Carpet Replacement (Complete Guide)

Carpet is a beautiful addition to any room you want to make cozier. Carpets can help reduce noise and when cared for properly, can last a long time. However, heavy foot traffic, dirt, spills and more can diminish the quality of your carpet, especially if it’s a lighter color. While vacuuming and deep cleaning may help, the only true way to restore the look of your carpet is to replace it.

Signs of Need for Carpet Replacement

Carpet Lifespan

In general, you can expect your home carpet to last between 5 and 15 years. How long your carpet lasts will depend on its quality, padding, and whether it was installed in a high traffic area. For example, the bedroom carpet tends to last long because it has less foot traffic than hallways and entryways.

In order to increase the life span of your carpet, depending on your lifestyle; you should have your carpet professionally cleaned every 18-24 months, vacuum on a regular basis and follow the proper care and maintenance instructions found in your carpet warranty. If you have had your carpet for more than 20 years, it is best to replace it to maintain your home’s indoor air quality and comfort.


Over time, heavy furniture and foot traffic can matt down the carpet. For example, the legs on your couch may have already made impressions on your living room carpet. While some impressions can be worked out with a carpet rake or professional cleaning, others create permanent dents in your floor. If you were to move all the furniture out, you would notice how your carpet is matted in the paths you and your family walk every day.

Rips and Tears

A small tear or rip can be fixed or replaced with the help of a professional, but a large tear or rip in your carpet may require a complete floor replacement.

Mold and Mildew

Mold loves to grow in moist dark places, like your basement carpet. If your basement has recently flooded, whether you will be able to keep the carpet will depend on the extent of water damage. For example, wet padding underneath the carpet should be replaced.

The type of water that flooded your home will also determine whether the carpet is salvageable. Freshwater from a sink is completely different from a sewage backup. A basement flooded with contaminated water will need new carpet installation after it has been dried out and cleaned.

Permanent Stains

If your floor has more than a couple of noticeable stains, it is time to consider carpet replacement. When you have carpet flooring, it is important to treat stains as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more time liquids have to seep into carpet fibers and stain the padding underneath.

It is important to read the care and maintenance instructions for your specific carpet style in order to determine the best way to remove stains. Carpet Care and maintenance instructions will provide an approved list of cleaners that can be used to remove stains. If stains still appear after you have self-cleaned, its best to have your carpet professionally cleaned. If stains are still visible after a professional clean, it is an indicator that your carpet is permanently stained.

Permanent Odors

The bad odor could be a sign of mold or pet stains that have seeped beneath the carpet. If you experience strong carpet odors, it is best to get a professional cleaning. If a deep cleaning carpet doesn’t get rid of the smell, you will need to contact your local carpet company to ask about a replacement. If the odors continue to linger, it is likely you will need to replace your carpet to completely eliminate the odors.


The longer you have your carpet, the more allergens it is going to collect over time. A professional cleaning may do the trick, but if it seems like your indoor allergies have been acting up more frequently and a cleaning doesn’t help, it might be time to replace your carpet.

You Don’t Like the Color or Pattern

A flooring store will offer a variety of carpet colors for you to complement your home’s interior design. If you aren’t in love with the color carpet installed by the previous homeowners or the one that you chose before, now is your chance to install a new carpet. Over time, certain colors drop out of style and can make your home look dated. The great thing about carpet is that it comes in a wide variety of colors. Unlike hardwood flooring, you are not limited to those colors that appear in nature. You can choose whatever you want to replace the old carpeting.

Carpet Replacement by Yourself (DIY)

When it comes to replacement carpet in your home, some people may think opting for a DIY is a great way to save money. The reality of the situation is, while you can replace your own carpet, it is a difficult job for a novice. In most cases, it is easier to pay a professional to replace the carpet for you because you will end up with less hassle, and a quality job in the end.

Replacing and installing your own carpet is not easy work, but it is certainly a project you can be proud of. While some steps provide the tips and tools necessary for your DIY carpet replacement, certain projects may require the skill of a pro. Contact a flooring contractor to help ensure the job is done well.

Specialty Tools

This task requires the use of certain specialty tools which are a knee kicker and a power stretcher. While a professional replacement will have access to these tools and the knowledge to use them effectively, as a do-it-yourselfer, you may not. Many tool rental stores make it easy for a person to rent the carpet replacement tools by the day for their own installations, but for those not familiar with the specific carpet tools in the first place, it is not really worth the expense.

  • Materials Needed
    • Tackless Strips
    • Carpeting of Choice
    • Carpet Scissors
    • Hammer
    • Staple Gun
    • Knee Kicker
    • Utility Knife
    • Dust Mask
    • Gloves

Knowledge and Expertise

Beyond the knowledge and expertise of using the specialty tools, professional carpet installers should be well versed in properly installing the carpet padding. The carpet padding will provide extra cushion on the feet when walked on, help guard against matting of the carpet fibers, and provide a certain degree of stain protection. If it is not installed correctly, there could be bumps in the padding, reflecting on the carpet when it is laid on top.

The installer should also be able to properly cut the carpet in order to account for heating and cooling registers and be prepared to remove baseboards. If you are purchasing a carpet that will need seams pushed together, this is an extra skill found in most professional installers.

  • Step 1: Determine How Much Carpet You will Need

Before you start making any permanent changes, you will need to decide how much carpet you will be replacing and what kind you will choose. You should measure the area and write down all measurements, including small areas by windows, closets or hallways. You can use a carpet calculator in order to input the numbers and see how much carpet you will need for your project. Keep in mind that you will want a little extra to make room for error.

  • Step 2: Tear-Out Existing Carpeting and Padding

Once you have purchased the amount of carpeting you will need, you must remove the existing carpet and carpet padding. You should wear gloves in order to protect your hands and a dust mask as well. Detach the existing carpet from the tack strip, starting in a corner of the room. Then, fold back and cut, about every 3’ or so, into sections you can handle. It is completely up to you. After you have removed the carpet, you will need to remove the padding in the same way you removed the carpet. You should be careful to not hit any walls with the underside of the carpet, which is a course and can scratch your painted walls.

You will also need to remove any glue or staples that are stuck to the floor before proceeding to the next step. If your tackles strip is not damaged in any way, you don’t need to remove it and can use it to install your carpeting.

  • Step 3: Get Out the Elbow Grease

You should take a proactive stance toward potential health concerns and thoroughly vacuum the flooring you plan to replace. This will root out dirt, dust and biological debris that would otherwise go flying once the flooring installer starts to tear up the carpet.

  • Step 4: Thoroughly Clean and Clear The Floor

You will always want to be sure that you are starting with a clean floor to work on, especially if the floor replacement was due to a spill or multiple pet accidents. Sweep and vacuum the floor to start, then smooth out any areas that may have excess material. A high-efficiency filtered vacuum cleaner will minimize the health complaints triggered by airborne pollutants.

Remove any doors or other obstacles that can prevent you. If the old carpet is especially dirty or has been contaminated with mold or animal urine, take extra steps to protect occupants’ health by rolling the old carpet in plastic as it’s removed.

If you are replacing your carpet due to a spill or repeated pet accidents, you may want to check the flooring to be sure the liquids did not contaminate any of the floor or baseboards. Replacing the carpet will not help the smell. You can first try a mom solution with bleach in it. When that dries, spread baking soda on the floor to absorb any odors. This should help remove current and future odors. If any permanent damage was done to those areas and must be professionally cleaned.

  • Step 5: Install Tackless Strips

In some cases, you may not need to add new tackless strips if there was no damage to the old ones. However, if you are replacing carpeting on a floor that previously had no carpeting, you will need to install new tackless strips. You should size to the wall and nail them a half-inch away, avoiding doorways. Keep in mind that they are sharp, so be careful while doing it.

  • Step 6: Lay The Padding

After all these steps, it is time for the carpet pad. Be sure the padding is an exact fit as you don’t want it to overlap. Staple it to the inside of the tackless strip. Stretch and staple any seams of the padding as well. Cut any excess padding and secure any joins with tape.

  • Step 7: Lay The Carpeting

Lay the carpeting over the carpet pad, leaving a few inches of excess. Make sure the carpet pile is going in the appropriate direction, especially if you are matching another carpet. Using the knee kicker, attach the carpeting to the tackless strips. Place the kicker against the carpet and hit to stretch the carpet into the strips. Trim the carpet with your utility knife and create a clean look by tucking in the edges between the wall and the strip using a metal edge.

  • Step 8: Keep Up Appearances

Once the new carpet is installed, don’t walk away from the upkeep. Without adequate maintenance, the carpet will rapidly lose its appeal. You have to have a maintenance program established prior to the product actually being used. You don’t want to put something down and then all of a sudden say ‘You know what? This thing is getting very dirty.’ You want to keep it looking good from day one.

  • Step 9: Clean

In order to finish your carpet replacement project, you should clean and vacuum the area, trimming any excess threads. Don’t forget to keep up with regular cleaning in order to keep your carpet in the best shape. Vacuum the low- and moderate-traffic areas at least once a day, and pay special attention to high-traffic areas such as entrances and lobbies, which may need several passes with a vacuum every day.

Carpet Replacement Cost

Replacing carpet in a room can completely change the look and even have additional long-term. However, before you start picking out carpet samples, it is a good idea to understand the costs associated with this project. The average cost to install a carpet is around $1,500, depending on the room size. Pricing depends on the size and shape of the room, carpet style, removing old flooring, labor, and more. You will be cutting costs if you plan to DIY your carpet replacement as well.

Cost factors that affect your cost are the square footage of the room, carpet selected, previous flooring removal, any repairs, carpet underlay, and the installation labor. The smaller the area you are getting a replacement, the marginally higher your carpet installation prices will be per square foot.

Factors that Affect Carpet Replacement Costs

Replacement carpet is not as simple as it seems. It is a job best handled by experienced tradies as they can assure you of a professional finish. Many factors are at play when figuring out the overall cost of a carpet installation job.

  • The number of rooms – Replacing carpet in one big hall is much easier than laying a new carpet in a small house that is divided into smaller rooms. This is because there is a lot more measuring, planning and carpet cutting involved in an area that is subdivided by walls.
  • Subfloor preparation – Part of a carpet replacement job is to prepare the floor prior to carpet installation. This can include removing the old carpet and making sure that the floor is clean and has no chips or cracks before the new carpet is installed.
  • Room variables – Oddly shaped rooms or working around posts in the middle of the floor can make carpet replacement much more difficult.
  • Stairs – You will be given a separate and more expensive pricing estimate if you are planning to replace or install carpet on your stairs and landings.
  • Additional costs – There can be additional costs involved when installing or replacing a new carpet. For example, if the new carpet is thicker than the old one, the doors may need to be trimmed down a centimeter or so. Otherwise, the door will rub on the carpet.

How To Calculate Carpet Area

In order to determine the carpet area, measure and draw the room. Measure the width of the room at its widest point. Measure the length of the room at its longest stretch. Enter these numbers into any carpet estimator.

If you would like to do everything by hand, let’s get into some math.
Multiply those two longest points by each other to determine the square footage of the room. If your carpet installer requires the total carpeted area in square yards, divide the room’s square footage by nine.

How To Calculate Carpet Area For Stairs

Determining the exact measurements for both the stair tread (the horizontal part) and the stair riser (the vertical part) can be confusing. Even further, converting those measurements into square yards is another obstacle all together.

For stairs, measure one stair tread from one side to the other side of the rail (or wall) and then round it off to the nearest foot. Then, measure the stair riser from the bottom to the top of the tread and round off to the nearest foot. Multiply these two together to determine the area of one stair. Add three inches if you plan to use carpet padding. Count all the stairs and enter these numbers into the stair calculator. If doing by hand, multiply your stair area (plus the padding) by the number of stairs to determine how many square feet of carpet you will need for all stairs.

Alternatives to Carpet Replacement

If your carpet is looking worn, old or discolored, you may want to replace it. However, this is a big project and you may decide that it is too difficult or too expensive or you may rent your home and want some alternative options. There are ways to conceal or rejuvenate the old carpet, making your floor look new again.


The dye is an excellent way in order to restore faded color, fix spots or stains or simply to give the carpet a new color. You can dye carpet yourself, though you may get better results hiring a professional. Not all carpets can be dyed, for example, nylon and wool are dyeable, but polyester, acrylic or polypropylene carpets aren’t dyeable.

You can’t dye a carpet just any color as well. For instance, you can’t make a blue carpet yellow, but you could just make it a different shade of blue or change it to green or purple. You also can’t lighten a color with dye.


Rather than replacing the carpet, you could potentially remove it and not replace it, using the subfloor below as your main flooring instead. Sometimes carpet is laid over an existing floor covering, such as hardwood, so you may like what is underneath. Even if what is below is a plain plywood subfloor, you can use floor paint to make it attractive. You can paint, dye or stain concrete subfloors for appealing results.

Area Rugs

Area rugs are a simple alternative to carpet replacement and require little effort in order to get a good effect. If you have an area of carpet that shows particularly high levels of wear, you can use an area rug to hide it. If the problem is that your current carpet does not go with your decor, area rugs can also help you change the style and predominant color of your floor to better suit your tastes.


Rather than replacing or removing the old carpet, you can try to restore it instead. For instance, you can raise a flattened pile or dents in the carpet with steam. You can place a cold, wet cloth over the area, then iron it with an ordinary clothes iron.

There are many ways in order to combat spots on the carpet. A simple one is to blot the area with some diluted dish soap on a wet cloth, then blot again with a cloth soaked in cold water. Put some paper towels over the spot and put something heavy on them overnight to help the paper towels absorb the water and dirt. Consider buying or renting professional carpet cleaning equipment in order to give your entire carpet a thorough cleaning.

Carpet Replacement Companies

  • USA Flooring
    Address: 3612 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707, USA
    Phone: +1 919-294-9936
  • California Carpet
    Address: 1197 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
    Phone: +1 415-487-3636
  • Carpet to Go Charlotte Flooring Center
    Address: 7135 E W.T. Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28227, USA
    Phone: +1 704-295-0888
  • Carpet Now – Austin Carpet Installation
    Address: 13809 Research Blvd Suite 500, Austin, TX 78750, USA
    Phone: +1 512-399-2828
  • Hector’s Magic Carpet – Lawrenceville
    Address: 320 Bethesda Park Trail, Lawrenceville, GA 30044, USA
    Phone: +1 404-513-0144
  • S&G Carpet and More San Jose
    Address: 1830 Hillsdale Ave, San Jose, CA 95124, USA
    Phone: +1 408-414-1188
  • Carpet Installation
    Address: 3620 Janse Way, San Diego, CA 92173, USA
    Phone: +1 619-329-4204
  • Artistic Carpet One Floor & Home
    Address: 1061 W Ave K, Lancaster, CA 93534, USA
    Phone: +1 661-902-0558

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like history and reading about carpets. I like to play soccer too :)

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