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How to fit carpet

Fitting carpet is not easy, and we always recommend having the carpet or flooring fitted professionally.

However, if you wish to fit the carpet or flooring yourself our step by step guide should assist you.

Once the flooring is delivered check to see you have all the materials you need. Some special tools are required for fitting carpet. A carpet fitting knife, a carpet stretcher, a bolster for stretching and tucking the carpet and a staple hammer for tacking the underlay into place.

Fitting Carpet Gripper.

When laying any type of carpet or flooring the first thing to do is make sure the surface is smooth and clean. Sweep the floor thoroughly and remove any nails or stones etc that may be protruding. Use a vacuum cleaner if needed. Remove any doors to the room so you won’t have to work around them. This isn’t a necessity, but it will make things easier especially when you reach the door jambs.

Nail your carpet gripper around the edge of the room leaving a gap of one and a half times the thickness of the carpet to be laid, do not fit carpet gripper in front of your doorway.

The gripper has an angled edge on one side this needs to be nearest the wall. If you have a hard subfloor i.e.; concrete or tiles, then gluing maybe the best way to install your gripper.

Make sure your gripper is laid evenly. This is what keeps your carpet in place.

Fitting the Underlay

Lay the underlay so that it overlaps the carpet gripper.

Lay in strips against each other tightly - don't overlap them! Staple or glue the underlay down along the inside edge of the carpet gripper.

Trim the excess underlay along the inside of the gripper and use underlay tape to seal the joins.

This will prevent lines showing through to your new carpet and stop the underlay moving when you are laying out and stretching the carpet.

Fitting the Carpet

To install carpet properly, you need to start with a piece that overlaps the edge of the floor by about 2 inches. The overlay can be trimmed later so the carpet fits properly.

To cut your first section, measure the room at its longest point and add 2 inches to that measurement Mark the back of your carpet at both edges with that measurement and join the two marks with a line.

Fold the carpet over on itself, and using a straight edge and a sharp knife, cut through the back of your carpet. Be sure to place a piece of scrap board underneath your cut line to protect the underlying carpet from being cut.

Use a Carpet stretcher to secure the carpet along one edge.

Put the end of the carpet stretcher about 3 or 4 inches from the wall, kick your knee forcefully into the padded end of the carpet stretching tool.

This will stretch the carpet over the carpet gripper, where the tacks will grab it and hold it firmly in place.

Then using the bolster push the carpet behind the carpet gripper.

Work your way around the room stretching the carpet over the carpet gripper.

Now trim the carpet near the wall with a sharp knife.

At the doorway trim the carpet so the edge will be underneath the closed door and install a door bar, which will hold the carpet in place at the doorway section.

The Door bar needs to be in the centre of the door frame, so when the door is shut the door bar is not visible.

Fitting Carpet on the stairs.

Fitting the stairs is the hardest area to fit.

Fit a piece of gripper on the tread of each stair so that the angled edge is furthest away from you.

Now fit a piece of gripper on the riser (or face of the next step) of the next stair so that the angled edge meets the angled edge of the gripper fitted on the tread.

Again, the gap left really does depend on the depth of carpet to be installed. One and a half times the depth of carpet is the correct gap.

Cut the underlay in strips off the roll about 1/4 inch narrower than your stairs. Starting at the top stair fit and staple the underlay to the stair tread and over the nose down to the next piece of gripper and cut off with a sharp knife, repeat all the way down.

Measure the width of the stairs and cut the carpet from the length of the roll, roll the carpet up so that the topside is facing you, then fit from the top stair down bolster into grippered recess on each stair ensuring the carpet is pulled tightly over each nose. Cut off any excess carpet.

If no underlay is used the principles are the same as above, except you will need to either staple of glue the edges of the carpet to the floor.