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Air.o Gentle Breeze Carpet with Pad

How to Install Carpet Yourself: 3 DIY-Friendly Options

People don’t normally think of carpet installation as a DIY project, but now it can be. With specially made carpet and carpet tiles perfect for the weekend warrior, anybody can learn how to install carpet on their own.

Installing carpet doesn’t have to be tough. In fact, it can be pretty easy and maybe even…fun?

There are three types of installation for DIY broadloom carpet: standard stretch-in, carpet tape, and glue down. 

Let’s look at all the ways you can achieve a DIY carpet installation.

Related Content >> Easiest DIY Flooring Solutions

How to Install Carpet the Traditional Way

Air.o Gentle Breeze Carpet with Pad

This is the standard method to install carpet, using normal broadloom carpet. You’ll have to stretch the carpet to reach tack strips along the edges of the walls. This keeps it taut and secure.

It’s labor-intensive and requires some time and specialty tools, but it’s not impossible to do on your own if you follow these steps.

Tools and Materials

  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter square
  • Knee kicker
  • Tack strip
  • Carpet binder bar (for thresholds)
  • Seam tape
  • Power carpet stretcher
  • Staple gun
  • Wall carpet trimmer

Preparation

carpet tack strip

  • Pull up any existing carpet, padding, and tack strips. Clean the subfloor to make sure it is free of dirt, dust, and any residue.
  • The subfloor should be level and structurally sound, without cracks or dips. If the subfloor is newly poured concrete, allow it to cure before installing.
  • Remove doors from the room.
  • Nail the tack strips to the floor around the edges of the room, but avoid putting them in doorways where someone is more likely to step on the tacks through the carpet.

Install Carpet Pad

carpet padding

  • Roll out the padding and staple or tape the seams together. 
  • Use the staple gun to secure the padding to the tack strip. It should reach the edge of tack strips without covering them.
  • Trim excess carpet padding around the edges of the room.

Trim the Carpet

When you purchased your carpet roll, you likely ended up with more material than you may need. Not to worry – this is a common practice. In order to install the carpet in your room, you’ll want to initially cut the carpet down closer to your room size to remove some of the extra material before you start the installation. 

  • Find the dimensions of the room and add at least 6” to the length and width to give yourself some room for error. 
  • Mark these measurements on the back of the carpet and cut it to size. 

Roll out the Carpet

  • Lay the carpet out and align it to be square with the room. 
  • To get it to fit in the corners of the room, it is recommended to cut notches in the corners of the carpet.

Join the Seams

carpet seams

If you have to join multiple rolls to cover the floor, now is the time to join the seams. 

  • First, ensure both edges are straight before continuing. Sometimes the factory-cut edges can be crooked. As you align the edges, ensure that the fibers are all oriented in the same direction, so the seam isn’t obvious later on.
  • Lay a piece of heat-activated seam tape under the edges, adhesive side up.
  • To activate the adhesive, you’ll need to run a heated seaming iron over the tape until the glue heats up. Let the iron rest over each section long enough to melt the adhesive on the tape. Be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific seam tape and seaming iron.
  • Firmly press the edges of the carpet together over the heated adhesive, then set something heavy and flat over the seam until the glue dries.

Attach the Carpet

carpet kick bar

  • Place the knee kicker on the surface of the carpet, a few inches away from the wall, and stretch the carpet edge to connect with the tack strip. Move along the wall and strike the kicker to stretch the carpet into place.
  • Once one side is fully attached, use a wall carpet trimmer to cut away the excess carpet from that edge in a smooth, even line. Then tuck the edge of the carpet beneath the trim.
  • Next, attach the carpet on the other side of the room. You will need to use a power stretcher for this. 
  • Then, move on to stretch, tack, and trim the carpet on the other two walls.
  • At thresholds or any other spots where you can use a tack strip, secure the edge of the carpet with a binder bar and screws.

Final Touches

Reinstall any doors, and enjoy your new floor! 

Related Content >> How to Install Carpet Tiles

About DIY-Friendly Carpet

While people can install carpet rolls on their own in the traditional way, maybe this method doesn’t seem right for you. If those steps sound a bit too complicated, don’t run away looking for carpet tile just yet! 

You can always buy DIY-friendly carpet rolls. Yes, that’s really a thing. Air.o carpet from Mohawk is designed with the carpet padding attached, so it cuts the installation time in half. 

Plus, you don’t have to use tacks, or even stretch the carpet. You can simply tape or glue the carpet to the floor, and move along with your day. It won’t wrinkle or buckle during installation. It lays flat and stays flat.

Even better, the attached padding saves you money. You won’t have to go through the process of buying it separately from your carpet.

So without further ado, here are two simpler methods of DIY carpet installation.

SHOP DIY-FRIENDLY CARPET

Related Content >> Broadloom Carpet Rolls Buying Guide

How to Install Carpet with Tape

The carpet tape method is the quickest installation but is better for low traffic areas. Too much traffic could break the bond between the tape and the carpet backing. Consider this method if you plan to install carpet in your home.

Tools and Materials

  • Double-sided carpet tape
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter square
  • Weighted roller

Preparation

  • Remove any old carpet, carpet padding, and tack strips. Then sweep away any dust or dirt.
  • Make sure you’re working with a level subfloor without structural issues like cracks and dips. If the subfloor is newly poured concrete, wait until it’s properly cured before installation.
  • Remove all doors in the room.

Trim Extra Material

carpet tape trim

Carpet rolls often come with excess material. It’s easier to spread out if you remove the majority of the extra material before installation. 

  • Once you know the dimensions of the room, add around 6” to each side to allow room for error. 
  • Mark the dimensions on the back of the carpet and trim it down. 

Unroll the Carpet

  • Spread the carpet out into the space where you’re installing, arranging it so it is square to the room. 
  • Be sure there are no wrinkles and no tension in your carpet. Remember, this carpet does not need to be stretched.
  • Be sure that the carpet is installed with a consistent pile direction for the best look.

Apply the Double-Sided Carpet Tape

  • Once your carpet is cut and laid out, fold up the edges to prepare for tape installation. 
  • Be sure to use correctly branded double-sided carpet tape so the manufacturer’s warranty isn’t voided. 
  • Place tape around the perimeter of your installation area and at any seams. 
  • Smooth the tape to remove any air bubbles.

Attach the Carpet

carpet tape perimeter

  • Secure the seams first to make sure there is no gapping or overlap.
  • Then lay the carpet into the tape around the perimeter.   
  • To make any perimeter cuts at the wall, you can use a utility knife or a wall trimmer.

Final Touches

Tuck the carpet edges under the trim. Reinstall any doors you removed previously, and you’re done! 

Related Content >> The Best Carpet Roll Options

How to Install Carpet with Glue

The glue-down method is great for a more permanent solution, or if you are placing carpet in a high traffic area or a commercial space.

The steps for a glue-down installation are similar to using carpet tape. 

Tools and Materials

  • Pressure-sensitive adhesive
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter square

Preparation

  • Start with a clean subfloor. Remove old carpet, padding, glue, and tack strips. Sweep up any dirt or debris.
  • Ensure the subfloor is level and has no structural issues like cracks and dips. Any newly poured concrete should be properly cured before installation.
  • Remove all doors so you can work in the thresholds.

Trim Extra Material

Broadloom carpet typically comes with more material than you need. Make it easy on yourself by trimming it before attempting to install it. 

  • Take the dimensions of the room and add 6” to each side to allow room for error. 
  • Mark the carpet backing and cut it using a utility knife. 

Spread Out the Carpet

  • Roll out the carpet and orient it square to the room. 
  • Smooth it out, ensuring there are no wrinkles. Also avoid tension in the carpet, because it does not need to be stretched.
  • For the best appearance, make sure the carpet is installed with a consistent pile direction.

Apply the Glue

carpet glue application

  • Once your carpet is cut and laid out, fold up the edges so you can spread the glue.
  • Be sure to use correctly branded glue to make sure you don’t void the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Apply the adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Allow the adhesive to cure before laying any carpet. Check for proper time based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

Lay Down the Carpet

  • Secure the seams first to make sure there is no gapping or overlap.
  • Then firmly press the carpet into the adhesive. 
  • To make any perimeter cuts at the wall, you can use a utility knife or a wall trimmer.

Final Touches

Once you tuck the carpet edges under the trim and reinstall the doors, your project is complete!

Related Content >> Carpet Installation Cost Guide

Conclusion

Hurray! Now you know how to install carpet yourself, and not just one way, but three different ways. You can upgrade your home with brand new carpet and save on installation costs in the process. Sounds like a win-win. Ready to get started?

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About Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt

Chelsi Hewitt is a Phoenix-area writer with a specialty in flooring. She grew up obsessed with interior design and DIY projects, and that never went away. She joined Flooring Inc. to teach people about flooring and help them find exactly what they want for their home, garage, office, and more.

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