When it comes time to install carpeting, don’t think that you need to call in a professional. Although carpeting is one of the harder flooring types to install, it can still be successfully installed by a savvy DIY-er. Not only will you save on the cost of installation, but you will have an accomplishment that you can be proud of. And, once you execute carpet installation the first time around, subsequent installations will be much easier.
To get started, you first need to measure the room. Measure the width and the length and be sure to add a few inches for thresholds and doorways. Write down your measurements or draw a diagram of your space and bring it along with you to the retailer.
Next, prepare the room for installation. Install a tack strip around the entire perimeter of the room, but be sure to maintain a 3/8″ space between the strip and the baseboard. You can choose to place a piece of plywood next to the baseboard and wall, which will protect them as you hammer down the tack strip. When hammering it down, make sure that there are two nails in every piece of tack. If possible, choose the wider tack strip that you see at the home improvement store.
Next comes the carpet padding. Start in one corner of the room and roll out the carpet padding. Trim as close to the tack strip as possible, while stapling the padding down every two feet or less. You will also need to cut the padding to fit around doors and other trim. Once this portion of carpet installation is complete, it’s time to get started with the actual carpeting. Just as with the padding, you will need to roll out the carpeting. Since the rolls are heavy, expect to have someone help you with this step.
Once the carpet is laid out, there should be several inches extending over the baseboards. This ensures that you have extra carpet to work with. You now need to fit the carpet and make sure that it will be straight throughout installation. To do this, run a line through the bunched up carpet next to the baseboard. Then make two vertical cuts on either side, as well as a horizontal cut through the line. Do the same on the far end of the wall. If you find that carpet is not even with the baseboard, use a knee kicker to adjust the carpet.
For the actual carpet installation, begin in one corner of the room. You will need to trim the carpet next to the wall and tuck in the ends using a plastic paddle. The carpet will firmly secure itself into the tack strip. Be sure that you don’t hammer the carpet into the tack strip, even though this may seem logical at first. If you do this, the hammering will cause the tacks to bend and not hold the carpeting in securely. Now use a power stretcher to level the carpeting. Power stretchers can be rented at home improvement stores and are used by extending the machine across the width of the room. The tool will tack the carpet down in the tack strip.
Using a trimmer, trim the carpet against the baseboard and tuck it into the space that was provided between the wall and baseboard. Once completed, you can clean up the carpeting by vacuuming up the loose pieces and have the carpeting professionally cleaned. You’ll also need to replace the shoe molding to give the carpeting its finished look. With careful precision and the right tools, you can carry out carpet installation that looks like the professionals did it – and perhaps even better!