A Guide to Installing Carpet Over Underpad
- Caroline S. Logan
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You can easily do a variety of home renovations, regardless of whether you have any experience. Some projects are as easy as following the step-by-step directions. Carpet installation is not one such project. You might be able to do it if you’re handy.
Begin with a small bedroom or living room. You won’t be able to do complicated angles or seams until you get the hang of installing techniques.
Decide how much and how little
First, make sure you have properly measured and calculated for carpeting. Secondly, you should choose which company will be best for buying a carpetand one of the company is Ultimate Mats .This is based on the carpet width you have chosen (usually 12 or 15 feet). Next, choose the type of installation. The majority of residential installations consist of a carpet being stretched over an underpad, and then secured around the room’s perimeter with tackles (nail stripes). Do not use tackles if you’re installing carpet with a cushioned backing (a rubber-backed, KangaBack), as this type of carpet is easily glued-down, stapled around perimeter or loose-laid.
Do not attach your baseboard trim to the carpet until it has been installed. You will get the best look possible by making sure there are no gaps between carpet and baseboard. If your walls have already been framed, it is possible to leave the baseboard in place. This will allow enough space for the carpet to be tucked under and, unless you have a very thick carpet or a low-profile carpet, gaps won’t be a problem.
There are likely to be tack strips already in place if you’re replacing carpet in an area. They can and should be reused provided that there is no damage to wood, such as water damage or pet accidents that have soaked into the wood. You should line up the tackles with the rest of the strips if you need to replace it. However, you must change the position of the nails that have been hammered into your floor. You will have less grip if you try to nail in the same places as before.
You will need new tackles if you plan to install carpet in an area that has not been carpeted before or had previously had glued down carpet. Place the tackless strips about 1/2 inch from the wall. The nails should be pointing towards the walls.
Installing an Underpad
The most common question about carpet underpads is which side faces up. One side of the pad may be shiny or smoother than another; it is the one that faces up. This smooth side allows the carpet to slide easily across the pad during installation. Ask your carpet salesperson if you have any questions. It is not a difficult question to ask.
The width of underpad is usually 6 feet, so it will need to be installed in multiple pieces. For maximum stability, roll the pad out to the longest length. The pad should be brought up to the edge of the tackless. If installing the pad over a wood subfloor, secure the pad by attaching staples to the perimeter of the pad and along the seams at 8 inches intervals. Spot glue is used if the pad is installed over concrete subfloors. Tape the seams of the pad with duct tape, or another industrial-strength adhesive.
Installation of the Carpet
You can roll out your carpet and leave any extra rolled up on the walls. You can trim the excess with a regular utility knife, or a wall cutter. The wall cutter, also known as a wall trimmer, is a special tool that cuts carpet along the base and leaves enough for you to tuck under the baseboard if it’s in place. The hard part is now: stretching the carpet. This is an important part of the installation as it will cause the carpet to buckle and perform poorly.
Renting a power-stretcher at your local rent-all is advisable. A power stretcher can be used to achieve tighter carpet stretching than “manual” carpet kickers (used together with your knee). Installing with a knee kicker is not advisable.
Stretch the carpet around the room, not just along one wall. Stretch in all directions. To ensure that your underpad does not get caught on the tackless, place small strips of tape at regular intervals over the pad and tackless to hold it in place while you kick the carpet.
Sewing the Carpet
It is possible to join two pieces together of carpet in the same room or through the doorway. You will need pressure sensitive carpet seaming tape unless you don’t want to mess with heat bond tape and an iron. This tape does not require heat and holds well. Professional heat bond tape is required for large seams in high-traffic areas.
For seaming tape use, follow the instructions on the package. You don’t need to seal your carpet seams in most residential situations. You may want to seal your carpet seams if you’re installing a Berber in high-traffic areas.
Rolling the seam with a seam roller is a nice finishing touch. The roller blends the carpet fibers to reduce the appearance of seams and gives you a better grip with the seaming tape.
Your carpet should be neatly stretched after you are done. Now you may be ready for more challenging installations, such as large rooms or staircase.