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How to Install Wall to Wall Carpet

How to install wall to wall carpet.

How to install wall to wall carpeting.
Copyright: iriana88w / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you need to replace the carpet of an existing room or install carpet in your brand new house? This article aims to provide the information needed to guide you with this process.

Carpeting has some benefits when you compare it to hard flooring surfaces. It provides stylish, insulated and quieter spaces.

Carpet Installation Tools

– Measuring tape
– Tack strips
– Nails
– Carpet padding
– Padding adhesive
– Cutting tools: straight edge, utility knife, carpet knife, carpet wall trimmer, cushion back carpet cutter
– Duck tape
– Carpet
– Chalk
– Knee kicker
– Stair tool
– Carpet power stretcher
– Carpet seaming tools: carpet seam sealer, carpet seaming tape, carpet seaming iron

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Safety First

Wearing safety glasses and safety boots is a good safety precaution. When using your tools it would be best to wear gloves to avoid injury to hands and arms.

You will be working on the floor a lot while installing wall to wall carpet. So being aware of your movements and the placement of your body at all times is essential to avoid injury.

Another security measure is knowing the location of your tools at all times. Thus remove them from your nearby area after use when moving around on the floor. As a result you it will avoid stepping or moving over them while you are working.

How to Measure for Carpet

You can use a tape measure to measure your room. After you have the measurements you can use the carpet calculator. The carpet calculator helps you find out the number of square yards of carpet you will need. The tool suggests adding about another 10% for rooms that are out of square etc.

You can find the carpet calculator using the following link: Carpet Calculator.

Note: The tool is for general information only and is not intended as definitive advice. It would be best to also perform your own investigation to compare the results. So consult an expert if you are not confident to perform the calculation yourself.

Choosing Your Carpet

Carpet Color

Your carpet’s color forms part of the decor of a room. Thus keep the color in mind when choosing your room’s paint or wallpaper and furnishings.

Easy to Clean Carpeting Options

If you have children or pets you will need to choose a carpet that is easy to clean. As a result this will reduce reduce stress when a spill or mishap occurs. Look for carpets made from easy to clean materials.

If you find it hard to keep the space clean at all times then consider a different carpet color. Multi-colored carpets are good at hiding mishaps.

Prepare the Room

If you are replacing a existing carpet remove the old carpet and the padding. First of all vacuum the subfloor clean. Leave the existing tack strips and inspect them to see if they can be reused.

Installing Carpet Tack Strips

If you are replacing carpet then you can check the condition of the tack strip that is currently in place. So you can reuse them if they are in a good condition.

If you need to secure new tack strips cut the lengths and nail them tack side up to the floor. The pointed pins should be facing the wall. The tack strips should join each other at each of the corners of the room. Also take a measurement of the thickness of the carpet you will be installing. Make sure the tack strip is about 2/3 of that measurement away from the wall.

The tack strip has 2 functions:

  • First of all it grips the carpet and holds it in place.
  • The carpet edge goes into the space between the tack strip and the wall providing a finished look.

Cut and Install the Padding

Take the measurement of the inside area between the tack strips. First of all start with the tack strips that are the furthest away from each other. Use a straightedge and utility knife to cut the padding to size. Next spread padding adhesive on the floor and secure the prepared padding. Also make sure you have the correct side facing upwards.

If more than one piece is needed also make sure the seams do not overlap. You can staple the padding at the edges every 6 inches. Also use duck tape as a extra security measure to secure the seams.

The padding provides cushioning for the shock of foot traffic. Thus it plays an important part in the performance of your carpet.

Cut and Install Carpet

Measure Between Walls

Measure the area between the walls of the room. Start with the walls that are the furthest away from each other. Add 4-6 inches to this measurement on all sides. Next transfer the measurement to the carpet.

Cut the Carpet to the Correct Size

Use a carpet knife and straight edge to cut the carpet to the correct size. If you need to make a long cut draw a line with chalk. It will help to keep the cut straight.

Position the Carpet

Use the edge cut by the factory against the first wall. Position the edges of the carpet on the tack strip using a knee kicker. A knee kicker is a tool that helps to position new carpets into the corners. Most of all this avoids any bulging or wrinkles in the carpet. Thus it ensures a fitted carpet.

To use the knee kicker dig it into the carpet. This should be done at a distance of about 1 inch away from the wall. Next use your knee to push the cushion end of the knee kicker to stretch and hook the carpet over the tack strip. Now use a stair tool and run it over the area of carpet on the tack strip. This is done so it makes sure that the carpet is connected to the tack strip.

Stretch the Carpet

Next it is time to secure the other side. You need to use a carpet power stretcher for this job. Use it to stretch the carpet over the length of the room to secure it to the tack strip on the other side. Secure the base of the power stretcher against the wall where the carpet has been secured.

You need to avoid damaging your walls. Thus it is a good idea the pad the wall with a piece of carpet or a padded piece of wood. This avoids any damage to the wall when using the carpet power stretcher.

Put the head of the power stretcher into the carpet near the opposing wall. This should be done at a distance of about 6 inches from the opposing wall. By pressing down and locking the lever in place you will be able to stretch the carpet. It will stretch it enough so  you can secure it the the tack strip.

Finally continue using the combination of knee kicker and carpet power stretcher. Do this until you have the carpet secured on all sides.

Seaming Together 2 Pieces of Carpet

If your carpet is not large enough to cover the entire room, you will need to seam 2 pieces together. When seaming 2 pieces together you will need to start with a straight edge of carpet. Use a cushion back carpet cutter to achieve this edge.

It has a front end that acts as a plough and a blade that drops down in the center. As a result this helps you guide the cutter to get a precise cut.

Apply carpet seam sealer to the edges of the carpet to avoid unraveling and separation of the seam. Finally wait until the carpet seam sealer has dried.

When the carpet seam sealer is dry line up the seam and ensure everything is even. Next put carpet seaming tape under the seam and center it. Now use a carpet seaming iron to activate the carpet seaming tape’s adhesive. It ensures a good seam by adhering to the back of the carpet.

Finishing the Edges

Finally trim any excess carpet with a carpet wall trimmer. Use a stair tool to tuck the carpet into the gully between to tack strip and the wall. It ensures a nice clean finish.


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