Buying a New Carpet
A new carpet is an important purchase for your home. An old, faded, or worn carpet detracts from the beauty of your home, and old carpets can harbor dust, stains, and even mold, and can be difficult to clean. Depending on the area that needs to be covered, a new carpet can be a big purchase, and finding out the true cost of a new carpet can be confusing. Some companies price carpet by the square foot, and others by the square yard; some companies also show the price per linear foot. As a basic rule, one square yard equals about ten square feet, so for example, if one company offers carpet for $1.70 per square foot that is about the same as a company that offers carpet for $17 per square yard.
Types of Carpet
There are a few different types of carpet – the terms used to describe each type vary slightly by company, but there are a few general types to be familiar with. Some types of carpet are plusher, or more durable, than others. Some of the basic types of carpet are:
- Cut-pile: the carpet loops are cut off leaving straight fibers. Basic cut pile is relatively crush-resistant.
- Saxony: a level cut-pile with soft texture; shows pressure marks easily.
- Velvet: this is a plush and luxurious style; good for formal areas.
- Frieze: a durable style that uses textured, short, twisted, cut-pile.
- Cut/loop pile: combines cut pile and loops for a patterned effect.
- Loop pile: the loops are not cut; tightly-looped/short loop carpet is durable and does not trap dirt easily.
- Berber: a more durable type of loop-pile; Berber carpet also comes in cut-pile.
- Multi-level loop pile: has loops of different heights for added texture.
- Carpet can also be purchased in the form of carpet tiles, which tend to be more expensive than regular carpet.
Factors that Affect Cost
When looking to buy a carpet it is important to keep in mind that several factors will affect how much the carpet will cost. The most important factor to consider is the area that needs to be covered. Carpet is sold by the square foot, or by the square yard, so if a carpet needs to cover a 600sqft area, it will cost less than if it needs to cover a 1000sqft area. The difference between a carpet that is $2.00 per square foot and one that is $3.00 per square foot might not seem like much, but it can mean a difference of $500.00 when carpeting a 500sqft room. Carpeting a whole house obviously costs a lot more than carpeting just one room, and carpeting a large house will cost quite a lot even if cheap carpet is used.
Cheap carpet might seem attractive, but the price is related to the life-expectancy of the carpet. A carpet that is expected to last for five years will be considerably cheaper than one that can be expected to last for ten years, but it will also need to be replaced sooner. Cheap carpet can be a good option for rental properties, or for properties with pets or children, or any other situation where a carpet may need to be replaced often – there is little point in investing in a carpet that will last for twenty years if it is likely to get stained and ruined long before that (the expected life of a carpet does not usually take into account heavy-wear and staining). For other households, a more expensive, and more durable, carpet is likely to be a better option.
The price of a carpet will also vary by brand and by type. Some types – like Berber – are usually more expensive than others. As a rough guide, at most stores carpet sells for anywhere between $0.60 and $6.00 per square foot, or $6.00 to $60.00 per square yard.
There are extra costs to consider when purchasing a carpet that go beyond the price quoted per square foot or per square yard. It is recommended that all carpet is installed with a carpet pad to protect the carpet from damage. There are different types of carpet padding, but experts say that purchasing a good quality carpet pad is as important as purchasing a good-quality carpet. The price of carpet pads varies widely – from about $70 on the low end to over $350 on the high end – and carpet pads are often priced by the roll. The standard size of a roll varies depending on the type of carpet pad, so you will need to look at how many square feet a roll of carpet padding will cover when comparing prices. Another thing to consider is the cost of installation. Some companies will quote a “total” price that covers the carpet, the pad, and the installation fee. Other companies will add the price of installation onto the purchase price – though you can sometimes find “free installation” offers.