How To Install Carpet Flooring

How to Install Carpet FlooringCarpet is one of the most popular flooring options in homes all over the world. Fortunately, expensive installation is unnecessary when you know how to install carpet flooring yourself. Whether you are installing carpet on concrete floor, wooden floor, or are replacing worn out carpeting in any room in your home, there are a few key tips to keep in mind in order to ensure a successful end result. Follow these simple steps to easily install carpet flooring yourself.

1. Take Measurements of Your Room

Because carpet is most commonly measured in yards rather then square feet, you'll need to find the square yardage of the room to be carpeted. Simply multiply the length of your room by its width and divide this number by nine. Tack on an additional 10 to 15% to allow for irregular carpet material and errors in cutting or measuring. This is the number of square yards of carpeting material you will need.

2. Prepare Your Sub-Floor

Whether the area to be covered is concrete or wood, it should be clear of any debris, dirt and paint before your begin your project. Vacuum completely prior to carpeting to avoid bumps and bits of concrete or wood that may damage your carpet after it is installed.

3. Remove Doors and Vent Covers to Avoid Obstruction

Register vent covers and doors can actually prove to be quite difficult to work around. Carpeting will be much easier if you are able to remove these before beginning.

4. Apply Tackless Strips

Tackless strips, found easily at your local hardware store, are available in a number of heights and widths. If you're unsure about the correct size to use, consult a hardware or flooring expert when you buy them. Use heavy-duty snips or a quality-grade strip cutter to trim the tackless strips to the appropriate size and install them with nails about half an inch from your starting wall. If your sub-floor is made of concrete, use epoxy to hold the strips in the right place.

5. Install your Carpet Padding

The carpet pad should lie at a 90 degree angle to the direction your carpet will be installed. Use a staple gun or hammer to secure it near the installed tackless strips. Then staple the seam edge of the padding, being sure to stretch the pad as you go. This keeps the pieces in the right place and ensures a smooth seam.

6. Trim your Carpet Pad

Press firmly along the edge of the padding to find the tackless strip beneath and use a sharp utility or carpet knife to remove the interior edge, leaving all of the tacks beneath visible.

7. Mark the Corners of the Carpet

Take a measurement of your room at the longest point. To allow room for error and trimming, add three inches to this number. If you have assistance, bring the entire length of carpet outside, as this makes it easier to measure accurately. Cut a small notch on the back of the carpeting on each side, following your room measurements.

8. Cut the Carpet

Using chalk to mark lines along the back side of the carpet, draw out the areas to be trimmed (use your notches as guides). Take the carpet back into the room.

9. Lay out the Carpet

Roll your cut carpet out in the room, keeping it flat and straight as you go. Use your carpet knife to remove any excess, leaving the extra three inches along the walls. Place additional carpet pieces as needed to cover remaining space.

10. Glue the Seams

Wherever edges of carpet pieces meet, you will form a straight seam. Always make sure that each edge is perfectly straight before creating this seam, as pieces of carpet are not always straight as purchased. Position a length of seaming tape, adhesive side facing up, under the seam of your carpet. Following the tape manufacturer's directions, heat the seaming iron and apply it firmly to your tape for up to 30 seconds. Join the pieces of the carpet this way, pressing the iron slowly but firmly along the seam tape as you go. Glue may take additional time to set completely, so putting something with ample weight on top of each seam is recommended.

11. Attach your First Edge

Use the tackless strips to attach your first edge. A knee kicker is an essential tool for this process. Placing the front of it against your carpet about three inches from your beginning wall, follow the instructions supplied with the tool to stretch the carpet piece entirely over the tackless strips.

12. Trim Excess Carpet and Finish Stretching

Using a wall trimmer, remove excess carpet. Use a stair tool in order to force remaining edges under baseboards. When installing carpet on stairs, ensure that the carpet is stretched equally on both sides, whether to a baseboard or to the bottom edge of the banister. Use a power stretching tool to repeat this process on the other side of the room and stairs, covering the tackless strips in the same way as you did your first wall.

13. Finishing Trim and Final Cuts

Cut around any obstacles or register vents with a strong utility knife. Replace vent coverings, baseboards and moldings.

With the right tools and instruction, installing fresh, new carpet is a simple home improvement project that is as rewarding as it is aesthetically appealing.

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