How to Lay Carpet

How To Lay Carpet

Carpet Detail by Renato Ganoza

If you are wondering how to lay carpet, you’ve come to the right place.  Carolina Flooring Services is the Charleston area’s premier flooring experts and we can help make flooring simple.  Whether you are looking to install your carpeting yourself or have it expertly installed by us, we are here to help!

Laying carpet can be a relatively simple process but in practice can be difficult due to the size and weight of material you will have to handle.  If that doesn’t deter you from tackling your project yourself, and you’re still hoping to find out how to lay carpet on your own, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps.

Laying Carpet:

  1. Measure your room accurately
  2. Remove your old carpet or flooring
  3. Install new tack strips
  4. Install carpet pad
  5. Install carpet
  6. Install transition strips

If you’re trying to find out how to lay carpet properly, it all starts with good measurements.  If you do not accurately estimate how much carpet you need you may end up making an expensive mistake, or having gaps in your new carpeting.  Carolina Flooring Services offers free in home measurements of any space you plan on carpeting.  Start by setting up an appointment by calling us at 843-225-0700.

Once you know the size of the space you are looking to carpet and have new carpet picked out, you can start your project by removing your old carpet or flooring.  Remember you need to remove everything down to the subflooring including any remnants of old flooring, padding or left over construction debris.  This will help your new carpet to lay flat and be uniform.  You may even consider checking the subflooring for level and loose boards to make sure your new floor is flat and doesn’t have any squeaks or creaks.

The next step is to install new tack strips around the perimeter of the room.  Tack strips can be secured to a wooden subfloor using staples or small nails.  You should leave approximately 1/8” to ½” of space between the tack strip and the wall to ensure you have room to stretch your carpet.  If you are installing a particularly heavy carpet or have a very large room you may even consider installing 2 rows of 1” tack strip.  For a more detailed explanation of how to install carpet tack strip, check out this article from This Old House on installing tack strips.

Once you have the track strip installed you can install your carpet padding.  Carpet padding is relatively easy to work with since is light weight and can be cut with a utility knife.  If you have seams in the padding they can be attached using duct tape or by stapling each edge of the padding to the floor in an alternating pattern.  The carpet pad should cover the whole area inside the tack strips without any gaps.

How to Lay carpet

Carpet Stretcher ARP – Wikimedia Commons

The hardest part of laying carpet yourself is actually installing the carpet.  Most carpet comes in 12 foot roles so if you have a larger room, you may need a seam.  You want the seam to be in a low traffic, inconspicuous place as seams tend to wear much more quickly than the rest of your carpet.  Cut your carpet pieces as big as possible and leave excess when you cut for final trimming and fitting.  Make sure the texture on the carpet is going the direction you want it to be before you bring the roll into the room.  The difficulty in this step is making sure the carpet is stretched tight before you secure it to the tack strips on the edges of the room.  Start on one side by forcing the carpet under any trim or doors, then pressing it into the tack strip.  You can stretch your carpet using a combination of level action stretchers, power stretchers or knee kickers to stretch the carpet as much as you can as you lay it across the room.  Once the carpet is stretched and secured in place, trim the excess carpet away and push it under the wall trim.  Make sure any seams in your carpet are glued together using seaming glue or seaming tape.  Creating a good seam can be extremely difficult and a great reason to hire Carolina Flooring Services to install your carpet professional to make sure your carpet comes out looking great.  If you are going to attempt to create a seam yourself, read this article on how to heat seam a carpet.

The last step is to install transition strips where your carpet meets any hard flooring surfaces like a tile or wood floor.

If you are going to install your own carpet, Carolina Flooring Services can help you learn how to lay carpet and has a great cash and carry program for do-it-yourselfers.  Carolina Flooring Services can help with your whole project from measuring, to carpet choices, to installation.  For more information on the kinds of carpeting Carolina Flooring Services has to offer, visit the carpet options page on our website, or stop by our show room at 3830 Dorchester Rd. in North Charleston today!

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