


Subfloor Repair or Replacement


Carpet Type


Padding Types


Furniture Moving


Labor Costs




With most items on this list having their subcategory of prices. Which adds up to be a surprise when the final total cost comes. When installers make estimates, it gives a slight grasp of what to expect for each room, depending on the dimensions. But other factors come into play unexpectedly, like a miscalculation in size or hidden damages. Those changes, however small, can have a drastic change on the price.


So, to help ease that stress and reduce surprise, here is a breakdown of each category and what they include. With this knowledge, make the best decisions for any budget and get the most bang for your buck.

Carpet Removal


The most straight forward cost to the installation is the removal of your old carpet from the room. Usually, this includes the removal and disposal of the carpet by the company or installer and charge by square feet, square yard, or by the hour. If unsure if this included, ask while getting an estimate if not stated by the installer or estimator themselves.

Subfloor Installation


The first variable in the price adjustment is the need for a subfloor installation. This variation applies to houses or buildings under construction. A subfloor offers the structural support to provide a stable and level surface to add new flooring.


To have one installed is a significant construction undertaking that may require another contractor. The subfloor would be a costly endeavor starting at a low of $490 to a high of $720 added to your bill.

Subfloor Repair/ Replacement


A subfloor repair could play a major factor in the cost of your carpet installation. A damaged subfloor in areas the only option is to replace it by cutting out the section and installing new lumber. Potentially covered in labor costs if the job is not too big.


A ruined floor is apparent by water damages, termites, mold, or worn down by old age, which means that the whole floor needs replacing. Otherwise, your installation will stop there until repaired.


Now, these are very niche situation that happens at the worst of times and can feel like everything is falling apart. To avoid a fiasco, take a moment to inspect your home or call an inspector instead. Doing a quick check saves you time and money in the end.

Carpet Type


The main reason for this renovation is because the previous floor wasn’t to your liking and you wanted a change. Carpet screams comfort and invites anyone to lay down and rest on the comfy floor. Picking out the right one is an important choice and can subtract or add to the cost.


The type of carpet you choose is dependent on how you plan to use the room. Various kinds exist where they are cheap and meant for replacement often. Others are intended to last of a lifetime and offer unique features for its longevity. So, depending on what your result, you may choose from a different variety of materials, styles, and features.

            Material: Material of carpet gives different textures, properties, and life-span to each one.


Acrylic- For high traffic areas, this material is resistant mold, stains, and moths. Acrylic is the least likely to fade if left in the sun, retaining color longer. Along with being stain resistant, it also produces little to no static electricity.


Polyester- This synthetic material can maintain gorgeous colors resisting fading, mold, mildew, and considered non-allergenic. Product quality does widely vary.


Olefin- Similar to wool in feel, olefin carpet is a lasting material and resists moisture with ease. The textile even surpasses polyester in resistance to sun-fading, stains, mold, and mildew.


Nylon-Replacing Acrylic over the years this durable material easy to clean. Ideal for dogs, cats, and families with kids.


Wool- Along with a sturdy finish that resists dirt and stains, this choice also happens to be the most eco-friendly. Outperforming others on the market this material lasts decades. Though not perfect, as the nature of wool is absorbent and leads to mold and mildew issues if left unchecked.


Cotton- For homes without children or pets, this material is one of the softest out there while being static and heat resistant. A notable drawback of this material is that it is prone to fading and staining.

Triexta- Another choice for families with children or pets, this synthetic option is made of tough fibers to handle the heavy foot traffic.


The tiny details are left up to what you need and what you can afford for carpet cost. While limiting your selection option drastically, this makes the decision less of a hassle.

            Styles: The style is the appearance of the carpet and can create identities for rooms, or be mixed to get interesting effects.




Berber/ Loop

Shag/ Frieze


Carpet Tiles

            Features: Some carpet will also have certain features that allow for easy installation or longer life-span of the material.


Fade and Stain Resistant, Hypoallergenic- Strong resistance to fading, stains, and unlikely to cause an allergic reaction


Solution-dyed fibers- Carpet Fibers dyed to be the desired color.


Water Repellant- Resists absorbing liquids.


Padding Attached- For easier installation some carpeting has the padding attached to skip rolling out and securing padding to the floor.


Antimicrobial- Prevents small organisms from growing in your rug.

Padding Types


As there are different types of carpet available, there are also different types of padding as well. Appropriate padding works well with other carpet material as they fit in their parameters. Now, choosing one shouldn’t be taken lightly. From their prices, structures, and durability, they dictate what carpet will be compatible with the room.


Padding can also increase the price ranging from $0.25 to $1.33. The paddings density and firmness will impact the carpet's durability directly.

Furniture Moving


Leaving furniture in a room usually happens to a carpet installer. The owner forgot or didn’t have the time; it’s normal. Most professionals offer a furniture moving rate or option, to relocate the furniture until completed. Afterward, they place everything back in the room.


For a nominal fee, a convenient option for anyone with a hectic schedule, unable to get to the task. Usually charging by the hour or sq.-ft, you could add a couple of hundred dollars to your total bill.

Labor Costs


The big one that always seems to sneak up on people, but a necessary cost. The average labor cost to install a carpet runs between $0.50 to $1 per square foot. This cost still excludes furniture moving and any major repairs or replacements needed for the subfloor.


What labor costs do include are removing and disposing of the old flooring, fixing any flooring issues that aren’t extreme, installing padding and carpet, plus clean-up.


Though it doesn’t sound like a lot, it can quickly add hundreds to thousands of dollars, sometimes close doubling the cost. So, always be wary when and best to over save for this kind of project.



Some other factor to consider that can add up on your bill are small things like door removal, radiant heating, and alternative living arrangements, to name a few.


Door removal fees are something you would encounter if you were installing a new carpet throughout multiple rooms in the home. This service would happen out of necessity for the installer as to not damage the door and create inaccurate cuts.


Radiant heating would be an option to add underneath the carpet to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. Before considering this option, make sure that the carpet or padding you decide on is compatible with this feature.


Alternative Living Arrangements are only needed if the job is going to take a day or longer to get done. Most carpet installers take only up to an hour or two to get the job done. But if substantial repairs are involved or renovating a whole house, prepare for a night at a hotel. Though if you can stay with friends or family that would be a great way to save money.


Carpet installation is by no means a cheap job, even for a small room, it could easily cost $500. Then adding in all those meager fees and little changes, it could cost a pretty penny to get it done.


Weigh in the factors of why you’re getting them done. Is it for selling the home? Then you might want to go for the quickest and affordable option. Are you looking to live in a house forever? Then make sure you get all the bells and whistles you want to make the home perfect.


In the end, the choice is yours and where you feel comfortable cutting costs. Doing this yourself is an option, but you have to weary of all safety hazards like tack strips, nails sticking up, and the contaminants in the air when you start tearing things up. So instead of DIY hire P R O.


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