How to Fit Carpet
It can be expensive to purchase a carpet and pay for installation so why not try using our helpful step-by-step carpet fitting guide below to install it yourself? You can then use the money saved to put towards a better quality carpet or even new underlay and carpet gripper!
Some special tools are required for fitting carpet. A carpet fitting knife, a carpet stretcher, a bolster for stretching and tucking the carpet and a staple hammer for tacking the underlay into place. These can be bought quite cheaply on the internet. We even have a carpet fitting kit available where you can purchase all the tools you need in one go!
When laying any type of carpet or flooring the first thing to do is make sure the surface is smooth and clean. Sweep the floor thoroughly and remove any nails or stones etc that may be protruding. Use a vacuum cleaner if needed. Remove any doors to the room so you wonít have to work around them. This isnít a necessity but it will make things easier especially when you reach the door jambs.
Nail your carpet gripper around the edge of the room leaving a gap of one and a half times the thickness of the carpet to be laid do not fit carpet gripper in front of your doorway. The gripper has an angled edge on one side this needs to be nearest the wall. If you have a hard subfloor ie; concrete or tiles then gluing maybe the best way to install your gripper. Make sure your gripper is laid evenly. This is what keeps your carpet in place.
Laying the Underlay
Lay the underlay so that it overlaps the carpet gripper. Lay in strips against each other tightly - don't overlap them! Staple the underlay down along the inside edge of the carpet gripper. Trim the excess underlay along the inside of the gripper and use underlay tape to seal the seams. This will prevent lines showing through to your new carpet and stop the underlay moving when you are laying out and stetching the carpet.
Laying the Carpet
To install carpet properly, you need to start with a piece that overlaps the edge of the floor by about 4 inches. The overlay can be trimmed later so the carpet fits properly. To cut your first section, measure the room at its longest point and add 4 inches to that measurement. Mark the back of your carpet at both edges with that measurement and join the two marks with a line. Fold the carpet over on itself, and using a straight edge and a sharp knife, cut through the back of your carpet. Be sure to place a piece of scrap board underneath your cut line to protect the underlying carpet from being cut.
Joining the Seams
If your room is wide enough that you're going to need another piece of carpet, follow the same process with the second piece - measure, mark and trim. Be sure the carpet pile is running the same way in all pieces, and that the carpet you cut is large enough to overlap the wall by about 4 inches, as well as overlapping the first piece of carpet by 4 inches.Try to layout your carpet pieces so the seams won't be in noticeable position or in high traffic areas, but obviously sometimes this isn't possibleWhere the carpet pieces will join, overlap the two pieces, and then using a sharp knife or a rented seam cutter, cut through both pieces of carpet, ensuring the edges will match exactly. Place a piece of seaming tape (sticky side up) on the floor underneath where your carpets will join. Use a carpet seaming iron to activate the adhesive (the iron goes on the tape not the carpet) lay the edges tightly together and seal the seam with a roller.
Fitting the Carpet
Use a knee kicker (stretcher) to attach the carpet along one edge. A knee kicker is a solid metal tool about 18" long with teeth that will grip the carpet on one end, and a heavily padded butt on the other. Put the end of the carpet stretcher about 3 or 4 inches from the wall , kick your knee forcefully into the padded end of the carpet stretching tool. This will stretch the carpet over the carpet gripper, where the tacks will grab it and hold it firmly in place.Then using the bolster push the carpet behind the carpet gripper.Work your way around the room stretching the carpet over the carpet gripper, and trim the carpet near the wall with a sharp knife. At the doorway trim the carpet so the edge will be underneath the closed door and install a threshold bar, which will hold the carpet in place at the doorway section.
What about fitting carpet on stairs?
Fitting carpet on stairs can be awkward how ever the same principles apply. Fit a piece of gripper on the tread of each stair so that the angled edge is furthest away from you and also fit a piece on the riser of the next stair so that the angled edge meets the angled edge of the gripper fitted on the tread. Again the gap left really does depend on the depth of carpet to be installed. One and a half times the depth of carpet is the correct gap. If in doubt try on one stair. Cut the underlay in strips off of the roll about 1/4 inch narrower than your stairs. Starting at the top stair fit and staple the underlay to the stair tread and over the nose down to the next piece of gripper and cut off with a sharp fitters knife, repeat all the way down. Measure the width of the stairs and cut the carpet from the length of the roll , roll the carpet up so that the out side is faceing you, then fit from the top stair down bolster into grippered recess on each stair ensuring the carpet is pulled tightly over each nose. Cut off any excess carpet.