How to lay carpet

Wondering how to lay a carpet? It’s not an easy task…in fact it is a job often best left to a professional. But are you a true DIY’er who is up for a challenging round of carpet installation? Then check out these six practical guidelines from Associated Weavers.    

Make sure your tool box is fully equipped

As the saying goes, good preparation is half the battle. That also applies to carpet installation. Make sure your tool box contains:

  • a measuring tape and pencil
  • a sharp carpet knife
  • a pair of scissors
  • a roller and a ruler

Take the proper measurements

Pay extra attention to some difficult areas in your room. A lot of older houses do not have concealed radiator pipes, for instance. You’ll have to take these into account, when measuring the installation area. Cut off the excess carpet parts — both along the pipes and walls — with a sharp Stanley knife.

Clean your floor

Before you lay your carpet, it’s important that the floor is completely dry, flat and clean. If you have wooden floor, you can first lay a chipboard, for instance. Do you have a concrete floor? Then make sure to remove any holes and cracks in the surface.

Remove the doors

Remove the doors from the room if possible so you won't have to work around them. Having the doors out of the way will also make it easier for you to place the carpet.

Installing a carpet underlay?

Lay out the carpet underlay perpendicular to the direction you plan to install the carpet. Staple the seam alternating so that they aren't beside one another. Stretch the underlay so that the pieces are butted tightly together. Feel through the underlay and use a sharp knife to cut away the excess along the wall.

Place the carpet in the room

Roll out the carpet into the room and try to keep it as straight as possible. Cut away excess carpet but leave some next to the walls. Don’t forget to spread the carpet out and press it firmly against the walls.

Give your carpet some time to adjust

Once you’ve positioned your carpet in the room, it’s important to allow it to properly acclimatize for a while. Make sure your carpet gets used to the temperature and humidity in the room, before you install it.

Use the appropriate method and tools

  • Use stretching strips (or tack strips) to fix a carpet that comes with an underlay. This laying method ensures perfect insulation as well as a long life for your carpet.
  • You can also use adhesives to attach your carpet. However, make sure that you only use solvent-free adhesives that contain no volatile organic compounds and that comply with a number of health criteria, mainly concerning its outgassing characteristics.
  • Only choose double-sided tape, if you’re installing your carpet in small room.
  • Trim excess carpet with a wall trimmer, which rests against the wall and provides a straight cut at the correct spot.
  • Use a power stretcher to attach the carpet to the strips on the other side of the room.
  • Use a knee kicker for corners where the power stretcher can't reach.

Note that you can also lay your carpet without fixing it to the floor. However, like with double-sided tape, this method is not suitable for big rooms.

Put the fibres in the right direction

When you install your carpet, it’s important to lay all carpet strips in the same direction. If the carpet’s piles are going in different directions, you’ll end up with distinct colour variations.