How To Lay Carpet

Do you want to learn how to lay carpet? Finally ready to get upgrade your home with plush new carpet, but don't know where to start? While laying new carpet can seem like a daunting task, depending on the size of the job, you can likely install your new carpets in as little as one weekend.

You will need?

  • Cleaning Supplies

  • Tackless Strip

  • Masonry Nails

  • Utility Knife

  • Seaming Tape

  • Seaming Iron

  • Knee Kicker

  • Power Stretcher


  1. Prep the Floors. Before laying your new carpet, make sure the area is clean and free of dirt and debris by sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming the area. Nail down any floorboards that may be loose or warping to create an even surface. If your floor has heating or air conditioning vents, mark off the area around the vents to avoid covering them with carpet.
  2. Install the Tackless Strip. Trim the tackless strip into sections that are the same length as each wall. Using masonry nails, nail the tackless strip into the floor leaving approximately an eighth of an inch gap between the strip and the wall. Install the tackless strip with the pins facing the wall. The tackless strip should not be installed along the door frame.
  3. Install the Carpet Padding. Trim the carpet padding into sections that are long enough to attach the padding to the taskless strips on both ends of the padding. As you lay out the padding you will need to staple or glue the the padding down to the original flooring. Use a stapler is your floors are wooden, laminate, or soft enough to except staples, and use glue if your floors are concrete. There should be no gaps between the sections of carpet padding.
  4. Cut the Carpet and Seams. If you have a large amount of carpet, and a basic square or rectangular room, you may be able to avoid having seams. If you do have seems, make sure the grain or pile in the carpet all faces the same direction. Cut the carpet leaving an extra four to six inches on all sides so you have some room for error. If you do have seams, lay one section of the carpet slightly on top of the other piece, leaving approximately two inches of overlap. Run your utility knife along the overlapping edge of the carpet to cut the carpet underneath for a perfect fit.
  5. Sealing your Seams. Trim the seaming tape to the length of your seams with the adhesive side facing toward the carpet. Place the seaming tape in the center of the seam allowing both sections of carpet to be adhered. Use the seaming iron to heat the tape, and when the tape is hot, press both sections of the carpet firmly down onto the seaming tape.
  6. Hook the Carpet. Use your knee kicker to hook or attach the carpet onto the tackless strips. Press the teeth of the knee kicker into a small section of carpet leaving a one inch gap between the knee kicker and the wall. Thrust your knee against the padded end of the kicker to hook the section of carpet into the tackless strip.
  7. Stretch the Carpet and Trim Excess. Grab a scrap piece of carpet to help you protect the walls while using the power stretcher. Hold the stretcher and press down its teeth into a section of carpet leaving a six inch gap between the stretcher and the wall. Lock the stretcher into place and stretch the carpet onto the tackless strips. Use your utility knife to trim any excess carpet.
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