Carpet flooring prices range between $1 and $4 per square foot on average. The total cost of the carpet installation will depend on the size of the room and the quality and type of carpet. For instance, if you were to install new carpet flooring in a 12 x 12 bedroom with 144 square feet, the cost would range between $144 and $576 for the carpet alone. A 320 square foot room could cost as much as $1,280 for the carpet alone.
Carpet installations also involve a labor and installation cost, which runs between $0.50 to $1 per square foot installed. Also be sure to factor in the cost of underfloor carpet padding, if needed, which starts at about $0.60 per square foot of padding.
Carpet enjoys enduring popularity for a variety of reasons. Despite the tremendous range of flooring options available to today’s homeowners, carpet still leads the flooring industry as the most widely used flooring material. In fact, according to a July 2021 survey by Modernize, 30% of homeowners currently have carpet in their homes. Another 17% plan to install new carpet flooring this year. Carpet’s popularity may be because it is one of the most affordable and comfortable flooring options. Not to mention, carpeting is very easy to install.
While carpet might not be as popular as in previous generations, when it was used in nearly every area of the home outside of kitchens and bathrooms, Americans’ love of carpet continues. Modern design trends have seen carpet largely disappear from high-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and hallways in favor of more durable flooring materials. Yet carpet remains an excellent choice for bedrooms and other areas where homeowner comfort is crucial.
In this guide we provide a top-to-bottom overview of carpet flooring. We will review the pros and cons of carpet as a flooring option, where it works best in your home, ways to care for your new carpet and other factors to consider before installation. Modernize can even help you find local carpet installers that can guide you through important decisions, such as finding carpeting that fits your budget, determining quality, and more.
Where Carpet Works Best in Your Home
The open floor plans found in modern homes have created a shift away from wall-to-wall carpet as kitchens, dining and living rooms blend into one central gathering area. The high use of these great rooms places a heavy demand on flooring. It is common to have tile, hardwood or a similar material laid in kitchens, dining areas and hallways, with carpet placed in living rooms for increased comfort.
When deciding which rooms in your home are best suited to carpet, it’s important to consider how those rooms are used. Carpet is an excellent choice for the following areas:
These are the areas in the home where people typically lounge, get comfortable or play on the floor. Lush carpet atop a thick carpet pad provides unmatched comfort versus other types of more solid flooring. Carpet often is used on stairs as well, since it provides increased traction and softens noise, but stairs are definitely a high-use area where carpet can show wear over time.
Types of Carpet Flooring
Carpet may seem like a simple type of flooring, but there are actually dozens of options when it comes to carpet floors. Types of carpet range from different types of fibers, all of which have varying levels of quality, as well as different pile lengths and styles.
Carpet Fiber Materials
Carpet Styles (Pile Lengths)
Plush pile: softest cut pile option
Saxony: Dense cut pile with higher height
Cut pile twist: Cut pile with textured finish
Frieze: Cut pile with shaggy texture
Level loop pile: Denser finish, best for high traffic areas
Nylon and olefin blend
Berber: Thicker loop pile with varying shades
Sisal: Loop pile fashioned into straight rows
Popular carpet fibers include cost-efficient options such as nylon and polyester, as well as higher end options such as wool and nylon.
Pile options for carpet include cut pile and loop pile. Cut pile carpet tends to be denser and softer underfoot, while loop pile is very durable, tough, and stands up to heavy foot traffic.
How Much Does a Carpet Installation Cost?
Carpet is among the most cost-effective and comfortable flooring options
Lasts 5-15 years
Average Costs per sq. ft:
$1 - $4
Carpeting can cost as little as $1 to $4 per square foot. This makes it one of the most cost-effective flooring options. If the space where you need your flooring installation is larger in square feet, you might want to choose carpet over other flooring types to keep costs down. Carpet also lasts an average of 5-15 years, as long as you maintain it well and keep it clean.
Keep in mind that there are some higher-end carpet options, such as wool, nylon and triexta that typically cost more per square foot. Some carpet can cost as much as $10 per square foot or more, depending on the material and its place of origin.
Advantages of Carpet
Carpet is a popular flooring choice for a host of reasons. These include:
Cost. Carpet flooring is one of the most affordable flooring types. Even high-quality carpet with a thick underpad is usually less expensive than other modern flooring options, such as tile, stone or natural wood. Carpet offers a way to upgrade your flooring without busting your renovation budget.
Comfort.Laminates, tile, hardwood and similar flooring options provide little in the way of comfort for sitting or lying down. Good carpet, on the other hand, feels soft, spongy and plush underfoot. For future reference, the denser the carpet’s filaments, the softer it feels.
Ease of installation. Installation of stone, hardwood or tile flooring can take between several days to a week or more depending on the total area being covered. Carpet and padding, however, can be installed throughout your home in just a few hours or one day by an experienced crew.
Noise reduction. Carpet and padding dampens sound within a room as well as between floors of multi-story residences. If footsteps and airborne noise are primary concerns, consider soundproofing carpet underlayment for maximum noise reduction.
Energy efficiency. Carpeting is often a sustainable flooring type. Quality carpet and padding acts as a natural insulator. Depending on the thickness of the pad and carpet, you could see a 4 to 5 percent reduction on heating costs.
Design versatility. There are literally thousands of colors, patterns and styles of carpet — it shouldn’t be hard to find an option that compliments your interior décor and personal tastes. Light-colored carpet is best for lightly traveled areas. Alternatively, medium tones such as tan, brown and beige are better at hiding wear and stains. Darker colors, meanwhile, provide a bolder, striking aesthetic. You can also try carpet tiles if you are looking for a more unique style!
Quality carpet typically is durable and won’t look matted or crushed throughout its lifecycle. Despite the many reasons to choose carpet, there are some pitfalls that come with this type of flooring.
Disadvantages of Carpet
Even the most expensive carpet is susceptible to damage. While carpet flooring can be a great choice for your home, we recommend considering the following disadvantages:
Maintenance. Carpet requires routine maintenance such as vacuuming to keep it clean, as well as regular deep cleaning to remove hidden dirt, dust and stains. However, keep in mind that over-steam cleaning can shorten the lifespan of your carpet. If you are considering carpet, maximize its lifespan with these top tips for maintaining carpet.
Pets and kids. Parents can vouch for the fact that both can be extremely hard on carpet regardless of prevention measures. Pets shed, and they also sometimes potty in the house. Removing urine stains from the carpet and odors trapped in the padding often requires professional cleaning. Kids, on the other hand, often spill and track dirt in from the outside. You’ll likely have to up your maintenance and deep cleaning schedule in kids rooms.
Moisture and allergens. Carpet retains dust, dirt, dander, pet hair, pollen and other allergens and requires routine vacuuming to remove these irritants. It also can retain moisture, which could lead to unseen mold growth underneath the carpet.
Compared to other flooring options, carpet requires more maintenance to ensure cleanliness. It also tends to be more difficult to clean than other types of flooring.
How to Find a Great Flooring Contractor
We hope you have found this introduction to carpet helpful. If you have decided that you would like to upgrade your flooring and carpet is the logical choice for certain areas of your home, Modernize can help. Our search tools help you find quality flooring contractors in your area, who can tackle your carpet renovation project and get the job done right.
When discussing the project, make sure your contractor knows your flooring budget, the type and quality of carpet you want, and any other concerns you have. Communicating with your contractor transparently can better prepare the contractor to show the right kinds of carpet samples and underlayment materials.