Laying carpet is not a task for the weak of spirit nor is it a task for those who are completely unprepared. You should make a list of all the tools you will need before the project begins and make sure you have them all on hand.
Many jobs go through unnecessary delays as the result of improper planning. Laying carpet should not take more time than it has to because you are constantly stopping to search for or go buy tools or supplies.
Before You Lay the Carpet
While I have said before that laying carpet is not one of the simplest tasks one can approach it is also not the most difficult. There are certain things you should do before beginning that will make the process go much more smoothly.
First, you want to be certain that you have a smooth surface upon which to work. You need to sweep, scrape, sand, vacuum, and sweep again to make sure the surface is free of debris. It is very important if you are laying carpet on concrete that the concrete is completely dry before you lay your carpet.
Once you have created a clean surface for laying your carpet you need to begin the process by nailing the tack strips along the wall. These strips should be placed ½ inch from the wall around the room, it is suggested that you use two strips one behind the other in high-stress or heavy traffic areas such as doorways.
Now it is time for the pad. You will want to lay the pad perpendicular to the direction you will be laying your carpet and secure it with staples. Be sure you attach this inside the tack strips so that they remain exposed for the carpet.
How to Lay the Carpet
Laying carpet, while not rocket science, does require some precise calculations. First you will want to measure the room and add two inches to the measurement before cutting the carpet for installation.
A good rule of thumb is measure twice, cut once. I highly recommend including this rule in any home improvement project. Allowing two extra inches allows a little wiggle room for mistakes that sometimes occur as well as errors that can be made with even the most cautious measurements.
Once you have made the cut you are ready to actually begin laying carpet. Unroll the carpet and line up one side of the carpet to the wall while attaching it to the gripper strips.
Work from the center in the room in order to smooth and stretch the carpet. Attach the carpet to the gripper strips on the opposing side using a bolster chisel. Use a wall trimmer to trim excess carpet.
Things to Know About the Process
There are a few things that might be helpful to know during the carpet laying process. First there are fumes involved and some people find them to be quite strong. It might be a good idea to wear a mask while laying the carpet in order to prevent possible headaches or respiratory problems.
Another thing to consider is kneepads. You will be spending no small amount of time on your knees during this process and kneepads will greatly contribute to your comfort while laying carpet.
The first time laying carpet, like most other things in life is the most difficult. Once you have gone through the process once you will be much better prepared for the next time and each time will get easier.
It is always great to learn a new skill and even greater to save money while improving your home, or the home of someone you love.