Fitting a carpet is probably the easiest and cheapest way to brighten up a room. A new carpet with underlay will also make the floor comfortable to walk on and keep the room warm at the same time. However, to enjoy your new carpet, have it fitted properly using a professional. A carpet fitter has all the professional tools and skills needed to do the job well, while the cost of carpet fitting isn’t out of reach of most people.
How Much Does Carpet Fitting Cost?
Let’s look at the cost of fitting a carpet in a typical bedroom. Bedroom carpet doesn’t have to be very hardwearing but it should be soft and warm. So, mid–range carpet costs between £15 and £20/m2, and underlay costs between £4 to £10/m2. A good quality underlay will insulate and cushion the floor so let‘s choose one of those.
The labour cost will be around £3.50 to £5/m2. But, there’ll probably be a minimum charge of around £40,
So, The total cost of carpet, underlay, fittings and labour for a medium–sized room, say 4.5m x 3.5m would be between £350 to £550.
Similarly, a small room, say 3m x 3.5, costs between £350 and £450. While a large room about 5.25m x 5m will cost about £800 to £900.
Fitting Carpet Cost Factors
You can probably see that the underlying factors that determine these estimates are:
- The size of the room.
- Type of carpet. Whether it’s an expensive wool carpet or a cheaper synthetic one.
- The underlay to go with your carpet. You can choose an expensive one to insulate the floor and give your feet a treat, or a thinner one. Remember, underlay doesn’t wear out like carpet so buy a good one and it’ll last for years.
One more factor that we haven’t touched on yet, namely the condition of the floor. But don’t worry, we’ll cover that later on.
Carpet Fitting Price Comparison
Here, we’ll look at the average carpet installation costs for bedrooms. For this exercise we’ll assume the carpet is a low mid-range brand, costing about £15/m2. We won’t include underlay in the calculation which retails between £4 to £10/m2, because you might already have some under your existing carpet. However, if not, you can add it onto your quote.
We’ll use a common medium room size of about 4.5m x 3.5m or 15.75m2.
|Number of bedrooms||Room size||Cost per m2||Total cost (carpet only)|
|1||15.75m2||£15 to £20||£236 to £315|
|2||£472 to £630|
|3||£708 to £945|
|4||£945 to £1260|
|5||£1181 to £1575|
Of course, your rooms might not be this size. So, here are some other typical room sizes.
Every home is different, so you’ll have to measure the sizes of your rooms. It’s useful to know that if you carpet more than one room at the same time, the labour charges will work out cheaper than doing it separately. You should also remember that the cost of bedroom carpets are cheaper than the cost of a hallway and stair carpets. Bedrooms usually have less wear and tear, so their carpets aren’t designed to be as hardwearing as other rooms.
Although you can reuse your underlay when you buy a new carpet, it’s recommended to buy new. New carpet and underlay complement each other and give you a much better experience. Although underlay usually lasts longer than the carpet, it will lose its cushioning effect as it ages.
Good quality underlay:
- Provides thermal insulation. You’ll notice your energy bills become smaller as a good underlay holds heat inside a room. Choose one with a tog rating of over 2.5.
- Reduces noise. A good underlay reduces the impact noise of people walking. So, not only will it help to make your home quieter, but will also make the noise levels better for those living below you if you live in a flat.
- Helps the carpet last longer. The underlay functions as a shock absorber for your carpet. Therefore, less impact on the carpet pile.
- Makes the carpet feel softer and more springy. Underlay provides cushioning. Often, it pays to choose thicker underlay in bedrooms where you walk barefoot. Furthermore, your carpet will be a pleasure to walk on and more fun for little ones to play on.
- Easier to clean. The cushioning effect of the underlay protects the carpet pile. So, it’s easier to remove dust and keep clean.
How much do carpet fitters charge?
A carpet installer will usually charge about £3.50/m2, with a minimum fee of about £40. Labour charges in London and surrounding counties will be higher. The fee takes into account labour costs plus overheads such as tools and vehicle.
The shape of your room might increase the charges too. Carpet comes in nice rectangular pieces, which are cut to exactly fit your room. However, rooms aren’t always perfectly rectangular and sometimes are wider than a standard roll width. This means, the carpet must be trimmed along its edges, around chimney hearths, and fitted furniture. Conversely, if the roll isn’t wide enough it’s joined to another roll.
Furthermore, there are other charges and we’ll talk about those now.
Other Extras to Budget for
Some people forget that laying a new carpet might involve work that at first sight seems unconnected. These can significantly increase the cost of carpeting a house.
- The delivery charge is sometimes overlooked. Many carpet fitters will collect the carpet roll from the retailer because they usually have a vehicle long enough to cope with it. Your fitting fee will usually include the cost of delivery, but you might get a discount if you carry the carpet yourself. A typical delivery charge would be about £30.
- Lifting the old carpet and disposing of it are things that most householders can do. It’s unskilled labour and will save the fitter from charging you for the privilege. To lift the old carpet, you can expect a charge of £35. Disposal prices depend on the rates set by your local authority for trade waste. But, for you as a householder, it’s free.
- Room clearance is essential if you’re having a carpet replacement. It’s better if you can remove furniture from the room before the fitter arrives. Usually, most fitters include moving a set number of furniture pieces into their estimate, but if the room is full, you’ll be charged extra. Usually, the fee will be between £10 and £15 per room.
- Floor levelling and repair is very important. An uneven floor has high spots that wear through a carpet very quickly, so it‘s important to remove all unevenness and make it as flat as possible. Downstairs concrete floors will require a new screed or application of a floor levelling compound. Lay sheets of plywood onto the uneven floorboards of upstairs rooms. Similarly, if the floor needs repairing, do this before the plywood goes down. Screed costs around £12/m2 while fitting plywood costs about £13/m2. Both have a minimum charge of about £75.
- Door easing isn’t always necessary but prepare for it. If the new carpet and underlay combined depth is greater than the existing one, you‘ll probably find that the door rubs on the pile or won’t shut at all. Door reducing costs between £10 and £20 to trim the bottom from the door.
- Carpet grippers are essential to hold the carpet in place. Find out how much the fitter charges for grippers. And, if it’s more than you can buy them from a DIY store, purchase them yourself. Usually, they cost about £6 for a pack of eight 1.5m lengths (£0.50/m) from B&Q, but it’s common for carpet fitters to charge between £1.75 to £2/m.
- Door bars are another essential. These securely hold the carpet in doorways. Once again, carpet fitters often charge for these at many times their value. Save money and buy them from B&Q.
How To Choose New Carpet
This isn’t something we do every day, so it might overwhelm you. However, take your time, do some research and you’ll find a reasonably priced retailer who deals in good quality carpets.
Remember, you can choose from natural fibres such as wool, and synthetic fibres, both of which have their strong and weak points. You’ll also find that some carpets have a foam backing similar to the underlay. Often, you’ll find that bathroom carpets have a waterproof backing and are made from a water–resistant synthetic fibre. Decide which type of carpet and where you want it. You must decide for yourself which type you prefer, but don’t be afraid to take advice.
Check to see if manufacturers supply warranties for their products. carpets should be colourfast and resistant to stretching and tearing. If the warranty isn’t comprehensive or is only valid for a short time, then the manufacturer can’t expect their product to last very long, can they?
Don’t always assume that the best carpet is the most expensive. I might cost a lot because its made from the wool of a very rare mountain goat. And this isn’t practical if you have kids that insist on spilling their milk on the new carpet!
You won’t always find the best daylight levels inside a carpet warehouse, so identifying colour isn’t always possible. Take samples home and view them in the light coming through your windows, and compare with the colour of your curtains and settee suite.
Don’t forget the importance of underlay, and remember what it’s for. You’ll then choose the correct underlay for the specific room.
Lastly, if you’re not confident with the available choice, don’t buy it until you are. There are plenty of alternative carpet stores you can go to.
Laying a Carpet: Preparation Checklist
You don’t want the carpet fitters to arrive and find you’re not ready for them, do you? Here is a useful checklist to make sure everything is ready.
- Agree with the fitter whether they are removing the old carpet. If not, ensure you’ve lifted the carpet, and vacuumed the dust away.
- If the fitter expects to remove the carpet he’ll also repair a floorboard or two. If not, ensure you’ve already repaired any damage and replaced boards as necessary.
- Nothing sets off a new carpet like a freshly painted room. Why not decorate before the new carpet arrives. You won’t regret it.
- Make sure the carpet and underlay are ready for the fitter to collect from the warehouse. Either you’ve already paid for them or you’ve paid a deposit so the fitter can buy them.
- Make sure to clear the room of all furniture. And, ensure there’s clear access from the front door so the fitter can carry the carpet into the room.
Does the professional I hire need any qualifications?
Most carpet fitters don’t need specific qualifications. However, they need experience and must be good with numbers. They usually learn their trade by assisting an experienced fitter while doing an apprenticeship. During this time, the novice will attend the local college and sit an appropriate course such as Level 1 Award in Flooring Operations.
The Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) handles many training courses in their own training centres.
The National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers (NICF) and The Contract Flooring Association (CFA) are two of the main trade associations for carpet fitters in the UK and founded the FITA. The organisations promote understanding and the use of the British Standards Code of Practice for carpet installation. And, assures the public of good workmanship among all its members.
Carpet fitters don’t have to deal with planning permission or building regulations when fitting floor coverings. However, they must comply with the building regulations when repairing a sub-floor before installing the carpet. Additionally, they are always expected to comply with BS 5325:2001 Installation of Textile Floor Coverings – Code of Practice.
Maintaining carpets is simple and almost anyone can do it. Immediately after installing a new carpet, vacuum it to remove excess fluff and debris from the installation process.
Generally, to keep your carpet looking good, follow these simple rules. Firstly, try to avoid bringing dirt, sand and grit into the house by removing outdoor shoes before coming inside. Next, vacuum the carpet at least two or three times a week to prevent grit from abrading the pile and causing discolouration.
Once or twice a year, shampoo the carpet to lift any dirt at the base of the pile. Carpet shampoo machines can be bought or hired very cheaply and it’s a simple operation to keep carpets clean and fresh.
Carpet Fitting FAQ
What is the best grade of carpet?
This depends on what you want out of a carpet. In the UK, there are two types of commonly sold carpets.
- Woven. Examples are Axminster and Wilton. These are very labour intensive using a traditional loom and are regarded as the top-end option. They are also the most expensive.
- Tufted carpets are probably the most popular in the UK. These are easily produced by machine.
How can you tell good quality carpets?
A quality carpet has thick and heavy fibres, tightly packed onto the backing. So, a high–density carpet is the best.
What is the most popular carpet colour?
Traditionally, popular colours are always neutral shades. Previously, these tended to be shades of beige. However, these days, the neutral colours of choice are different shades of grey.
Should carpet be lighter than walls?
Usually, it’s best to choose a neutral colour either lighter or darker than the walls. Never choose the same shade. Many patterned carpets will work too. But, you should try to compliment or contrast the wall colours.
What type of carpet is best for bedrooms?
You should choose one that feels soft and luxurious. Preferably one with a fluffy texture or a velvet pile. The bedroom is the place where most people go barefoot. So choose whatever feels good to your toes.
What is the best type of carpet backing?
Depends on which room you’re talking about. Foam rubber backing is best for laying carpet in kitchens, but don’t use it in living rooms. Jute is the most durable backing. But, this will come as standard if you buy a luxury carpet such as a heavy Berber.
Is Thicker carpet better?
If you like a carpet that feels plush, then the answer is yes. Otherwise, if you want a durable carpet then a thick one is no better than a thin carpet. The high-density pile will give very durable carpets but has nothing to do with thickness.
What is the hardest wearing carpet?
Polypropylene carpets are probably the most hard–wearing carpets. They’re also soft to the touch and stain–resistant. Furthermore, the average price of this type of carpet is good value for money and they work well in just about any room of the house.
Find Carpet Fitters Near You
Laying carpet in your home will always make rooms seem warmer, easier on the feet and a pleasure to live in. They’re an affordable way to give your home a facelift. By completing the form on the top of the page, you can get a better understanding of carpet fitting costs in your area. You’ll receive 3-4 quotes from experienced professionals. Quotes are given with no-obligation.