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Carpet Installation Cost - Carpet Installer Labor Prices

By Alan Fletcher - 30-Year Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate

 

I am retired now, but I have over 30 years experience in the carpet business and I have personally installed thousands of yards of carpet of every type, style and color. 

 

If you want to know how much it's going to cost to hire an "independent" carpet installer you have come to the right place. 

 

If you want to know about carpet installation costs for stairs or other extra installation fees, this is your best unbiased source.

 

Here is more Important Stuff Homeowners need to know about...

 

 

Hiring a Qualified Carpet Installer

 

Bad carpet installers are the easiest to find because they advertise in common places like Craigslist or the service ads in your local newspaper. As with any trade, some carpet installers are not worth hiring because they don't do a good job. 

 

The best installers are the hardest to find and seldom advertise. The best way to find them is through someone who knows them or who has hired them in the past. 

 

You might ask your friends, relatives or co-workers who they would recommend. Even if an installer comes highly recommended, it does not mean the installer is qualified to install your type of carpet for your type of application. 

 

Local retail carpet stores generally will not allow you to hire their installers unless you buy the carpet from them. Carpet retailers often have a difficult time finding and keeping good installers because the best installers are busy enough due to their good reputation alone, and donít need or even want to work for a retail carpet store. 

 

Hiring a Certified Carpet installer is a good way to go and there is a website that you can visit that have lists of Certified installers. Click here and enter your zip code to Locate a CFI Certified Flooring Installer near you.

 

You can also call the CFI main office for a recommendation at (816) 231-4646

There may be a Carpet Layer's Union in your city. They charge by the hour not by the size of the job or by the yard. Check your local listings. 

 

 

How To Find a Qualified Carpet Installer

 

 

Carpet Installation Cost

 

How much does it cost to have carpet installed? What can you expect to pay for extra services? Here is what you need to know... There are a lot of variables that homeowners need to consider before the question of carpet installation cost can be accurately answered. There are many different fees and charges you may encounter all depending on your home and the type of carpet you select. 

 

 

Installing Carpet On Stairs

 

For example, if you have a flight of stairs that need to be carpeted you can expect a minimum charge of $75 to $250 for the flight of stairs. That is in addition the the price per square yard to install the carpet.  Some installers charge by the stair and if you have spindles from a handrail the cost can be as much as $15 to $25 per stair. A basic set of "box" stairs might cost you an additional $3 to $10 per step. Wrapped stairs require installing carpet over the side of the stairs on one or both sides, increasing the installation cost per stair. Looped Berber carpets are always more costly to install due to the added difficulty in cutting and seaming, so if you have an elaborate staircase requiring major upholstery work AND you are installing a looped Berber carpet - the cost can be much much higher. 

 

 

Out with the old carpet and padding...

 

Tear out and haul away of your old carpet and padding is another charge you may encounter. Some installers charge as much as $3 per yard to take up your old carpet and padding. There may also be a dump fee that you must pay in addition to that. 

 

Some homeowners try to save money by removing their old carpet and padding themselves prior to the carpet installers arriving to install the new carpet. Unless you are physically fit and have some basic hand tools you might want to reconsider. It's hard work and you can easily hurt yourself if you are not very careful. 

 

If you decide to do this yourself it's important that the jobsite be clean, all furniture moved out, swept out and ready to go before the installers arrive arrive.

 

 

Carpet Installation - Extra Fees and Charges

 

Other carpet installation prices, charges and fees that can add up in a hurry is for floor preparation. If you have squeaky floors and want the installers to screw down the subfloor there will be added costs for doing this. If the old tack-less strips are worn out, rusty or damaged they will need to be replaced. It is usually more costly to replace tackless on a concrete slab than on wood sub-flooring like plywood or particle board.

 

If you need new metal transitions there may be added costs depending on what type of transitions you require and the amount of lineal feet you need. Learn more about Carpet Installation Cost

 

 

Carpet measured by the square foot (SF) or by the square yard (SY)?

 

Carpet can be measured two ways. By the square foot or by the square yard. Some say it is easier to figure the cost if you use the square foot method. For decades it was always figured by the square yard - but nowadays it can go either way, but usually by the square foot. 

 

There are 9 square feet in 1 square yard, so 900 square feet is the same as 100 square yards. If you multiply the square yards by 9, you get the square feet. 

 

If you divide the square feet by 9 you get the square yards. Most two bedroom homes require about 90 yards. That's equal to about 1000 square feet. 

 

The Cost to Install Carpet depends on the grade of carpet you buy, the area you live in, the experience level of the installer and the size of your job. Most installers have a minimum fee of at least $100 for very small jobs, so if you just have a small room to do, you can't calculate the installation cost using the amount of square feet you have. You will just be charged the installers minimum fee. 

 

On the other hand, if you have a huge job you might be able to negotiate a better deal if you are willing to pay in cash and do some of the prep work yourself. Installers often like doing bigger jobs because they can make more money faster doing one big job than by doing a bunch of small jobs. This assumes that you are hiring an independent installer and pay him directly and not using the carpet installers typically provided by the carpet dealer where you have purchased your new carpet. Personally I prefer using the dealer provided installers. It can reduce the potential problems you might encounter by hiring an independent flooring installer. Learn more All State Verify Contractor License Requirements

 

 

How Much Should You Pay for Carpet Installation?

 

In the southern states like Florida, Alabama, Texas and Mississippi the price carpet installers charge is considerable less than in the northern states. 

 

Prices per square yard range from $2.50 to $6.50 nationwide with higher prices in the northeastern states and along the west coast. 

 

There is no way to give you the going rate in your area so you have to call around and ask a few installers what they charge. They are going to want answers to specific questions so be prepared to answer these:

 

  • How many yards of carpet?

  • What type or style of carpet?

  • Do you have stairs?

  • Is there furniture moving?

  • Is there tear out of the old?

  • Have you ordered the carpet?

  • Is the carpet in stock?

  • Who did you buy it from?

  • Where is the carpet located? 

  • What is the order number?

  • Where is the padding located?

 

 

Scheduling - You want it installed WHEN?

 

Most carpet installers will not schedule your exact install date until AFTER your new roll of carpet has arrived from the mill. 

 

Arrival dates are never to be trusted and it is common for a roll of carpet to arrive weeks later than originally expected. Delays or problems in manufacturing or bad weather can easily delay the arrival of your new carpet.

 

 

Continued Next

 

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How to Measure for Carpet     Room Yardage Chart    Carpet Seaming Diagram

 

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