How Much Does Carpet Installation Cost?

Normal range: $784 - $2,809

The average cost to install carpet is $1,776, depending on carpet type and square footage.

How we get this data
Lawrence Bonk
Written by Lawrence Bonk
Updated December 16, 2022
Carpeted reading nook with throw pillows
Photo: Pixel-Shot / Adobe Stock

If you prefer softness underfoot and warmth during the colder months, carpet is a good option for your home’s flooring. The national average to install 330 square feet of carpet—the size of an average living room—is $1,776. The total cost can range from $784 to $2,809, including the carpet and padding cost, the installation, and the removal and disposal of existing flooring.

There are many colors and types of carpet to choose from, adding different styles and personalities to your home. From inexpensive nylon to high-end wool, there’s carpeting for every budget and lifestyle. A new carpet can bring a fresh update to a room in just a few hours.

See the price range to install carpet in

your area
How we get this data
Normal range for U.S.
$784 - $2,809
  • Average
  • $1,776
  • Low end
  • $200
  • high end
  • $5,000

Carpet Cost Per Square Foot

Square footage is the biggest factor when sussing out your overall budget. It costs anywhere from $3 to $11 per square foot to install carpet throughout the home, with this price rising or falling according to the type of material and any unforeseen obstacles encountered during the placement process. 

Here are some standard room and home sizes along with associated costs to lay down the carpet.

Square FootageMaterials 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 Per Material 

If size is the primary cost factor here, materials come in at a close second. Carpeting ships in a wide variety of styles, each made from unique materials that impact the price. Some materials are more expensive to manufacture, thus increasing the price on your end, while others take longer to install. Here are the major carpeting material types and any associated costs. 


This synthetic option is popular due to its ultra-low cost, coming in at $1 to $3 per square foot. The low price here is not the only reason why homeowners flock to polyester. This type of carpet is non-allergenic, resistant to mold and mildew, and boasts some truly attractive color schemes. 

However, the quality varies wildly depending on the manufacturer and low-density polyester carpeting is susceptible to tracking and crushes. In other words, this is not the best choice for high-traffic parts of the home. 


Wool is a luxurious material with an equally luxurious price tag, at $4 to $20 per square foot. Wool, including sub-styles like Berber, is eco-friendly, durable, stain-resistant, and, of course, a pleasure to both look at and touch. 

Wool is natural, which makes it a great choice for the environmentally conscious, but also makes it susceptible to moisture-related concerns, such as mold and mildew. Additionally, wool develops fading and static issues with heavy use. In other words, avoid basements. All other parts of the home are up for grabs, however, including high-traffic areas. 


Nylon is a budget-friendly material, at $2 to $5 per square foot, that stands up to high amounts of foot traffic. Nylon carpeting is durable, easy to clean, and resists pilling with heavy use. This emphasis on durability allows homeowners to install nylon carpeting just about anywhere, from highly-trafficked areas to outdoor locations.

Nylon also does well with kids and pets, as it resists many stains, though lacks much of the luxurious look and feel of other materials like wool. 

Olefin AKA Polypropylene 

Polypropylene or olefin carpeting costs $1 to $3 per square foot, making it an extremely attractive choice for modern homeowners. This carpet is typically manufactured using recycled materials, though also includes common plastic as a lead ingredient. OIefin is durable, resistant to stains, and resistant to moisture. It also resists sun-fading, making this material an ideal choice for nearly any part of the home. 

However, this material is easily damaged by friction so exercise caution when dragging large items of furniture across olefin carpeting.


Acrylic carpeting has fallen out of favor in recent years but still has a place in many homes. Acrylic is relatively budget-friendly, at $3 to $8 per square foot, and is hypoallergenic, despite being a synthetic fiber. One another perk is acrylic carpeting is that carpet-eating moths absolutely hate it, which is huge to anyone who has experienced these pesky critters. 

Acrylic carpeting is, however, susceptible to pilling, with a shortened lifespan, and is not stain resistant. In other words, keep some heavy-duty cleaning agents nearby. 


Good old-fashioned cotton carpet costs $2 to $7 per square foot. This natural material is known for being extremely soft and comfortable, with low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) This makes it a great choice for those trying to limit potentially dangerous chemicals in the home. 

However, like garments made from cotton, this carpeting type is susceptible to staining and fading, particularly when placed in rooms with direct sunlight. 


Triexta is a fancy type of polyester carpet that costs $3 to $8 per square foot. Why the stark increase when compared to traditional polyester? Triexta carpeting is an eco-friendly and sustainable option for modern homeowners, as 30 to 40 percent of this material is made from simple corn glucose.

Triexta is also stain-resistant, crush-resistant, and mold and mildew-resistant, though requires yearly steam cleanings.

Cost of Carpet Installation by Type 

Beyond a wide array of materials, carpeting also comes in a robust number of differing types. These types offer aesthetic flourishes and specific use case scenarios. To that end, each type impacts the overall installation cost to some degree. 


Textured carpet undergoes a cutting and looping process that ensures each strand is cut to the same height and woven at the end, giving it a distinctive look. This type of carpet costs $1 to $12 per square foot, depending on what material is used during construction. This even construction helps this carpeting type resist indentations from heavy items of furniture and makes it easy to clean. 

Poorly constructed textured carpet leads to snagging, however, and untreated textured carpet does not resist fire or extreme heat. Some, though not all, textured carpeting is hypo-allergenic, so do some research before making a purchase. 


If you are looking for a truly unique carpet scheme that rivals the aesthetics of a good rug, look into patterned carpeting. This carpeting type costs $2 to $6 per square foot, depending on the underlying materials. The embossed patterns range from traditional aesthetics to out-there abstract designs.

Patterned carpeting also tends to combine materials and textures, with multiple fiber types and loop styles used in a single roll, sheet, or tile. 


Engineered berber carpet, otherwise known as loop style carpeting,  is typically made from wool or nylon and costs $3 to $20 per square foot, depending on the materials and any additional features woven into the design. Berber carpeting features fibers arranged in short, thick loops, giving it a signature “tight” look. 

This type of carpeting is extraordinarily durable, making it a fine choice for basements. It is easy to clean but hard to repair in the case of a tear or a snag. Additionally, berber is somewhat rough to the touch when compared to other types. 

Cost Breakdown of Carpet Installation

Now that you have a grasp on materials and types, let’s break down how the actual cost of installing carpeting throughout the home. 


Your biggest and most necessary expense is the carpet itself. Purchasing carpeting costs $2 to $12 per square foot, though certain premium materials drive this price up even further. If you are on a strict budget, look into simple polyester or olefin carpeting, as these types run on the lower end of this cost range. If price is no barrier, wool and acrylic bring increased durability, more style options, and further resistance to stains, mold, mildew, and sunlight. 

Carpet Padding

Carpet padding is a material that goes underneath the carpet. Some manufacturers include padding with the purchase cost of carpeting, though buying padding on its own costs $0.30 to $0.60 per square foot. Padding is made from a wide variety of materials, such as foam, fiber, nylon, and more. 

Don’t skimp here or skip this step, as carpet padding helps protect the flooring below the carpeting. Additionally, most carpet warranties are null and void without proper padding. 

Labor Costs to Install Carpet

Buying the carpet accounts for more than 90 percent of the total installation costs, as labor comes in at just $0.50 to $1 per square foot, though this price does not include This cost usually doesn't include removing the existing flooring or preparing the subfloor. Additionally, labor rates increase to around $2 to $3 per square foot as difficulty increases, such as when laying down carpet on stairs. 

Additional Factors Affecting Carpet Installation Costs

Carpeting, padding, and labor account for the lion’s share of your costs, but there are additional factors worth considering. 

Removing Old Carpeting

Carpet removal costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot, which includes labor, waste disposal, and cleanup. This is a necessary part of the process if you are replacing old carpeting with something new. Certain jobs also require the removal of flooring to meet the needs of the carpet coming in, at a cost of around $1 to $3 per square foot, depending on the flooring type. Some installers may wrap these costs into the package estimate, so inquire ahead of time. 

Subfloor Preparation and Repairs

The subfloor must be in top-notch condition before laying carpeting over it, often requiring preparation or, in some cases, repairs or replacement. Preparation involves a thorough inspection by your pro, along with a deep cleaning, adequate drying time, and some general maintenance. These maintenance steps include removing errant staples or nails, flattening the floor, and painting the baseboards, among other tasks. 

In the case of damaged or old subflooring, repairs cost an average of $600, depending on the issue and the size of the impacted area. Replacing the subflooring costs $3 to $10 per square foot. 

Custom Cut Carpets

Irregularly shaped rooms require custom cuts of carpeting, which require additional materials and time. The price varies depending on the shape and size of the room, but count on an extra $1 to $2 per square foot when dealing with custom cuts. However, these increased costs do not reflect the entire project, just the necessary areas. 

Stain Resistant Treatments

Some materials are naturally resistant to stains, while others need a helping hand. Purchasing stain-resistant treatment chemicals are budget-friendly, at around $80 per 1,000 square feet. However, this process adds to the overall labor cost, but most pros charge a flat fee for stain-resistant treatments no matter the size of the space. Talk to your carpet installer for specifics. 

How Much Does It Cost to Install Carpet Yourself?

Man installing carpet in his home
Photo: New Africa / Adobe Stock

Before you decide to take on DIY carpet installation, check to see if the manufacturer’s warranty will remain intact. Many companies won’t cover a DIY installation of carpeting. 

If you’ve never done a carpet installation before, keep in mind that you need specific skills and tools. For example, using a knee kicker is not simple; it’s not something used for anything but carpet installation. If you want to DIY your carpet installation, these are some situations that would be good for you if you’re new to this kind of job:

  • You’re familiar with the tools you need to install the carpet or have someone show you how to use them.

  • There’s only one room that needs carpet, and it’s a room that’s not used often, such as a guest room.

  • The install is relatively straightforward and doesn’t involve floor vents, stairs, cuts or corners, or other irregularities.

Something else to keep in mind: you’ll have to find a place to dispose of any existing carpet you remove, along with the remnants and leftover pieces you have from the installation.

Tools and materials to install carpet yourself include:

Tools and SuppliesCost
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

Frequently Asked Questions

Carpet lasts anywhere from five to 15 years, depending on material, type, and how much foot traffic it receives. Some more affordable materials begin matting and fraying after just three to five years. Generally speaking, plan to replace any carpeting that is more than 20 years old.

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