How To Lay Carpet
Learn how to lay your own carpet! Sinking your feet into luxurious carpet has to be one of the grandest feelings in the world.
Sinking your feet into luxurious carpet has to be one of the grandest feelings in the world. Carpet adds depth, comfort and color to any room in your home. With so many carpet types to choose from today, one could even find themselves extending their carpets to include outside areas such as patios. Even more exciting is the knowledge that with proper equipment, most of which can be rented, anyone can install wall to wall carpet like a professional.
Begin by making a scale drawing of the room you will be carpeting. This will help you determine the best way to lay the carpet out and the number of yards you will need to cover the entire room. When this is complete, measure the room including any bays or alcoves and write in all the measurements. When you are ready to figure your yardage add three inches to every measurement. This will allow you to trim the carpet to fit in the most precise manner. If you see that seaming the carpet will be necessary, keep in mind that any major seam will need to lay perpendicular to the principle source of light and away from any areas of heavy wear. It is also important to remember that all the carpet pile should lay the same direction, with the preference being toward the main door of the room. So you will want to add extra yardage for matching the pattern.
Next you will need to use your pattern to calculate the amount of carpet padding you will need. When doing this you will need to figure the square footage of the room and add a few extra feet to that. Then figure how much tackless stripping you will need by taking the perimeter of the room plus a few extra feet. Since the tackless stripping comes with pins that have several different lengths you will need to use your carpet sample to test for the size you should purchase. To do this, press the carpet sample onto the stripping. You should be able to feel the pins through the carpet and yet not be pricked by them. It is important when buying your tackless stripping that you know the type floor the carpet will cover. Whether wood or masonry, the preset nails should be appropriate for the type of floor.
You will need some items other than your carpet, padding and stripping to lay carpet. These items can be rented at area rental stores or purchased from a local hardware store. The additional items include a row running knife, a knee kicker, a seaming iron, hot melt seaming tape and a power stretcher. Before you lay your carpet you should clean the floor thoroughly. If the floor is wood, check for loose boards and nail them down tightly. When at all possible you should also remove any quarter round moldings.
Begin by installing the tackless stripping around the edges of the room. Be sure to exclude doorways. The stripping should be placed 1\8 inch from the wall with the pins leaning toward the wall. The padding should be laid inside the strips. If you are working on wood flooring, staple the padding to the floor. When the floor is masonry you will need to use glue to adhere it to the floor. Allow the glue to dry completely before you proceed. This will keep your padding from slipping and bunching. If at all possible take your carpet to an adjoining room for cutting or take the measurements with you when you purchase the carpet and ask that it be pre-cut for you. Be sure when you do this to add a few extra inches excess on all sides. When making a pile cut you will need to cut along the back of the carpet with a utility knife. If you are cutting a loop pile carpet the cuts should be made through the face of the carpet. With the loop pile carpet you will need a row running knife to make your cuts. Once the carpet has been cut take it into the room you are carpeting and lay it out. Use your foot to kick it into place and then slash the excess carpet in the corners so the rug will lay flat.
If you find it necessary to seam your carpet, begin by over lapping the carpet edges about one inch where the seam will be made. Using your row running knife, cut the bottom layer and place hot melt seaming tape under the carpet edges. Use your seaming iron to melt the adhesive and press the edges together over the tape. Anchor the carpet at two adjacent walls with the knee kicker and power stretcher. If you have trouble finding a power stretcher use the knee kicker to work the carpet into the opposite two walls. The carpet will then need to be hammered into the tackless stripping. Using your running knife, trim away all the excess and tuck the edges of the carpet behind the stripping. For the doorways you will need metal edging to hold the edge of your carpet down securely. Once you have installed these at each doorway you can replace the quarter round molding and you are ready to enjoy your new carpet.
Any carpet fibers can be worn by dirt so it is a good idea to clean your new carpet even before it looks dirty. Be sure you choose the cleaner you will use carefully and test it on an area of the carpet that cannot be seen before using it. A canned carpet spray is excellent for lightly soiled areas. Be careful when cleaning your carpet that it doesn't become too wet. If you carpet becomes water damaged try sprinkling dry cleaning granules on the surface and then brushing them into the carpet. Wait approximately 30 minutes and then vacuum them up.