How to fit a carpet
Here at runrug.com, we have a wealth of knowledge and over the years we have gathered a range of tips and tricks about how to fit a carpet. If you are here, you are probably in the process of changing your carpet and you are looking for an easy to follow guide that you can follow during the process. Well, today is your lucky day – here is our guide that will show you how to fit your carpet and a range of other tips that will make sure your carpet stays in the best condition possible.
To remove and fit a new carpet, you’re going to need to open your toolbox. Here is a list of carpet fitting tools that should be in it:
• Knee pads • Tape measure • Pencil • Masking tape
• Hammer • Nails • Hardboard sheets • Hack saw • Stanley knife
• Carpet stretcher • Carpet tucker • Drill • Vacuum
Before you fit your new carpet, you’ll need to remove your old one. Removing your old carpet will expose the subfloor that you can then prepare in order to fit your new carpet.
Top Tip: Subfloors can be uneven and even have nails protruding from the floorboards, so you should wear knee pads when working on the floor to reduce the chance of any injury.
Your subfloor will consist of either a level concrete surface or floorboards. Depending on the condition of your floorboards, it could be an option to have the floorboards conditioned and treated and adopt a traditional aesthetic placing a rug runner over the exposed wood.
You may find that when you remove an old carpet, the condition of the floorboards below are not in tip-top shape. If this is the case, it could be a cheaper and easier option to pull all the boards up and replace them with new ones.
By using fit tongue-and-groove chipboard flooring panels, you can ensure you have a great base for any flooring that is placed on top. 3mm hardboard sheets will also provide a level base that will reduce any draughts coming from below.
When you are laying your boards make sure that you spray the textured side with water prior to fitting. After spraying the sheets, stack them in the room where they will be laid for 48 hours as this will make sure that the boards don’t expand once they are fitted.
1. Make sure that no nails are sticking out above the boards and that each board is securely in place.
2. Then you will need to use 19mm nails to secure the boards into place. This will ensure that you don’t pierce any cables or pipes below the subfloor.
3. Space the nails about 150mm apart and 225mm apart in the centre of the board. This will provide full and secure coverage. A top tip here is to start at the centre of the edge of your board and work your way out.
4. Lay the hardboard sheet texture side up and start in the corner of the room and work your way across the room. The last sheet may need to be cut to size.
5. You can then use the cut off from the last sheet to start the first section of the next row as this helps to reduce waste and will ensure that joints are staggered.
Now that you have a level subfloor to work with, you can begin to start and fit your carpet. The very first step that you need to complete is to clean the subfloor – run a vacuum cleaner over the subfloor and hoover up all of the dust and debris that may have accumulated during the fitting process.
We understand that we do not supply all the products shown on this page, however, we wanted to provide you with tips and advice on fitting your carpet. You can buy Underlay and Grippers from your local carpet store.
Carpet grippers usually come in lengths of 1 meter and are pre-nailed for ease during fitting. Designed to keep the carpet taut and secure in place, carpet grippers can be used to provide your carpet with a fit that won’t move over time.
It is important to scan the area for any hidden pipes or wires; you don’t want to hit any loose fixtures during the installation process. If you do manage to notice any wire or piping, locate these areas and use gripper adhesive in place of a nailed gripper.
You can then add carpet grippers to the edge of the room and when you get to the doorway, make sure that you measure between the door frame and cut to size with a hack saw.
Carpet grippers on wooden floors: Use 10mm nails or screws to secure the gripper in place. Place the rods slightly away from the skirting boards with the pins pointing upwards. Then screw or hammer the gripper into place.
Carpet grippers on concrete floors: If you are adding carpet grippers to a concrete subfloor, it is best to use Gripfill under the gripper rods as this will keep the rod in place if the nails/screws become loose over time.
Underlay is arguably one of the most important components of fitting a carpet and can be the difference between laying something that feels comfortable and plush as opposed to a harsh underfoot experience.
Underlay can extend the life of your carpet and having a level of cushioning underneath your foot can provide a luxurious feel to your property.
Lay the underlay with the rubber side facing downwards and cut the underlay to ensure that it is at the same level as the gripper.
You can then butt the underlay edges together and join them with tape but make sure that they don’t overlap with one another and stay at a consistent height.
This is where the fun really starts and one tip that we recommend here at runrug.com is to use a carpet stretcher that keeps the carpet in place whilst the fitter pushes the padded end with their knees.
Standing in one corner, with your foot underneath the carpet, you can smooth the carpet into place.
We advise leaving excess on each edge of around 2-3 inches.
If it is necessary, you can cut the excess carpet vertically above the corners and trim the overlapping triangles. Start at the longest wall and work backwards, use a carpet tucker and make a firm crease in the carpet along the skirting board. This crease will give you a fold line that you can then cut.
Using a sharp knife, at around 0.2 inch higher than the carpet surface, cut the edge.
Using the carpet stretcher and place it around 1 inch from the skirting with the teeth facing down. You can then push the padded end firmly with your knee to ensure that the carpet hooks onto the gripper on either side of the corner.
Then you can push the carpet down using the tucker between the gripper and skirting. Once this first wall is complete, you can repeat the process along the two adjacent walls and finally the opposite wall.
Now that you know how to prepare and fit a new carpet, you should explore the range of other guides that we have on offer.