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!