Carpet Cost Calculator and Detailed Price Breakdown

Here to get an estimate on what carpet will cost you?

You’re in the right place.

I’ll cover everything from a simple 2-question price estimate to a detailed breakdown. Here’s what you’ll find on this page:

  • simple 2-question carpet cost calculator (that actually gives a pretty good estimate)
  • average cost of carpet installed by room and house size
  • typical carpet price based on material (the most important factor)
  • typical carpet price by lifestyle
  • estimated padding and installation costs
  • things you shouldn’t pay for and pricing tricks to watch out for

Why a good estimate is important

Many people come to this page because they want an idea on what to budget for new flooring. This page should give you an excellent idea of what you’ll spend.

But this is an even more important reason:

The #1 way people overpay for carpet is being overcharged, and it might not be so obvious. You may get a great deal on the carpet, but then there are a bunch of random fees thrown into the final bill. Or you might get free padding and installation, but the carpet cost is double what you should pay.

Let me give an example:

Let’s say you just pay $0.25 over on the carpet, pad, installation, and misc fees. You’re carpeting an average size home. You’d overpay by $1,000. It adds up fast!

So it’s easy to save hundreds by being informed on what you should pay.

Carpet cost calculator (2-question estimate)

Let’s start with the fun part:

A simple 2-question calculator that gives you a good carpet estimate. This estimate includes everything: carpet, installation, extra fees, and pad.

Flooring Calculator

How much carpet do you need?

approximately the size of a master bedroom/small living room (250sqft)
2 bedrooms and a living room (600sqft)
3 bedrooms, large great room OR a living + family room (1000sqft)
4 bedrooms, great room, basement OR additional family room, 2 sets of stairs (2000sqft)

How long do you want your carpet to last?

Estimated Cost: (no calculation entered)

Further resources:

  • If you want a more detailed calculator based on your square footage or to compare to other floor types (laminate, hardwood, etc), check out my flooring cost calculator
  • If you want a good installer to estimate for you, check out HomeAdvisor’s pre-qualified installers in your zip code by clicking here (note: I get a small commission but believe this is a helpful service)

Cost of carpet installed (by room size and house size)

The estimates below tell you how much I expect it to cost you to put new carpet in your room or house.

It’s great for a ballpark estimate of what you might spend if you choose to get new carpet. This can help with planning and budgeting. If you know you already know you’re getting new carpet, skip this section–below you’ll find how to make a more detailed estimate (which is important to make sure you’re not getting ripped off).

Here are the Captain’s “rules of thumb” of total costs to carpet your room or home:

One small room (eg. kids bedroom): $480
One larger room (living room or master bedroom): $1,120
Ranch house (living room, 3 bedrooms, hallway): $4,200
2-story house (ranch + stairs + extra or larger rooms): $7,600

Keep in mind, these estimates make a lot of assumptions: I had to take an “average” guess at your room or home size, the type of carpet you would buy, how much installation costs in your area, and the pad you go with. All of these can make a big change in the cost of carpet.

This was the equivalent of someone asking you, “How much does a large pizza cost?” You could say $15 but you’d be making a  lot of assumptions.

If you want a better estimate, I suggest you keep reading. I’ll dive into the cost of carpet depending on your situation, and we’ll use this to build a detailed “invoice” for what carpet will cost in your home.

Carpet price based on carpet material

If you want a better estimate (than the room size estimates above), you need to look at exactly what you’re buying with your carpet, padding, and installation.

I’ve seen carpet costs vary from $250 to $5,000 for the same size room. A big part of this difference was the material. So deciding what carpet material you want is the first important decision you’ll make in determining your overall price.

(if you don’t know what material you want yet, check out ‘carpet cost based on durability and living situation’ below)

So how much should you pay per square foot (and square yard) for the 5 mos popular carpet materials? Here’s a good estimate:
Wool Carpet: $10 sq.ft. ($90 sq.yd.)
Nylon Carpet: $5 sq.ft. ($45 sq.yd.)
Smartstrand Carpet: $4 sq.ft. ($36 sq.yd.)
Polyester Carpet: $2.50 sq.ft. ($23 sq.yd.)
Olefin Carpet: $1.00 sq.ft. ($9 sq.yd.)
*these prices are for carpet only. padding and installation not included (these fees are covered below)


Captain’s warning on prices! You’ll find carpet prices listed in both square feet and square yards. This can throw off carpet shoppers because there are 3 feet in a yard, but you need to divide the square yard price by 9 to get the equivalent price per square foot. In example, one store is charging $18 sqyd. You go to antoher store and they say they have the same carpet for only $2 square foot. Don’t let the salesman fool you–these are actually the same price (18 divded by 9 = 2)!

Carpet cost based on durability and living situation

Maybe you don’t know what carpet material you’re going to buy yet. If that’s the case, you still know where the carpet will be installed and what you need out of it. Here are estimates on carpet prices based on different situations:

Apartment or rental: $1.00 sq.ft. ($9 sq.yd.)
Low-grade home: $1.50 sq.ft. ($14 sq.yd.)
Durable home: $4.50 sq.ft. ($40 sq.yd.)
Luxury home: $10 sq.ft. ($90 sq.yd.)
*these prices are for carpet only. padding and installation not included (these fees are covered below)

I could dedicate an article to each “situation” above, but it would bore you. Let’s cover a  few highlights and assumptions on each situation:

  • ‘Apartments and rentals’ typically will go with an inexpensive carpet for two reasons: it allows them to replace the carpet more often for new tenants, and it makes it less of a risk if a tenant damages the carpet.
  • ‘Apartment and rentals’ can get their square footage price closer to $0.50 per square foot with bulk orders and negotiating power.
  • ‘Low-grade home’ carpet is great for temporary situations, tight budgets, or rooms that aren’t used often. In high traffic areas, it will only last a couple of years. But if it’s a guest bedroom, it will last a long time since foot traffic is what destroys carpet.
  • ‘Durable home’ carpet is for the typical homeowner. They want a carpet that keeps its new appearance as long as possible. You can spend up to $10 sq.ft. here, but when you start going above $6-7 sq.ft., you start paying a lot for little improvement in durability.
  • ‘Luxury home’ is when you want a carpet that stands out. These carpets are often made of natural materials like wool.

Cost of padding and installation

So far, you’ve determined what you’ll carpet will cost.

Next, you need to determine what your padding and installation will cost. Here are my simple estimates that usually come pretty close:

Carpet pad cost: $0.30 to $0.60 sq.ft.
Carpet installation cost: $0.50 sq.ft.

For budgeting purposes, add $1.00 sq.ft. for padding and installation to get a good ballpark estimate.

Just like carpet, the cost of padding and installation vary. Intallation varies most based on where you live (everything–including floor installation–is more expensive in New York than it is in Kentucky). Padding varies most by the quality you select. Most people can go with standard pad, but I have a popular article on how to select your best pad.

How much carpet do I need?

Determining how much carpet you need isn’t too difficult, but it also may not be as straightforward as you think.

Here is how to determine how much carpet you need:

  1. Determine the rooms which you want to carpet.
  2. Measure and record the length and which of each room.
  3. Multiply the length and width of each room—this is the room square footage.
  4. Add all the room square footages together—this is your total square feet.
  5. Multiply your total square feet by 1.10—this is your amount of carpet needed.

Not too difficult, but this gives you a basic estimate.

For a little more explanation, a little more accuracy, and how to deal with other areas like stairs, check out our page on how to calculate how much carpet you need.

What about stairs? How much carpet do I need on stairs and what is the cost of installation on stairs?

Stairs come in all different size, but want just a general estimate?

Here are the Captain’s general rules of thumb for carpeting stairs:

Square feet of carpet and pad needed on stairs: 80 square feet (roughly $400 for durable carpet and pad)*
Installation cost for stairs: $70 ($5 per stair step)**
Total estimate for carpet and pad including installation on a staircase: $500 (range of $200-$1,000 depending on durability of the carpet/pad and difficulty of the job)
*based on a typical 7″ rise, 12″ run, and 42″ width stair step and 14 total stairs with standard amount of waste
**installation is often more on stairs, and may run around $5 per stair step

Captain’s parting words!

Hopefully you had fun playing with the carpet cost calculator and now have a great estimate of what your carpet costs installed.

Remember, there are 3 major expenses when it comes to buying carpet: carpet, padding, and installation. The calculator estimate includes all of these costs, but you’ll have to consider each if you’re getting an estimate yourself.

Here’s what I recommend you do next in your carpet buying journey:

  1. If you want a more detailed estimate (or want to compare other types of flooring), check out my flooring cost estimator
  2. If you want a step-by-step walk through of what’s important and what is not when buying carpet, check out my unbiased carpet buying guide.
  3. If you want help finding a pre-qualified installer, HomeAdvisor takes the stress out of finding a good installer in your area. Click here to enter your zip code and get connected with 3 installers in your area.

Anything I didn’t cover, or have any questions? Let me know in the comments below.

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Phil
12 days ago

Your site is very helpful and is probably as detailed as it can be, but I am also wondering about installation fees, if that is strictly for once a new piece(s) of carpet has been brought into the room, maybe one seam if there’s a closet, stretching it, trimming it and tucking it in? Is removing the old carpet and pad and at least taking it outside part of it? Also, how often do you update your estimates for the various costs of different things? Thanks!

MMM
26 days ago

Thank you!! Very helpful., I believe that my living room and kids’ room has wool carpet, BUT the insurance adjuster is only looking at $3 Sq foot for reimbursement/new carpet. I dont know yet about the padding and installation. THe carpet is old—probably installed around 1993, but was likely top of the line back then. Shouldnt that make a difference in determining replacement value/

Libby Grundstrom
4 months ago

As a retired interior designer who hasn’t selected carpeting for a client for years, this is great information. I worked in a flooring/design store and knew a lot about flooring – a few things have changed. This information for the consumer is great. We all have to know so many details of any purchase we want to make that your willingness to keep us up to date is really valuable. Thank you!

Michael Frazier
5 months ago

Cool Bannanas!

Ann Cipriani
6 months ago

We are moving and replacing the carpet in a very visible and large livingroom area. The home is very large and in a great school district in Pittsburgh. What is the least amount I could pay for a carpet that shows well? TY!

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