Install Carpet Like a Pro (even if it’s your first time)!
Installing carpet is a great way to update the look and feel of a room. The process can seem daunting, but with the right tools and a bit of patience, it can be accomplished by most DIYers.
Install your own carpet
Install your own carpet and stop wasting time looking for carpet installation quotes. Get yourself the measurements of your room, choose the color carpeting you want, and move forward today! The problem with installing your own carpet or taking on many different DIY home renovation projects is that we start over thinking it. We should simply set our goal: I’m installing a carpet! Then identifying what we need, getting it, and getting started.
Measuring for your new carpet
To get started, grab your tape measurer. I prefer a steel measurer because of the stiffness of it; ultimately it will stay extended at longer lengths aiding me in getting an accurate measure of the room. The goal is to find the area of the room you are measuring. Measure the length from one wall to the opposite; and measure the width of the room from wall to wall. To be safe add 4 inches to these measurements. This allows you to have extra in the event of slanted walls, and for awkward nooks and crannies.
Hardware and Tools for Carpet installation
You need 5 simple things to move forward with your carpet install. A knee kicker, utility knife/blade, tape measurer, seam/heat gun, seam glue and possibly tack strips. These tools each have their benefit and may not be entirely necessary; for example, I bought carpet seam glue and a seam gun but never used them (still in their boxes). A utility knife is self explanatory but it will help cut the excess of the carpet. A knee kicker, helps to pull the carpet tight to the tack strips and into the gullies just beyond the tack strip.
The good news is if you had carpet installed previously, then you can use the previous tack strips. Even if you have pets, the likelihood of tack strips being ruined is very slim. I speak from experience with a 20 year old carpet and 2 dogs. If you need to replace tack strips, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. One more item to obtain would be a transition strip. This is to be installed at thresholds of doorways also commonly found when transitioning from one carpet to another or from carpet to hardwood floor.
When cutting your carpet, it’s best to cut minimal amounts so you can put it in place and still have extra after using the knee kicker to pull it tight to the wall. Once you identify the excess, then you can cut it because you are certain you don’t need it.
Buy your carpet and install it
Yes, it’s true you get what you pay for. I’d only tell someone to buy cheap carpet for a basement or for a home you are flipping or selling. Carpet can quickly get pricey but keep in mind, you want that carpet to last years. In most cases you want it to outlast the warranty that’s offered with it. Some high end carpets have 12 year+ warranties.
Look around but also shop for what you desire. Find that color that just calls your name and/or gets your significant other’s approval. Also padding is important. Get a thick pad ideally 8lbs. Carpet padding is measured in pounds with the higher pounds equating to thickness and comfort. If you have pets, get you some pet protection, 3m layer, etc. that is designed to make cleaning messes a breeze. You won’t regret and its money well spent.
If you are buying and installing your own carpet, or having carpet installed, get yourself a new vacuum and carpet shampoo machine. These are 2 good investments that you won’t regret. These are an absolute must if you have pets. I won’t tell you want to get because every budget and need is different. But get something that has great reviews.