When faced with the prospect of installing carpeting in their home, many people get a little queasy. This is a pretty understandable reaction, since this is a fairly hefty project. However, just because it is a large project doesn't mean that you cannot do it yourself. By doing your own carpet installation you can significantly reduce the cost of purchasing new carpets. All you need to do is follow these simple directions, and you will soon have your carpeting installed. Be aware though that this is going to be a fairly strenuous task.
- Duct tape
- Staple gun
- Carpet padding
- Utility knife
- Chalk line
- Seaming tape
- Binder bar
- Tape measure
- Carpet knife
- Seam iron
- Row cutter
- Knee kicker
- Power stretcher
- Carpet trimmer
- Plastic broad knife
- Wall trimmer
- Cut and install tack strips. Take the tack strips, and cut them down to size along each length of wall. Make sure that as you finish cutting each strip, set it down along the perimeter of the wall. Do not forget to place a tack strip against any door frames, since carpeting will be going in this area as well. Space the tack strips from the wall by using a piece of carpeting to provide the correct amount of distance. The space between the tack strip and the wall should be equal to the thickness of the carpet. Nail the tack strips into place along the floor.
- Lay the padding. Begin laying down the padding over the entire floor. As you do this tape any seams together using duct tape, and staple the padding down every 10 to 12 inches. Start in the middle of the floor, working towards the tack strips stretching and stapling the padding down as you go. Staple the edge of the padding to the tacking strip and use a utility knife to trim off any excess.
- Measure and cut the carpeting. Get the dimensions of your room, and begin to cut the carpeting according to those dimensions. Make sure that you measure the room at least twice before you begin marking the carpeting for cutting. As you mark the carpeting, use a chalk line to mark the backside (the side which will be against the floor) to ensure that you get a straight line outline. Make this outline at least six inches longer and wider than your measurements, to allow for any mistakes and adjustments that may come along. When cutting the carpet, use a straightedge to help ensure that your lines are straight. Do not be worried if you need to change the knife blade frequently since this is common.
- Center the carpeting. Take the carpeting into the room, and start unrolling it to fit the room. As you are doing this, make sure that you start from the center of the room, and that as you come to any outside corners, that you cut some "relief" cuts to help allow the carpeting to lie flat.
- Face the long wall. On the long wall of the room, near a corner, take the toothed end of a knee kicker and place it between one and three inches from the wall. Using your knee, push the padded end, hooking the back of the carpeting over the tack strips. Push down with a plastic broad knife to help anchor the carpet and hold it in place. Repeat this process of pushing, hooking, and anchoring the carpet for about three feet along the long wall, before repeating along the short wall. Then repeat for the rest of the wall in both directions. Start over again as you get to each corner.
- Trim as you go. Before you begin trimming the carpet, make sure that you have set the trimmer to the proper depth or thickness of the carpeting you are using. Guide the trimmer along the carpet near the wall, and then tuck the cut edges into that space between the tack strip and the wall you made earlier. Repeat the process as you move around the wall.
- Face the short wall. Place the foot end of the power stretcher at an angle of about 15 degrees to the short wall. The power stretcher should be pointing roughly towards the opposite corner of the room. Place the head of the stretcher no more than six inches away from the wall, and then push the handle down to stretch the carpeting. As you do this, hock and anchor the carpeting to about three feet of the tack strips.
- Anchor the carpet. Use the knee kicker, and push the carpet against the long wall between two corners that you have already installed. As you move along, make sure that you use the broad knife to anchor the carpeting to the tack strips. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until the carpet has been anchored along all the walls.
- Attach the carpet to the tack strips. Go over all the carpeting once again, and ensure that you have attached carpet to the tack strips all around the room. Use the knee kicker to help ensure that everything is nice and tight.
- Start stretching. Once final time, take the power stretcher along the wall and ensure that you have everything nice and tight. As you stretch the carpeting, make sure that you have hooked, and anchored the carpeting section by section before finishing.
- Install the binder bar. Finally, all you have left to do is install the binder bar. The binder bar is what you place over the carpeting wherever it meets another type of flooring. Nail this to the floor, and push the carpet in place using the kicker as listed above. When the carpet is finally in place, take a block of wood, and place it over the binder bar. Hammer on the block of wood to finish installing the binder bar, and ensure that you do not break the binder bar.
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