Fitting Guide

At Carpet Warehouse we only supply you with flooring, we don't offer a fitting service - but, we can provide you with contact details for trusted fitters in your area. You will just need to call them to arrange the fitting and this is often cheaper than letting an alternative store do it for you when you buy; this is another chance to save big on your flooring.

Still unsure? Use the National Institute of Carpet & Floorlayers (NICF) recommended professionals and they offer an independent inspection service for the unlikely circumstance in which you aren't satisfied with your installation

Arranging a Fitter:

The National Institute of Carpet & Floorlayers is an easy place to find an approved fitter local to you, click here to visit their website

DIY Fitting Guide:

Please take note that this guide is written to the best of our knowledge and is intended as a guide only. It is not aimed to replace a qualified fitter. We are not responsible for any reliance on the following advice and do not accept liability for any product issues due to the incorrect fitting of any floor. We do advise customers to hire a qualified fitter. No complaints regarding the appearance of the product will be accepted by the company once the carpet has been installed. It is the responsibility of the owner/installer, whether professional or not to determine that the internal conditions are suitable for the installation of their flooring and that it is fitted correctly.

Before you lay your carpet:

Tools you will need:

  • Carpet knife
  • Carpet stretcher/knee kicker
  • Bolster/carpet tucker - for stretching and tucking the carpet
  • Staple hammer/gun - for tacking the underlay into place
  • Strip cutter or heavy snips
  • Knee pads
  • Grippers
  • Carpet
  • Underlay (if your carpet is action backed or you have opted to use underlay)

Tools you may need:

  • Carpet steaming iron
  • Seaming tape

Carpet Fitting Tips

If you haven't already chosen your carpet, hessian or woven-backed carpets are typically of higher quality than their nearest felt or foam-backed counterpart

Make sure your carpet is stored safely and carefully before you lay it. We advise you to keep it roled to avoid any problems when you come to lay and stretch it

We advise you to have someone to help you lay and carry your carpet as they can be heavy and hard to move

Fitting a carpet can be hard on your knees - we recommend that you use knee pads whilst you are laying your carpet

Preparing Your Subfloor

  • It is very important to ensure the surface of your subfloor is stable, smooth, clean and as flat as possible before you start laying your carpet. We strongly advise you to sweep the floor thoroughly to remove any debris/stones and to remove any protruding nails (if a hardwood subfloor) as this could damage your carpet
  • Remove any doors in the room you are laying your carpet so you don't need to work around them

Laying Carpet Grippers

Begin to nail (if hardwood subfloor) or glue (if hard subfloor e.g. concrete or tile) your carpet grippers (long, thin pieces of wood with small sharp pins to hold the carpet in place) around the edge of the room ensuring that a gap of 1.5 times the thickness of the carpet between the wall and the gripper

Rules to Follow:

  • DO NOT lay a gripper in front of your doorway or thresholds, this is where you need to use a doorbar (over the top of your carpet) instead
  • When laying a gripper, ensure the angled edge is facing the wall
  • You may need to cut the grippers to size with a strip cutter or heavy snips
  • If you are nailing the grippers down, check for any hidden wire or pipes with a pipe and cable detector and mark their positions. If there are any in the way or you are trying to fit a gripper in an awkward place you will need to use adhesive instead

Laying The Underlay

We strongly advise you to lay new underlay with your new carpet, as it has numerous benefits:

  • Extends the life of the carpet
  • Protects the carpet
  • Adds extra comfort
  • Improves noise and heat insulation

If you don't want to use underlay we do advise you to buy a felt-backed carpet

You can use the underlay which is already laid, however like carpets, over time underlay can wear and decrease in effectiveness and therefore to receive the optimum benefits of underlay we advise you to purchase a new piece

When laying your underlay, you will need to:

  • Lay it so it overlaps the carpet gripper
  • Lay the underlay in strips against/alongside each other tightly (do not overlap them as this will cause lumps)
  • Staple, glue (with adhesive) or lay the underlay down along the inside edge of the carpet gripper (once it has been cut)
  • Trim the excess underlay along the inside of the gripper using a sharp knife so that it fits neatly within and flush against all of the carpet grippers
  • Use underlay tape to seal the seams between each strip of underlay to prevent any lines showing through your new carpet and to stop the underlay form moving when you are laying out and stretching the carpet

Laying The Carpet

  1. Lay your cut of carpet in your room so that there is an overlap at each side of the wall of at least 10cm. Along each edge smooth the carpet down, push it in place along the floor and against the wall so that it is as flat as possible against the ground with no creases
  2. Where the carpet meets the wall use a bolster or carpet tucker to create a clear fold/crease along the skirting board
  3. Trim the carpet (which should be as flat to the ground as possible) using a carpet knife to size plus 50mm to 75mm extra so that the carpet still overlaps that skirting board slightly
    • If the overlap is too big you may want to cut a bit of the overlap off first before you cut it to size (plus 50mm to 75mm extra on) so you can be more accurate. If you are going to do this, we recommend that the overlap is cut to about 10cm up each wall.
  4. To trim the excess in the corner, cut a small vertical line so the carpet lays flush to the gripper and the ground. Important: Be careful not to mark the skirting board when you are cutting your carpet
  5. Using a knee kicker/carpet stretcher:
    • Place the end of the carpet stretcher about 10cm to 20cm away from one of the walls (you should be facing the wall)
    • Kick your knee forcefully into the padded end of the knee kicker. This will stretch the carpet over the carpet gripper
    • The tacks should grab hold of your carpet and keep it firmly in place
    • Do this every 60-90cm along the wall then continue around the room
  6. If the overlap has increased in size, using a carpet tucker/bolster create a new crease against the skirting to make af old line and again trim the overlap so that there is between 50mm and 75mm extra
  7. Then using a bolster/carpet tucker push the edge of the excess carpet (50mm to 75mm) behind the carpet gripper
  8. Continue around the room until all the carpet is tucked neatly behind the grippers and is as flat as possible. If there is a lump at the edges where the edge hasn't been able to tuck away properly, you may have left too much excess around the edge of the carpet.
  9. For the doorway, trim the carpet so that the edge will be underneath the closed door and so it is in line with the edge of the flooring of the next room. You will need to install a door bar to hide the edge and keep the carpet in place and safe. Position the door bar centrally under your door so it can be seen either side when the door is closed. Measure and cut it to the right length using a hacksaw.
    • Before securing the doorbar in place, check for any hidden pipes and cables under your floor. For concrete you will need to drill some holes with a power drill and masonry bit then fill the with wall plugs. For wooden floors, make pilot holes with a bradawl or drill and screw the bar to the floor.

TIPS:

  • If you are trying to lay a carpet around a difficult shape e.g. a doorframe, make multiple cuts down the overlap and then trim the carpet with the carpet knife
  • To fit a carpet around a pipe, make a straight cut from the edge of the carpet to the centre of the pipe then cut round the pipe until the carpet lies flat

Joining the seams of two carpet pieces

If your room is more than 5m wide you may need to join two or more pieces of carpet together. If this is the case, it is very important that the pile of each carpet piece is running in the same direction to avoid the join being too obvious.

TIP: If you can, try to choose an area for the join where the seams won’t be in a noticeable or high traffic position e.g. under the couch

  1. Lay your first piece of carpet in the same format as instructed in Laying your carpet but don’t bolster the carpet down where the join is going to be
    PLEASE NOTE:
    • If you have chosen a location for where you want your join to be and it is smaller than the size of your carpet, cut your first piece of carpet in that location (leaving at least 10cm extra on the width). Before you do this, ensure that your second piece of carpet is wide enough to meet this join and overlap it by 10cm.
    • IMPORTANT: Even though there are two pieces of carpet being laid only lay the carpet grippers around the perimeter of the room.
  2. Lay your second piece of carpet using the Laying your carpet instructions. It is important that this piece has an overlap going up each wall of at least 10cm and overlaps the first piece by at least 10cm
  3. Using a carpet knife, cut through both pieces of carpet where the join should be ensuring the edges match exactly so that there is no gap
  4. A piece of seaming tape (sticky side up) on the floor underneath where the join will be
  5. Use a carpet seaming Iron along the seaming tape (not the carpet) to activate the adhesive then lay the carpet down on top of the tape with the edges tightly together
  6. Seal the seam with a roller
  7. Finish by bolstering the rest of the carpet to conceal the corners

TIP: If you are buying two pieces of carpet to go in one room, we strongly advise you to order both pieces in the same width to avoid colour variation between them

Fitting on a staircase

Firstly, remove any old carpet and underlay from your stairs as well as the tacks, nails and staples which have previously been used, then give the stairs a good clean.

Installing the grippers:

  • Fit a gripper (with the angled edge of the gripper is facing away from you) at the back of the tread of each stair ensuring there is a gap of 1.5 times the thickness of the carpet between the back of the stair tread and the gripper
  • Fit another gripper on the bottom of the rise of each stair (with the angled edge of the gripper is facing down towards the treads gripper) ensuring there is a gap of 1.5 times the thickness of the carpet between the bottom of the rise and the gripper
  • Don’t put a gripper at the bottom of your stairs, only on the bottom of the rise to hold the last piece of carpet

Laying the underlay:

  • You will need to cut your underlay off in strips about 6mm narrower than your stairs. (You will be installing the underlay in little segments, one for each step)
  • Start by laying your underlay from the top stair
  • Fit and staple the underlay to the stair tread of the top stair, take it over the nose and staple it just underneath the nose, keeping the underlay taut at all times
  • On the rest of your stairs, fit and staple your underlay against the front of the carpet gripper at the back of each stair tread, take it over the nose and staple it just underneath the nose, keeping the underlay taut. Remove the excess underlay underneath the staples.
  • Continue until you have reached the bottom of your stairs

Fitting the carpet:

For a standard sized straight staircase with a plain carpet we advise our customers to buy a 4m x 2m carpet so you can divide it into two cuts of 4m x 1m carpet so you would fit the carpet in two pieces. However, please measure your staircase to ensure this carpet size would cater for your stairs. For help/advice, please contact our sales team on 03333 703 214.

Whatever sized carpet you buy, we would advise you to cut it into sections which will be about 10cm – 15cm wider than your stairs and long enough to reach the bottom of the stairs rise. If you are covering a curved staircase we would advise you to lay the carpet step by step due to width and angle changes. You can choose to cover a step at a time or cover them all in one go, but the latter will be more difficult (plus you will need to purchase a bigger piece of carpet and there will be more wastage).

For a standard staircase with a striped carpet we would advise you to order a longer carpet to cater for the pattern repeat.

TIP: If you are laying the carpet on your landing and using the same carpet for your stairs, leave enough extra carpet on the stairs side so you can cut it to go down the top step. This way you won’t see the join.

  1. Check that the width and depth of your stairs stays the same on each step before cutting the carpet to size
  2. Cut the width of your carpets to the width of the stairs. If the stair widths fluctuate you may need to cut the carpet to the widest width and trim to size once you have laid it.
  3. Usually, when you lay your landing carpet, you will leave an excess piece that will go over the nose of the top step and down to the tread, If not, you will need to staple your first piece of the carpet at the top of the stairs rise, making sure there is a neat join between the stair carpet and the landing carpet. If your landing and stair carpets are different, you may prefer to take the stair carpet over the top step and finish with a joining strip between both carpets.
    • Then, keeping the carpet taut, take the carpet over the nose of the stairs
    • Staple it underneath the nose to make sure it fits snuggly against the step
    • Take it down the rise until you reach the back of the tread
    • Secure the carpet in place over the carpet gripper and bolster it so it folds in towards the crease of the stairs in between both grippers then staple it in on the riser
    • Use a knee kicker facing the rise of the stair to stretch the carpet into the crease of the stair. Start from the middle and work from side to side
    • Continue with the remaining of the piece finishing at the base of a stairs rise so you hide the join
  4. You have used your landing carpet to go over the top step and down to the base of the rise:
    • Take your first piece of stair carpet pile facing downwards and tack it to the back of the tread (so the carpets meet) of the next step down
    • Keep the carpet taut so it goes over the gripper and around the nose
    • Staple the carpet underneath the nose to make sure it fits snuggly against the step
    • Take it down the rise until you reach the back of the tread
    • Secure the carpet in place over the carpet gripper and bolster it so it folds in towards the crease of the stairs in between both grippers then staple it in on the riser
    • Use a knee kicker on the tread of the stair you have just covered and facing the rise of the stair to stretch the carpet into the crease of the stair. Start from the middle and work from side to side
    • Continue taking the rest of the carpet piece down until it gets to the base of the last rise it can cover, remembering to staple it at the base of the rise, using the bolster and trimming off any excess
    • Then take your second piece and continue in the same process until you have completed your stairs
  5. TIP: When stapling your carpet try and get in between the fibres of the carpet to avoid catching one under the staple and creating a dimple in the carpet. If you do manage to catch one, gently pull it out using a flat-head screwdriver so you don’t pull the fibre out of the backing.

    PLEASE NOTE: When you are stapling, ensure that the staples are distributed evenly. The number of staples you need to use depends on the carpet you are installing. Thicker carpets such as a saxony may require thicker staples.

    REMEMBER: When laying your carpet on the stairs, keep it as taut as possible at all times.