When you’ve just purchased a new property, one of the first things you many buyers do is replace the carpets. There’s nothing quite like the feel of brand new carpet underfoot and a new loop, twist or velvet can breathe life into even the most tired house or apartment.

Once you’ve chosen your new flooring, the next thing to do is sort out a fitter who matches your needs. Having your carpet, vinyl or laminate flooring fitted by a professional means less carpet waste and a beautifully smooth finish.

Whether you source a fitter or the carpet retailer recommends their own, don’t cut any corners when it comes to making sure you get the best job done at the right price. Follow this guide to carpet fitters to make sure you find one that fits the bill.

What they do

Carpet fitters work with carpeting, carpet tiles, wood, laminates, lino, rubber and cork sheeting. Their job involves:

  • Measuring up
  • Removing old flooring
  • Preparing the surface
  • Laying underlay and floor coverings
  • Stretching carpet over spiked gripper rods
  • Heat-sealing joins and edges on vinyl flooring
  • Fitting door plates
  • Putting furniture back and planing and re-hanging doors to fit

What they charge

Depending on style and quality, carpet and vinyl floor covering can cost anything from £5 – £500 per square metre.

Luckily, the cost of a carpet fitter is more predictable. They usually charge by the m2 which makes their charges easy to work out. They will also add on the cost of any gripper rods or door plates and will charge extra for removing old carpet and making sure doors still open and close properly after the carpet has been fitted.

To fit carpet, expect to pay around £3 – £4 per m2. Which means a small room of around 3m x 3m (9 m2) would cost £27 – £36 and a large room of 6m x 5m (30 m2) would cost between £90 and £120. You will play slightly more for fitting vinyl and lino.

For a fitter to remove the old flooring, dispose of it and supply new underlay and carpet to the same 30m2, you should expect to pay around £700 including gripper and door easing.

Stairs cost around £75 to have a carpet fitted to a single staircase, though it will work out as more if it twists and turns.

Other things that will add to the cost are:

  • Lifting of old flooring (between £1 and £2 per square metre)
  • Door easing (planing bottom to clear new carpet) – £10 – £15 per door
  • Dispose of old flooring – £15 – £20
  • Screed floor level – around £10 per square metre
  • Ply boarding– £14 per square metre
  • Moving furniture – around £20 per room

What to ask

Make sure you are perfectly clear with the carpet fitter what the price covers. As the previous section demonstrates, there are lots of niggly extra jobs that will add to the cost. So make sure you discuss these upfront to avoid any misunderstanding.

If they have visited your premises to measure up and quote, the carpet fitter should spot any extra tasks and flag them up. If you have bought your carpet from a shop using your own measurements, it’s up to you to make sure everything has been included to avoid any shocks when it comes to paying.

Trades to trust

The National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers is the home of professionals working in the domestic flooring trade and membership is a good sign of your chosen carpet fitter’s professionalism.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, find out what two or three different carpet fitters charge per m2 and for the extra jobs highlighted above to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, proof of public liability insurance and references or photos from previous jobs. If the carpet fitter is trustworthy and competent, they’ll be pleased (and proud) to show you both.