If you are a DIY enthusiast, then installing a carpet is a project you should definitely undertake. In most cases, when you buy new carpeting, you would also arrange for a professional carpet layer to come to your house for installing the carpet. The next time however, why not try laying the carpet yourself? The task is a little bit arduous and will take its toll on your back and knees, but with the right equipment and some easy-to-follow instructions, you could this yourself and save some money in the bargain! If you want to learn how to install carpet at home, read on...
Materials and equipment.
- Measuring tape
- Tackless strips
- Seam iron and tape
- Seam cutter
- Power stretcher
- Knee kicker
- Utility or carpet knife
- Stair tool
- Chalk line
- Safety glasses and work gloves
Getting started. Collect all the required material and equipment listed in step one. If you do not have any of these materials, you can hire them from your local tool rental store (check the yellow pages for listing). Clean the room where the carpet is to be laid removing all furniture and other obstructions so that you have plenty of space to work in. If necessary, remove the door to the room to make the installation easier (especially if the door opens inward into the room).
Lay down tackless strips. With the exception of the space around doorways, lay the tackless strips around the full perimeter of the room. These should be placed about half an inch away from the wall, meet at all the corners and the tacks should be pointing towards the wall.
Installing the underlay. Carpet underlay should be installed in strips and stapled into place, once all strips have been placed. The edges should touch each other without overlapping. Remove any excess underlay at the perimeters in such a way that the tacks are exposed. The underlay should abut the inside edges of the strips.
Measuring. Take a measurement end-to-end at the longest point in the room; add an extra four inches to the figure derived. Spread out the carpet in a space where you can mark measurements easily and on the back side mark out the room dimensions taken before.
Cutting the carpet. Using a carpet or utility knife, cut out the measured piece of carpet, carry it over to the room where it is to be laid and roll it out. If this is just one piece and a second piece is required to be installed in the room, repeat the measuring and cutting process and lay the second piece in such a way that it overlaps the first piece by about two inches. Use a seam cutter to cut through both pieces simultaneously so that you'll get two edges that line up straight. Cut a piece of seaming tape and line it below the two carpet edges, with the adhesive side facing upwards. With a heated seam iron, press firmly and iron along the tape, allowing the adhesive to melt and join the edges. Make sure the adhesive has completely dried by placing a firm weight along the seam.
Attaching the carpet. Using the knee kicker placed about three inches away from the wall; attach the carpet to the tackless strips. Activate the knee kicker by pushing with your knee forcefully at the padded end so that the carpet is stretched and grabbed by the tackless strips. Trim the carpet along the edges of the wall using an edge trimmer and use the power stretcher to affix the carpet at the other end of the room. Remove any excess and tuck the edge of the carpet under the exposed floor board using a stair tool.
Finishing. Complete the installation by trimming the carpet at the exposed doorways, install door edges and cut open vents to install the shoe molding. Your installation is now complete.
If you are a beginner, this can be quite a bit of a trial and error exercise, but over a period of time you will find that it becomes easier. Ideally start with installing smaller areas of carpeting using old carpets, before taking on a full room. This way, the actual installation will go more smoothly and correctly, and you would've saved yourself quite a bundle!