Monday, 23 September 2013

Fitting your Own Carpet

Fitting a carpet yourself may seem like a daunting task, but it can save you quite a bit of money so if you're on a budget, or just fancy the challenge, it's well worth giving it a go. If you take your time and focus on the preparation, it's not as difficult as it may at first seem - just follow this guide from the Birch Carpets team.

The first task is to measure up and order the right amount of carpet. Order too much and you're wasting money, order too little and you've got a bigger problem! However, don't forget to order some extra to account for walls that aren't straight etc.

Once your carpet is on the way, then you can start to prepare the room. Give the old carpet a good hoover and you'll disturb less dust when you take it up. You may also want to remove skirting boards and doors to make the job easier. A good tip when removing skirting boards is to number them as you remove them, so you'll know the order they need to go back in. You may find it easier to cut the carpet into strips before you lift it. That way you'll have sections that will be easy to roll up and handle if you're transporting them to the tip yourself. However, if you're planning on keeping your underlay then be careful not to cut through it. Remove the carpet, but leave the tack strips if you can to reuse them.

The next task is to inspect the floor. If you have any loose floorboards then this is the time to secure them. Remove or hammer down any nails in the boards. 

If you've removed the tack strips then now is the time to replace them. Nail them half an inch from the wall, all the way around the room except for in the doorways. The angled tacks should be facing the wall and not into the room.

Now you can lay your underlay. Lay this in strips up to the inside edge of your tack strips, and use duct tape to seal the joins between the underlay strips.

That's all the easy work done, now we're onto laying the carpet. Take it slow, try not to rush and you'll get the best results. Cut the carpet so it is about six inches larger than the room. Cut from the back and be careful not to cut through to any carpet that may be doubled up underneath!

Next you need to attach the carpet to the tack strips. For this you'll need a knee kicker tool or you won't have a taut carpet. The knee kicker grips the carpet. You need to grab the carpet with the kicker tool about three inches away from the wall. You then give it a good push with your knee at the other end to stretch it to the tack strip where it should take hold.

When the carpet is firmly attached all the way round you can trim the excess carpet off close to the wall with a Stanley knife. Next refit your skirting boards, or if you didn't remove them, tuck the edge of the carpet under them with a stair tool, or if you don't have one a small chisel or large screwdriver should do the trick.

Don't forget to check your door. Whether you removed it or not, if your new carpet is thicker than your old one you may need to take a little wood off the bottom of your door to make it fit properly again.

Give your room a good vacuum to remove any bits of cut pile, then sit back and admire your handwork!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

15 Weird Facts About Carpets

Just because carpet belongs underfoot doesn’t mean that it should belong out of mind! We often take this wonderful creation for granted but if you dig a little deeper and you’ll discover all kinds of fascinating facts and here are just 15.
1.The Norovirus has the ability to survive on an unclean carpet for more than a month.

2. The oldest carpet in history is the Pazyryk carpet, which is over 2,000 years old. It was discovered in the Scythian tomb of Southern Siberia in the 1940s.

3.Experts say that air blown out from a vacuum cleaner could be one of the places in the home with the most germs.

4. Originally the swastika was a symbol of fortune and can be found on many carpets in America, Europe and China.

5.The saying "to weep under the carpet" was first recorded in 1963.

6. The #3 hit song "Magic Carpet Ride" By the band Steppenwolf was the bands second hit, after "born to be Wild".

7. The Vacuum cleaner which was invented by Edmund Heming in 1699 was inspires by the street-sweeping machine.

8. Vacuum cleaners in the early 20th century were so large that it took 3 people to operate them, they were also powered by coal.

9. Red carpets are used at formal events and the first reference to a "red carpet" is Agamemnon (458 B.C.) by Aeschlus.

10. The old wives tale says that if you rub an ice cube again chewing gum that is stuck to a carpet then it will become brittle and should break off.

11. The borders of some oriental carpet are thought to protect those sat within the confines.

12. In Europe, Oriental carpets were a highly prized possession in the Middle Ages and crusaders would return home with them.

13. 85,000 tonnes of carpet was diverted from landfill sites in 2012.

14. 36,000 tonnes of carpet were recycled or reused.

15. 49,000 tonnes were used for energy recovery.

For more great facts about commercial carpets visit -