Carpet Install Cost – Common Fees and Charges

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How Much Does Carpet Installation Cost? Typical Carpet Layer Pricing.

New Carpet Installation prices?

How much does it cost to have carpet installed? If you are looking to find out how much it costs to install new carpet I have all the answers you need.

In different parts of the country, (The USA) the price of carpet installation may be higher or lower depending on the supply and demand. In our current down economy, there are a lot more hungry carpet installers out there looking for work. This is good news for those consumers who have money to spend on home renovations and are willing to do a little legwork to find a qualified carpet installer and negotiate a good deal. I bet you can negotiate as much as 30% off their normal carpet installation charge, especially if you are willing to pay them in cash at the end of the day.

Buyer beware: print out my free carpet installation checklist. You want to be sure your carpet is installed right the first time!

Getting the job done right, regardless of cost.

The main thing you want to be sure of, is that the carpet installers use a power-stretcher to install your carpet. Gone are the days where a simple knee-kicker will do the trick unless you’re installing cheap carpet in a very small room on a very hot day. Carpet needs to be stretched in tight, and the only way to insure this is to use a power-stretcher. If they don’t use a powerstretcher, then find an installer that does! Otherwise you might void your warranty!

Cheapest Carpet Installation Costs!

In the southern states, there is much more competition and carpet installation prices are much lower. For example, in Miami, Florida you can get carpet installed for less than $2.00 per yard. I’m not saying it would be a qualified install, but there are plenty of hungry people in the area willing to work very hard for little money. Making sure your carpet installer is qualified is up to you. Don’t assume that every carpet installer is qualified to install your carpet. In fact, I believe that less than 35% of all carpet installers are properly trained.

The States with the lowest carpet installation costs have typically been Florida, Texas, New Mexico, and southern California. Other southern states like Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas and Southern Arizona have fairly inexensive carpet labor and installation costs.

I am not suggesting you go for the lowest installation price, in fact, getting your carpet installed properly is extremely important if you want your carpet to last as long as it was intended. I go into great detail in my incredible money-saving ebook, The Complete Carpet Buying Guide. It’s only $14.95 and I guarantee it will save you ten times that or your money refunded!

The northern states are the highest priced which includes Northern California, Oregon, Washington State and the Northeatern States including New York, Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, and Connecticut. I find that Midwest States have their share of hungry installers too, especially in Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, Utah and Nebraska.

The Real Numbers:

You can expect to pay at least $2.50 per yard for installation in the southern states and as much as $6.50 per yard in northern states.

Some Carpet Retailers Pad Installation Costs.

Some carpet retailers choose make additional profits by padding the installation charges, often adding as much as 25% to the total installation cost. I feel this is an unfair charge to the consumer. Carpet retailers already make a fair and reasonable profit from the carpet and pad. Charging more for installation costs is unwarranted and unethical in my opinion. If your carpet retailer has higher than usual installation costs, you might want to shop around to see if other nearby carpet stores have lower and more reasonable installation prices. The main thing is to get qualified installation at a reasonable price, not just the cheapest installation you can find!

Beyond the basic carpet installation

Some carpet retailers and home improvement stores offer low-cost specials on carpet installation. Some of these specials are just too good to be true. $37 for carpet installation sounds good when you hear about it, but in the end, is it really as good as it sounds? Not always. Their basic carpet installation price does not include any extras. If your carpet installation job needs any extras, then you may find that the final bill for yor carpet install will be much higher than you originally expected. Don’t assume that their super low price for installation is valid in your situation. When your carpet is installed, you may be faced with a sizable final bill that you did not expect.

It’s the unexpected extra fees and charges that can add up in a hurry if you’re not careful. Installing carpet on stairs will almost always demand an additional charge. Depending on the type of stairs you have it may cost anywhere from $3 for each standard box step to as much as $15 per step for a double-wrapped stair with a pattern match Berber. The longer it takes to upholster a step the more it will cost. The standard flight of stairs will usually cost about $75 to $125 in addition to the cost of carpet installation.

Other unexpected carpet installation costs.

Removing the old carpet and padding.

Tearing out of the old carpet and padding can be anywhere from fifty cents per yard to $3.00 per yard. They may also try to add on a dump fee of $10 to $50 depending on how much old carpet and pad you have. A good carpet team of three can remove 100 yards of carpet and pad in less than an hour. I think $2.00 per yard is more than enough to remove the old carpet and padding and haul it away. Most carpet retailers have a dumpster available onsite for their installers to use. I don’t think a dump fee of more than $25 is a fair charge unless they don’t have a dumpster and they have to take the old carpet to the landfill or recycling center.

Installing new tackless strips.

All new construction will require that new tackstrips be installed. It’s easier to install tack strips on a wood floor than on a concrete slab. The fee for new tack strips on wood might be an additional 25 or 50 cents per yard. The fee for installing tackstrips over concrete might be an additional $1 per yard or more. In existing homes with damaged tackstrips that need to be replaced, the fee should be about $2.00 per each four foot section.

Some installers charge by the hour to do any work that is preliminary to the installation. In this case, It’s usually about $50 per hour (per person). This includes moving furniture, sealing floors and doing any floor patching, leveling or dry rot repairs.


The carpet will meet other flooring types and must have a transition of some type. Examples are: Carpet to vinyl, carpet to hardwoods, carpet to vinyl tiles, and carpet to ceramic tiles are some of the possibilities.

Transitions can be made of wood, metal, rubber or plastic. Each transition is available in different quality levels and depending on the application, the correct transition must be used to ensure a long life without failing. The cost of transitions vary widely and should be discussed with your carpet estimator/retailer before the bid final is drawn up. The cheapest gold or silver colored transitions are generally priced at $1-$2 per foot. A rubber transition in a utilitarian application should cost about $3-$5 per foot. A transition of prefinished hardwood can easily cost $5 to $20 per foot. Brass or other specialized transitions can be quite costly.

Threshholds are another story. If your front or back door is in need of a new threshhold, plan on spending at least $50 for a new one. Usually these are made of aluminum and have to be cut to fit. If you want a snazzy threshhold made of a prefinished hardwood, expect to pay much more. Installing a new threshhold is not always a quick and easy job and may require expert finish-contractor capabilities.

Trimming doors

If your new carpet is thicker than the last carpet installed in your home, your doors may need to be trimmed at the bottom. If your installer is qualified and well equipped to do this, then the charge can be anywhere from $10 per door to $50 per door depending on what your doors are made of. Trimming the bottom of doors is not a job for the inexperienced. It is not easy to do correctly and it is easy to ruin a door if it is not done properly.

You can’t just run a skillsaw or jigsaw along the bottom of a door and expect it to look nice when you are done. Some woods like pine or mahogany will easily splinter and fray on the backside and end up looking horrible unless you have the proper sawblade and take steps to keep this from happening. Again, depending on what type of wood your doors are made of will determine how to trim your doors without damaging them. If in doubt, call in a skilled carpenter.

If you want more information about carpet installation costs or how to find a qualified carpet installer please visit my free carpet information website at

Locate a Preferred Carpet Store near you!

Please visit Alan’s Preferred Carpet Dealer Directory at

Each carpet retailer listed in Alan’s directory is hand-picked and must pass stringent requirements in order to be included in this consumer-friendly National Carpet Dealer Directory.

Alan Fletcher is a 30-year carpet and flooring expert and a consumer advocate for over a decade. Alan’s goal is to help consumers choose the right carpet, find the best carpet deals, locate qualified carpet installers and avoid common carpet scams.

Visit Alan’s Network of Free Carpet Buying Information:

Looking for other types of Flooring Products? is a Free Flooring Resource Guide for Homeowners. All types of flooring products are discussed in depth, including application, selection, installation and maintenance issues.  Helpful information and advice is provided by Alan Fletcher, a 30-year veteran of the flooring business.

2 thoughts on “Carpet Install Cost – Common Fees and Charges

  1. How long does it take to install a yard of carpet? Also, the power stretch thing, just what exactly does that involve doing? Last I saw carpet installed was laid and knee kicked down. I’m trying to figure out, after James comment, just what would be a fair price. I work as an IT tech where the national median salary for someone a level below me is about 15-20% more than what I make. I believe I deserve at least the median for all I do, but I’m not being paid that. Bottom line, even though I make less than I believe I’m worth I still give 100%. Remember, you may give them what you believe they paid for but it’s still your name on the work you done and not the price they paid you to do it.

    I’m looking to re-carpet all the rooms with carpet in my house. I am trying to figure out what a fair price would be to do the work. I want quality work, so I’m not looking for cheapest but I’m not looking for priciest either. I just want a fair price.


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