Installing carpet isn’t rocket science. Whether you’re adding carpet to a new home or replacing an old one, with the right tools and preparation you can install a carpet yourself without the help of professional contractors like Empire (cue the corny jingle). Take a dive into this article to learn how to install a carpet step by step and for general information on how to lay a carpet in place.
Carpets aren’t considered technically difficult, but they do come with challenges due to the size of the carpet rolls and an often limited workspace. Start with removing the old carpet and padding or thoroughly cleaning your surface area. Avoid removing the tackstrips as you will need those later and feel free to add more if need be. Take some time to analyze your subfloor to make sure there isn’t any damage, loose floorboards, and that it’s smooth and clean. Depending on where the carpet is going, you may also need to take down doors and other objects that can get in the way of installing the carpet. Once everything is clean, install new tackless strips around perimeter of your space. When laying the strips, place them about a half-inch away from the wall so that the tacks face towards the wall. Even though tackless strips sound like they don’t have any tacks, they do have two or three rows of sharps tacks, but they are considered tackless because by using them, you do not need to tack the carpet down. After your surface is clean and the strips are in place, lay the underpad down on the tackless strips so that the strips don’t overlaps and staple the underlay down along the inside edge of the strip. Trim any excess underlay and seal the seams using duct tape or another suitable adhesive. Following the installation of the underpad, it’s time to begin installing the carpet. To begin start with a piece of carpet that overlaps the edge of the floor by at least 4 inches. You should do this for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t want to have to go back and add carpet to the edge of the room because your measurements were off when you initially cut it. Second, the carpet needs to be climatized. A wall-to-wall carpet has the ability to shrink or expand depending on the environment of the home. Changes in temperature and air pressure can cause your carpet to shrink and adjust its dimensions slightly so plan accordingly by letting your carpet sit in the room uninstalled for at least 24 hours. When ready, start installing the carpet with the piece that overlaps the edge. Trim it so that it fits properly using a knife and place it down. From there, work your way to setting the seams and joining multiple pieces together so that it’s unnoticeable. Be mindful of how you lay out your carpet to avoid seams being in noticeable places. Use seaming tape and rent a seaming iron to activate the adhesive to properly join the pieces together. Once the seams and edges are in place, use a knee kicker to attached the carpet to the floor along the edges. You can finish attaching the carpet by using a carpet stretcher. This will stretch the carpet over the tackless strips so that it’s fitted properly in place. Finally, go around the room and trim the carpet in the areas where needed.
Carpet installation is simple. Rent the right tools, ask plenty of questions, watch a few tutorials, and maybe even revisit this article and your floor will be in tiptop shape. There will be challenges and exceptions along the way, but that’s just part of the fun. Get out there, install your own carpet, and do it yourself today!