How much should I expect to pay for carpet installation?

Looking to change out that worn-out carpeting in your home? Check out our handy cost guide with all the pricing information you'll need for new carpet.
Whether installed in a brand new home or in an older home with scratched-up wooden floors, new carpet adds aesthetic flavor to any room. Other benefits (besides the variety of colors and styles available) are the ability for carpet to retain heat in the cooler months and stay cooler in warmer months as well as absorbing sound within a room, acting as a sound barrier between different levels of the home.

Carpet is usually very easy to maintain and clean. The four most commonly-used fibers in carpets sold are nylon, olefin, polyester, and wool. Some carpets will actually be a blend of two or more of these carpet fibers. Each type of carpet fiber has its pros and cons, which will affect your overall cost. Be sure to ask your installer which carpet type is right for you.

Typical Costs for Nylon Carpet Installation Services

  • Low-End Estimate: $15 per square yard

  • High-End Estimate: $50 per square yard

  • These estimates include both the cost of carpet and installation.

  • Nylon is used in approximately 65% of the carpet sold in the U.S.

  • Nylon is a very durable fiber with excellent performance characteristics. Its strengths include:

    Good resiliency

    Good stain resistance with stain treatment applied

    Good soil hiding ability

    Good abrasion resistance

    Strong fibers to handle high-traffic areas of homes

    Soil and mildew resistant

Typical Costs for Olefin Carpet Installation Services

  • Low-End Estimate: $15 per square yard

  • High-End Estimate: $50 per square yard

  • These estimates include both the cost of carpet and installation.

  • Olefin makes up about 30% of the fiber used in U.S. carpet manufacturing today. Its strengths include:

    Durability

    Superior stain resistance (except for oil-based stains)

    Low cost

    Superior resistance to bleaches and sunlight fading

    Easy to clean

    High resistance to moisture and mildew

    Low static carpet

    Will not shed like other carpets

Typical Costs for Polyester Carpet Installation Services

  • Low-End Estimate: $15 per square yard

  • High-End Estimate: $50 per square yard

  • These estimates include both the cost of carpet and installation.

  • Polyester strengths include:

    Wide selection of textures and colors

    Extremely fade resistant

    Provides excellent resistance to stains (except oil-based stains)

    Semi-durable

    Non-allergenic

    Easy to clean

    Sheds moisture

Typical Costs for Wool Carpet Installation Services

  • Low-End Estimate: $50 per square yard

  • High-End Estimate: $90 per square yard

  • These estimates include both the cost of carpet and installation.

  • Wool makes up about 1% of the fiber used in U.S. carpet manufacturing today (as its price is usually too high for most consumers). Its strengths include:

    Excellent resilience and durability

    Cleans extremely well

    Provides beautiful colors

    Naturally stain resistant

Additional Costs Related to Carpet Installation Services

  • Installing New Padding

    Low-End Estimate: $2 per square yard

    High-End Estimate: $9 per square yard

    Consider upgrading the padding that may come with the carpet, as many carpet companies offer very thin base padding.

  • Installing Wooden Tack Strips

    Low-End Estimate: $0.25 per yard

    High-End Estimate: $1 per yard

    Installing tack strips over concrete (instead of over wood floors) often costs more.

  • Carpeting Stairs

    Low-End Estimate: $4 per step

    High-End Estimate: $8 per step

    The more stairs you have in your home, the longer it will take to complete this separate carpeting service. Ask your installer what they charge for a specific number of stairs. Usually there are minimum fees.

  • Installing Transitions

    Low-End Estimate: $1 per square foot

    High-End Estimate: $5 per square foot

    The carpet will meet other flooring types and must have a transition of some type installed.

    Transitions can be made of wood, metal, rubber or plastic.

  • Trimming the Bottom of Doors

    Roughly $10 per door

    New carpet is often thicker than your older carpet, and the doors may drag on the new carpet. Your doors may need to be trimmed at the bottom to ensure they open and close properly.

  • Binding

    Estimated at $1 to $4 per linear foot, with serge at $4 to $7 per linear foot.

  • Installing a New Subfloor

    Roughly $3 per square foot, but could vary with the complexity of the job

What to Expect from Carpet Installation Services

Professional Carpet Installers will:

  • Remove the old carpet and padding. Some carpet installers recycle the old materials, so you might want to ask.

  • Assess the condition of the subfloor and replace (if applicable).

  • Install the wooden tack strips.

  • Install the carpet padding.

  • Measure, cut, and lay the carpet.

  • Affix the carpet into corners.

  • Use a power stretcher to attach the carpet.

  • Trim excess carpet and tidy the edges.

  • Secure the carpet in place under transitions and thresholds.
As for which carpet to choose, Bob Rowley of Restor-It Flooring in Marietta, Ga., suggests homeowners do a little research on the fiber types, the wear you can expect with each type of carpet, and the warranties that come with the carpet.

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