Materials you'll need:
New carpet and pad
Inch-and-a-quarter wood screws
New tack strips (as needed)
Heat-activated carpet seaming tape
Special tools you'll need to rent:
Carpet seaming iron
Knee kick carpet stretcher
As with all projects, you will need to ask your tool rental shop to point out the hazards and safety precautions for each tool you rent. Never leave the rental shop without a copy of the
owner's manual that explains safe operation of the tool. Always read the manual before using
Here are the steps you'll take in this project:
1. Take up the old carpet being careful not to damage the baseboards
or underlying tack strips. Roll up the old carpet as you go and use
a utility knife to cut it into rolls of sections that are not too heavy to
carry out of your home. Using a utility knife, carpet is easier to cut
on the back side.
2. Evaluate the old pad to see if it is still thick, resilient and clean enough
to use under your new carpet. In most cases, you will want to remove
the old pad and install a new pad. But before you lay down new padding,
check the subflooring for loose nails. Loose nails cause floor squeaks.
3. After removing the old pad, nail down all loose nails into the subfloor.
Walk around the room and find the remaining squeaky spots.
4. To fix a squeak, drill 1 1/4" wood screws into the joists near the squeaky spot.
5. Evaluate the old tack strips around the perimeter of the room to make sure they
are sturdy, firmly attached to the subfloor, and have sharp, raised points. Replace
faulty tack strips with new ones.
6. Lay down your new padding and use duct tape to seam together the edges of
its sections. Lay it to slightly overlap the edges of the tack strips around the
room. Using your utility knife, trim the padding to lay just inside the edges of the
tack strips. There is no need to glue or staple the pad to the subfloor.
7. Lay down your new carpet in sections and make sure that you overlap the
baseboards around the room, as well as the section edges in the interior
of the floor space. Be very careful to match the direction of the knap in
all sections you lay out.
8. To make your seams, you'll need to find a groove in the knap at least one
inch from the section edge. Bending or folding the carpet edge will help you
find a groove. Now make this straight groove more defined by running the point
of a ballpoint pen down the length of the groove. Be careful to keep the point of
the pen under the knap so you can prevent ink marks on the surface.
9. Use a carpet knife to make your seam cuts, being very careful to stay in the
10. Use the kicker tool to push the carpet sections apart just enough to eliminate
the seam overlaps.
11. Lay seaming tape under the seams, making sure it is centered to give each section
edge an equal amount of tape.
12. Use a seaming iron to heat the tape and make your seams permanent. As you
slowly, carefully and methodically heat the tape down the entire length of it,
pause momentarily as you go to push the seam edges tightly together with your
hands. Be very careful not to touch the hot iron.
13. Use the kicker to stretch the carpet towards the four walls, making sure to
secure the bottom of the carpet to the tack strips.
14. Use the power stretcher to eliminate any loose areas of carpet in the room.
15. Trim the overlap so that there is just enough carpet edge to wedge under the
16. Use a chisel or a putty knife to wedge the carpet edges under the baseboards,
taking care not to damage the baseboards.