A DIYer’s Checklist for Installing New Carpet
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 make your life a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of “must do’s” for carpet installation. And even broken them into three simple categories:
Even if you’re hiring out for the installation process, this checklist is your guide to a successful installation.
The 5 Must-Do’s Before Installing Carpet
Step 1: First and foremost, know your floor plan. This means you’ll need to measure the room you’ll be installing carpet in. (Pro tip: Graph paper can help with dimensions and design.) Measuring things first will help reduce any waste.
Step 2: Make sure the site is completely enclosed. Windows and doors should be installed and closed. Your HVAC systems should also be up and running and working properly.
Step 3: Finish all pre-work. All drywall and other wet processes need to be finished before installation. Also, any molding that needs to be installed must be painted 24 hours before installation to allow time to dry.
Step 4: Prep the area. 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.)
Step 5: Monitor temperature and moisture of the installation area. The ideal temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the day before and the day of installation. 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 quickly assess the moisture. For more detailed information on the moisture in the slab, use the in situ relative humidity (RH) test system for accurate readings.
3 Easy Steps for a Perfect Installation
Step 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 the tools and learn how to use them. (Pro tip: YouTube will be your best friend.)
Step 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.)
Step 3: Install 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.
Carpet Is Installed. Now What?
Step 1: Clean up the area. Remove all unused installation materials, tools, and any garbage, and vacuum the entire installation area. You’ll also want to touch up the paint if need be.
Step 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.
Step 3: Restore your house back to normal. 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.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy your new beautiful space. Cheers to a job well done!