If you are the DIY type, learn how to install carpet yourself and save money. You’ll need patience and a block of free time to do the job right, and it’s always good to have a friend or two help you.

Before you commit to installing your living room or bedroom carpet yourself, consider the pros and cons of this DIY project.  

Advantages and Disadvantages of DIY Carpeting

Saving money is the most advantage to DIY installation. Paying for installation, removal of the old carpet can take a sizable chunk of your bank account. You need tools if you don’t have them, but this won’t cost as much as paying for professional to put in the carpet.

You’ll need to find installers that you trust. Find the best service you can afford, and look for testimonials from other customers.

You may need to attend the installation to accommodate the installers’ schedule. If you install the carpet yourself, you choose when to start, and it will spend you longer hours not to disturb others.

Study DIY procedure before taking on the job if you aren’t sure. It will take longer than hiring an installer, and you may make mistakes and repeat it.

There are many DIY videos you can refer to before you start.

​DIY Tools on How to Install Carpet

Tack or tackless wood strips have angled pins that grab the carpet to keep it in place. Tack strips are placed against walls.

A knee kicker has teeth that hold carpet and a solid end you kick to place the carpet in the corners of the room. It is about 18 inches long.  A carpet stretcher is used after the knee-kicker to avoid bulges and stretch the carpet and make sure it stays in place.

​A seam roller presses the carpet to make sure it sticks to the adhesive. A roller can be spiked or smooth,

​Preparation

​Preparation is a big part of how to install carpet. If you don’t do your prep work, you may end up with bumpy carpeting.

Clean concrete, wood, or another surface is going to be carpeted. Scrub off any paint or adhesives. Vacuum the floor. Take out the doors if you can to make working easier.

A tack strip is a piece of wood with sharp nails used to install carpet. It is usually three inches long to slightly over six inches wide and slightly over an inch wide. Install these strips by cutting them down to the proper size with a cutter.

Never install tack strips across doorways since the tacks could cut carpet and injure your feet. Nail strip a half-inch from the wall.

You’ll need to use an epoxy adhesive to hold the tack strip in place if you install carpet over concrete.

​​Carpet Padding

​​After you put in the tack strips, placed in the carpet pad. If the carpet pad is too thin, the carpet will wear out too fast. Carpet padding too thick may detach from the floor.

A home carpet pad should be a half-inch thick, and a commercial pad should be three-eighths-inch thick.

Lay waffle-type padding face-up and cut it to fit inside the tack strips with a quarter-inch gap so it won’t impede the carpet. Carpet pad should be perpendicular to the direction of the carpet.

Glue or staple padding to the subfloor. Select a low volatile organic compound (VOC) adhesive if you glue the carpet padding. Remove excess bits of carpet padding before you begin to install the carpet.

Find the tack strip by feeling along the padding. Trim the excess padding.

​​Laying the Carpet

Notch the corners of the carpet from trimming. First, measure the room at its longest point. Add three inches to the measurement. Have someone help you bring the carpet outside, so you can comfortably notchback both sides at the right length.  

Now trim the carpet to the right size. Roll the carpet with the underside facing you until you see the notches. Make a line with chalk from one notch to another. Cut the back of the carpet along the marked line. Then roll up the carpet and go back inside.   

Unravel the carpet in the room, and keep it straight. Trim excess carpet with three inches extra added space to the walls. Lay extra carpet out to fill the entire room

​Glue Seams Together

​Now glue the seams together. Check the seamed edges to ensure they are straight. Set a seaming iron to the recommended temperature, and rest the iron on the tape for between 15 and 30 seconds.

Slide the seaming iron along the tape.  Push the seam into the glue behind the iron. Once you’ve joined the carpet pieces, put a brick or heavy object on the seam to press down on it until dries.

Ensure that the pile on bother carpet pieces run the same direction. Butt one end of the carpet against the wall and fit the carpet. Trim the carpet with a knife to lay it around barriers.

Now use the knee kicker at one end of the room to attach the tack strips. Put the knee kicker’s face about three inches from the wall. Extend the carpet over the tack strips by striking the padded end.

​Trim the Extra Carpet

​Use a wall trimmer to get rid of the extra carpet, and a stair tool to compress the edges under the baseboard.  Now attach the tack strips on the other side with a power stretcher. Use the knee kicker or any tool on the areas that won’t work with a power stretcher.

You’ll need a binder bar for areas since there’s no abutting wall. A binder bar is necessary to bridge carpet and surfaces with less significant height. The binder bar usually includes fasteners.

You’ll use the knee kicker to connect binder bar hooks. Use a wood block to seal the binder bar onto the carpet edge.

Now that carpet is secure; you can find openings for vents. Fold the carpet and then roll it up to the folded section. Unroll the carpet at the far end of the room closest to the alcove.

Carpeting on Stairs

​You may also want to install carpet on your stairs and cover the treads and risers. Measure and clean the stairs once you’ve selected your carpet. Choose a carpet that’s not too thick (it may cause accidents) or too thin (it may wear down quickly).

High-quality looped, or Berber carpeting, can be used on open stairs to cover the area between rows when the carpet is curved sideways.

Make sure the carpet you choose is stain resistant, so it won’t oils and dirt particles from the bottom of our shoes. You can also avoid stains and dirt by walking on the stairs in slippers or barefoot.

​Installation Methods

There are two methods for installing carpet on treads and risers – the waterfall and French cap methods.

Waterfall Method

In the waterfall method, you bring carpet over the tread edge and cover the next tread without securing it to the riser. It doesn’t look as neat as the French Cap method, but it’s quick and easy.

​French Cap Method

​The French cap method isn’t as easy, but it gives the stairs a nicer, more finished look. Here’s a step-by-step guide to the French cap method of how to install carpet on stairs.

Start with the bottom step and go upward. Staple carpet on the first riser, but make sure you don’t aim the stapler nose between fibers. Distribute staples evenly across each riser, and use heavier staplers on thick, loopy Berbers and other substantial carpets.

Once you’ve secured carpet under tread nosing with staples, wrap the carpet over the strip and around the nosing at the tread back. Stretch the carpet to the back with a knee kicker. Hold the carpet until you can staple the tread back behind the tack strip.

Trim any excess carpet. Cap, pie and bullnose stairs are harder to maneuver than riser-less Hollywood stairs.


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