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How to install carpet quickly

Updated on April 28, 2011
Your carpet shouldn't look like this
Your carpet shouldn't look like this

Carpet installation made easy

Alright, I already lied. There's nothing easy about carpet installation. It's going to take time, and unless you're a professional you're going to need some friends to help. If you are a professional, what the heck are you doing here?

What you need to install a carpet

You are going to need the following things:

  • Carpet
  • Carpet pad (if you don't remove your old carpet pad, you void the wear warranty on your new carpet)
  • Tackless strips
  • Stapler
  • Carpet knife or utility knife
  • Hammer
  • Safety glasses and work gloves
  • Knee pads or small pillows strapped around your knees

The bad news: even after you've gathered all this stuff, you still need to rent the following at a hardware or home improvement store: knee kicker, power stretcher, seaming iron, seam cutter, seam tape, strip cutter, wall trimmer, and a seam roller.

Get rid of the old carpet

Before pulling up the old carpet, vacuum it. You need to do this or you'll be breathing in so much dust your lungs will look like Oklahoma circa 1930. Cut it up in strips and start on one side and remove the carpet and the carpet pad underneath. Remove the tackless strips, because you'll be installing new ones. When you have the pad off, make sure the floor is dry and clean. Also, if any floorboards are loose make sure to secure them. If you neglect to do this, you'll have spots in the floor that squeak when people walk over them.

Setting up for the new carpet installation

Put the new tackless strip around the edge of the entire room except in front of doorways. Make sure they are butted tightly together at the corners.

Now you have to lay down the carpet pad, or underpad. You'll lay this down in strips that will overlap the tackless strips at the edges. DO NOT overlap the strips of the underpadding. You want them right up against each other. Staple down the pad along the inside edge of the tackless strip. Use duct tape (there's one item I forgot to tell you to get, but you should have some duct tape already because it's THE basic item in home improvement) along the seams of the underpads.

Laying down new carpet

Get your carpet in the room (easier said than done, this is where you really need friends). Lay it down so that it overlaps the tackless strip by about 3 inches. Cut out leftover carpet around odd edges like around a fireplace. Now turn the heat up in the room and take a break. You need to warm up the carpet before you stretch it.

Use a knee kicker or a power stretcher to stretch a carpet around the edges. The teeth of the kicker should be in the carpet about 3 inches in from the tackless strip. When you kick it with your knee it should stretch that part of the carpet over the strip where the tacks will hold it in place.

Use a wall trimmer or a utility knife to cut the carpet away right next to the wall. For tips about installing carpet on a stairway or around vent covers to make them look nice, use Google. That's probably how you got here, so just hit the "back" button.

Carpet installation videos to watch

Here are a bunch of videos of carpet installations that you should watch before you start. You'll find conflicting information on here, so figure out what's right for you.


Submit a Comment

  • I am DB Cooper profile imageAUTHOR

    I am DB Cooper 

    8 years ago from Whereabouts unknown at this time

    Haha yeah, been there, tried that. Eventually that danged carpet just needs to be put in its place.

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Thanks for the info.

    I didn't think there would be an easy way. I have tried just letting a piece of carpet lie there, but it prefers to shift along as I walk over it.


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