login  |  register

Installing New Carpet

If you desire to have that plushy feeling underfoot in your home here are some simple pointers and easy-to-follow steps on how to install a brand new carpet.

Posted in Carpets over 16 years ago, 0 replies

Installing a new carpet all on your own isn’t as difficult a feat as you might think. Yes, it’s true that one of your biggest challenges will be getting the right tools needed to handle the installation job such as a seaming iron, but you can simply rent this and any other tools you’ll need at your local home improvement store. Note: It’s a good idea to become familiar with all the tools needed to do the carpet installation job before you use them.

Next to finding the right tools, probably the biggest challenge you’ll have when it comes to your carpet installation project is choosing the right kind of carpet to install. The kind of carpet you should choose is one that best suits your needs. This means you should take into account your price range, your children, your pets, and possibly your clumsy-streak that has gotten you uninvited to many home parties.

There are some basic issues you need to consider when you’re choosing a carpet. The most important are the carpet’s pile depth, weave and material. When you think carpet think in terms of its durability. But if you’re a constant redecorator, don’t shell out big bucks for a durable carpet because in a few years, it won’t even be there.

Carpet Materials
New carpet is great for sprucing up a room. Carpet calls to mind comfort, luxury and style. It’s quiet underfoot and insulates well from cold. On the aesthetic side, you have many color options to choose from. And there are many styles and an array of materials available.
Here some examples of materials:

Acrylic is a synthetic fiber that is closest to wool. It comes in an array of colors and does not usually fade from sunlight exposure over time. Acrylic is soil and wear resistant, does not hold static, easy to clean, resilient against mildew and moths, and is not terribly expensive. But acrylic carpet does not hold up as well with overall wear and tear as other carpet materials.

Nylon is the most common carpet material used. It is very durable, although it may fade over time from sunlight exposure. It does not hold static. It is easier to clean than wool. This is important because you may not need to pay for professional carpet cleaning as often, however, you will pay for these great qualities as the price of nylon carpet is often on the more expensive side of the spectrum.

Polyester is not as durable and crush resistant as wool and nylon, and it is subject to fading over time from sunlight exposure. Yet polyester is resistant to moisture, is available in an array of textures and colors, and is less expensive than both wool and nylon.

Polypropylene Olefin carpet was used primarily in basements and as outdoor flooring because of its high resistance to moisture, staining and static. Depending on the pile, polypropylene olefin carpet may hold up very well underfoot (no footprints left behind). Plus, it is easy to clean and is probably the least expensive carpet material available.

Wool carpet is extremely durable, resilient (does not leave footprints), easy to clean, great for high moisture areas, and depending upon the pile it is good for high-traffic areas. It requires high maintenance, tends to hold static, and is often very pricey.

Tools and Materials You’ll Probably Need (listed in alphabetical order):

Carpet of choice (sized for your job)
Carpet knife
Carpet padding
Chalk line
Duct tape
Gripper edge
Heavy scissors
Knee kicker (rented from carpet manufacturer)
Masonry nails
Measuring tape
Power stretcher (rented from carpet manufacturer)
Rolling pin
Row cutter
Safety glasses
Saw or shears
Seaming iron (rented from carpet manufacturer)
Seaming tape
Stair tool
Staple gun
Strip cutter
Tackless strip
Utility knife
Wall trimmer
Work gloves

Prepare the Floor

Before you install your new carpet, you need to prep your floors. Begin the floor preparation by cleaning your surface area.

This means if you are laying carpet down on wooden floors or removing old carpet to install a new one, you should sweep and/or vacuum the area well to ensure that the area is free of dirt and debris. If you are installing carpet directly over concrete, however, it is extra important that the installation area is as dry as possible, and that it will not be subject to excess moisture, which can ruin your new carpet. So bottom line: in order for the new carpet to be laid correctly, you must have the installation area dry and as flat as possible.

More about prep work…

Now that your area is prepped, use your pry bar to remove the old carpet from the tackless strip. Fold up the old carpet and move it out of the room. But don’t get rid of the tackless strip or the carpet pad underneath the old carpet. If the tackless strip and carpet pad are still in good shape, you can reuse them.

The Carpet Padding

Your carpet padding is just as important as the carpet itself. Why? Because a good carpet pad creates a good cushioned layer underfoot, but a great carpet pad will create a resilient cushioned layer underfoot, provide good insulation from cold, help noise reduction, and prolong the life of your carpet.

Padding is sold in a variety of thicknesses, densities and weights to provide the right feel and to protect the carpet from premature wear. Always use a quality backing but remember that thicker is not always better. For example, you should not use carpet padding thicker than 3/8 inch in heavy traffic areas, including on your steps and in your hallways.

Make sure the carpet pads you use in these areas are dense and heavy but not too thick or lightweight. Anything too lightweight will flex too much underfoot and this can be dangerous. To avoid purchasing the wrong carpet pad, test out the carpet you plan to install by going to a showroom and walking across your carpet sample with different padding samples underneath. This will help you get a realistic feel for what your carpet will feel like before you purchase it.

Step-by-Step Guide To Installing Carpet

Caution: To protect your hands, be sure you always wear heavy work gloves or leather gloves and safety glasses when installing or handling the tackless strips.

Step 1: Installing The Tackless Strips!

Cut your tackless strip using a saw or sears so there is a strip to fit the length of each wall. Starting in the corner of the room, use at least two masonry nails per tackless strip to nail the tackless strips down around the room. Make sure you leave a 2/3” gap between the tackless strip and wall for your carpet and padding.

Note: you have successfully nailed strips around the entire room when the strips unite at the corners and the “sharp raised teeth” in each strip used to hold the carpet in place are facing the wall. If you are installing carpet over concrete, you can nail the tackless strips right into the concrete subfloor. To install new carpet over tile flooring, remove the tiles where you are nailing the tackless strips.

Step 2: Install Carpet Padding

Cut the carpet padding into strips. Each strip needs to be long enough to fit the perimeter of the room. Each strip should also cover every tackless strip along each wall. With the waffle side of the padding facing up, use your staple gun to put in staples along the edges of the carpet padding every six inches. If you are installing carpet padding over concrete, you need to affix the padding to the floor with adhesive. Do this by applying carpet pad adhesive around the pad ends and letting it dry.

Your carpet padding seams should not overlap. To make sure the seams do not overlap, butt the strips of padding against each other to create one smooth seam then tape the pieces together. Cut and tape (with duct tape) all the padding until your entire floor is covered. In order for your carpet edges to fit neatly under your room’s baseboards, you need to allow about a 1/2" gap between the strip and the wall when installing the padding. Trim any excess padding with your utility knife.

Step 3: Measure, Cut and Lay the Carpet

Measure the length and width of your room. Then take your utility knife and cut the carpet (turn it face down when cutting) from the backside approximately 5 to 6 inches longer than your room’s dimensions. Trim the carpet’s excess. To do so, lay each carpet piece over each other so that they match up at the edges. It is important to cut the carpet in the same direction the pile is facing. This goes for how to lay the carpet as well—in the direction of its pile.

Step 4: Cut the Carpet Seam

Match up the edges of the carpet allowing approximately 2 inches of extra carpet at the base of the wall. Mark a chalk line on the underside of the excess carpet edge and cut a clean, even seam line. Then take the top piece and fold it over the bottom piece. This will be your guide to cutting a clean, even seam on the bottom piece this time.

Step 5: Cut a length of seaming tape and center it under the seam.

To make the seams, cut a piece of hot-melt seaming tape to length. The adhesive side of the tape should be facing up. Center the tape under the carpet seam and butt them up against each other. Use a seaming iron (carpet iron) to heat the adhesive tape by slowly passing the iron down over the tape. As the adhesive melts, pinch the carpet pieces together over the tape. Then take your rolling pin and go over the seam to get it as smooth as possible.

Step 6: Affix the Carpet

Use the stair tool (knee kicker) to affix the carpet in the corner first. Dig the teeth of the stair tool into the carpet about 1 inch from the wall, give a swift kick of your knee into the cushioned end of the stair stool and hook the carpet to the tackless strip.

Step 7: Use the Power Stretcher to Attach the Carpet

Now that the corner is hooked, you are going to take your carpet stretcher and pull the carpet at the opposite side of the room. Here’s how:

1. You place the base of your power stretcher at the wall, but use a leftover piece of carpet behind it to pad the wall.

2. Insert the head of the power stretcher about six inches from the wall and have the foot of the power stretcher rest against the wall.

3. Now dig the (head) teeth into the carpet, press down on the lever, and lock the stretcher into place.

4. Stretch the carpet by pulling the carpet toward the other wall’s tackless strip.

5. Use your stair tool to attach the carpet to the tackless strip.

Continue stretching the carpet’s edges until they are attached to all the tackless trips in your room.

Step 8: Trimming the Excess

Adjust the wall trimmer to the carpet thickness and cut away any excess carpet along each wall. Trim the last few inches with a sharp utility knife.

Step 9: Tidying the Edges

Take your stair tool and tuck the edges of the carpet between the wall and the tackless strips, right under the baseboards.

Step 10: Secure the Carpet in Place

Turn your attention to the piece of carpet under the doorway. Trim the excess carpet. Now nail a metal strip over the carpet’s edges to secure the carpet into place. Or install a gripper edge.

Step 11: It’s installed!

Now that the carpet is installed, take your seam roller and run it along the seam. This will help the nap of the carpet pieces blend together so that the pieces look like one seamless piece of carpet.


I was wondering how to lay pad and carpet on stairs. Should the padding come over the lip of the step or just sit on top of the step itself in a rectangular shape? Should you be able to pull up the corner of the carpet seam on a stair after it has been installed?

Nathan Smith


Sales consultant

As to your question on padding steps,the pad should sit on the top of the step and not wrap around,you should also leave a 1/2inch gap between the pad and the crotch of the step so you ar not stapling through pad, also you should not be able to pull up any corners when the install is complete.




I had carpeting installed in my living room (Cranston style, Sandalwood color) and it shows up all the footprints.  After ten days, it still is a messy looking product. I chose the color and style, so no one else to blame.  What could I do to eliiminate those footprints besides not walking on it.

I vacuum it but the wheels make tracks, too.



Re: Installing New Carpet


Best shop in the world


Write a Reply

Your Name

Your Location in The World

Example: Seattle, WA

Subject of Your Reply

Optional: You may login or register for email notifications and to add a profile pic.

Show HTML Controls

I have photo(s) to upload with this reply.

Please Confirm You are Human