How to lay a carpet with minimum time -- and pain
I have bought a rental property that I intend to let to students during term time. I have been advised I should carpet the wooden floors so as to reduce the amount of maintenance and wear. I have a sourced number of rolls of carpet and underlay -- how do I go about putting it down?
While laying a carpet isn't the most complicated DIY task, it can be a particularly time-consuming and 'achy' task for most of us.
You'll have to resign yourself to the fact that you will be spending many hours bending, kneeling and crouching. The actual complexity of the project will depend a lot on the floor layout of the property in question -- the number of dividing walls, corners and obstructions within it will all come into play when you are actually laying the carpet and trying to get it to sit right -- as well as your planning/preparation for the task at hand. It is always essential that you get the latter done correctly as without it you will waste a lot of time and build up a head of steam.
It is essential the floorboards are clean and that any debris is removed.
Among the tools needed are: a carpet knife and blades, tape measure, double-sided carpet tape, carpet gripper strip, pincers, saw, hammer, threshold bar, screwdriver, bolster chisel, tacks and screws.
You need to fit the gripper strips around the edges of the wall(s) of the project area(s). Lay the gripper strips about 6mm from the edge of the skirting board running parallel to the wall(s). Once you have all the gripper strips in place you are ready for the underlay.
Lay the underlay out in sheets across the project area and join them up into one big sheet with the carpet tape. Ideally you want the underlay to fit flush to the edge of the gripper strips, so you will need to cut back any overlapping pieces here. Finally simply fix the underlay in place using the tape or tacks.
Next, simply unroll the carpet along the straight edge of a wall. Where the carpet roll is longer than the wall in question, simply cut it with the carpet knife allowing a definite overlap which you can trim back later to the right size. Where it is shorter than the wall in question then continue along it with an additional roll.
Now fix the carpet to the grippers running alongside the wall and stretch out the carpet, removing any creases as you go. Pay particular attention that patterned carpet stays symmetrical.
Then, working from the middle of the room outwards, push out any remaining creases using your hands or a rolling pin. The carpet should be fixed to the gripper strips all the way around and you can use the bolster chisel to push it that extra few mm into the remaining gap between the skirting board and the gripper strips.
Now trim off the waste carpet so that the edge just tucks under the skirting board. Push the carpet firmly against any other obstacles such as the door frame and trim with the knife. Make a neat corner by cutting away a triangular section of the waste carpet so the edges will lay flat ready for the final trimming.
For more information: www.onlinetradesmen.ie