Don’t Overlook What Goes Underneath
If you’re going to spend time, energy, and money choosing just the right carpet texture, thickness, color and even manufacturer, don’t forget that the carpet pad you install under that carpet that will determine how comfortable it feels and how long it will last.
A good pad will make your carpet feel more comfortable. It’s pretty simple, really. Carpet pad adds another layer of cushioning between you and the subfloor. The thicker and better the pad, the more comfortable it will feel.
A good pad will make your carpet last longer. Carpet pad helps to protect your new carpet from rough edges, nails, screws and other damaging things on your subfloor. It also reduces friction on the undersurface of the rug, and prevents premature wear
A good pad can keep your carpet looking better. With good padding below, your carpet can withstand the weight of your furniture without getting as dented or crushed. What’s more, carpet with quality padding tends to stain less too, probably because stains can go through the carpet and into the pad, rather than just being absorbed into the carpet fibers.
Preparing for Installation
Before the installer arrives, make sure that your place is in order:
- Clean up – move whatever you can out of the room
- Vacuum the old carpet to eliminate dust and dirt
- Make sure that nothing is hanging over the carpet (e.g. curtains)
- Provide good ventilation by opening windows and doors and/or operating fans
- You may want to remove baseboards
When the installer arrives, first make sure that the carpet matches your purchase:
- Check the label, sales receipt, and warranty that come with your carpet because they describe your order
- Ask for a scrap of carpet (at least 1 foot x 2 feet)
- Have the installer inspect the carpet and backing for defects
- Keep the label, scrap of carpet, receipt, and warranty for your records
- If any part of your order is incorrect, don’t start installation until you contact your retailer and resolve it
After the old carpet is removed, sweep and/or vacuum the floor to prepare for installation.
According to your agreement with the installer, make sure they:
- Double-glued seams to prevent delamination and fuzzing
- Power stretch the carpet to minimize wrinkles
- Provide waterfall installation on stairs
- Remove, trim, and re-hang doors that do not swing freely
If you are sensitive to odors, you may want to consider leaving during installation.
Do It Yourself Carpet Installation
A handy DIY’er can install his or her own carpet, although it can be a physically demanding job, depending on the size of the room and type of carpet. Most people will need to rent a couple of specialty tools, like a knee kicker and carpet stretcher
- The first thing you need to do is measure the room precisely as far as how much carpet you will need. Normally, the carpet retailer will send out an estimator to measure exactly but you should have an idea f how much you will need. When the carpet arrives, check it for imperfections before installing it. You will then need to remove the old carpet if there is any then clean the floor.
- Make sure that the floor is clean and dry. If the tackless strip and the carpet pad are in good shape, these may be reused. If not, they will need to be replaced. In do it yourself carpet installation, you will need to know how to install the tackless strips. Cut the strip to the length of each wall then nail the strips to cement with masonry nails. The pins should point up so the carpet can be stretched and tacked. (Tackless strip, so called because it does away with the carpet tacks that hold the carpet in place, are wood strips with raised tack points which extend into the carpet backing.)
- Cut and roll strips of carpet pad across the room so it covers the tackless strip. Make sure the seams are even and cover them up with masking tape. Next you will need to cut the carpet slightly longer then the room so it overlaps. Then trim the excess using a utility knife. Make sure the seams are straight and butted up against each other tightly and secured on the under side with tape. Next use a carpet iron to melt the glue on the adhesive then use a rolling pin to seal the seams together.
- Next use a knee kicker to attach the carpet into the corners and walls of the room. This step can be hard on the knees but needs to be done to make sure it is secure.
- Using a carpet stretcher is the final stage of do it yourself carpet installation. After one corner of the room is secured with carpet, the carpet stretcher will help pull the carpet to the opposite end of the room. Continue working across the room, alternating corners and walls.
- Once each wall is tacked, finish the carpet by using a carpet hammer to secure the carpet to the tackless strip. Then use a utility knife to trim the excess pieces of carpet.