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Full Guide to Bedroom Carpet Costs: Prep, Installation, Etc.

Carpet is a very comfortable flooring to walk on, and is particularly good in winter. Installing new carpet isn’t too difficult but there are quite a few options, which also means the cost can vary considerably.

In an averaged sized bedroom (approximately 9 m sq), the average cost of removing an old carpet & installing a new one, will be around $1700 to 2975. This cost will be reduced by $200 to $300 if there is no previous carpet to remove. The cost varies depending on the type of carpet, materials & labor.

In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about carpeting a bedroom. Whether, you’re removing existing carpet, or are unsure of how much preparation the floor needs. I’ll go through everything you need to know, and how much it might cost you.

First, a summary table covering all the costs involved in carpeting a bedroom:

Cost per
square foot
Removing existing carpet$2 to $3
Preparing the floor$3 to $6
Installing base boards (trim) materials$1
Installing base boards (trim) labor$1 to $3
Underlayment materials$0.25 to $1
Carpet materials$2 to $8
Underlayment labor$1.75
Carpet labor$6
Total$17 to $29.75

An average bedroom is 10 ft by 10 ft (3m by 3m), which is equal to 100 sq ft (9 m sq). Therefore, the average cost to install new carpet in a bedroom is $1700 to $2975. The cost is $200 to $300 cheaper if you don’t need to remove existing carpet.

But each of these costs need further explaining. As well as 2 very important factors:

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  • the type of carpet you get
  • the type of underlay you get

There are other things involved that will add to the cost of carpet replacement/installation. Below, I’ve broken down each of these costs in more detail.

But before we get into that, here’s a video that shows the carpet installation process from start to finish, so you can get an idea of exactly what’s involved:

Cost To Prepare the Floor Before Laying Carpet

The good thing about carpet is, unlike other flooring types like tile and hardwood, it’s very forgiving of the subfloor. As you may know, subfloor is what is directly underneath the type of flooring used. It’s possible to lay carpet over many different types of subfloors such as concrete, plywood, and even existing tiles. 

The reason is, the underlay provides a spongy barrier between the carpet and the subfloor. Ideally, the subfloor will be perfectly flat and reasonably smooth. For that reason, some prep work can be required, particularly for concrete.

On average, it costs $6 to $8 per square foot to prepare the subfloor for carpet. However, if it’s already in reasonably good shape, and you have a little bit of DIY experience, it’s very easy to do the prep work yourself.

It requires leveling the floor which can be done with a liquid leveling compound, and/or filling in any holes, and removing any nails, screws, and tape.

This price can be quite a bit lower depending on what condition your subfloor is already in. Existing carpet can need to be removed if you’re replacing the carpet. Here’s a breakdown of the average costs per square foot based on what needs to be removed from the floor. 

What needs to be done
to prep the subfloor
Cost per
square foot
Remove existing carpet$2 to $3
Remove the carpet pad (carpet underlay)$1.50 to $2
Level the floor$1
Scrape adhesive and remove nails, and screws$0.50 to $1
Total including carpet removal$6 to $8
Total if no existing carpet$3 to $6

Cost to Install the Baseboards

On all walls, it’s necessary to have baseboards, also called trim. It protects the wall in case liquids are spilled on the floor. This stops water from getting into the drywall, which would be more difficult to replace than baseboards.

There is also what are called quarter-rounds. This is an eclipse-shaped piece of wood that sits on the top of the trim, or on the very bottom of the baseboards on the front side. It also protects the baseboards and provides an early warning for people wearing shoes so they don’t create scuff marks on the baseboards.

Carpet can be installed on existing baseboards and baseboards with quarter rounds at the bottom. But, if you don’t already have them it will cost about $0.50 per linear foot for the materials. To install quarter round onto baseboards costs the same another $0.50 per linear foot for the materials.

To have them installed costs on average $0.60 a foot for fiberboard and $1.20 a foot for wood. Here’s a table that shows a breakdown of the costs

Base boards
(also called trim)
Cost per
linear foot
Materials for base board$0.50
Materials for quarter round$0.50
Installation base board$0.60 to $1.20
Installation quarter round$0.60 to $1.20

It’s likely you can get a deal if the carpenter installing the baseboards and the quarter round does both.

After the floor is level and prepped, and the baseboards have been installed, installing carpet is a fairly easy process. But, it can be a bit tricky depending on the size and layout.

For example, entrances to rooms can be narrower and require cutting the carpet precisely, and the joins in the center of a room require a little bit of planning. 

Measurements and precision are important in carpet fitting

A carpet installer with some experience will make easy work of it. Here are the steps required to install carpet after the floor has been prepped, and the baseboards installed:

  1. Laying down a water barrier
  2. Laying the tack strip – thing strip of wood with hooks sticking up
  3. Laying down the carpet underlay
  4. Laying down the carpet
  5. Pulling the carpet and pushing it into the tack strip
  6. Trimming the excess off the edges of the carpet
  7. Tucking the carpet into the perimeter around the edge of the carpet

Not all carpet installers will install a water barrier underneath the carpet. The water barrier is very good for stopping something like a pet peeing on your carpet from getting on the subfloor.

In this scenario, it would never come out unless you lift up the carpet and clean it, which is difficult and time-consuming. And if it’s not cleaned, the smell can potentially linger forever. 

As you can see from the list above, there are quite a few steps involved, but it’s entirely possible to do all of this yourself. The cost to having a professional carpet installer do this for you is on average $1.50 to $2.30 per square foot.

The Cost of the Carpet & the Type of Carpet Needed

The type of carpet you choose is based on a range of factors. The key considerations are:

  • How often the room will be used
  • How much potential there is for stains – for example if you have pets
  • If you are selling the house soon or living in it for a long time

There are also different amounts of what is called ‘ounce weight’. This is how much of the carpet material is used per square inch. However, carpet experts agree that oz weight and the type of weave aren’t much of a factor. And the main consideration is the type of material. And is a reason why carpet manufacturers typically don’t list the ounce weight.

There are 3 broad types of carpets. These are:

  • Polyester
  • Polypropylene
  • Nylon
  • Triexta technology carpets (also called smart strand)

Each has its place depending on where the carpet will go. For guest bedrooms, polyester is usually the preferred option. Whereas for a regular bedroom, nylon is best. The differences between them are:

Polyester Carpet

  • Naturally very stain resistant
  • Cheapest
  • Not as durable as nylon

Nylon Carpet

  • Not as naturally stain-resistant – but stain-resistant products are added to it
  • More expensive than polyester
  • Far more durable

Triexta (smart strand) Carpet

  • Has the benefits of polyester and nylon, with none of the drawbacks
  • More expensive

Polypropylene carpets should be avoided because it doesn’t take warm temperature very well, including sunlight.

Triexta is a relatively new technology that came out in the 1990s. There is only one brand that has the rights to it. This is the brand Mohawk, and their luxury brand Karastan.

There is also wool carpet. However, wool carpet is very expensive, and is a luxury item. It’s typically not what most people will get. It’s kind of like recommending that you should buy a Lamborghini when you ask what car to buy!

Cost of the Underlayment

There are also key considerations for the type of underlay. Underlays vary in how well they perform. There are two factors to consider:

  1. The type of material the underlay is made out of
  2. The thickness of the underlay

Type of Material

The type of material the underlayment is made out of will have a slight affect on comfort level. There are two types:

  • Rebonded – made from lots of small pieces of foam.
  • Full foam – made from one piece of foam.

As you may have guessed, the rebonded underlay is slightly less comfortable than the full foam underlayment. 


The typical underlay that is best for most carpets is 7/16 inch thick, and 6-pound density. However, there are certain weaves of carpet where the standard is slightly different. But, as a general rule, this is the type of underlay that most carpets will use.

This is considered middle of the range. A slightly better quality underlay you can go for is rebonded but has a watertight layer and is slightly thicker – being ½ an inch thick.

This layer sits on the top of the underlay. It replaces a waterproof material that can be laid underneath the carpet. However, it’s better because it sits on the top of the underlay, making it much easier to remove a spill completely, rather than soaking into the underlay, as it stops at the carpet layer. 

This makes it far easier to completely remove bad odors such as pet urine.

It’s very difficult to find exactly the same carpet a few years later, so keeping some spare at the point of purchase is a good idea.

The next best quality underlay, is the best quality underlay you can get. It’is a full foam underlay with a waterproof layer. It gives slightly better comfort underfoot.

As a general rule, use triexta carpet for a regular bedroom. And for a guest room or a room that is rarely occupied use polyester. This is because polyester is quite a bit cheaper, and you don’t need the added durability for a less used area.

For a house that you’re going to sell soon, it can also be a good idea to use polyester carpet all round. The new owner might not like the color, or style of carpet, and therefore replace it anyway. The other advantage is that you won’t be worried about replacing it in a few years. 

If you’re very concerned about stains, then get Smartstrand carpet. It’s extremely resistant to stains. You can even pour bleach onto it, and it won’t remove the color of the carpet!

Here’s a summary of what we’ve learned so far…

Type of CarpetCost per
square foot
Polyester$2 to $6
Nylon$5 to $8
Triexta (also called smart strand)$2 to $6
Cost of underlay$0.25 to $1.00
Cost to install underlay$1.75
Cost to install carpet$6

Pro Tip: Always get More Carpet than you Need!

It’s always a good idea to get more carpet than you need. This can be very helpful in case a stain is impossible to remove, or some other damage is done that is irreparable.

Carpet very often comes in a specific style, color, and weaver that is impossible to buy again after a few years. 

This means that if you ever need to cut out a section of carpet and replace it, it will be visible and obvious if the carpet is not exactly the same. Keep at least 10 or so square feet of the carpet you’re installing, in case you need to replace a section of carpet later on.

Getting a Warranty on Your Carpet

A carpet will typically come with a warranty. The warranty terms are that the carpet should be professionally cleaned once a year to once every 2 years. It’s necessary to keep your receipts, to be able to show them in case there is an issue. 

There is quite a bit of variability when it comes to individual warranties. It pays to see exactly what is covered by your warranty. There are different types of carpet warranties, such as:

  1. Wear warranty
  2. Stain and/or soil warranty
  3. Appearance warranty
  4. Matting and crushing warranty
  5. Fade resistance warranty
  6. Carpet installation warranty
  7. Carpet dealers warranty

Each type of warranty comes with an additional cost and it’s best to get a warranty that will cover you for what you need. For example, if there will be pets or children, then get a stain and soil warranty. 

You may or may not need a fade resistance warranty depending on whether the room gets a lot of natural light that shines onto the carpet.

It’s important when you clean your carpet not to use carpet cleaners you can hire from a store.  These are effective, but as a general rule, they don’t pull out all of the residue.

This causes dirt to get stuck in the carpet more, and you’ll need to clean it more often. It’s best to have it professionally cleaned. And is usually a requirement of the warranty.