How To Carpet a Concrete Floor

The feeling of concrete beneath your feet is dead and barren. There is no warmth and no comfort on the hard surface of bare concrete, and the cold surface has no feeling of home. Putting down a carpet gives an instant feeling of luxury and warmth to any room. This is a simple installation that you can do yourself, without having to spend money for a contractor to do it for you. Here are a few easy steps to carpeting your concrete floor.

  1. Measure the dimensions of the room. Get the size of the room to determine how much carpeting you will need. This will greatly affect your choice of material, since you will have determine beforehand how much you are willing to spend on carpeting your floor. Always remember to allocate a specific budget and stick to it – a common mistake is to overspend.
  2. Prepare the floor as needed. Carpeting will hide most of the subtle flaws in the concrete, but bumps and depressions will be noticeable. You can avoid this by flattening the uneven surface – chip away any bumps and fill in any depressions you may find.
  3. Waterproof the floor. Treat any cracks with sealant, and it is ideal to coat the floor with waterproof paint to prevent moisture from leaking and damaging the concrete. After drying, you should lay a waterproof sheet directly onto the floor surface to further prevent leaking. A polyethylene sheet with small dimples (the air adds another barrier of protection) will be durable enough for this purpose. Seal the seams with tape. For further protection from moisture, you can place a ½ inch plywood slab over your polyethylene sheet. This will serve as a base for the pad you will place for added comfort. The thickness of your pad should depend on both your budget and comfort. Thick pads are preferred for rooms with high moisture, while moist rooms must be equipped with thinner padding.
  4. Place tackless strips at least ½ inch from the wall. Firmly screw these onto the concrete/plywood/padding underneath with masonry screws placed every 6 to 8 inches.
  5. Pour underlayment adhesive around the walls. This will hold the carpet padding in place during installation. Make sure that the padding covers the entire floor, but does not overlap. Seams should be sealed with duct tape but avoid placing flooring adhesive around the room’s perimeter.
  6. Measure your carpet to fit the room. It is best to lay out your carpet over the padding to visualize how much carpet you will need. Make sure to cut several inches more than you think is needed. Cut with sharp, confident strokes from the back, and keep a straight line. If necessary, use a ruler or any straight edge to keep your lines from diverting.
  7. Place your carpet piece by piece. The seams and the ends should line up together. Use seam tape to connect the different pieces. Keep your steam tape iron handy to heat the tape and join the segments into one piece. Stretch the carpet over the entire room and cut away the excess strips. You can install baseboards to cover the gap around the room’s perimeter.

Installing a carpet can turn out to be a tiring and time-consuming exercise. The trick is to always be patient and be extra careful. The quality of your workmanship will be easily seen in the carpeting. Pay extra attention to measurements, for it is better to spend a few minutes of extra effort in preparation than to spend money hiring a professional to repair a slapdash job.


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