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How to Install Carpet

October 31st, 2011 Tools

New carpets can transform the look of any living room, bedroom or family room in your home. Whether you want a new color, a different texture or to place a carpet over hard floors, your space will look great with new carpet. Despite what you may think, it's easy to install your own carpet with the right tools, which can save you cash and the hassle of finding someone to do it for you. Here's a guide for how to go about it, according to DIY Network and DoItYourself.com.

1. Start by removing the old carpet, if necessary. Remove any moldings around the floor and take the door off so you can reach the edges. Cut the old carpet into strips and pull it off the tackless strips, rolling them up as you go. You may want to vacuum first to minimize the amount of dust you're breathing in. Take off the old tackless strips.

2. Measure the area of the room carefully. Add about 10 percent of that to allow for any irregularities and errors that may occur.

3. Make sure the floor is clean before you start. Scrape and sweep up any debris that's left behind.

4. Install the new tackless strips, keeping them ½ inch away from the wall and away from any thresholds and doorways, as the sharp edges may poke through there and hurt your feet.

5. Lay down the carpet pad perpendicular to the direction you're putting the carpet. Use a staple hammer to staple the edges of the pad near the tackless strips. Staple the seams closely together. Use a utility knife to cut away the extra padding along the interior edge of the tackless strips. The tacks should still be exposed.

6. Measure the room you're carpeting at its longest point, then add about 3 inches to that measurement before you cut the new carpet.

7. Lay the carpet in the room and cut any obvious excess, leaving about 3 inches next to the walls. Make sure your pieces are straight and the pile is all running the same way. Glue the seams together by placing seaming tape underneath where they join, then using a seaming iron to activate the adhesive. Use a rolling pin or carpet roller to hold it down while the glue dries.

8. Trim the carpet with a utility knife to fit it around obstacles and corners.

9. Use a knee kicker to attach the carpet to the tackless strips at one end of the room. Put the face of the knee kicker against the carpet about 3 inches away from the wall, then strike the padded end to stretch the carpet over the tackless strips.

10. Trim the excess carpet with a wall trimmer, which rests against the wall and gives you a straight cut in the right spot. Use a stair tool to press the edges underneath the baseboard trim so it looks neat.

11. Use a carpet stretcher to attach the carpet to the other side of the room. For areas the stretcher can't reach, use the knee kicker and stair tool to secure the carpet.

12. At the doorway, trim the carpet so the edge is centered underneath the closed door, then install a door edge strip.

13. Cut out spaces to make room for floor vents.

14. Install the molding on the baseboards if necessary.

15. Finally, vacuum up any extra carpet fuzz, then admire your work!