Learning how to fit a carpet is not particularly different, especially for a keen DIY-er. However if you want to ensure a perfectly fit carpet with minimal fuss you should considering hiring carpet installers to do the job for you. Whilst this will cost more than doing the job yourself, it will ensure a professional finish with little upset caused to your house.
How to fit a carpet
If you want to learn how to lay carpet then this guide should teach you the basics and leave you with knowledge required for fitting a carpet neatly.
You will need the following carpet tools:
- Tackless strips
- Sharp knife
- Measuring tape
- Seam roller or a rolling pin
- Knee kicker (rental available)
- Seam cutter
- Seaming iron
- Seam tape
Once you have gathered the appropriate tools it is time to start fitting the carpet.
DIY carpet fitting in 10 easy steps
- First you need to get rid of the old carpet. You can do this by removing the moldings around the floor and removing the door from the entrance. Before you remove if give the old carpet a quick hoover and then cut it into strips using a knife. This will allow it to be disposed of easier.
- Starting at one end, pull the old carpet off and roll it into sections. Whilst some might argue that underlay can be reused, in most cases it will have been worn out just like the carpet, so it is easier just to start again.
- Make sure the existing tack strips are left in place and that the floor is both clean and dry.
- If you are laying carpet in a new construction or you are going over hardwood floor or vinyl you will need to install new tackles trips. Leave a space of around half an inch between the strips and the wall, and make sure the pins and/or tacks face the wall.
- Now you will learn how to lay carpet underlay. Put it down in strips that reach the tackles strips, ensure the strips are tight against once another without overlapping. You should then staple the underlay down along the inside edge of the tackles strips. Then it is time to trim the underlay and use duct tape to seal the seams.
- Once the underlay has been successfully layed it is time to install the carpet. To do this properly you will need to start with a piece that overlaps the edge of the floor by 4 to 6 inches.
- To cut the first section of carpet you should measure the room at it’s longest point, then add on 6 inches.
- Mark the back of your carpet on both edges with the added measurement and join the two marks with a chalk line.
- You should then fold the carpet over on itself and using a straight edge and a very sharp knife, cut through the back of the carpet.
- Make sure you have placed a piece of scrap board underneath the cut so as to protect the underlay.
- If the room you are carpeting is wide enough that it requires another piece of carpet, you should follow the same process as above for the second piece. Make sure when doing this that the pile is running the same way, otherwise it will look messy.
- Overlap the two pieces of carpet where they join, then using a sharp knife cut through both pieces of carpet ensuring that the edges will match perfectly.
- Once they have been cut, place a piece of seaming tape on the floor underneath their meeting place with the adhesive side facing up.
- You will need to use a seaming iron to activate the adhesive and hold it in place.
- You now need to attach the rest of the carpet.
- Do this by using a knee kicker, a metal tool with teeth that grip the carpet on one end and the heavily padded butt on the other.
- Use the tool to stretch the carpet over the tackles strip where the tacks will grab it and hold it firmly in place.
- Once the carpet has been successfully attached you should use a stair tool to tuck the carpet down into the gap between the tackless strips and the wall. Once you get to the doorway, trim the carpet so that the edge is in the centre under the door, then install a door edge strip.
If the thought of laying a carpet seems too confusing or like too much work consider hiring a carpet fitter for a professional, long lasting job.
How much does carpet cost?
Thinking of getting some new carpet for your property? Find out about the different types of carpet and how much they cost per square meter here.
Choose the right kind of carpet for your home
Carpets are back in vogue and with a mind-boggling amount of styles and colours available to suit all costs, there is sure to be something perfect for your home. Whether you are replacing old, tired, coffee-stained carpets or you are sprucing up your home and looking for cutting edge design, there will be a style and type of carpet that’s just the ticket.
Types of carpet
There are three main types of carpets; loop pile, cut pile and naturals. We will describe each of these and then discuss how different piles can be combined to create a multitude of textures. Loop pile is made with individual strands of yarn that are pulled through the carpet backing twice in order to make a little loop. Cut pile is the same as loop pile, except the loop is cut, so that the yarn is in tufts. Then there are the naturals which basically don’t contain any synthetic material, but are made in lots of different ways.
Different types of pile are often combined together to create various textures and designs. Below is a list of some of the most popular options.
Twist pile carpet : Made from tightly coiled tufts which create a slightly textured feel. As this is one of the most popular styles it is available in manmade materials as well as wool, so you could pick whichever suits your needs and cost requirements. Generally speaking, this type of carpet has a low pile height, so therefore will not suffer from flattening.
Cost: £10 and £35 (all costs mentioned are per square metre)
Velvet pile carpet: Cut several times to give it a lovely plush, velvety sheen, this type of carpet is very luxurious. Performance wise, due to its short pile, it is similar to twist piles. The only difference is that the tufts are not twisted too tightly.
Cost: £25 – £45
Loop pile carpet: This is the simplest type of carpet, which is super durable and great for busy households with a high level of foot traffic. Due to its popularity it is available in every colour and pattern under the sun.
Cost: £25 – £40
Saxony: sensuous and perfect for the bedroom, saxony carpets are made by tightly twisting fibers and then pressing heat onto them to straighten them out. The effect is similar to velvet piles, just not as smooth. It is worth noting that due to this type of carpets deep pile, imprints are more noticeable.
Cost: £25 – £40
Patterned carpet: patterned carpets are available in just about every colour and pattern imaginable, so it isn’t hard to understand why their versatility makes them so popular. They usually have a velvet surface and because of the way they are made, are quite hard-wearing.
Cost: £10 – £40
Shag carpet: Get Austin Powers and the swinging 60s out of your head, because the shag carpet is back with a vengeance! The retro look certainly has its place and with longer tuft and thick yarn it certain makes a very cozy carpet choice. If a whole carpet is a bit much for your taste you could always opt for a nice comfy rug instead.
Cost: £30 – £60
Sisal carpet: this is a great choice for those after a natural carpet, and unlike most natural materials, it can be dyed so is available in lots of styles and colours. It is made from twisted yarn that feels a bit like sturdy woven grass, it makes a very stiff surface and for that reason it is great in high traffic areas such as your hallway.
Cost: £20 – £40
Seagrass carpet: Grown in China, this hardy flooring is very thick and solid making it hard to dye, so for that reason it is usually sold only in natural shades. However it would make a great cheap and durable addition to an area of your home that endures high traffic.
Cost: £10 – £17
Coir carpet: Another natural type of carpet with very strong fibres and a rich textured appearance, it again, would be ideal for hallways with high traffic. It is also a very cost-effective carpet option.
Cost: £5 – £20
Jute carpet: if you want a natural carpet but don’t want to compromise on comfort, this could be the right choice for you. Jute is far softer than all other natural floorings, meaning that it is also a lot less durable.
Cost: £14 – £22
When buying carpet don’t forget to inquire about the warranty, which will range from between five and thirty years. It is also worth noting that to qualify for warranty you may be required to fit new carpet padding when the new carpet is fitted.