If a client asks how much a commercial carpet will cost for their project the answer is basically ‘How long is a piece of string?’ There are just so many variables to contend with, from carpet quality and type of construction, to the type of backing and installation costs that there is, of course, no set answer.
If you are working directly with a client, you will need to gain a clear idea of their budget and work backwards from there to cover both costs for the carpet itself, any backing and adhesives, subfloor preparation, cost of installation time and labour costs plus your profit margin.
If your business has been engaged by an architect or project manager and you have been given a carpet plan and specifications to quote on, you may need to recommend adjustments in order to ensure your profit margin is maintained. Mistakes in the order, such as excess wastage, or not ordering sufficient carpet to cover wastage, can cost you dearly so double check every detail.
Here are some of the main variables that can drastically affect the cost of your commercial carpet project:
1. Type of carpet
- Wall to wall carpet is generally more expensive than carpet tiles, mainly due to greater wastage and more complex and time-consuming installation
- Woven broadloom carpet is more expensive than tufted broadloom
- Tufted broadloom is available in a wide range of quality from low to high, with price points to suit
2. Type of fibre
The type of fibre used – from natural wool to several different types of nylon – also affects the cost of carpet. Generally, natural fibres will be more expensive than synthetic. The “average pile density” also affect the price with higher density usually being more expensive.
3. Standard or custom design
It is hardly surprising that an entirely customized carpet design will be more expensive than a stock design. But even seemingly small changes in colourway to predefined designs can sometimes (though not always) contribute to a higher price as some suppliers have very favourable rates for their stock collections. Other suppliers produce most of their collections on demand and thus can keep favourable rates even for customized versions of them. The impact of your changes on the price can vary greatly though, so be sure to check in with your supplier for a quote on at least a couple of different options.
4. Type of backing
Carpet backing is an often underestimated part of both carpet price and quality. Backing plays a crucial role in ensuring important properties such as:
- Underfoot comfort
- Insulating properties
- Wear resistance
- Footstep suppression
- Fire resistance
Carpet backing adds structural stability, shape and protection, and the material used (its thickness and firmness) can affect the long-term durability of the carpet, which in itself should always be a topic when quoting your price to your client.
Carpet backing can also act as an integrated underlay so the carpet can be fixed directly to the subfloor which significantly affects installation time and in turn, installation costs.
Today’s carpet market offers a wide range of carpet backing options such as latex, PVC, polyurethane (PU), bitumen and textile backings such as woven or felt.
All these backing materials have different purposes, and different price points. Generally, as with the fibres, the natural materials are typically more expensive. The cheapest option is usually bitumen, but the widely criticized environmental impact of this material makes it an unpopular choice with many architects and clients, and for the same reasons, many suppliers have completely discontinued the use of bitumen.
The best balance between price, quality and environmental sustainability is often found with latex, textile or polyester backings. But be sure to consult your carpet supplier to choose the most suitable and most cost-effective backing for every situation in your project – such as high and low traffic areas – that best fits within the overall budget.
NB: If environmental sustainability is important to your client, consider that some suppliers offer carpet backing made from recycled materials. One example of this is the ege Ecotrust carpet backing made from recycled water bottles.
Once you have final costs for all the carpet, backing, adhesives, subfloor preparation and such you will need to add in your installation and labour costs, then calculate your profit margin leaving some leeway for unexpected delays that could require rescheduling.
Wall to wall carpet installation is generally more complex, more time-consuming and more costly than carpet tile installation and there is also more wastage to be accounted for. Waste for wall to wall carpets will typically be 10-30% depending on the design and building where carpet tiles will usually only waste 2-4%
Installation on perimeter grippers is the most expensive carpet installation technique but for high-end jobs where quality outweighs budget restraints it provides a cushion-like effect when walking over the carpet, increased footstep suppression, high strength and elasticity, resistance to heavy traffic and a simple and quick replacement of the carpet when needed.
Carpet tiles are easy to lay, have little wastage and can be installed immediately, making them ideal for projects on a tight budget or timeline.
Thoroughly checking all factors with your carpet supplier will ensure a win-win for all concerned – the client will get the best possible carpeting solution for their project, within their budget, and you will walk away happy with both the results and your profit margin.
Are you interested in having a chat with ege carpets about your next carpet project? Reach out to us here.