So you’re ready to install carpet in your home? That’s great!
But before you start unrolling your beautiful new flooring, there are a few carpeting installation tips you may want to keep in your back pocket!
Installing carpet in your home is a great way to bring comfort and coziness into any room, but if you’ve decided to do your own installation, being fully prepared and informed is essential.
In this article, we go over a few critical aspects of installing carpet and offer some helpful advice along the way.
Let’s begin –
Although some DIYers will advise you to “wing it” with makeshift tools, it’s best to have the right equipment for the job, especially if you want a clean and professional-grade install.
Luckily, you can rent most of what you’ll need without having to invest in equipment you’ll likely never use again.
Carpet Installation Tools & Materials that will Make Your Life Much Easier:
Before you begin “rolling out the red carpet,” as they say, make sure you take the time to fully prepare your subfloor for a clean and smooth install.
To do this, you’ll want to completely remove any existing carpet/flooring, thoroughly clean the area, and remove any doors that open into the room where you’ll be installing your carpet.
Once your workspace has been carefully cleaned and prepped, you can begin installing your tack strips.
Use a handsaw to carefully cut the strips to fit the perimeter of the room. You will then want to place each tack strip about two-thirds the thickness of your carpet from the wall’s edge all around the perimeter of the room. Ensure that each strip is snuggly secured end-to-end with the tack points facing the wall.
Although you will not place tack strips across door entryways, you will need to cut smaller pieces to fit around your door frames.
Lastly, you will need to carefully nail your tack strips into the subfloor. If you are installing your strips over concrete, you’ll need to use masonry tacks.
For this step, start laying your carpet padding over the subfloor, ensuring that the seams of the padding will be at right angles to the seams of your carpet.
Now, begin using your carpet knife or trimmer to cut away any excess padding right up to the inner edge of your tack strips (not over).
Next, use your masking tape to tape over the seams between each sheet of your carpet padding. You can use either a staple hammer to secure the padding or carpet pad adhesive at the outer edges around the room.
To begin, measure the room to determine how much carpet you’ll need, and be sure to add an additional 6 inches to your final measurement.
Next, unroll the amount of carpeting you need and use your chalk reel to snap a clean line across the backside of the carpeting where you’ll need to make your first cut.
Carefully begin cutting the carpet guided by your chalk line and be sure to change out your knife blades as they dull to keep your cuts precise.
Once your carpet is cut to size, roll out the piece you will be using with the backing face-down on the padding. Remember, your carpet’s seams should lay at right angles to your padding seams.
As you lay the carpet in place, be sure to leave an extra few inches of carpet next to the wall; we’ll address any excess material that overhangs later.
Now that your carpet is smoothly spread out, at each corner of the room, you will need to flip back the corner of the carpet towards yourself and make a relief cut from the underside of the corner, which will allow the carpet’s edge to lay flat once pressed back down.
Place your knee kicker a few inches from the wall near the corner of the longest wall in the room. You will then use the knee kicker to hook and press the carpet into your tack strips beneath. As you travel along the wall, the hooks of the kicker will allow you to grasp the carpet while you bump your knee into the padded end to stretch it into place.
Once your carpet is securely in place along that wall, you can begin to trim away any excess material at the edge of that wall and tuck the remaining edges underneath the baseboards with the carpet tucking tool.
Pro tip: If you are laying out your carpet in sections, ensure each piece is placed with the grain of the carpet in the same direction. Then, place seam tape underneath each meeting carpet seam against the padding and gently iron the joining sections into place with your carpet seaming iron.
Time to start stretching! And no, we don’t mean yoga; this is the step where you will begin stretching your carpeting into place to remove wrinkles or loose areas.
With one wall of your carpet already anchored, you will now start anchoring your carpet stretcher several inches from the opposite wall to begin stretching the material and smoothing out any imperfections along that wall.
As you stretch your carpeting into place, you will need to secure it into the tack strip.
After all your carpeting has been stretched and anchored into the strip, you can begin trimming away the excess and tucking the edges securely under your baseboards as you did with the first wall.
You will then repeat these steps for the remaining walls until all your carpet is smoothly in place.
To secure the carpet in the doorway, you will use a Z bar. You will tack the Z bar down just like the tack strips in the middle of the doorway. You will then trim the carpet to about 3 inches and tuck it into the Z bar.
Lastly, with your carpet fully installed, you can begin replacing any doors and/or trim you may have removed for the project.
Congratulations, you now have what it takes to install carpet like a pro!
Carpeting is a great way to bring luxurious comfort and style into your home, and as you can see, it is possible to do it all on your own. If you choose to hire an installer, carpet is the cheapest flooring to install.
Our team of carpeting experts will gladly point you in the right direction and answer any questions you may have about your flooring.