HOW TO INSTALL CARPET?
Have you bought a carpet and looking for professionals to install it? Why don’t you try it alone? This will be an economical option. You just need to get hold of the correct tools and devote some time to it. To make the process simpler for you, we are going to provide you a step-by-step guide on how to install carpet. The different materials that you would require are thin tack strips and narrow pieces of wood with protruding sharp tacks that will keep the carpet in the proper position.
You may wonder -what’s the big deal in installing a carpet! Well, the challenge is that the size of the rolls may not be perfect. Also, the space available may put constraints on you.
A carpet is generally 12 feet in width. As a result, a roll of carpet is heavy and hard to install, even if the room has a dimension of 12 feet on both sides. So, be it a cushioned-back carpet for the basement or plush carpet and pad for the living room, things might not turn out to be easy if you do not follow the guidelines.
However, if you are looking for a seamless carpet, it is better to get it done by a professional. Satisfaction is guaranteed. Professional installation is also required for a carpet to be installed upstairs. The challenge here is to fit the caret to the stairs tightly. Otherwise a person may slip off or have his feet folded within the carpet causing accidents.
TOOLS REQUIRED FOR INSTALLING CARPETS
There are many tools that may be used for the installation process. Let us know the utility of each:
Linoleum Knife: There is a variety of tools and knives that can be used for carpet installation. However, the linoleum knife works the best. It is easy to cut and slice a carpet using linoleum knife. Tucking in the carpet in the staircase is also possible with this knife.
Carpet seam roller: This is another handy tool. Using this, two pieces of carpet can are joined together by seaming them. This tool also brings “life” into carpets that need to be fluffed up.
Large magnet/ weight: This one is a dual-purpose tool. It allows one to “suck up” the staples left over on the floorboard after tearing out the original carpet. It also plays the role of a weight placed over a seamed carpet edge.
Carpet tape: While joining two pieces of carpet together, this tape is used in the underneath part of the carpet. From fibre-glass tape to no-heat tape- there are different varieties of the tape available.
Trowel and Trimmer: If you are planning to tuck the carpet against the wall, nothing will work better than a towel and trimmer. Not only does it help in tucking the carpet against the wall but also in neat and clean edge trimming.
Power stretcher: This is probably the most important one of the lot. The one Mark used had a tail that dug into the carpet and stretched the carpet for a great fit (in fact, it seemed as if he is going to tear away the carpet into pieces using a sharp knife!). A knee kicker may also serve your purpose, but it will not ensure the right “stretch”. The drawback of using a power stretcher is that it is quite expensive. If you can’t afford to buy one for yourself, you can even borrow it from someone.
Bonding iron: Bonding iron is a useful tool that heats up the tape and produces two perfectly-sized pieces for the carpet.
THE DIY STEPS TO GUIDE YOU ON HOW TO INSTALL CARPET:
Now that you have got hold of the tools, let us come to the actual steps.
First of all, take a measurement of the longest walls in the room. Find the area by multiplying the length and breadth. The product, when divided by 9 will give the square yardage. There may be an error of 10% in pattern, irregularity and pattern matching.
Step 1: Clean the surface that you have chosen to install the carpet as thoroughly as possible.
Step 2: Now it is the time to clean the subfloor. The surface to be covered by the carpet must be a smooth and clean one. Any joint or paint on the surface must be scrapped off and the floor must be vacuumed thoroughly.
Step 3: The doors in the room should be removed if possible. Otherwise, one has to work around the doors, which is not easy. This also helps in easy cutting of the bottoms of the door-jams.
Step 4: Now it is the time for the installation of the tackless strips. Cut these strips according to the size required using a strip cutter or heavy snips. The strips should be nailed at a distance of 1 or 2 inches from the wall. The tackless strips should not be installed around gateways or thresholds. This is to prevent the tacks on the strips from cutting through the carpet and wounding your feet. There may be different width, height and thicknesses of these strips. So choosing the correct size is also important. In case one is installing a carpet over a concrete subfloor, masonry tacks or epoxy adhesive should be used in order to hold the tackless strips in their correct positions.
Step 5: The next step involves the installation of the carpet pad. The carpet pad should be laid at a direction perpendicular to the one in which you are about to install the carpet. It should then be stapled near the tackless strips using a staple hammer.
Step 6: Now, staple the pad seams. While doing this, be careful that the staples are in an alternating position and they do not lie next to each other. In order to but the pieces tightly together, the padding must be stretched properly.
Step 7: After this, the pad should be trimmed. The tackless strip may be located by feeling through the padding. A utility knife may be used for cutting the padding along the interior edge of the strip, thereby exposing all the tacks.
Step 8: To roll out the carpet, the driveway should be used. You can notch the corners for a more effective trimming. Now, measure the longest point of the room and add 3 inches to the result you have found.
You may take the carpet outside if required, since it will be easier for you to handle it outside. You can also notch the back on either sides at a suitable position. However, it is not really possible to execute this step on your own. You may need the help of someone.
Step 9: The next step is to cut the carpet from one notch to another along a chalk line. It should be trimmed according to its proper size. Now, the carpet should be rolled in such a way so that the back faces outward until the notched area is visible. The chalk line should be drawn from notch to notch. The back of the carpet, along the chalk line, must be cut. Finally, roll it up and take it inside.
Step 10: After the chalk line is drawn, the excess carpet needs to be trimmed. For this, the carpet should be rolled out into the room and kept as straight as possible. The extra carpet must be cut after leaving about 3 inches near the wall.
Step 11: To join the pieces, seaming tape and adhesive should be used. The seams should be glued together. Seams need to be created in areas where carpet edges join with each other. Care should be taken that the seamed edges are same for both the parts.
Never presume a factory edge to be straight. Be sure of it only after measuring it. One piece of the seaming tape must be placed under the seam, with its glued side up. The seaming iron needs to be heated at a temperature suggested by the manufacturer and allowed to rest directly on the tape for about 15 to 30 seconds. Iron must be slid along the tape slowly, and the seam must be pressed into the melted glue behind the iron. After you have successfully joined the two pieces, place some heavy things over the seam to allow the glue to set in.
Remember, the positioning of the seam should be parallel to the light source in the room. Also, pile of both the pieces must run in the same direction.
Step 12: The obstacles must be trimmed around. The carpet has to be dry-fit, butting one of its ends against the wall. There may be obstacles hindering your steps, so it is better to use a knife to trim the portions of the carpet around the obstacles.
Step 13: For attaching the carpet to tackless strips, a knee kicker may be used. First of all, attach the first edge of the carpet and then attach the carpet to the tackless strips at one end of the room. The knicker must be faced against the wall, at a considerable distance from it and the padded end should be struck forcefully so that the carpet can be stretched over the tackless strips.
Step 14: Now it is the time to trim the excess portion of the carpet from the edges. This can be done using a wall trimmer. It rests against the wall and provides a straight cut at the proper spot. A stair tool can be used to press the cut edges beneath the baseboard trim.
Step 15: Stretch the carpet and attach it to the strips using a power stretcher. For the parts of the carpet where a power stretcher can’t reach, the knee kicker and stair may prove helpful.
Step 16: A binder bar may be nailed to the areas where the carpet ends without touching a boundary. The knee kicker must be used to stretch the carpet to link to the hooks in the binder bar. Now, to close the binder bar onto the edge of the carpet, a wooden block or scrap piece of lumber may be used.
Step 17: Finally, it is the time to finish the trimming process. After you have put the carpet in the proper place, cut out the vent openings.
Even after you have successful installed the carpet, your job is not over.
In the successive months, you may find certain changes in the installed carpet. These changes are expected and will not hamper with the visual appeal of the carpet.
However, you may perform a few steps on your part. Here is a description of the changes observed and how you can tackle them:
Shedding:– Shedding of fibres is a usual phenomenon. Vacuum it regularly to keep it in its proper condition.
Sprouting:– If you find a single tuft to extend beyond the surface of the carpet, don’t try to pull it away, instead clip it off from the carpet.
Pile reversal or shading:– Colour change may be found to occur over a few regions of the carpet. This is caused as a result of reflection of light in different ways, thus bending the pile fibres in different directions. Do not consider this to be a defect. It is a mere characteristic of plush carpet.
Wrinkling:– If your carpet starts to form wrinkle, it is not possible to tackle it on your own. Call up the retailer and ask him whether a professional re-stretching is required.
A FEW TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CARPET INSTALLATION
You already know how to install carpet. However, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind before you begin:
• Avoid using regular shop tools. Instead, go for the special ones. If you cannot afford them, borrow it from somewhere. This is applicable for all the special tools such as seam iron, power stretcher, and knee kicker.
• The tape, hammer, tin-snips, scissors, snap-line, utility knife, and stapler can be bought from a local store.
• A carpet stretcher is a must. Without a carpet stretcher, it is just impossible to install the carpet in the right way. There will be wrinkles and lumps formed all over the surface. However, if you are not friendly with a carpet stretcher, you may use carpet installer. After all, stretching forms an integral part of carpet installation.
• The carpet pile direction needs to be considered during seaming. Yes, it is not possible to join two pieces of a carpet in the proper order if there are patterns on the carpet. But it is possible to identify the direction of the carpet’s pile by just looking at it from different directions in strong light for the non-patterned ones. So, be careful that the carpet pile is consistent from one piece to another.
• Do not place carpet tack strips against the wall: You must overcome the temptation to shove the carpet tack strips against the wall or baseboard. This will require some extra space. The gap should be just a bit less than the thickness of the carpet. This helps the caret to remain in a tight yet flexible condition.
• For Patterned Carpet, Buy 5% Extra. Patterned carpet will have more waste materials than non-patterned one. So, more carpet gets wasted, and hence while buying it should be bought in more amount.
• No need to pad the tackless strip. The padding should be limited to the perimeter formed by the strips. It may touch the edge of tackless strips without overlapping it. This is because overlapping may lead to the formation of a fat lump along the edges.
Now that you have learnt how to install carpet, there’s no need to appoint professionals for the purpose except a few special cases. You can save bucks by doing it alone! Good luck!!!