How to Install Carpet

how to install carpetCarpet is one of the most comfortable floor coverings you can install in your home.  Builders and homeowners alike choose to use carpeting in areas of your home where you need the most comfort and will be spending the most time.  Living rooms and family rooms almost always receive carpeting to make gatherings and playtime more comfortable.  Bedrooms likewise almost always are carpeted to add to the comfort of both your morning and evening routine.

If you are an extreme do-it-yourself kind of person, then the biggest frustration about carpeting is that it can seem almost impossible to install yourself.  Installing carpeting can be quite a job.  To start with carpet usually is manufactured and delivered on 12’ roll.  Some carpets may be available on a 13.5’ roll and still others may be available on a 15’ roll.  Either way, you are going to have difficulty moving something that big and heavy.  A 12’ role will easily stick out of the back of almost any van and even the largest pickup trucks.  Besides being long and hard to transport, a roll of good carpeting can weigh over 500 pounds!  Installing your own carpeting probably won’t be a do-it-yourself job, but if you’ve got some good friends or family, it may be something you can tackle without a professional.

Installation of any flooring always starts with the proper measurements.  Your goal with laying carpeting shouldn’t be to have as little waste as possible.  Your goal should be to minimize the seams in the carpet and to lay those seams in an area of low traffic and where they won’t be seen.  This means if your room is larger than 12’ wide, you will have to have at least one seam.  Even though it will create more waste, it is smarter to make sure that one seam is all you need.  If your room is 15×10, then it is smart to roll a 3’x10’ piece of carpet next to the 12’ piece so you only have 1 seam.  In this case, you would need to order a 12’x20’ section of carpet and cut it to a 12’x10’ piece and a 3’x10’ piece.

After you’ve properly measured your space, you need to remove any old flooring.  This includes old carpet, wood, and any vapor barrier or old padding so the bare subfloor is showing.  Make sure the subfloor is in good shape and level.  A warped, wet, or broken subfloor will lead to a poorly carpeted room.  If you have removed old carpet you can leave the old tack strips in place for re-use, or you can install new tack strips.  If you are installing new tack strips secure them to the subfloor using ¾” nails and make sure the tacks are angled toward the wall and away from the middle of the room.  You should leave about a 1/2” in-between the wall and the new tack strip.  Next, install your new carpet padding.  The padding should stay inside the tack strips and butt directly up to the piece next to it or the tack strip.  Use a wood stable gun to secure the padding to the subfloor on the sides and edges.  If you have a very large space, consider taping the seams as well with duct tape.

Now you are ready to install the actual carpet!  There are two difficult parts of installing the carpet we will address; seams and stretching.  If you will have a seam in your carpet due to the size of your room, there are a few precautions you need to take.  First, start by making sure when you lay the carpet pieces the pile is going in the same direction.  If you are cutting two pieces from the same roll, simple roll out the carpet from the same side of the room.  Also, if your seam will be on a cut edge, make sure you cut the carpet extremely straight.  A utility knife and straight edge may be possible, but we suggest renting a seam cutter.  Next, cut and place a stripe of seaming tape under the carpet.  Then, activate the adhesive of the seaming tape using the manufacturer’s instructions.  Carefully press the carpet onto the seam using a lot of weight or a carpet roller.  Since seams are so important, try reading this article for a more thorough guide on how to connect carpet seams.

how to install carpetOnce you’ve got your seams together, you can start attaching the carpeting to the floor using the tack strips.  Start on one side of the room and use a knee kicker to get the carpet pushed all the way up to the wall.  Use a clean paint scraper to tuck the carpet under any baseboards if they are still installed.  Next, using a carpet stretcher you can stretch the carpet tight and begin to use the knee kicker to attach the carpet to the other sides of the room.  This process takes patience and a combination of the knee kicker and carpet stretcher to make sure you get the carpet tight and uniform without any wrinkles.  If you left excess carpeting on one side of the room, you can trim that off now so the carpet is flush with the wall.  Now you can tuck the carpeting under the baseboards, or reinstall them if they were previously removed.

Installing carpet is something you can do with a few friends or family.  When you’re ready to tackle your carpeting project, stop by Carolina Flooring Services showroom in North Charleston at 3830 Dorchester Rd.  We can help you choose the right carpet and padding for you space and get you on your way back home to your project.  We also offer complete carpet installation so if you get stuck with your project, we’re here to help you finish so you can enjoy your new carpet!  Call Carolina Flooring Services today at 843-225-0700 or visit us online to learn more about our carpet services.

Pictures provided by:

new_carpet.jpg – By Garann – Licensed By Creative Commons Via Flickr – Original Link
carpet_stretcher.jpg – By CoolTools – Licesned By Creative Commons – Original link

Comments are closed.