How to Install Carpet Yourself and Save Money - Step by Step Instructions

How to Install Carpet: Pro-Guide from Start to Finish

Nov 06, 2023
Have you noticed that your current carpet is getting worse with stains, matting, or even a bad smell and you think it may be time to change it? You know that even the world’s best carpet has to be replaced eventually. You are thinking about cost and you can definitely save money by doing it yourself and enjoying the wonderful result. So, why not? Let’s learn how to install carpet.

Signs and reasons that you should re-carpet your home

I. Signs

1. Stains

Coffee Spilled On Carpet

Coffee Spilled On Carpet

Do you hide carpet stains with furniture in your home? If yes, it is time to change your current carpet. Although you are very careful to prevent anything from spilling on your floor, you sometimes fail to prevent it. Even if your carpet is made of stain-proof fabric, you should know that after several years this protective finish fades and your carpet is unable to resist the penetration of liquids anymore.

➜ RELATED: How To Clean A Carpet - Top 9 Cleaning Carpet Tips

2. Mold and mildew

Any kinds of liquid or humid conditions are ideal for bacteria to grow and build up underneath your rug. When mold develops in your carpet, the only solution to solve the problem is replacing it.

If your carpet has mold or mildew, unpleasant odors will circulate throughout the entire home. There is also a tool kit to help you determine the mold count in your carpet.

3. Padding condition

Pulled Back Carpet and Padding In Room of House

Pulled Back Carpet and Padding In Room of House

The padding is the part that ensures the comfort and the soundproofing of the carpet. Over time, this layer deteriorates and makes noise when you walk. That is the sign that it is time to change the carpet.

4. Odors

A nasty odor may come out from your old carpet. It can be caused by mold. If you still notice an uncomfortable smell after a good cleaning, a new carpet needs to be installed.

II. Reasons

1. Health and safety

Woman blowing her nose in a living room 

Woman blowing her nose in a living room

In recent years, numerous studies have consistently shown that carpet is actually better than any other hard surface floors for people that have respiratory problems.

In terms of safety, carpet is an ideal choice for a baby’s room as it creates a soft landing surface. Besides, a proper carpet can prevent many slips and falls to enhance your safety at home.

2. Comfort

Apart from it feeling nice when walking, sitting, and laying on it, carpet can provide shock absorption thanks to its flexibility and cushioning. Carpet is a kind of support for the body when standing or walking on it over a long period of time compared to hard surface flooring.

3. Style
Changing carpet can bring a refreshing and modern look to your home. The style of the carpet decides the style of your entire home; thus, carpet selection has to be taken into consideration. You can boost the value of your home just by updating your outdated flooring.

Beautiful small living room interior and loft in new home with sloping roof 

Beautiful small living room interior and loft in new home with sloping roof

4. Warmth

If you live in extreme cold weather conditions, carpet is the right choice for your home to reduce heat loss. As a result, it can be a solution to save energy costs associated with heating a home, such as electricity or natural gas during cold winter.


Let’s move on to the next step after making the decision to re-carpet. How to install carpet?

Installing carpet yourself cannot be done with your bare hands. You will need some specific tools to get the job done.

Materials Needed for DIY Carpet Installation

New carpet and tools on floor in room

New carpet and tools on floor in room

☑ Strip cutters: helps to cut the tack strip quickly, which fits around the perimeter of the carpeting area.

☑ Staple hammer: is used to affix the padding to wood floors.

 Seam tape and a seaming iron: are used to match pieces of carpeting.

 Knee kicker and a power stretcher: helps to pull and cut a carpet trimmer neatly along walls.

☑ Tack Strips: help to keep the back of the carpet and hold it in place. They are laid against the walls around the room.

 Carpet Stretcher: is used to stretch the carpet when you put it into place. The carpet stretcher ensures that the carpet is even and will not look out of place.

 Seam Roller: is used to put pressure on the carpet to make it stick to the adhesive beneath it.

Step-by-step guide on how to install carpet

Step 1: Remove the current carpet

Home renovation, carpet remove in a room, tools

Home renovation, carpet remove in a room, tools

In order to do this step easier, first, you need to remove the wall trims of the entire room. Then you cut the carpet into small strips and then, you can take all the remaining carpet up easily. Please note that you should do a deep vacuuming before removing the carpet to protect your lungs against dust.

You should start from one side of the carpet and remove it by pulling; then, roll it up in sections.

Step 2: Clean the subfloor

This step is required to ensure that the surface is smooth before placing the new carpet on.

Step 3: Install the Tack Strips

Tack strips are what help to secure the new carpet to the subfloor and keep it firmly in place. These strips need to be nailed properly to ensure the new carpet is well fixed to the floor. This step requires some expertise, so you should do diligent research in advance.

Please make sure you use the right strips as tack strips come in a variety of widths, thicknesses, and heights.

New carpet padding installed in family room

New carpet padding installed in family room

Step 4: Lay the underpad down

Place the underpad down in sections but make sure they fit well over the tack strips. Then, the underpad must be stapled along the internal edge of the tack strip. Cut the excess underlay and finally, use tape to cover the seams.

Man cutting new carpet flooring indoors

Man cutting new carpet flooring indoors

Step 5: Install new carpet

For a proper carpet installation, you should try it with one piece first. It has to be larger than the edge of the floor by about 6 inches (15.2cm). You place the ruler at the longest point of the floor to measure and add 6 inches to that measurement. After measuring, you mark the backside of the carpet on both edges and draw a line to connect the two marks.

The overlay can be trimmed afterward to make sure the carpet fits the floor properly.

Most rooms will need more than one piece of carpet to cover the entire area. Just follow the same process as above: measure, mark, and cut the overlay.

Then, you use the seam tape to join the seams of the two pieces. Please note that you must use a seaming iron and carpet roller to make sure the seams will fully seal. Otherwise you risk the carpet

coming apart at the seam.

P.S: Please be sure that the second piece will overlap the first one by 6 inches and overlap the wall by the same dimensions.

Step 6: Match up carpet seams

Stretching And Attaching The Carpet

Artisan laying carpet

Now, you identify where the two pieces join and overlap each other. Use a utility knife or a seam cutter to cut through those pieces of the floor mat while ensuring the edges will match exactly.

Next, you place the seam tape at the center of the two edges. You put the adhesive on the tape and activate it by using the seaming iron. Remember not to use the iron on the top of the carpet.

Step 7: Stretch and attach the carpet

First, you use the knee kicker to fix the rug on one edge. You place the toothed end of the kicker about 3 inches against the wall and keep driving your knee into the padding of the tool. This step will stretch the carpet to make sure it covers perfectly over the tack strips.

Then, you use the carpet stretcher to finish installing the carpet. A carpet stretcher is the same as a knee kicker but it is longer. You place one end of the tool against the wall where the rug is already in place and locate the other side about 6 inches from the far wall. The carpet stretcher has the same function as the knee kicker to stretch the carpet to cover the tack strips along the far wall.

Keep repeating this step for the entire room.

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Step 8: Finish Up

At the entrance of the room, you should trim the carpet and put down an edge strip in the doorway.

Now, it is time to relax your back and take time to admire what you have done for your lovely home.

Final Word

This guide about how to install carpet has listed all the essential things for carpet installation. It is not only hard work but also requires some skills to perform it precisely. It is advised to read the guide, do some research, and find a helpful partner before jumping in.

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