Steps for installing new carpet are relatively simple. This guide provided by the team at Acme Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning in Denver outlines the basic process. DIY carpet installation can be a great way to save money when you decide that it’s time to replace your carpet. However, don’t ever underestimate the value of hiring a professional in order to ensure a faster installation and job done right.
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to gather the tools and materials that you will need to complete the steps for installing new carpet. There are a few particular tools you will need that the average person may not have sitting around their garage, but you can usually rent them at a tool rental outlet without having to purchase something you will only use once.
Here is a list of things you will want to have on hand before you begin:
- Work gloves
- Safety glasses
- Chalk line
- Measuring tape
- Seam tape
- Seam cutter
- Seaming iron
- Seam roller (or you can use a rolling pin)
- Knee pads
- Knee kicker
- Wall trimmer
- Door edge strip
- Utility knife
- Tackless strips
- Duct tape
- Power stretcher
- Stair tool
Step 1: Acclimate Your New Carpet
Wall-to-wall carpet will shrink and expand with temperature and climate changes. You might not think that is a big deal, but when your carpet shrinks away from the tackless strips or expands and buckles up in the middle, you’ll realize how big of a deal it is. To avoid this, bring the carpet into the room 24 hours before you install it to allow the carpet to first adjust to the conditions of the space.
Step 2: Get Rid of the Old Carpet
First things first, you need to get rid of the old carpet so that you can bring in the new. It’s a good idea to vacuum the carpet thoroughly before you begin to reduce the amount of dust stirred up by the removal process. Start by taking off the doors and the moldings at the base of the walls. Use the utility knife to cut the carpet into strips 1 ½ to 2 feet wide and then just roll it up. Of course, you’ll have to pull it off the existing tackless strips and pull those up as well. Underneath you’ll find the old underlay which in most cases you should also remove as it is probably just as worn out as the carpet you are removing.
Take a moment to examine the subfloor and if there are areas that you have noticed squeaking you can use this opportunity to eliminate those noises. Just get some 1 ½ inch screws and securely fasten the offending floorboards to the floor joists underneath.
Tackless strips are deceptively named in that they are strips filled with 2 or 3 rows of very sharp tacks. They get their name from the fact that you don’t have to tack the carpet down. Leaving about half an inch of space between the strip and the wall, lay the strips around the room. Just don’t put them in the doorway!
Step 3: Install the Underlay
You don’t want any gaps in the underlay so be sure to overlap the strips of carpet padding on top of the tackless strips. Also, butt each new padding strip against the previous one. Staple the underlay down and then trim off the excess underlay along the inside edge of the tackless strip. You can use duct tape to seal the seams.
Step 4: Measure and Cut the Carpet
One of the most important steps for installing new carpet is to properly measure it. Leave 4 to 6 inches of play, so measure the room and add 6 inches. Measure the carpet and mark the back at each edge. You can use a chalk line to give yourself a guide line between the two marks. Utilizing a straight edge and a utility knife, cut along the chalk line. It’s a good idea to put a piece of scrap wood under where you are cutting to prevent cutting something underneath the carpet that you don’t want to cut!
Step 5: Create Seams
Many times, carpet doesn’t come large enough to lay just one piece in a room. If that is the case, you will need to take care with the seams so that they aren’t glaringly obvious. Measure your second piece using the same method described above. Don’t forget to add 4 to 6 inches of space to the length, and also 4 to 6 inches of overlap over the first piece. Also, ensure that you cut the piece so that the carpet pile lies in the same direction or your seam will be glaringly obvious.
Lay the carpet overlapping where the seam will be. With a utility knife (or seam cutter) cut through both pieces of carpet at the same time. This will ensure that the seam matches exactly. Once your carpet is cut, lay a piece of seaming tape on the floor along where the seam will go with the adhesive side up. Use the seaming iron directly on top of the tape to activate the adhesive and then lay the edges of the carpet together over the top. Use a carpet roller (or rolling pin) to seal the carpet firmly to the tape.
Step 6: Attach the Carpet to the Tackless Strips
Using a knee kicker (a metal tool with spikes on one side to grab the carpet and a padded “butt” on the other for you to hit with your knee) jam the carpet against the wall and let the tackless strips grab the carpet firmly. Once you’ve finished with the knee kicker, finish attaching the carpet with a carpet stretcher, and trim off any excess carpet with your utility knife.
Step 7: The Finishing Touches
Now we’re to the final steps for installing new carpet. With a stair tool, tuck the edges of the carpet down in the ½ gap you left between the tackless strips and the wall. Trim the carpet to be centered under the close door and replace the door and moldings. Finally, cut out any vent openings.
We hope these steps for installing new carpet have been helpful. Don’t forget to establish a regular and professional cleaning schedule with us at Acme Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning. We’ll protect your investment (and hard work) by helping keep your carpet looking fresh and new for many years to come.