Carpet is an ever a popular choice for homeowners. It is soft underfoot, helps to reduce noise and maintains a comfortable temperature in any room. If you’ve chosen the perfect carpet, the next steps are to fit it. Here at Virtuoso Flooring, we always recommend having a skilled professional to fit your new carpet for the best results. However, if you do choose to fit your own carpet, we want to ensure you have all the information and facts to do a safe job.
In this guide, we will cover everything from measuring for your new carpet through to fitting and proper maintenance. And, if you have any questions at the end, our expert team are on hand to answer all your questions and queries.
Accurate measurements are vital. You’ll need them to place your order and to make adjustments during fitting. When measuring up, you need to take into account the fact that very few rooms are perfect squares. Chimney breasts, fireplaces and even unique recesses along the walls can disrupt the straight flow of your walls. One of the easiest ways to determine each measurement is by doing a quick, birds-eye sketch of your room. Then, work your way around, measuring each straight section and jotting down your findings.
Pro tip: Add on an extra 5% into your measurements to allow for waste. It’s also advisable to measure twice to make sure you’ve written down the most accurate numbers.
Measure up for carpeted stairs in the same way – just make sure to take the height and depth of each step to give an accurate length.
Pro tip: Add even more on here for waste (a suggested 10%) to account for any errors. Equally remember that, just because your steps look uniformed, they are probably individually unique. Take measurements of each to ensure the perfect fit.
There are a number of tools that you will definitely need to fit your carpet. You want to make sure each one is in good condition, with no broken parts. Most of the items we will list here are likely to already feature in your home toolbox. And, if not, local hardware shops are the best place to look.
To lay carpet properly, you will need:
- A pencil for marking
- A tape measure
- Knee pads to minimise injury during installation
- A hammer
- A carpet tucker
- A sharp Stanley Knife
- A Pipe and Cable Detector for safety
- A pair of hardwearing and protective gloves
- A hacksaw
- A carpet stretcher
- And a vacuum cleaner to reduce waste
Old Floor Removal
Taking away the older carpet or flooring will likely be one of the most satisfying parts of the job. Watching the style of your room change and having the opportunity to rip it up yourself means you’ll be better equipped to visualise what it might look like. Make sure to use safe and appropriate methods that suit your original floor type.
For carpet, start in the corner. Detach the carpet from the tacket that holds it down, hold the corner and pull. You may need to do this with a pair of pliers for additional grip.
For laminate, first try to pry the planks up individually. If this causes difficulty, try melting the old floor glue or using a motorized floor stripper.
For vinyl, you’ll need to heat the surface with a heat gun and pry it up while the glue is soft.
Make sure to follow the correct procedures and minimise risk during any floor removal.
Once you’ve removed the old floor, you’ll likely be left with an uneven surface. This needs to be prepared before laying the new carpet. For split concrete or broken floorboards, consider laying new tongue-and-groove boards. These reduce draughts and help smooth out the surface. Smoothing compounds that have begun to wear away can be pulled off. Equally, floor screeds are another option for ensuring the smoothest surface.
Make sure all nails and tacks have been removed. And, use the Pipe and Cable Detector to identify the location of vital wiring across the floor.
The right underlay can be felt on every step, even through the carpet. It minimises the risk of slipping, acts as a shock absorber and helps carpet withstand wear-and-tear. Underlay can also offer sound, heat and moisture insulation.
It’s vital you choose the right underlay. There are many to choose from in the market today. PU foam is the most popular with crumb rubber options offering maximum protection. You’ll also find sponge rubber, felt and laminate underlay – all offering their own range of benefits and suitabilities. A professional carpet fitter, like the team we have here, will be able to support you in making the right decisions for your room.
Fitting The Carpet
Now it’s time to actually fit your carpet. Make sure you have all tools on hand and consider asking for an extra pair of hands. Laying carpet is something that takes years to perfect but can be done with the right attention to detail and time.
- Measure Up – Firstly, you want to measure and trim your carpet to size. Remember the extra allowances you made for waste? That’s where they’ll come in handy. Lay the carpet out in your chosen room. Walk around the perimeter, gently nudging the carpet into each corner. Once you’re satisfied with the fit, begin trimming to size. Leave some excess – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Corners – To create crisp, well-fitting corners, put the carpet in as tightly as possible. Cut the carpet vertically to the point and then fold the flaps into place.
- Longest Wall First – A pro tip is to begin fitting your carpet on the longest wall. Begin in one corner and work your way across. Take your time, focus and be precise with everything you do.
- Cut – Use the Stanley knife. Run it along the surface and make the straightest cut possible.
- Carpet Stretcher – Now’s the time to grab your carpet stretcher. This handy tool will help you push the carpet into place while making it flatter and easier. This will make your job considerably more straight forward.
- Carpet Tucker – If you have one to hand, a carpet tucker is a custom-made tool that helps you fit the carpet underneath skirting boards. We recommend purchasing one – it will make your job considerably easier.
Pro tip: Carpets will shed during the first 48 hours after being laid. It’s their way of getting used to the environment and preparing themselves for the rigours of regular use. Vacuum up the fibres – it will make your carpet look new for longer.
And you’ve done it! Congratulations – you’ve officially fitted your very own carpet.