Shopping for carpet and installation can be confusing. Comparison shopping can quickly become a nightmare with each company advertising its prices in different ways to attract business. In the end, the only way to make an informed decision is to know exactly what products and services you need, understand how they are priced and then calculate the total cost for laying carpet with an exact room measurement.
Measure and calculate the amount of padding needed for a job by multiplying the width of the room in linear feet times the length of the room in linear feet at the widest points for total square feet required. Then divide the total square feet by nine to get the total square yards required for the job with the least amount of seams. Seams are not as important in padding as they are in carpet, but you want the padding to lay smoothly.
Floor Preparation and Repair
Floor preparation before installation includes removing carpet, tack strip and any residual glue to reveal a clean, bare surface and should cost approximately $2 per yard. Since installers incur fees for carpet disposal, expect to be charged an additional $2 per yard. However, if the floor requires structural repair or modification -- including the removal of old tile or other hard-surface flooring, a separate and detailed quote will be necessary for the specific tasks required.
All types of carpet should be installed over padding, except commercial glue-down carpet. Padding helps absorb the impact to the carpet surface and, therefore, increases the life of the carpet. Padding is available in different qualities and thicknesses. Most retailers suggest using at least a midgrade pad to extend carpet life. Low-end padding is thin and can cost as little as $2 per yard. Midgrade pad runs about $4 per yard. High-grade padding costs $6 per yard.
The price for installing carpet varies by location. Southern parts of the United States are very competitive for carpet installation with most charging $10 per yard. Northern states are considerably more expensive at an average of $15 per yard. However, extra costs are usually incurred for laying padding on stairs. Since prices can fluctuate, it’s important to check references for each installer to make sure that you get a quality job for any price paid.
Although most carpet is sold by the square yard, some retailers advertise by square foot to make it appear less expensive. If goods or services are offered in square feet, multiple the number by nine to convert them to square yards.
The cost of the actual carpet fluctuates with quality. The average cost of builder’s grade carpet is $9 per yard and it typically lasts three to five years. Medium grade carpet costs $25 per yard and lasts 12 to 15 years. Luxury carpet can average $45 per yard or more. However, the longevity of luxury carpet doesn’t extend much past 15 years while withstanding wear and tear in the average busy household.
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