That is a really good question. I assume you want a price for installed carpet, which would include carpet, pad, and installation. My short answer is about $20 per sq. yd. but let’s break down the cost and look at your options.
There is a very large selection of carpet styles and designs that would qualify as nice carpet. So let’s focus on carpet made from nylon and polyester, which are the two most popular residential carpet fibers.
Besides the carpet, you also have pad and installation to make up the total cost of buying carpet for your home. All three have a wide price range and are many times priced together, or maybe buy the carpet and pad and you will get free installation. This is obviously a marketing scheme and the consumer needs to compare the total price.
First let’s look at the carpet. Nice carpet for your home will range from a 35 oz polyester at about $8.99 per sq. yd. on the low end to a 55 oz nylon at about $23.99 per sq. yd. on the high end. A 35 oz nylon would cost about $14.99 per sq. yd. on the low end of nice nylon carpet while a 55 oz polyester would cost about $14.99 per sq. yd. on the high end of polyester carpet. As you can see nylon is more expensive than polyester. Both polyester and nylon are available in soft fiber, which will increase the price about 20%.
Next we will look at the pad. The best pad for your money is a 7/16″ thick 8lb. rebond pad at $2.99 per sq. yd. There are several pads, such as Shaw’s “St. Jude Hope Cushion,” Mohawk’s “Decorate for the Cure,” and Stainmaster’s rebond pad that cost around $4.95 per sq. yd. As with carpet, there are several pads that are more expensive such as Healthier Choice or solid rubber pad.
Last but not least you obviously need quality installation. A basic installation costs about $4.50 per sq. yd. This number can increase with extra charges for removing and carrying off old carpet, which costs about $1.00 per sq. yd. Moving most furniture will cost about $1.50 per sq. yd., and moving heavy furniture such as pianos, pool tables, and entertainment centers have extra charges. There are also extra charges for installing berber carpet and patterned carpet, as well as carpeting steps.
Now we need to combine the cost of carpet, pad, and installation to get our total cost.
A nice residential polyester carpet should run about $16 to $25 per sq. yd. installed.
A nice residential nylon carpet should run about $22 to $31 per sq. yd. installed.
The nylon carpet will be more durable, but the polyester offers the best apparent value. Remember the denser and lower the pile, the longer your carpet should last. However, no matter how nice your carpet, it will show traffic patterns with time.
Important!!! Carpet may be priced by the sq. ft. instead of the sq. yd. There are 9 sq. ft. in 1 sq. yd. so a carpet that costs $18.00 per square yard cost only $2.00 per square foot. Don’t get confused and be sure you’re comparing apples to apples or square feet to square feet or square yards to square yards. There is a huge difference.