DIY Carpet Installation – 6 Tips for Installing Carpet Yourself

While installation by a professional crew is quick and inexpensive, some people choose to install their carpeting themselves. Learn the DIY carpet installation – 6 tips for installing carpet yourself.

The drawback in doing it yourself is that now installation costs are included in the price of carpeting. Therefore, most people don’t benefit from doing it themselves.

While many companies boast about free installation, what consumers don’t know is that the cost is already included. Money can be saved if you tell the company that you want to purchase carpeting without installation labor included.

It should be noted that by the time you invest in the tools, seaming tape, padding, and other supplies, you are no further ahead cost-wise. Yet there are moments when a budget may require self-installation. This is where the savings really begin.

Additionally, irregular-shaped rooms or stairways could result in additional cost savings.

Six DIY Tips for Installing Carpet

a man installing a carpet

Rent Proper Tools for the Job

Some homeowners think they can install carpet using a utility knife and by cutting pieces. It doesn’t quite work this way. Proper installation requires hammers, tinsnips, utility staplers, chalk-lines, plus utility knives.

Tools to be leased include power stretchers, seam irons, and a knee kicker. Renting these is more economical than purchasing them, unless you want to do this quite often.

Teach Yourself How to Utilize a Carpet Stretcher

Individuals can install carpet without a carpet stretcher. However, the results will not look good. Lumps and wrinkles will quickly form in the carpet. A long power stretcher and knee kicker are important in a good installation.

A long power stretcher will act as a brace against walls and will stretch the carpet tightly throughout the room. Knee kickers aid in pushing edges into the corners and over tack strips that line the perimeter of the area.

Ninety percent of laying down a carpet properly is in the installation.

Installing Tack Strips

A tack strip are wood strips with sharp tacks. It attaches to the subfloor around the room’s perimeter. It serves as an anchor point for the edges of the carpet. Novice DIYers tend to place it tightly against a baseboard or wall. Avoid doing this.

Extra space will be needed to tuck the carpet edges over the strips. The gap between the two needs to be a minute fraction (about a hair) less than the carpet’s thickness. This is so when it’s tucked, the carpeting will stay in place.

Patterned Carpets Require Purchasing 5% More

When laying down a patterned carpet, you will experience waste. The reason is that while cutting and seaming, you will need to match the pattern. For this reason, professionals recommend buying another 5% to compensate for this.

It should be noted that when buying regular carpeting, users should purchase an extra 5%, which covers mistakes. With a patterned carpet, 5% for waste and an additional 5% for matching the pattern should be added. This works out to an additional 10%.

Padding Should Not Be Attached Over Tack Strips

Padding should be kept within the inside perimeter of the strips. It should never go out of this area to the walls. Padding should just touch the strips but not overlap them. If it does, there will be a large lump around the perimeter of your carpet.

Also, ensure that you have a good quality padding, such as thick memory foam.

Examine the Direction of the Carpet Pile

If it is a pattered carpet, placing the two pieces together needs mindful attention to matching the pattern. For non-patterned carpets, you will note the direction of the carpet piling by examining it from various directions in a bright light. Keep the pile consistent from each piece.

What is a Tackless Carpet Installation?

Tackless strips are using the method described above. It is installing wooden strips with small nails along the perimeter of the room. The padding just reaches the inside of the strips. Then the carpet is stretched over these nails and will just touch the edge of the wall.

The strips are either nailed or glued to the floor.

ProsCons
Installation is quick and efficient.Better for moderate rolling traffic.
Comfortable padding.Not great for large spaces because of rippling or buckling.
Carpet is easier to remove over glued carpet.
DIY Carpet Installation Review

The other option is gluing the carpet down. This is usually done in commercial projects and has its challenges.

The carpet is applied to a smooth floor. If the floor has any imperfections, it will be revealed through the carpet. This can also lead to wear spots.

ProsCons
Carpet is firmly supported with less movement. Good base for people with wheelchairs.No padding makes it less comfortable.
It has a low profileLess insulation.
It reduces buckling in places that have the climate control turned off for extended periods.Carpet isn’t as durable.
Seams don’t peak.Removal is increasingly difficult.
Great for large areas
DIY Carpet Installation Review

Are Baseboards Removed to Install Carpet?

Not necessarily. You can place the tack strip close to the trim. Then, roll the excess carpet underneath the trim. Some people, especially novices, may find removing baseboards easier for installation.

Can You Lay Carpet on Carpet?

Yes and no. You can layer carpet on carpet if both are new. This is more expensive, however. A low pile carpet can be the carpet pad, while a higher pile is the actual carpet. This works well when doing carpet tiles, but not necessarily the entire room.

If you are installing it over existing carpet, ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned. Old carpet may transfer dirt, debris, and mold to the new one.

If you are looking to save money, installing carpet yourself may or may not be the answer. Most carpet companies include the cost of labor into their prices, so do not be fooled by the “free installation” pitch. This means, however, that when you just want to purchase carpeting, you need to specify that you will be doing the installation, and to remove the additional cost. The company may or may not agree to do this.

Installation is relatively simple if you follow these key bits of advice. Primed with the right tools, a carpet installation can go very smoothly.

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