Using Carpet Installation Tools

Installing carpet can be a difficult task if you have never done it before, but it is not impossible if you are doing it yourself. The most important thing to remember is that you have the correct carpet installation tools at your disposal.

There are quite a few tools that you will need. Depending on your location, you should be able to rent them as opposed to buying all of the necessary tools. Other than using the proper carpet installation tools, all you will need is the proper instructions and the time to do some hard work.

The first thing you should do when installing carpet is to prep the floor. This should not take any time at all. If there is carpet on the floor you'll want to rip the old carpet up and sweep the floor to make sure it's clean and ready to go. If the new carpet is going over concrete, make sure the floor is dry and the concrete is not cracked nor does it have any other problems.

Carpet Installation Tools

As it was mentioned previously there are several carpet installation tools, which will be necessary to complete the job. The following list is a basic list of tools that are used when installing carpet.

    Carpet Padding
    Duct Tape
    Gripper Edge
    Heavy Scissors
    Knee Kicker
    Masonry Nails
    Power Stretcher
    Rolling Pin
    Row Cutter
    Seaming Iron
    Seaming Tape
    Stair Tool
    Staple Gun
    Tackless Strip
    Utility Knife

Tackless Strips

Carpet installation starts with the installation of the tackless strips. Use the saw to cut the proper length of the strip to fit the wall. Nail the strips in place. You should leave a space between the strip and the wall about 2/3 of the thickness of the carpet. For best results use two nails per strip and nail them to the floor. Join the strips at the corners and make sure the pins that are in each strip are towards the wall.

Carpet Padding

Now it is time to add the padding. To do this you will lay the padding waffle side up and staple the edges about every six inches. Make sure the padding does not overlap. You can use the utility knife to trim any padding that is not needed. Once that has been done you should cover the seams with duct tape.

Laying the Carpet

You are going to start this step by measuring the room and cutting the carpet you need. Make sure to have the carpet cut about 6 inches longer than you need it before you go to install it. Once you have it measured flip it over and cut it against a cutting board to provide a straight cut. Each piece of carpet should be overlapped at the edges so that it can be trimmed in a later step. Make sure when you lay the carpet you have it facing in the same direction because it will not look too good otherwise.

Cutting the Seam

The carpet should be overlapped at the edges. Leave two inches of extra carpet against the wall. Place a line of chalk on the back of the excess carpet so you can trim the edge in a straight seem. From there you should overlap your edges again and take the row cutter and use it to cut the bottom piece. You can use your top piece as a guide to cutting the bottom.

Place seaming tape under the seam. Use the seaming iron to melt the tape. You can do this by running the iron quickly over the tape. Once melted, you should press the carpet together against the tape. You can then roll the seam with the rolling pin.

Attaching the carpet

Take the knee kicker and use it to attach the carpet. To do this you will hook the carpet to the tackless strips. Start in the corners. You are going to want to dig the teeth of the kicker into the carpet roughly an inch from the wall. Kick the end of the knee kicker with your knee. When you do this the tool will hook the carpet to the strip.

Using the Power Stretcher Tool to Install the Carpet

As soon as the corners are hooked you are going to use the power stretcher. This is going to stretch the carpet from one side of the wall to the other. The base of the stretcher should go at the wall where the hooked carpet is. You should take some extra scraps and line the wall so that you don't scratch it.

Dig the teeth of the stretcher into the carpet roughly six inches from the opposite wall. Press the lever so that it locks into place. Once this happens you can stretch the carpet. You will do this from corner to corner until each corner has been stretched.

The Final Steps

Now you are reaching the final steps of your carpet installation. You just need to trim the excess carpet that is against the wall. Once you've done that you will need to smooth the edges, which can be done using the stair tool to push the edges down against the wall and the tackless strips.

The final step is to trim the carpet that rests around the door. To do this you should center the ends of the carpet so that it rests under the shut door. You can install a gripper edge to hold the carpet in place.

That's it. Once you have completed the steps listed above you can gather all your carpet installation tools and return them to the store where you rented them or put them away if you own them because your new carpet is finished!

See Also:

Choosing a Carpet Type