There’s nothing like the feeling of a freshly carpeted room. If your home needs new carpet, or you’d like to carpet a room for the very first time, you can install carpet yourself in a single day. Here’s what you’ll need for this satisfying project:
TOOLS & MATERIALS
- Tack Strips
- Duck Tape
- Seam Tape
- Metal Transition Strips
- ¼” Staples (For Wood Subfloor)
- Spray Tack (For Concrete)
- 3/16” Nails (For Concrete)
When taking on this DIY task, be sure to equip yourself with the proper safety gear.
Measure. Start by measuring your room to determine how much carpet you’ll need, adding six inches to each side to allow for trimming. Depending on room size, you may need to buy multiple pieces and make a seam in the carpet. If this is the case, add an extra three inches to each piece in order to cut straight edges. If your carpet is patterned, add a bit extra as well, so you can match it up.
Install carpet tack strips. Once your carpet is ready, you’ll need to install carpet tack strips to hold it in place. Leave about 1/3 of the thickness of your new carpet between the tack strip and the base board, about a quarter to half an inch. Install according at arrows on the tack strip, using wood snips or a small saw to cut them to length. The strips will have slanted tacks sticking out on one side and short nails on the other. Place them along the baseboards, with the tacks facing up and slanting toward the wall. Then drive each nail in with a hammer. If you have a concrete floor, you’ll need to further secure the strip with a hammer drill and three sixteenth inch nails. If any of your carpet ends at a doorway, you’ll also need to install metal transition strips.
Secure padding. Thoroughly sweep or vacuum the floor. Then roll out the padding, lining it up along the edge of the tack strips. For concrete floors, apply spray tack at each end of the padding, on both the floor and the pad. Reinforce the sides of the padding with two sections of duct tape, half overlapping the pad and the other half overlapping the tack strip. Cut fill pieces slightly larger than needed. Butt the seams together, securing with duct tape. Once in place, trim to fit using a utility or carpet knife to trim rough edges along tack strips. If you plan to install carpet in a room with wood subfloors, staple the padding along the inside edge of the tack strips, using just enough staples to keep the padding in place.
Position carpet. Now that your padding’s in place, it’s time to position your carpet. Start in a corner, overlapping the carpet along the walls. Shifting is needed to make sure it’s properly aligned with your walls. Make sure to confirm the carpet is square in the room, unrolling any that’s overlapped. Make relief cuts as needed around corners and wall edges as you continue to roll it out.
Make seams. If you need two pieces of carpet to span a room, you’ll have to connect them with a seam. Start by creating a straight edge on the first piece of carpet. Measure the non-carpeted area, and cut one piece of carpet about three inches larger than needed. Place seaming tape under the first piece, adhesive side up, and set the second piece in place. Heat the seaming iron, and position at one end of the seam. When the adhesive starts to melt, slowly move the iron along the seam, melting adhesive and closing the seam as you go. As you work, use a seam roller to help fasten the glue to the carpet backing. Place a flat, heavy object over the glued carpet it dries. Make sure the glue is completely dry before continuing. You can also use an electronic carpet weight to secure and cool the glue.
Secure first section. Begin securing the first section of carpet in the corner, using a wall trimmer to cut straight down to the floor along the wall’s edge. You may need to use a utility knife to completely release the corner and remove excess carpet. Secure the carpet to the tack strip with a knee kicker and carpet tucker to insert the carpet between the tack strip and the baseboard or wall. Move to the opposing wall and repeat. When using the knee kicker, place the tooth part of the tool just inside the tack strip, striking the padded area with your knee.
Secure remaining carpet. Back at your first corner, work your way along the full length of the wall with the trimmer, knee kicker, and tucker as you did in the corners. Continue throughout the room, working your way across opposing walls, using a utility or carpet knife to trim around door casings, thresholds, and to cut holes for registers. Use the tucker to insert the carpet between the tack strip and the wall wherever it hasn’t been done.
Install carpet at transitions. When you arrive at a transition, cut the carpet along the length of the metal piece with the utility knife and secure it with a knee kicker. Tuck the carpet into the lip of the metal transition and tap it down with a rubber mallet to secure in place. Your carpet installation is complete!