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laying carpet

How to Lay Your Own Carpet


Apr 17, 2020 by Marc Rapport

If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you know that you can learn how to do just about anything on the internet -- even build your own house. But before you take on building a house from the foundation up, or even if you're a DIYer already living in a home, you may want to take on some smaller projects first.

One project you may want to try tackling is installing your own flooring, and one good flooring project to start with could be installing carpet. While this may seem like a formidable task to take on, it is doable with perseverance and a little help from the internet.

Tools and materials

It's imperative to begin with the right tools and materials. Anyone who has tackled DIY projects knows that nothing is worse than being in a good working groove and not having a tool or the supplies you need to keep going.

And if you've never installed carpet before, you'll likely need to rent or buy some specialty tools. You'll also need to measure the space you plan to carpet. A good rule of thumb is to then add 10% to your estimate. The last thing you need is to be nearing the end of your project and run out of carpet.

Prep your space

As with many home projects, the success of your carpeting project begins with having your space properly cleaned and prepped. You'll obviously need to remove the current flooring in your space correctly, and then you'll need to clean and vacuum the subfloors and take down any doors that might get in your way.

Get ready to lay your carpet

Next, you'll need to cut and install tack strips around the border of the room, except in doorways or other spaces where people might walk and step on the tacks. If you're installing atop a concrete subfloor, you'll need to use epoxy adhesive or masonry tacks to place the strips. Simply hammer them in if your subfloor is wood. Then you can use a staple gun to install the carpet pad.

Lay your carpet

Now comes the main event. You'll need to carefully measure and cut your carpet, and remember the adage "Measure twice; cut once." It's recommended that you lay your carpet out outside or in an open space where you can lay it flat to measure and cut.

When you lay your carpet out in your space, make sure the seams are all facing the same direction and then secure the seams in place with heat-activated seam tape.

Finish the room

Now, you're almost done. You still need to fasten the carpet to the tack strips along one wall and cut excess carpet. Once the carpet is attached to that wall, you can then stretch the carpet to the opposite wall, attach it to the tack strips, and secure in place. Repeat this process with the remaining walls. Then you'll be ready to install transition moulding in your thresholds to tie together your rooms and place the finishing touches.

Should you install carpet yourself?

Installing carpeting can be a good idea for a variety of reasons, including that it can dampen sound and insulate a room. But it may not be a project for all DIYers.

Home Depot rates this project at an intermediate level, and because many stores and companies offer free installation with purchase, you may not even save any money installing carpet yourself, depending on where you buy it.

However, for the confident DIYer, installing your own carpet may be a great way to give an old room a new look on your own time and under budget.

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