Step 3: Trim the edges

person using a carpet-edging tool to demonstrate how-to install carpet
Photo: Ryan Hulvat
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With the carpeting secured along one wall, use a special carpet-edging tool to trim the carpet flush with the baseboard molding. Keep the metal shoe of the tool pressed tightly against the carpeting, and keep the carpeting tight against the baseboard. (If you don't have an edging tool, you can trim the carpeting with a utility knife, but be sure to use a brand-new blade and change it as soon as it starts to get dull.)

Before pulling away the excess strip of carpeting, check to be sure it isn't still attached at any point. If you pull on the strip while it's still connected, even if just by a thread, you could unwind a fiber from the carpeting.

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    Tools List

    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • hand saw
      Handsaw or special wood snips
    • knee kicker
      Knee kicker
    • lever-activated stretcher
      Lever-activated stretcher
    • carpet tool
      Carpet edger
    • edge trimmer
      Wide-blade carpet chisel
    • seaming iron
      Seaming iron and seaming weight
    • electric stapler
      Electric stapler
    • portable carpet edge binder
      Binding machine

    Shopping List

    1. Carpeting

    cut slightly oversized to allow for final trimming



    2. Heat-activated seam tape

    used to bond the seam between two pieces of carpeting

    3. Carpet padding

    for installation under carpeting