How to Install Carpeting
Add some underfoot warmth by lining the room with some cozy wall-to-wall
Nothing's better on a cool morning than bare feet on a cozy carpet, keeping your toes off the cold, cold floor. Bare wood may be beautiful, but carpeting both looks good and feels good. It brings design to a spartan room, it adds warmth to a chilly room, and it even provides quiet in a echoing room.
But putting down carpet can be daunting to the do-it-yourselfer. , because the tools are unfamiliar. Fortunately, the process isn't that difficult, whether you rent the tools or hire a pro to do the work for you.
If you hire a pro, installation should include the initial measurement (a pro is trained to see things that such as traffic patterns and incoming light, and can suggest the best places to hide seams) and a floor plan showing how the various pieces will be installed. With large rooms, a few seams are inevitable.
Good installers use a carpet trimmer. Some installers use a utility knife, but the exposed blade tends to hack up floors and baseboard moldings. While installers once used kneekickers for an entire installation, rooms larger than 10-by-10 feet should be power-stretched to keep the finished product bump-free.
Install the Tack Strips
After removing all the furniture and old floor covering from the room, cover the wood subfloor with carpet padding. Tack down the padding with a stapler.
Using a hammer, nail down tack strips around the perimeter of the room. Cut the 1-inch-wide strips to length using a small handsaw or special wood snips. Set the tack strip about ½ inch away from the baseboard to allow space for slipping the carpeting underneath.
One row of tack strip is sufficient to hold down most types of carpeting, but for heavily woven Berbers and woolen carpets, it's best to install two rows of tack strips side by side. This double-strip trick will provide extra "bite" to prevent the carpeting from pulling loose or shifting out of position.