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How To Lay Carpet

Carpeting  can make or break a home sale. It can be a beautiful addition to any home and is relatively easy to install by do-it-yourselfers. Carpeting can be installed on wood or concrete floors. Concrete applications usually require that the carpet and pad be glued down. We will address carpeting installed on wood floors here. Along with a selection of tools readily available to any homeowner,  you will want to rent some specialized tools for carpet installation. These are usually available for rent at most home centers and rental centers.

You will need:

  1. a knee kicker
  2. a carpet stretcher
  3. a seam cutter
  4. a seam roller
  5. seam tape
  6. a seam iron
  7. a wall trimmer
  8. a  strip cutter


  1. Rem0ve any old carpeting.
  2. Remove the old carpet pad.
  3. Clean the floor thoroughly with a vacuum.
  4. Inspect the floor for loose underlayment or floor boards. Secure them with screws.
Carpet Installation

Laying carpet is relatively easy.

Install tack strips

  1. Measure the length of each wall and cut tack strips to fit.
  2. Do not install tack strips in front of doors.
  3. Make sure the tack strips butt up against each other in the corners.
  4. Nail the tack strips down 1/8″ to 1/2″ away from the wall with the points directed toward the wall.

Install the carpet pad

  1. Cut the pad so it overlaps the tack strips and staple it in place every six inches and just inside the tack strips.
  2. Trim the pad just inside the tack strips.
  3. Overlap the pad where a seam is necessary and then trim both sides with one cut.
  4. Duct tape the pad seams.

Install the carpet

  1. Lay out the carpet.
  2. Cut the carpet at least six inches larger than the room dimension.
  3. Using the knee kicker, fasten one edge of the carpet to the tack strips along one wall.
  4. Place the carpet stretcher against the first wall, extend it to within six inches of the opposite wall, stretch the carpet and attach it to the tack strips.
  5. Use a wall trimmer and cut the carpet where it meets the wall.
  6. Where seams are necessary, lay out seam tape the proper length, adhesive side up.
  7. Use the seam iron to heat the adhesive on the tape.
  8. Press the carpet seams into place.
  9. Roll the seam out with a seam roller or rolling pin to ensure a tight bond.

Install the edge strips

  1. Measure and cut the door edge strips, sometimes called gripper strips.
  2. Install the strips over the carpet with the nails supplied.


Installing carpeting is tough on the knees and back. Do not attempt to install carpeting if you have health issues related to your knees or back.

Vacuum the carpet thoroughly after installation.

Make certain that the pile all runs the same way when first laying out and installing the carpet. It is common to orient the carpet pile in relation to the main entryway.

Allow all the seam adhesive to cure thoroughly before moving or stretching the carpet.

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