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How to Install Carpet: Pro-Guide from Start to Finish


One of the most drastic ways to give your home a complete transformation is with new flooring. And if it’s a warm, welcoming feel that you’re trying to evoke, wall-to-wall carpeting is your best bet.


There’s only one problem: the installation cost of carpeting is very expensive. Each square foot will run you between $3 to $6. So, the cost to renovate the flooring of a medium-size living room could run between $1,000 to $1,500.


This is why many people have decided to install their own carpeting by themselves. You can be one of them, too, using today’s guide on How to install carpet: Pro-guide from start to finish!


How to Install Carpeting


Step 1: Measure Your Room


The first step is to measure the square footage of your room. It will give you an idea of just how much carpet material you will need to buy in order to cover the room.


Take out a tape ruler and measure the width and length of the room. Multiply the two together to get the square footage.


Note that you can only use this formula with a rectangular or square room. If your room is in any other shape, divide the room into small parts. Make it so that each part can be easily measured and is rectangular or square-ish in shape. Write down the measurements of every part into a notepad, then calculate the square footage for each of them.


Once you have all of the measurements ready, add an extra 10% to 20%. The extras are there to account for errors in measurement and cutting. It’s much better to buy too much carpet than too little.




Step 2: Buy the Carpet


Head on over to your local carpet store and find the one you like best. While you’re at it, ask if they have any carpet rolls that they’re getting rid of or leftover sections. You can get these for a lot cheaper than the ones on the shelves.


Step 3: Gather Your Tools


Other than the carpet itself, you will need to have quite a lot of tools to fix your carpet properly. Here is a list of everything:

  • Multi-tool or utility knife
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk
  • Duct tape
  • Tack strips
  • Seaming tape
  • Seaming iron
  • Carpet roller
  • Knee kicker
  • Power stretcher
  • Stair tool
  • Protective gears (knee pads and goggles)

If you have a wood subfloor, add a staple gun to the mix.

On the other hand, if you have a concrete subfloor, you will need some extra gears:

  • Concrete waterproof filler
  • Construction adhesive
  • Carpet adhesive
  • Masonry nails

Step 4: Prepare the Floor


The floor has to be prepared before the carpet can be laid. That means the old flooring — no matter the type — has to be removed and cleaned up, exposing just the subfloor. You can use a steam mop or a laminate floor cleaner machine to remove the floor glue residues.


Additionally, the baseboards of your walls should also be removed to ensure that the carpet will fit seamlessly to the walls.


Once the flooring is removed, inspect the subfloor. There shouldn’t be any spots, holes, or damages. If your subfloor is damaged, spend the time to either repair or replace them. It will be well worth the time and effort spent.


Step 5: Install Your Tack Strips


Tack strips are wooden bars with tacks stuck on top of them. When you pull your carpet on top of them, the tack will automatically catch onto the fabric and hold the carpet in place. It is a whole lot simpler and more convenient than the traditional method of hammering individual tack through the carpet.


Tack strips are important regardless of the subfloor type. Position each strip so that there’s a half-inch clearance between it and the wall. All the strips should also be touching one another, leaving no space between them. Lastly, to ensure that the tacks are going to catch onto the carpet, angle the tacks toward the wall.


If you have a wood subfloor, simply nail down the strips. On the other hand, for concrete subfloor, use construction adhesive to hold the strip in place, then use masonry nails to anchor them down.


Step 6: Install the Underlay


The carpet underlay will help make the carpet more comfortable to walk on. It will also prevent the carpet from rippling or bunching up. The way to install it is to lay it perpendicular to the direction that you plan on laying your carpet.


Put down the underlay so that it touches the tack strips, but not go on top and be caught by them. Nail it down with your staple gun or, if your subfloor is concrete, glue it down with carpet adhesive.


There will be seams between different pieces of underlay afterward. You can cover them up with duct tape.




Step 7: Lay Your Carpet


Now’s the important part: laying the carpet.


Start first by cutting the carpet rolls that you got into the correct size. Add an extra 6-inch for each so that there’s trimming room later on. If you cut too short, the whole strip will go to waste.


Cover the room with the carpet from one end to another. Let it bunch up against the walls. Afterward, move towards each wall and mark the spot where the carpet meets the wall with a chalk piece. Cut out the excess with a knife.


Repeat this process with the next piece of carpet. While you’re at it, make sure that the pile direction matches up with the last piece. When the carpet pieces meet one another, allow both pieces to overlap and cut through both.

This will result in a clean, seamless cut.


If you see any seam that you would like to cover up, use seaming tape. Activate the tape with a seaming iron, then use a carpet roller to get it to stick.


Step 8: Stretch


Bring out your knee kicker and position the tool’s end around 3 inches from the middle of a wall. Hit the kicker with your knee (wear your knee pads). The carpet will be pushed against the wall and be caught by the tack strips.


Once the carpet is caught, move the knee kicker a foot in any direction (left or right) and repeat the process. Do this until the carpet segment lining that entire wall is stretched. Next, do the same with other walls.


This will only work in small or medium-sized rooms. For larger rooms, you may need the aid of a power stretcher. And if your walls still have baseboards, you can use a stair tool to tuck the carpet in.




If you have the tools and the know-hows, installing carpet is a fairly straightforward process. We hope this guide from our editor-in-chief William Cawley has cleared things up for you!

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