Installing carpet can be difficult work. However, not everyone has the funds to hire someone to do the work for you. Here’s how to install carpet on your own.
First things first, you need to get rid of the old carpet. Start by removing the moldings around the floor and taking the door off the entrance. This makes it easier to get the old carpet out and install the new carpet. Vacuum the old carpet before removing it so you won’t be breathing in dust. Start at one end and pull the carpet off the tack strips and roll it up into sections. You may be able to use the underlay underneath the carpet, but in most cases, it will be as worn out as the carpet. This is a good time to check the subfloor and fasten any floorboards so they won’t squeak under the new carpet.
Afterward, install new tackless strips if you are going over hardwood floor or vinyl around the perimeter of the wall. Be sure not to put the strips in front of the doorways. There should be a space of about ½” between the strips and the wall. The pins or tacks on the strip should face toward the wall. Tackless strips should be butted tightly against each other at corners.
Lay the underpad
The underpad should be laid down in strips that are up against or reach the tackless strips. The strips should rest against each other, but not overlap them. The underlay should be stapled along the inside edge of the strip. Trim any excess underlay along the inside of the strip and use duct tape to seal the seams. If you have concrete floors underneath your carpet, you can use a small bit of glue to hold the pad in place.
Lay the carpet
Lay down a piece of carpet that is about four to six inches longer than the floor length. This overlay can be trimmed so the carpet fits perfectly. To cut the first section, measure the room at its longest point and add six inches to that measurement. Fold the carpet over on itself and use a straight edge and utility knife to cut through the backside of your carpet. Place a piece of scrap board underneath where you are cutting to protect the other side of your carpet.
Use a knee kicker, a solid metal tool that grips the carpet on one end and a heavily padded “butt” on the other, to attach the carpet along one edge. Placed the toothed edge about three inches from the wall and drive your knee into the padded end. This stretches the carpet over the tackless strip, so the tacks will grab onto it and hold it into place. Use a carpet stretcher against the wall where the carpet has already attached and place the other end about six inches away from the opposite wall. The carpet stretcher will stretch the carpet over the tackless strip. Work your way along the wall to finish stretching the carpet and use a utility knife to trim the carpet wherever necessary.
For a finishing touch, use a stair tool to tuck the carpet into the gap between the tackless strip and the wall. Trim the carpet at the doorway so the edge is centered under the closed door and install a door edge strip. Finally, cut the vent openings and re-install the molding on the baseboards.
Sit back and enjoy all your hard work!