Unlike tile or wood flooring, which is priced by the square foot only, carpet is priced by the square yard or square foot, making an apples to apples comparison challenging.
However, converting the square yard price into square feet isn’t difficult; just divide it by 9. For example, carpet priced at $27 a yard costs $3 a square foot, says Tom Manion, owner of Manion Door to Door Flooring of Austin, Texas.
Average carpet prices start at $2 a square foot and increase with quality. Middle-grade quality carpet ranges from $3 to $4 a square foot, and high grades and designer grades cost about $5 or more per square foot. According to Costhelper, if it's not already included in the cost, expect to pay an additional $2.50 to $6 per square foot for padding, and $2 to 6 per square foot for installation.
Be wary of free padding promotions or low-cost carpet deals. You know, the ones that offer three rooms for an absurdly low price — like $99. Free carpet padding is usually cheap, thin and often results in consumers paying for an upgrade. As for those amazing deals, the cheap carpet comes with high-cost padding, installation and other extras tacked on so the deal isn’t as sweet as it seemed.
Oh, and about stain resistance. It’s not always needed.
Chris Burton, co-owner of Burton’s Flooring Center of Franklin, Indiana, says stain resistance is natural for polyester or olefin carpet because the fibers are non porous. However, nylon carpets do need added stain protection.