How to fit carpet
Hiring a professional to lay your new carpet will, of course, ensure the best results. But if you’re up for the challenge – or just want to save a bit of money – it is possible to do it yourself.
Truth be told, fitting carpet isn’t actually as difficult as you might think.
With the right tools, a little perseverance and our step-by-step guide, the job could be done-and-dusted before you have a chance to ask, ‘What’s the carpet fitter’s number again?’.
Give it a go, and if you need any help, our experts are just a phone call away.
What carpet fitting tools will I need?
Before you start your DIY carpet fitting, check you have everything you need.
Many of the items listed below are standard tools that you may already have in your tool box. But if not, we have a range of key carpet fitting tools available to buy in our store for a great price.
Ensure you have to hand a:
- pipe and cable detector
- utility knife
- carpet tucker
- carpet stretcher
- gloves and knee pads
6 steps to fit carpet like a pro
Step 1: Prepare the subfloor
The first step is to rip up your existing carpet and prepare the subfloor.
For the best results, it’s important to make sure this is as flat and smooth as possible. To do this, you should:
- remove the old underlay and carpet grippers.
- clear away any leftover tacks, screws, and staples.
- ensure there’s nothing sticking out above the surface.
- secure down any loose floorboards with nails (if necessary).
It’s also a good idea to sweep and vacuum the area to get rid of any surface dust.
Step 2: Replace the grippers and underlay
Detailed guidance on how to fit carpet grippers has been covered in our previous blog.
Grippers will need to be positioned around the full perimeter of the room – approximately 10mm away from the skirting board. Check for underfloor wires and pipes and, if any are detected, use gripper adhesive to stick them down. If not, simply secure them in place with nails.
Replacing the underlay is also an essential part of fitting carpet correctly.
It may be ‘unseen’, sandwiched between the carpet and subfloor. But this extra layer offers a range of benefits, enhancing the final look and feel of your new carpet, improving its performance – particularly in terms of sound and thermal insulation – and increasing its lifespan by up to 50%.
Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, we stock many underlays that are suitable for use in the home. But, for most projects, we recommend Plushwalk 12mm.
Made from thick ‘bounce back’ memory foam, this is regarded as the ‘gold standard’ in the underlay industry. It offers a range of impressive properties, yet is available for the affordable price of £6.99 per m2.
Roll it out foam-side down. Cut it to the correct shape and size using your utility knife. Then secure it in place by either stapling it down or using an adhesive.
Step 3: Introduce the carpet
Carpet can be heavy and difficult to move, so it’s worth asking someone to help at this stage.
Carry the roll into the room and lay it loosely in position. Then, stand in the corner with one foot under the carpet, and work your way around the room – smoothing and pushing it into place with your other foot.
It can sometimes be worth cutting the carpet down to a more manageable size, leaving a 50-75mm border along each edge. You should also cut a vertical line in the carpet above the corners and trim the overlapping triangles – as this will encourage it to lay flat and make fitting much easier.
CUS top tip: Keeping it rolled up, let the new carpet sit in your home for at least 24 hours before fitting. The fibres may expand or contract, depending on the temperature and humidity levels in your house. So it’s best to give it time to adjust to these conditions, before you stretch it into place.
Step 4: Create a fold line
Time to start fitting your carpet.
Using a carpet tucker, firmly crease the carpet against the skirting board to make a fold line. Hold the carpet flat to the floor and cut along the edge – approximately 5mm above the surface.
Always use a sharp blade to do this, so that you’re left with a smooth cut without any fraying. And to avoid marking or damaging the skirting board, take your time and be as careful as possible.
Step 5: Push it in
At this stage in the fitting process, you’re going to need a carpet stretcher.
This will allow you to secure the carpet into place and flatten it out with ease. Position the tool around 25cm away from the skirting board – with the teeth facing downwards – and, to hook the carpet onto the carpet grippers, push firmly against the cushioned pad with your knee.
Then, simply tuck in the excess between the skirting and gripper using your carpet tucker.
Repeat this process along the first wall. Before doing the exact same thing – trimming, stretching, tucking – along the two adjacent walls, and finally the wall opposite where you originally started.
CUS top tip: If you encounter any obstacles (such as a doorway or radiator pipe), the best option is to make a vertical cut in the carpet. Press the carpet down and trim it flush using the utility knife.
Step 6: Add the finishing touches
Last but not least, for a professional finish, you may wish to add carpet metals to any doorways.
Placed along the threshold, these create a seamless finish from one room to the next and will significantly enhance the final look of your new carpet. They’re also really quick and easy to fit.
Detailed advice on how to do this can be found in our previous guide ‘How to fit carpet door bars’. But essentially, it’s as simple as drilling holes in the subfloor and fixing the bar in place using screws.
Start DIY carpet fitting today
Here at Carpet Underlay Shop, we stock everything you need to lay carpet like a professional, including carpet underlays, carpet fitting tools, grippers, glue and adhesives and metal door bars. All of which are of the highest quality and available for a competitive price.
So why not take a look? Order what you need today and get started.
Our in-house experts are always on hand and happy to offer their assistance. So if you’d like further advice on how to fit carpet, or have a question about any of the products available in our store, you’re more than welcome to get in touch.
- Alex Illidge