Getting new carpet can be an exciting, daunting, and an expensive prospect. One way to defray expenses is to install it yourself. When you are first thinking of getting new carpet you should measure your room. Once you know how much carpet you need you should shop around. You should make a trip to several carpet stores around your area. The large home improvement stores also carry flooring products so you should also check these for good deals and sale prices. Most carpets come in 12 foot widths, however if your room is wider it is a good idea to try to find a wider carpet. Some stores will carry 15 foot widths or sometimes you can special order one. This is well worth the effort and extra cost so that you won’t have to make a seam which is really difficult to make look nice. Once you have chosen a carpet that you like and fits your budget then you should make sure you have all the materials you need. Besides carpet you will also need pad, tack strip, and carpet tape. You will also need a carpet knife, sissors, duct tape, a rubber mallet, and a sturdy staight edge such as a putty knife or spatula ( I used a rubber maid dustpan). You will also need to visit your local rental store to rent a carpet stretcher. These usually run about 25.00 for a 24 hour period. Now that you have all your equipment and supplies you are ready to begin.
The first task is to totally clear the room you are going to carpet. Then remove all the old carpet and pad. This is a dirty, messy job. After it is all clear make sure your floor is clean and dry. If your floor needs any repair work now is the time to do it. After your floor is clean and prepared it is time to lay your tack strip. Nail it close to the wall, about a quarter of an inch away from the wall. If your carpet already had tack strip you will be able to see where it was and put the new in the same place. After you get the tack strip down, lay down your pad. This is pretty easy to do, just lay it out and cut it with the scissors. Make sure that the pad is not on top of the tack strip. You need to tape the seams together with carpet tape and put duct tape on top of the seam so that it does not bunch or pull apart. Now comes the fun part. Lay your carpet out onto the floor. This may take several people so be prepared. You should leave about three inches up the walls. This is important so that you don’t end up cutting it too short. If there is a lot of excess then you can cut it off using your carpet knife. This tool is very sharp be careful !! don’t end up in the emergency room with a nasty cut !!!! Start at one end of your room and push your carpet behind the tack strip making sure the carpet catches the tacks. Use your straight edge (dustpan) and rubber mallet for this part. Make a deep crease in the carpet at the corner of the wall and floor. Again make sure that the carpet is catching the tack. Do this completely on one wall then use your knife to cut the excess. Now comes the stretcher. Remove it from it’s case and put it together according to it’s instructions. Starting on the side of the room you have tacked down stretch the carpet out using a fan shaped pattern. Stretch the carpet away from you untill all the wrinkles and are bunchs out. Tack down another wall, not the one opposite of the one you already did, the same way you did the other one. Stretch the other sides the same way. When you are done you should not have any bunches or wrinkles or an excess, the carpet should lay smooth and tight on the floor. This can take time don’t get in a hurry. You will be happier if you take your time and do it right. Each carpet will stretch differently depending on the style and the type of fabric used. After you are finished stretching cut off any remining excess carpet.
Your carpet is now laid. Now you clean up, vacum, and reload your room. The only thing left to do is CELEBRATE ! You have now accomplished your goal of laying your carpet in about two days or maybe less. With the money you saved you can afford to go out to dinner. This is a huge job but the satisfaction of accomplishment is wonderful and think of all the money you saved.