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How Much Does It Cost to Install Carpet for Your Space? (2023 Data)

How Much Does It Cost to Install Carpet for Your Space? (2023 Data)

cost to install carpet

The normal range of cost to install carpet is $782 to $2,809.

The cost of carpet installation stands at $1,776, varying based on carpet type and the total square footage involved.

cost to install carpetIf you desire a comfortable and warm flooring option, carpeting is a suitable choice for your home. The national average cost to install carpet covering an area of 330 square feet, which is roughly the size of an average living room, is $1,776. The total expense can vary, falling within a range of $782 to $2,809. This cost encompasses the price of the carpet and padding, installation charges, as well as the removal and disposal of existing flooring.

There exists a diverse selection of carpet colors and types, allowing you to infuse various styles and personalities into your living space. Ranging from affordable nylon to luxurious wool, there’s a carpeting option to suit every budget and lifestyle. The addition of new carpet can quickly rejuvenate a room, offering a fresh update in just a matter of hours.

Carpet Installation Cost per Square Foot

The most significant factor affecting your overall budget is the square footage. Installing carpet throughout your home can range from $3 to $11 per square foot, with variations depending on the material type and any unexpected challenges that may arise during installation.

Here are some common room and home sizes, along with the corresponding carpet installation costs.

Square Footage Materials and Installation
500 $1,500 – $5,500
800 $2,400 – $8,800
1,000 $3,000 – $11,000
1,500 $4,500 – $16,500
2,000 $6,000 – $22,000

Average Cost of Carpet by Material

While size is a significant cost factor, the choice of materials plays a close second. Carpeting comes in various styles, each crafted from distinct materials that influence pricing. Some materials involve higher manufacturing costs, which are reflected in the price, while others may require longer installation times. Here are the primary carpet material types and their associated costs:


This synthetic option is favored for its affordability, typically ranging from $1 to $3 per square foot. Homeowners are drawn to polyester not only for its cost-effectiveness but also for its non-allergenic properties, resistance to mold and mildew, and appealing color options. However, the quality can vary widely among manufacturers, and low-density polyester carpeting is prone to tracking and crushing, making it less suitable for high-traffic areas.


Wool is a luxurious natural material with a corresponding higher price tag, typically falling between $4 and $20 per square foot. Wool, including sub-styles like Berber, is known for its eco-friendliness, durability, stain resistance, and attractive appearance and texture. While wool is a natural choice for environmentally conscious individuals, it can be susceptible to moisture-related issues such as mold and mildew. It may also develop fading and static problems with heavy use, making it less suitable for basements but still viable for high-traffic areas.


Nylon, a budget-friendly material ranging from $2 to $5 per square foot, boasts durability and resistance to heavy foot traffic. Nylon carpeting is easy to clean, resists pilling with frequent use, and can be installed in various locations, including high-traffic areas and even outdoor spaces. While lacking the luxurious look and feel of other materials like wool, nylon excels in terms of durability and stain resistance, making it suitable for homes with kids and pets.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is a cost-effective carpeting option, typically priced between $1 and $3 per square foot. This material is often manufactured using recycled materials, including common plastics. Olefin carpets are durable, stain-resistant, and moisture-resistant. They also resist sun-fading, making them ideal for various parts of the home. However, olefin is susceptible to damage from friction, so caution should be exercised when moving large furniture items across it.


Acrylic carpeting, though less common in recent years, remains a viable choice for many homes. It typically costs between $3 and $8 per square foot and is known for being hypoallergenic despite being a synthetic fiber. Another advantage is that carpet-eating moths dislike acrylic carpeting. However, acrylic carpets are prone to pilling, have a shorter lifespan, and lack stain resistance, necessitating the use of robust cleaning agents.


Traditional cotton carpet, priced at $2 to $7 per square foot, offers extreme softness and comfort. It has low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making it a suitable choice for those concerned about potentially harmful chemicals in the home. However, like cotton garments, this type of carpet is vulnerable to staining and fading, particularly in rooms with direct sunlight exposure.


Triexta is a specialized type of polyester carpet that costs between $3 and $8 per square foot. The higher cost compared to traditional polyester is attributed to Triexta’s eco-friendliness, with 30 to 40 percent of the material derived from corn glucose. Triexta carpeting is stain-resistant, crush-resistant, and resistant to mold and mildew. However, it requires annual steam cleanings to maintain its condition.

Cost of Carpet Installation by Type

Beyond material variations, carpeting is available in various types, each contributing to the overall installation cost to varying degrees. Here are some carpet types, along with their potential impact on installation expenses:


Textured carpet undergoes a cutting and looping process to ensure uniform strand height and end weaving, giving it a distinct appearance. The cost of textured carpeting typically ranges from $1 to $12 per square foot, depending on the construction materials used. This even construction helps textured carpet resist indentations from heavy furniture and facilitates easy cleaning. However, poorly constructed textured carpet can be prone to snagging, and untreated textured carpet may not provide fire resistance. Additionally, some types of textured carpeting are hypoallergenic, but not all, so research is advisable before purchase.


For those seeking a unique carpet scheme reminiscent of a fine rug, patterned carpeting offers an appealing option. The cost of patterned carpeting typically falls between $2 and $6 per square foot, depending on the underlying materials. Patterned carpets feature embossed patterns ranging from traditional aesthetics to bold abstract designs. They often incorporate multiple fiber types and loop styles within a single roll, sheet, or tile.


Engineered berber carpet, also known as loop-style carpeting, is usually crafted from wool or nylon and costs between $3 and $20 per square foot, depending on the materials and additional design features. Berber carpeting consists of short, thick loops, creating a distinct “tight” appearance. This type of carpeting is exceptionally durable, making it a suitable choice for basements. It is easy to clean but challenging to repair in the event of tears or snags. Additionally, berber carpeting may feel somewhat rough compared to other types.

Cost Breakdown of Carpet Installation

Now that you have a grasp of the materials and types, let’s dissect the actual expenses involved in installing carpet throughout your home.


Your most significant and essential expenditure is the carpet itself, typically ranging from $2 to $12 per square foot. However, premium materials can push this price even higher. If you’re working with a tight budget, consider simple options like polyester or olefin, which fall on the lower end of this cost spectrum. If cost is not a concern, wool and acrylic offer increased durability, a wider range of style options, and enhanced resistance to stains, mold, mildew, and sunlight.

Carpet Padding

Carpet padding is a material placed beneath the carpet. While some manufacturers include padding with the carpet purchase, standalone padding costs $0.30 to $0.60 per square foot. Padding is crafted from various materials, including foam, fiber, nylon, and more. It is essential not to skimp on padding, as it safeguards the flooring beneath the carpet and is often a prerequisite for carpet warranties.

Labor Costs for Carpet Installation

The purchase of carpeting accounts for over 90 percent of the total installation cost, with labor expenses amounting to just $0.50 to $1 per square foot. However, this price typically excludes the removal of existing flooring or subfloor preparation. For more complex installations, such as carpeting on stairs, labor rates can rise to approximately $2 to $3 per square foot.

Additional Factors Impacting Carpet Installation Costs

While carpeting, padding, and labor constitute the majority of your expenses, several other factors deserve consideration.

Removing Old Carpeting

The process of removing old carpeting costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot, encompassing labor, waste disposal, and cleanup. This step is essential when replacing old carpeting. Certain projects may require floor removal to accommodate the new carpet, with costs ranging from $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the type of flooring. Some installers may include these costs in their overall estimate.

Subfloor Preparation and Repairs

Before installing carpeting, the subfloor must be in optimal condition, which may necessitate preparation or, in some cases, repairs or replacement. Preparation involves a thorough inspection, deep cleaning, adequate drying, and general maintenance tasks like staple or nail removal, floor leveling, and baseboard painting. Repairing damaged or aged subflooring costs an average of $600, depending on the extent and size of the affected area. Subfloor replacement ranges from $3 to $10 per square foot.

Custom Cut Carpets

Irregularly shaped rooms may require custom-cut carpeting, involving additional materials and time. The cost varies based on room size and shape, but expect an extra $1 to $2 per square foot for custom cuts. These additional costs apply only to the necessary areas, not the entire project.

Stain Resistant Treatments

While some materials naturally resist stains, others benefit from stain-resistant treatments. Purchasing stain-resistant treatment chemicals is cost-effective, at approximately $80 for 1,000 square feet. However, this process increases overall labor costs. Most professionals charge a flat fee for stain-resistant treatments, regardless of the space’s size. Consult your carpet installer for specific details.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Carpet Yourself?

carpet installation costBefore opting for a DIY carpet installation, check if it will void the manufacturer’s warranty, as many companies do not cover self-installed carpets.

If you lack experience in carpet installation, bear in mind that it requires specific skills and tools. For instance, using a knee kicker is not straightforward and is exclusively designed for carpet installation. If you intend to tackle the installation yourself, these scenarios are more suitable, especially for beginners:

  1. You are familiar with the necessary tools or can receive guidance on their use.
  2. The installation is limited to a single room, preferably one with low traffic, such as a guest room.
  3. The installation is relatively straightforward, without floor vents, stairs, complex cuts, corners, or irregularities.

Additionally, consider disposal arrangements for old carpet, remnants, and leftover pieces resulting from the installation process.

Tools and Supplies Cost
Tack strip cutter $4 – $29
Hand stapler $30 – $50
Wall trimmer $30 – $130
Top cutter $25 – $55
Hammer $7 – $37
Measuring tape $4 – $29
Knee kicker $32 – $165
Carpet knife $12 – $16
Stair tool $20
Razor knife $2 – $8
Power stretcher $170 – $480
Gloves $8 – $13
Carpet $1 – $20 per sq. ft.
Tack strip $27 per piece
Tape $5 – $10