Carpet Installation

man cutting new carpet to fitOur first step is to get rid of the old carpet. We start by removing the moldings around the floor and take the door off the entrance, so we can dispose of the old carpet out and the new carpet in easier. We give the old carpet a good vacuuming so you won’t be breathing in dust, and then use a utility knife to cut the carpet into strips about 18 to 24 inches wide.

Some people feel that you can reuse the existing underlay, but in most cases it will be worn out just like the carpet, so you’re better off getting rid of it as well.

Laying the Padding

Put the underpad down in strips that overlap the tackless strips. Butt the strips against each other – don’t overlap them – then staple the underlay down along the inside edge of the tackless strip. Trim the excess underlay along the inside of the tackless strip and use duct tape to seal the seams.

Laying the Carpet

To install carpet properly, you need to start with a piece that overlaps the edge of the floor by 4 to 6 inches. The overlay can then be trimmed so the carpet fits properly. To cut your first section, measure the room at its longest point and add 6 inches to that measurement. Mark the back of your carpet on both edges with that measurement and join the two marks with a chalk line. Fold the carpet over on itself, and using a straight edge and a sharp utility knife, cut through the backside of your carpet. Be sure to place a piece of scrap board underneath your cut line to protect the underlying carpet.

Seaming Carpet

If your room is wide enough that you’re going to need another piece of carpet, follow the same process with the second piece – measure, mark and trim. Be sure the carpet pile is running the same way in both pieces, and that the carpet piece is large enough to overlap the wall by 4 to 6 inches, as well as overlapping the first piece of carpet by 4 to 6 inches. (Try to layout your carpet pieces so the seams won’t be in noticeable areas, but obviously sometimes that just isn’t possible.)

Where the carpet pieces will join, overlap the two pieces, and then using a utility knife or a rented seam cutter, cut through both pieces of carpet, ensuring the edges will match exactly. After cutting the carpet, center a piece of seaming tape on the floor underneath where they join, adhesive side up. Use the seaming iron to activate the adhesive (the iron goes on the tape, not on top of the carpet), and then butt the edges together and seal the seam with a rolling pin or a carpet roller.

Attaching the Carpet

Using a knee kicker to attach the carpet along one edge and using a carpet stretcher will finish attaching the carpet. A carpet stretcher is similar to knee kicker, but much longer. We use one end of the carpet stretcher against the wall where the carpet is already attached and place the other end about 6 inches from the far wall. The carpet stretcher also has teeth to grip the carpet, and when you push on the activation lever, it will stretch the carpet over the tackless strip near the far wall.