The Cost of Carpet Fitting

All you need to know about hiring a flooring specialist to supply and fit a carpet including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

Carpet Fitting

What the job entails

A new carpet can revamp an entire room and is the most visible and hard working part of any household furnishing. Carpet is also warmer and softer than hardwood flooring, so is ideal for young children who will spend a lot of time crawling or playing on the floor. Fitting a carpet can even save money on heating costs as it insulates the floor and is cheaper than hardwood or tiled floors. This article details the price you could expect to pay a carpet installer to fit carpet in your home. The prices exclude the cost of the carpet itself as that will vary tremendously on the type of carpet chosen. Most quotes just include the labour costs of carpet being cut to size, old flooring being lifted and new carpet professionally fitted.

Laying new carpet will entail removing the old flooring first of all, the rolling out the new carpet in the empty room and cutting it an extra 200mm all round, ensuring that any pattern in the carpet is square to the walls and that you leave enough overlap to go through any doorways. Then roll up carpet and place to one side and put down newspaper or paper sheets using double sided tape to hold them down on the floor. This will stop the underlay or foam backing sticking to the floor if you ever need to lift the carpet again.

Next, lay carpet gripper round the outside of the room about 12mm away from the skirting boards and hammer into the floor using masonry nails ensuring the sharp points point towards the walls to grip the carpet. Then lay the underlay inside the gripper and roll out the carpet by pushing it into one corner first so the overlap folds down onto the carpet leaving a crease where it meets the skirting board. Push this crease well into the joint where the carpet meets the floor. Then use a sharp knife to remove the overlap while pushing the carpet onto the gripper in that corner. Work along one edge of the carpet using knee gripper until one wall is complete, then go back to the starting corner and work along the other wall.

Then use the kicker to stretch diagonally across the room. When all the carpet is cut to size and placed into position, use the kicker to make sure the carpet is tight to all skirting boards. Finally use a carpet bolster to bang down the carpet between the gripper rods and the skirting boards for a lovely neat finish.

In terms of related jobs that people often want alongside new carpets, decorating is pretty popular and usually done before new carpet is laid down. If the old flooring is being removed than you can redecorate the room without worrying too much about dripping wallpaper paste or paint onto the floor! In particular painting of skirting boards (or replacement of skirting boards if in really bad condition) is much easier if you do not have to worry about damaging the carpet/flooring.

Fitting a carpet may seem like a straightforward job but a poorly laid carpet will look bad and be more susceptible to damage and wear & tear. Worst of all, a carpet fitted poorly will not last as long. That's why it is important to hire professional carpet fitters who will fit the carpets properly leaving a smooth and tight finish.

If fitting the carpet yourself be careful with patterned carpets to ensure the pattern is square to the wall when fitting, if you get this wrong the carpet will look awful no matter how well it is fitted! You really need to check and double check the size/measurements all round before you star trimming the carpet into the walls - you can't really undo a carpet cut too small or not cut square with the pattern.

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Cost of Carpet Fitting

The average cost of fitting depends on labour cost and cost of materials. Labour costing roughly £150-£200 in a 25 sq metre room. For an average size front room, you should expect to pay around £500 for a professional carpet installer. This price would include removing the old flooring, then fitting new underlay and carpet with necessary grippers and door easing. Carpet prices vary on the quality of the carpet.

Carpet Price - £10 to £25 per square metre
Underlay - £3 - £8 per square metre

Below are some estimated costs of supplying and fitting mid-range carpet:

Room type Avg. Cost Duration
Small Bedroom £350 2-3 hours
Large Bedroom £550 3-4 hours
Staircase £350 3-4 hours
Lounge £600 3-4 hours
Bathroom £350 3-4 hours

If these prices are looking too costly at the moment, consider hiring a carpet specialist to clean your carpets instead. You'd be surprised at how new and fresh they can look once they've been steam cleaned.

Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for supplying and fitting carpet in a 20 square metre lounge - Total Cost: £600






Waste Removal


Assuming a standard size and type of staircase without lots of twists and turns, then expect to pay around £70 for the fitting costs only. The carpet itself will cost from around £7 to £30 or more per metre depending on the quality and thickness. Underlay will cost an additional £3 to £10 per square metre.
For an average size front room (think 3 bed semi-detached not mansion), you should expect to pay around £500 for a professional carpet installer. This price would include removing the old flooring, then fitting new underlay and carpet with necessary grippers and door easing. You can save some money on this cost by emptying the room of all furniture then lifting and removing the old flooring yourself, saving the fitter some time.
A typical room left empty but with original carpets in place would take around 2-3 hours. If the room is full of furniture and the fitters have to empty the room, the job will of course take longer and will probably cost more too! When getting quotes check whether or not the carpet installers will not take the old carpets away with them or are leaving that down to you. Using the old underlay and grippers can also save time and money, but is not recommended.
Word of mouth recommendation is always the best way to find any kind of tradesman to work in your home. Ask around your friends and relatives and find someone that has carpets fitted and are completely happy with the work. A local company that has built their business on recommendation is always a good choice. However, if you are new to an area or do not know anyone with a recommendation, then look for a carpet fitter who is registered with the National Institute of Carpet and Floor Layers. Always get 3 quotes and ask the fitter to supply references you can check while also ensuring they carry the necessary insurance and trade body membership.