Project Overview

You can make a huge difference to your home by laying new carpet. We show you how to prepare the floor, secure the under felt and attach the carpet. We’ll also show you how to make joins between sections of carpet. 
Continue to step-by-step instructions
This D.I.Y. Advice is part of a series How to lay carpet

Step by Step Instructions

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  • Step 1.

    Make sure your subfloor is perfectly clean before you start. Remove any old staples and you can use a scraper to get rid of any plaster on the floorboards. Give the floor a sweep and vacuum to get it all ready. 

  • Step 2.

    Place the smooth edge around the perimeter of the room. Leave a gap about a finger width from the wall. To secure it, the nails should be facing up and towards the wall. For maximum grip on your carpet, use two widths of smooth edge. You can cut the smooth edge and stagger the joins for extra strength. 

  • Step 3.

    You can cut smaller lengths of smooth edge to fit it around corners. Use your bolster and hammer to cut the smooth edge to size. Then use two hoop nails to secure the smaller pieces to the subfloor.

  • Step 4.

    Once you have secured the smooth edge around the perimeter, roll out the underfelt. It’s best to work from one wall to the other. Use your knife to cut the under felt so it sits over the smooth edge. Then cut it to size by running your knife along the inside edge of the smooth edge. 

  • Step 5.

    Use your staple hammer to secure the underfelt to the floor. You only need to space the staples out around the edges to make sure it is secure. 

  • Step 6.

    Now you are ready to roll out your second roll of underfelt. The central edges of the underfelt need to be pushed up together in a ‘butt join’. Once the two edges are lined up, cut the second roll to size and staple it down as before. 

  • Step 7.

    When your underfelt is all secure, you can bring in your carpet. Roll out it across the floor and square it up with your feet. It’s important to walk into the pile, so it is brushed up and the straight edge is running along the wall.

  • Step 8.

    Use the knee kicker to tap the straight edge of your carpet onto the smooth edge. When using the knee kicker, centre your shoulder above your hand to give you maximum impact. This also ensures you don’t slip and pull your carpet out. Use the carpet tucker to push the carpet further onto the smooth edge. Attach the carpet about a quarter of the way across the room. Then go to the same point on the opposite side of the room and work your way towards the corner to stretch the carpet across.

  • Step 9.

    Use the knee kicker to tap the straight edge of your carpet onto the smooth edge. When using the knee kicker, centre your shoulder above your hand to give you maximum impact. This also ensures you don’t slip and pull your carpet out. Use the carpet tucker to push the carpet further onto the smooth edge. Attach the carpet about a quarter of the way across the room. Then go to the same point on the opposite side of the room and work your way towards the corner to stretch the carpet across.

  • Step 10.

    Use a nail to mark a straight line in the pile and cut it open with a utility knife. Line up the two edges of carpet and make sure both piles run in the same direction. Position joining tape so it is centered under the first run of carpet. Pull off the protective layer of the tape to expose the adhesive. Press one side down and then the other, making sure they are butted up closely together. 

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Hammer
  • Knives
  • Staple hammer
  • Knee pads for safety
  • Floor scraper
  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Knee kicker

Materials

  • Smooth edge
  • Hoop nails
  • Underfelt
  • Ripple trim
  • Carpet
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