Post contributed by Lucy Massey on behalf of Empire Carpet
Laying new carpet in your home yourself is not as difficult as you might initially think. New carpeting can help increase your home’s value, minimize unwanted sound, provide improved insulation and give you a comfortable surface for walking on.
- Start by measuring the floor in the room you plan to carpet.
- Multiply the room’s length times its width, then divide that number by nine. This will give you the square yardage of the room. To allow for pattern matching, errors or irregularities in the carpet, you should purchase about ten percent more carpeting and carpet padding than this square yardage.
- Purchase all the necessary supplies. In addition to your carpet and carpet pad, you will need tackless stripping and seam tape. Pick up a pack of disposable face masks as well so you do not inhale dust while you are ripping up the old carpeting. You can rent a power stretcher and a knee kicker if you do not already own them. You will also need a measuring tape, hammer, wall trimmer, razor knife, and top cutter. Additionally, a stair tool will help you cut the edges underneath the baseboard trim, and a seaming iron will help ensure your seams are even and do not come apart.
- Begin the installation process by ripping up the old carpet, being careful to remove all traces from the sub-flooring.
- Sweep and vacuum all the paint or bonding compound that was under the old carpet.
- Wash the floor thoroughly; if necessary, use fans to completely dry it before continuing the installation process.
- Remove all the doors to any of the rooms that you are carpeting. This will make it easier to cut the carpet for the doorjamb areas.
- Install the tackless strips. Do not put the strips across the doorways or thresholds. The strips contain little tacks that are very sharp and could come through the carpet and hurt your feet. You should position the strips about one-half inch from the wall; make sure the hooks face towards the wall. To attach them to a concrete sub floor, use epoxy adhesive or masonry tacks; otherwise, simply nail them to the floor.
- Lay the carpet pad out perpendicular to the direction you will lay the carpet. Use the staple hammer to attach it near the tackless strips, then about every six inches apart. Stretch the padding so it butts tightly together, and staple its seams.
- Take your carpet out to the driveway for cutting. Add three inches to the required length and width and mark these dimensions on the back of the carpet. With the backside facing outward, run a chalk line across the carpet to connect each mark, then cut it.
- Place the carpet on the tackless strips at one end. Keep your carpet as straight as possible when you lay it out in the room. Use the power stretcher and knee kicker to stretch it across the room until you can attach it to the tackless strip on the other end.
- Make sure your edges are straight on both pieces of carpeting when you reach a seam joint. Heat the seam iron and put it directly on the tape. It only takes 15 to 30 seconds to melt the glue as you move slowly along the tape. Press the seam edge into the glue. Weight the seam with a heavy object until the glue dries.
- Finally, cut away any excess carpet against the walls and vent openings, using the stair tool as necessary.