DIY Checklist for Installing New Carpet: How to Plan a Carpet Installation

You’re ready for some new carpet, that’s for sure. But is your home? Aside from picking your favorite carpet, there are a few necessary steps you’ll need to take to prep for installation.

To simplify your life, we’ve compiled a list of “must-dos” for carpet installation into three simple categories:

Even if you’re hiring out for the installation process, this checklist is your guide to a successful installation.

Before Installing Carpet: The Five Must-Do’s

test moisture in concrete with c555 meter

Caption: Before installation, you can use the C555 moisture meter as an easy first step when assessing a concrete subfloor’s moisture.

1. Measure Your Space

This means you’ll need to measure the room where you’ll be installing carpet to ensure you buy the right amount of carpet and padding. Knowing your square footage will also help you estimate your carpet installation cost and waste.

(Pro tip: Graph paper can help with dimensions and design.)

2. Completely Enclose the Site

Windows and doors should be installed and closed. Your HVAC systems should also be up and running and working properly.

3. Finish All Pre-Work

Any drywall installation, painting, or other wet processes should be finished before carpet installation. Molding installation should be painted 24 hours before installation to allow drying time.

4. Clear the Space

Remove furniture and other items from the installation area—including electrical equipment and wires. Cover entryways and vents to help contain dust/debris and create an easily accessible path to the installation area.

(Pro tip: Cover any furniture or floors that are on the paths.)

5. Check Temperature and Moisture Levels

The ideal temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the day before and the installation day. Also, check the moisture of the subfloor. If it’s concrete, you can use our C555 concrete moisture meter as an easy first step to assess the moisture quickly.

For more detailed information on the moisture in the slab, use the in situ relative humidity (RH) test system for accurate readings.

During Carpet Installation: Three Easy Steps

tools you need to install carpet

For most DIYer’s, your best bet is to rent the tools you’ll need, such as a carpet stretcher.

1. Rent Special Carpeting Tools

Trust us, it’s not worth it to go without a carpet stretcher. And it’s usually not worth purchasing one for yourself—unless you plan on installing carpet more often.

The best bet is to rent and learn how to use the tools. Renting tools such as a knee kicker, carpet roller, and utility knife is your best bet if you’re a DIYer.

(Pro tip: YouTube will be your best friend.)

2. Install Tack Strips

These are a must. If you’re replacing old carpet, you can use what’s already installed, except for pieces that need to be replaced. If you’re installing new carpet, then make sure to have a gap between the wall and the tack strips.

(Pro tip: The rule of thumb for the tack strip gap is to make it a fingertip width from the wall. This equates to roughly 1/4″–3/8″ gap between the strip and the wall.)

3. Install Carpet and Padding

Always have a good layer of padding underneath the carpet. And be sure NOT to attach it to the tack strip. It should lay right inside the perimeter.

After Carpet Installation: Three Final Steps

1. Clean Up

Remove all unused materials, tools, and garbage, and vacuum the entire installation area. You’ll also want to touch up the paint if need be.

2. Inspect the Installation

Take your time. Since you’re the one that’s going to be looking at it every day, you’ll want to make sure it’s up to your standards. This is also the perfect time to either research or ask your installer about how to care for your new carpet.

3. Restore Your Space

Carefully move all furniture and other items back to their spots. Be sure to use protectors on the feet of furniture to avoid damage to the carpet.

Planning a carpet installation takes careful consideration of many factors. Anyone can put carpet down in their home with the right tools and knowledge.

With this checklist, you can ensure a successful and professional-looking installation.

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your new beautiful space. Cheers to a job well done!

Are you noticing your carpet starting to smell or having some issues? Learn more about why your carpet smells.

Last updated on March 8th, 2024

1 Comment

  1. Technical Tinting says:

    It’s really interesting to see blog posts about DIY carpet installation. I hope you make a lot of these in the future. greatly appreciated!

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