Carpet Installation for Beginners

By: Robert Thomson

Installing new carpet doesn't have to be a hassle or a chore. In fact, with a little do it yourself knowledge, you can have beautiful new carpet throughout your home in less time than you might think. The first step before you even set foot in a carpet showroom or retailer is to measure your floors. Add a few inches to your measurements, particularly around doors and thresholds. Take your measurements to the carpet retailer and they can advise you as to how much carpet you may need.

It's important to note that most carpet comes in two widths - 12' and 15'. For wider rooms, your new carpeting will need to be seamed. Some manufacturers will require that a professional carpet installer do the seaming job in order to make sure your new flooring complies with the warranty.

Adding Tack Strips and Carpet Padding

The second step in carpet installation is to put down tack strips. These can be bought at most any flooring or carpet store - the wider, the better. You do want to leave a little space between the wall and the tack strips for the baseboards. Then, nail down the tack strip around the edges of your floor.

After that, it's time to put down the carpet pad. A well made carpet pad will not only help with carpet installation, but it will also help add comfort and protection to your floors. When rolling out the strips of carpet cushion, trim them closely to the tack strips as possible (you don't want any gaps where the carpet will go) and staple it down every two feet or so.

Roll Out the (Red) Carpet

Once you've got the padding stapled down, it's time to roll out the carpet. Here again, make sure you have excess carpet up against the walls. You'd rather have too much carpeting and not need it, rather than not enough! You'll also need to make some cuts to ensure that your carpet fits well. Much of this depends on your actual room layout such as whether you have closets, air vents and other areas that you'll need to maneuver your carpet around.

Adding Life to Your Carpet

Power-stretching the carpet may also be required in order to fulfill the warranty. Different power stretcher head attachments will be needed depending on the type of carpet you have (loop pile or cut pile, for example). Power stretching will help stretch your carpet to where it can be grabbed and tacked down by the tack strips you installed earlier. Then, simply trim the carpet to fit and vacuum it once done. The end result is having an easy, straightforward carpet installation done right - one that will add life and beauty to your floors that you can enjoy for years to come. While doing it yourself can save you some money, there's also the option of hiring a professional to make your carpet installation quick and easy. Either way, you'll be enjoying your new carpeting in no time!

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Gina Hopkins writes about interior design projects including how to choose the best carpet installation for any particular situation. Always looking for the best bargain on renovation materials, she tends to end up shopping at more often than not.

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