How Much Does Carpet Installation Cost? (2023)

By Amanda Lutz

Sep 11, 2023
Freshly laid neutral gray carpet in home

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Installing new carpet can be a significant investment for homeowners, with prices ranging from $3–$11 per square foot.* Before you take your first steps in finding the new flooring of your dreams, make sure you understand what goes into carpet installation costs.

Below, we’ll explore what affects carpet pricing, the differences between do-it-yourself (DIY) and professional installation, and how to choose the right carpet and padding for your home.

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*Cost data in this article was sourced from Angi and HomeAdvisor.



Carpet Installation Major Cost Factors

Carpet type, room size, and labor costs are critical points to consider when planning for new carpet installation. You will also need to factor in the cost of carpet padding and any additional services required, such as removing the old flooring.

Carpet Material

Homeowners can choose from a range of different carpet materials to suit their needs or budget. High-end wool and sisal carpet tend to be the most expensive, with prices as high as $15–$20 per square foot. Synthetic materials such as polyester and olefin, meanwhile, often cost $5 or less per square foot.

The material you choose will impact the cost, longevity, appearance, ease of maintenance, and stain resistance of your new carpet.

Cost by Carpet Material

Material Cost Per Square Foot

















Carpet Style

Two carpets made from the same material but with a different pile or texture can have vastly different price points. Here’s a breakdown of cost by carpet style.

Cost by Carpet Style

Style Cost Per Square Foot

















Size and Shape of Room

The larger the room, the more material you’ll need to carpet it, and the more your project’s total cost will be. Rooms with irregular shapes will also cost more because they involve more cutting and seaming, which increases labor costs and waste.

Cost by Room Size

Room Size Square Footage Cost (Installed)

8′ x 10′



10′ x 12′



12′ x 14′



14′ x 18′



14′ x 20′



16′ x 20′



18′ x 30′



22′ x 28′



Labor Costs

Labor costs for a new carpet installation tend to be lower than labor associated with other flooring options, with an average cost of $0.50 to $1 per square foot. This includes the cost of laying down the new carpet, padding, tack strips, and transitions. More complex jobs, such as those involving stairs or custom cuts, may cost $2 to $3 per square foot.

If you are replacing existing carpet or another type of flooring, expect to pay about $1 to $3 per square foot for removal and disposal of the old flooring. You may need to pay an additional $3 to $10 per square foot if you need to address water damage, too.

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How to Choose the Right Carpet for Your Home

Selecting the right carpet will dictate the style and function of your space as well as the cost of your flooring project. Here’s what to consider as you shop:

Here’s how a few common carpet materials compare:

Material Price Range Durability Stain Resistance Suitable For Other Attributes





Areas prone to water damage

Resists moisture, mold, and fading; easily damaged by friction





Low-traffic areas

Hypoallergenic and hydrophobic; less durable than nylon





High-traffic and outdoor areas

Resists fading, pilling, crushing, and mildew





Areas with low or moderate traffic

Hypoallergenic; susceptible to pilling





Moderate and high-traffic areas

Eco-friendly; resistant to crushing, moisture, and stains





Dry areas with moderate traffic

Flame-resistent and resilient; prone to water damage

Carefully consider the carpet’s location in your home before making your choice. Stain resistance may be the top priority for people with pets or children, while others may prioritize a low-pile hypoallergenic option. High-traffic areas may require carpet with a high face weight and durable synthetic fibers, while moisture-resistant nylon is perhaps the best choice for basements and sunrooms.



How to Measure the Size of Your Room for Carpet Installation

If you pay for professional installation, the retailer or contractor will typically measure the room for you as part of an in-home consultation. This ensures accurate measurements and saves you some hassle.

If you plan to handle the carpet replacement yourself, you will need to measure the room with a measuring tape or laser measure. Here’s what to do:

Here are a few sample measurements and calculations:

Description Dimensions Formula Area (Square Feet) Adjusted Area (20% waste)

Living room

16′ x 20′

16 x 20




3′ 6″ x 8′ 3″

3.5 x 8.25




10′ 2″ x 12′ 4″

10.17 x 12.33




9″ x 9″ x 4′ (13 steps)

(0.75 + 0.75 + 0.17) x 13 x 4







How to Choose the Right Padding for Your Carpet

The right padding for your chosen carpet provides an extra layer of cushioning and insulation to keep your family comfortable. It can also help reduce noise, extend the life of your carpet, and protect the subfloor.

Carpet padding is occasionally included in the price of a carpet, but if it isn’t, consider that it costs $0.25 to $3 per square foot on its own or $0.75 to $3.75 installed. Here’s how the most popular types of carpet padding stack up:

Padding Type Cost Per Square Foot Cost Installed Pros Cons

Rebonded foam




Less durable; not suitable for all types of carpet

Prime foam



Typically included; feel soft at first

Short lifespan; compresses quickly




Dense and durable; great insulator

Less cushion; susceptible to mold

Memory foam



Super soft

Less durable; may cause carpet to stretch

Waffle rubber



Comfortable; mold-resistant

Less dense and durable than rebonded rubber

Frothed foam



Most durable foam option

Pricier than other options

Flat rubber



Very dense and durable

Most expensive option



Professional vs. DIY Carpet Installation

You have two options when it comes to carpet installation: hiring a professional carpet installer or tackling the job yourself. The decision comes down to your budget, time constraints, and comfort with DIY projects.


Most places that sell carpet also offer installation services. Springing for professional installation will increase the overall cost of your new flooring, but the following benefits may be worth it:


DIY carpet installation is feasible if you have the skills and patience for it. You will need to measure carefully, determine the best carpet and padding for your space, and ensure the subfloor is properly prepared.

With a DIY installation, your costs will be limited to the carpet, padding, tools, and other supplies. Assuming labor costs $1 per square foot for installation, $1 for carpet removal, and $0.50 for padding installation, you could save $800 on a 16-by-20-foot room.

Consider whether you have the necessary skills, how long the project will take, and how you will handle any unexpected issues that arise during installation before you proceed on your own.



How to Reduce Carpet Installation Costs

The primary way to reduce carpet installation costs is to choose a less expensive style or material. Here are some other suggestions:

Remember that high-quality carpet and padding may cost more to install but will likely last longer than less expensive alternatives.



How to Hire a Professional

Look for reputable flooring companies in your area through online searches, referrals, or local directories. Ensure that any installer you hire is properly licensed and insured to protect yourself from liability.

Visit a few showrooms to determine the type of carpet you want, and request quotes or in-home consultations from multiple providers. Ask for a breakdown of the price of the carpet and padding, labor rates, and any additional costs. Compare pricing and the projected timeline, professionalism, and payment options.

Once you’ve selected an installer, read the contract carefully. Ensure that all terms, costs, and details are clear and accurate.



Our Recommendation

There’s no substitute for seeing and feeling different carpet samples and asking questions in person, so we recommend visiting a few showrooms before making your decision. Companies such as Floor Coverings International carry a wide variety of colors, materials, and brands.

If you’re considering DIY installation, look for video tutorials and step-by-step guides from trusted brands. National home improvement chains such as Lowe’s and Home Depot often post detailed how-to guides on their websites.

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Carpet Installation FAQ

How often should you replace your carpet?

You should replace carpet every 5 to 15 years. The life span of a carpet can vary dramatically depending on the wear and tear it experiences and the quality of the materials.

Do carpets off-gas VOCs?

Many new carpets do off-gas VOCs, according to the EPA. You can reduce these emissions with proper ventilation or by purchasing certified low-VOC products.

Should I clean my new carpet?

Yes, you should clean your new carpet. This will help remove residual dust, dirt, and fibers from the manufacturing process. Professional cleaning may even help reduce VOC off-gassing.