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Installing Carpet Floors a Do–It–Yourself (DIY) Guide

Carpet Buying Guide Sections

Carpet is one of the most common floor coverings found in homes today. While many carpet manufacturers recommend against it and it may void your warranty, carpet can be installed as a DIY floor project. If you're interested in how you can do-it-yourself (DIY) install carpet, you've come to the right place. Our DIY carpet installation guide covers all of the essential things you'll need to know during carpet installation. For more detailed information on what to do before, during and after your carpet installation, see the full Installing Carpet guide below.

Download FREE Do–It–Yourself Guides Below

Download Carpet Flooring Installation Instructions | PDF's
PDF icon for PDF fileQuick Guide on How–to–Install Carpet
300kb pdf | Our short DIY guide is ideal if you have some flooring experience.
PDF icon for PDF fileFull Guide – Complete Installation Instructions on Installing your Carpet
1.5 mb pdf | Our full set of DIY installation instructions.

Our Carpet installation quick guide has been posted below for your convenience. Should you choose not to download the free pdf of our install guides, feel free to browse below using the green navigation at the top of the page to go to each carpet installation section.

Carpet installation guide PDF DownloadFloorTube™ your flooring video source
for carpetng installation

Getting Started or Ready to Install your Floor?

Carpet Installation Methods

You can install carpeting with one of these methods:

Tools and Materials

You will need most of the general tools and materials on the first list plus anything specific for your installation method.

Basic Carpet Laying Tools

  • Carpenter's square
  • Carpet or utility knife
  • Carpet (rolls or tiles)
  • Chalk line
  • Hammer
  • Measuring tape
  • Padding
  • Safety goggles

Glue Down/Double Glue Down Installation

  • Adhesive
  • Carpet roller, carpet tractor or rolling pin
  • Gripper edge
  • Leather work gloves
  • Nails
  • Notched trowel
  • Push broom
  • Seam sealer kit

Stretch–In Installation

  • Awl
  • Carpet cutter
  • Carpet roller, carpet tractor or rolling pin
  • Duct tape
  • Gripper edge
  • Knee kicker or a power-stretcher
  • Leather work gloves
  • Nails
  • Power stretcher
  • Seaming iron
  • Seaming tape
  • Stair tool
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Tackless strip
  • Tackless strip cutters

Installation Basics

  • Carpet is generally recommended for above and on-grade installation, and can be installed over wood, particle boards and cement subfloors.
  • Some carpet can be installed over radiant heat systems. Always check with your manufacturer to ensure your carpet is approved for this type of installation.
  • Most manufacturers do not recommend installing carpet tiles in below-grade environments as mildew and mold can form below the tiles.
  • Do NOT install carpet tiles above existing padding or carpet, unsealed concrete floors, unfinished waxed floors, or hand–painted/vintage floors.
  • Choose the proper pad for your specific type of carpet. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations when choosing a pad. Do NOT reuse your existing pad. Installing an old or incorrect pad can cause your carpet to delaminate (or come apart), wear prematurely or void the manufacturer's warranty.

Prepare For Installation

  • Remove all existing flooring, if necessary. Do NOT remove any existing flooring if you find asbestos. Follow all local, state and federal guidelines when handling and/or disposing of asbestos.
  • Ensure your concrete subfloor is sealed with an appropriate sealer to protect the carpeting and pad from moisture.
  • For glue down/double glue down commercial installations, perform a Calcium Chloride and pH Alkalinity test on concrete subfloors. Acceptable ranges include:
    • Calcium Chloride – Not to exceed 5 lbs per 24 hrs per 1000 sq ft.
    • pH Alkalinity – Above 9 on the pH scale.
  • Ensure the subfloor is flat, level and free from all major dips or gaps. Minor imperfections (paint overspray, small dips) are OK.
  • Remove all quarter round molding and doors and set aside. Leave wall base in place. NOTE: You may have to touch up the existing wall base after installation is complete.
  • Sweep and vacuum your subfloor before installing your carpet.
  • Always use proper safety equipment and follow the manufacturer's recommendations.