Installing your own wall to wall carpet isn't a job everybody wants to take on. It can be hard on both your knees and your back, and if you don't get it right, everybody can see where you messed up. However, installing carpet isn't "rocket science," and by using some specialized tools (available at most tool rental outlets) and being prepared to take your time, installing carpet is a job you can do yourself.
A majority of how your interior looks and feels will depend on your floors. Houses that have carpet give off an undeniable warmth, vibrancy, and an aesthetic appeal. There is a wide range of colors, textures, materials, and designs available that can transform your home and give every room a chance to be unique. Your carpet installation has a long term perspective, so it’s important that you select the best one for your needs and install it right the first time.
Once you have picked out your material and design, you’ll need to it install it. Professional carpet installers can do the job for you, or you can choose to do it yourself. Even though doing it yourself is cheaper than hiring a professional, it isn’t recommended if you don’t have the right tools, lack time, or have no experience.
A great way to ensure a professional installation of your carpet is to buy from an authorized carpet retailer or dealer. Most of the time, your carpet retailer will have an installation staff that is very experienced with installing carpet.
Installing a carpet on a stairs
There are basically two methods of installing carpet on stairs. One is the waterfall method where one piece of carpet covers each riser and tread. The other is the cap and band installation. In this case the cap is a piece of carpet installed over the treads and the band is the piece that will cover the risers. In this article I will show you how to install carpet using the waterfall method. These instructions are for basic stairs and not for spiral stairs which would require additional procedures.
Tack stripsStaples or upholstery nailsMeasuring TapeKnee PadsKnee kicker (check your rental store)Stair Tool (check your rental store)Utility knifeHammerSafety glasses
Obviously you'll need to remove all the old carpet. Get rid of the tack strips and don't try to use the old padding. Make sure any nails and staples are removed and sweep down the area to be carpeted.
Before you get started you're going to have to figure out how much carpet you'll need. To calculate the width simply measure across the tread. If your stairs are open on one or both ends make sure to measure under the nosing to where it meets the riser and add it to the total width. Figure the total length of your flight of stairs by measuring the tread and riser. Assuming your going to use carpet pad make sure to add at least 3 inches per stair. If your steps have nosing add one foot to the total flight measurement.
Okay, let's get started. Apply the tack strip to the stair crotch location. Next you'll need to tighten the carpet by tucking in the crotch. You can do this by using a knee kicker. It is a tool used to install carpet in small areas and stairs. It consists of a piece of metal tubing with a pin plate attached to it. On the other end it has a padded cushion where you can position your knee to apply pressure to the carpet. You should be able to find one at your local rental store. Simply place the padded end several inches above your knee and add pressure.
This is where you will use the knee kicker:
To attach to the tack strip you need to use the knee kicker to stretch the carpet straight from the center of the tread and hook it to the tack strip located at the crotch. Once the carpet has been hooked to the tack strip you need to firmly attach it by sliding your carpet tool back and forth to compress the pins. Using your utility knife or carpet knife trim as needed. A carpet knife is better as it has two sides and is sharper than a utility knife. Repeat this process on each side of the tread. Before going to the next tread make sure the carpet is smoothed out on the riser and then staple to the stair lip. I would recommend you staple about every 2 inches. Don't forget to also staple along the edge of the riser.
Make sure to step back and take a look at your work before going on to the next tread. Is the carpet smooth? Did you kick it in evenly? It is also a good time to give your knees and back a rest. If everything looks good the continue onto the next tread. If not you'll have to pull the carpet off and install it again. Repeat this process until you are finished.
Once finished stand back and admire your work and give yourself a pat on the back. You now have a beautiful looking staircase.
Jerry Holt is a writer for the website Do It Yourself Today. Please go to www.diytoday.net for do it yourself home improvement and carpet tips and advice.
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