How to Install Carpet in Your Home

How to install carpet yourself

You don’t need to spend money on a professional, you can DIY! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install carpet in your home.

The average cost of carpet installation is $1,600, and that is just for labor! Learning how to install your own carpet will save you money, stress and also teach you new skills.

There is something empowering about doing your own home repair and installations. There is no better DIY project than learning how to install your own carpet.

A new carpet can completely change the entire look and feel of a room. It provides insulation, it is comfortable to walk on and controls the level of sound in a room.

But how exactly do you install a wall-to-wall carpet without making a total mess and ruining the job?

There are a lot of steps involved in home flooring and especially a carpet installation, and if you skip a step you may end up having to start all over again.

Keep on reading and learn how to install a carpet in your house, you will make yourself proud!

1. Tools and Equipment You Will Need

Without the tools, you cannot install a carpet correctly or safely. Pay attention to this list and learn exactly what you need to have on hand.

  • Safety Glasses
  • Work Gloves
  • Knee Pads
  • Measuring Tape
  • Stapler
  • Tackless Strips
  • Underlay
  • Duct Tape
  • Utility Knife
  • Seam Cutter
  • Seaming Iron
  • Seam Tape
  • Door edge strip
  • Chalk line
  • Knee Kicker
  • Wall Trimmer
  • Rent a seam roller
  • Vacuum
  • Power stretcher
  • Stair tool

This does seem like a long list, but trust us, without these tools, you just cannot install carpet correctly.

Make sure you are taking breaks throughout this process, or else you may find yourself laying on the carpet at the end with knee and back pain. Not the best way to admire your hard work!

2. Remove Your Old Carpet (If Applicable)

Start by vacuuming your old carpet, so that you are not inhaling dust in the process.

Then take the door off the entrance, and remove the moldings from all around the floor.

Next step is to take a utility knife and cut the carpet into 20-inch strips. Pull the carpet off in strips, then roll it up in sections to get it out of the way. Follow with removing the underlay as well.

Once you remove the old tackless strips, check everything underneath and make sure that your floorboards are secure and in good shape.

This will prevent any creaking and is definitely your chance to fix floor squeaks now that you’ve exposed any aged plywood sub-floor.

If you’re working on a concrete subfloor and find odors or stains like pet urine on concrete pads, now’s a good time to address those and remedy permanently. 

Install new tackless strips all around the room, leaving half an inch of space between the strips and the wall, excluding the doorways.

Make sure that the pins on the strips face towards the wall.

3. The Underlay

Overlap the tackless strips with strips of the new underpadding, without overlapping the strips themselves.

Butt the strips together then staple the underlay along the inside portion of the tackless strips.

Trim the excess underlay with your knife and then duct tape to seal the seams and prepare for the next step.

4. Prepare Your Carpet for the Installation

When this step is skipped, a lot of problems can occur when you install the carpet.

The material of the carpet will shrink and expand with the change in temperature, so if you are bringing it in the house from another environment, you need to let it rest open for up to 24 hours before installing it.

If you miss this, the carpet may expand and fold up on the walls, or shrink away and remove itself from the tackless strips.

5. Measure and Set The Carpet

Start by measuring the carpet at it’s longest point, then add six inches to the end. This ensures that you have enough overlay on the edges of the floor which can be trimmed later.

Use the chalk to mark the back of the carpet with your measurement, then join the two marks with a chalk line so that they are even.

Put a piece of cardboard under the area of carpet you are currently working for the next step so that you do not ruin the underlay.

Following that, fold the carpet over on itself and cut the backside with your utility knife.

If you have a large room, keep following this process with another piece of carpet. Make sure the pile on the carpet is running the same way, or else it will look awkward, and overlap the other carpet by six inches to avoid any mistakes.

You want to make sure you have chosen a carpet with piles that you will enjoy looking at for year’s to come, discover more about choosing the best carpet.

Where the carpet’s join, overlap them enough so that you can easily take your knife or seam cutter and cut through them at the same time, creating a perfect seam.

Prepare the seaming iron, and run it over the top of the seam, to seal the adhesive.

Make sure you do not touch the carpet with the iron, or else you could burn and ruin it, use the tape instead.

Use the carpet roller to butt and seal the edges together.

6. Attach the Carpet

Use the knee kicker and attach the tooth-end of it about three inches away from the wall.

Use your knee to press against the padded part of the tool, attaching the carpet along the side of the wall.

Then get out the carpet stretcher to set it in place. Put one end of the stretcher where the carpet is attached along the wall and the other end of it about six inches away from the farther wall.

Move your way around the room stretching the carpet, and trimming away the edges as needed.

7. Finish up and Admire Your Hard Work

Trim the carpet under the doorway so that it ends where the door closes, then add a door strip to seal it in.

Then re-install the molding on the baseboards and cut the carpet away from any vents or heaters.

If you take adequate breaks, you can now stand up and admire the hard work you just did to install your own carpet, well done!

Be sure and learn about your new carpet such as it’s stain proof qualities and its resistance to certain carpet cleaners when you need to clean up accidents like those from pets, wine, grease and even gum in your carpet!

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