The Carpet Installation Process: What to Expect and How to Prepare

carpet installation

Chances are you want to optimise your property or home. But can carpet installation improve your home? Yes, it can boost your home’s aesthetic appeal and comfort.

However, the key is proper installation and maintenance, which we’ll help you with.

The Carpet Installation Process

You’re here to understand the insulation process. How does it unfold, and to what end?

What Is the Purpose?

Simply put, laying the carpet properly boosts its performance and gives it the best finish, ensuring a successful installation.

What Are the Standard Steps?

This is how to install carpet.

  1. Put it loosely in place. Stand in a corner with one foot under the carpet and the other above it so you can easily move around and smooth over it.
  2. If needed, you should cut the carpet to size, leaving an extra 50 to 75 mm on either side. And mark the position of any seams on the subfloor with a chalk line.
  3. Cut a vertical line in the corners from the excess carpet, and trip the triangular edges.
  4. Start fitting your carpet, beginning from the longest wall and until the doorway. You should use a carpet tucker to create a firm crease in the carpet along the wall.
  5. Fetch a dolphin-handled knife with a sharp blade, and cut along your carpet’s edge (while holding it in place). Leave an extra 5mm of the carpet above the floor.
  6. Place the carpet stretcher about 25mm from the skirting with its teeth facing downwards. To hook the carpet onto the gripper on both sides of the corner, press the padded end with your knee.
  7. Use a carpet tucker to push the extra 5mm between the skirting and gripper. Repeat this step for one wall, the two adjacent walls to it, and the opposite wall in that order.
  8. Whether it’s a pole or a door frame, make various vertical cuts down the end and trim the carpet flush. If it’s a pipe, make a cut from the carpet edge to the pipe centre, and press the carpet around it. Cut around the base with a 45-degree angle to flatten the carpet.
  9. For doorways, cut the carpet to be in line with the next flooring’s edge. And fit it under a threshold bar with a screwdriver or bolster.

Do You Need to Install Underlay?

It depends on the material at the bottom of the carpet, known as the backing. If it’s textile or latex, you need underlay to smooth out uneven surfaces. If it’s felt or foam, you don’t.

Do You Need Grippers?

It depends. Do you want your carpet to have a good finish, a comfortable underfoot, less footstep noise, and high durability? Carpet grippers make your carpet look fancy!

Carpet Installation Tools

To start with, you need to gather the necessary supplies.

Why Is It Important to Have the Right Tools?

If you believe you can get your carpet installed the DIY way, carpet installation tools are your best bet. After all, carpet installers use them in their methods.

What Are the Essential Tools?

The useful tools during the carpet installation process include:

  • Tape measure
  • Masking tape
  • Knee pads
  • Gloves
  • Carpet tape
  • Carpet stretcher
  • Carpet tucker
  • Carpet seam roller
  • Drill
  • Bonding iron
  • Craft knife
  • Hack saw
  • Cable and pipe detector
  • Staple gun
  • 19mm nails
  • 10mm nails
  • 3mm hardwood sheets

How Does Each Tool Contribute to the Installation Process?

Each tool has its unique usage. To illustrate, each cutting tool works for specific carpet types. This way, you can lay the carpet without it looking slanted or curved.

Knee pads are helpful when you kneel down to fit your carpet. Carpet tape enables you to seam two carpet pieces together on their underside.

The power stretcher is vital to installing carpets. It can dig into and stretch the carpet for an excellent fit.

You can use a knee kicker, but power stretches give you better results. Staple guns are required for wood floors.

Are There Any Specialised Tools Required for Specific Aspects of Carpet Installation?

Yes, other than the ones we’ve discussed, there’s the carpet seam roller, which melds two carpet pieces after you seam them. It can also give your carpet a “puff” if it’s worn out. The bonding iron heats the carpet tape so that the carpet pieces fit perfectly.

Carpet Installation Cost

How much does it cost to install a carpet? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer here because of the numerous factors.

How Is the Cost Calculated?

Carpet fitters calculate their costs with a fixed rate per square foot, which puts a smaller room or carpet on the low end of installation costs (and vice versa). Extra fees are charged for carpet removal, moving furniture, and additional labour costs.

Contributing Factors

We’ve already mentioned a few, so let’s look at the factors affecting carpet installation pricing:

  • Room shape and size
  • Material and style
  • Labour
  • Padding
  • Extra labour
How Does the Size of the Area to Be Carpeted Affect the Installation Cost?

The carpet size relies on the room size, which determines its price.

How Do Different Carpet Materials and Styles Affect the Installation Cost?

Your carpet’s material and style impact its installation cost, as the carpet cost contributes to the cost of materials. It also plays into labour costs. After all, if a carpet fitter has to carry a heavy carpet upstairs, it’ll cost more.

When it comes to materials, synthetic materials are typically the cheapest. As for the carpet style, stain guard coating, edge choices, and stair details are examples of how your stylistic preferences can affect pricing.

Are There Any Additional Costs?

Yes, if you need extra services, it’ll come at an additional fee. These include carpet removal, stain-resistant treatment, moving furniture, subfloor repair or replacement, flooring repair or replacement, and custom cuts to accommodate unusual room shapes. We’ll look at two additional services in particular.


You should factor the underlay in if you expect your carpet fitter to supply and install it. The underlay cost varies from £4 to £10 per square metre.

Old Flooring Removal

Many clients replace their carpets because they’re replacing their flooring, so they should determine how much flooring needs to be replaced to estimate the price.

What Are the Average Costs of Carpet Installation in the UK?

On average, they’re £60 to £120, with the exact price depending on the factors above.

Can I Save Money by Installing the Carpet Myself?

Typically, it can save you money, but that isn’t always the case. Use the factors above to estimate the carpet installation cost. Then, compare it to the cost of the needed tools for a DIY job, and there’s your answer!

Carpet Size

Determining the carpet size is crucial if you want to install a carpet. Multiply the room’s length by its width to get the area.

How Do You Measure the Dimensions of the Room?

You’ll need a tape measure, paper, and pencil. Use the tape measure to find out the room’s length and width. Then, write them down.

Doorways, Closets, and Other Obstacles

When it comes to protruding objects, you’ll want to start by measuring the shortest length and width of the room. Multiply them to get the area. Then, measure the lengths and widths of individual recesses or areas.

If they should be carpeted, add their areas to the former. If not, subtract them from it.

For round recesses, measure the longest centrelines (length and width). Then, divide the length by two, and multiply the product by the width. Finally, multiply the number by Pi (3.14).

What Are the Different Methods for Calculating the Amount of Carpet Needed?

There aren’t many methods for calculating the amount of carpet you need. Simply calculate the area and go from there.

What Is the Recommended Amount of Extra Carpet?

We recommend adding 10% to 20% to the room area, which should account for any fabric loss during the cutting and fitting phases.

The Different Methods of Carpet Installation

The different methods for carpet installation include:

  • Loose laying
  • Fitting on grippers
  • Edge fixating with glue
  • Full fixation
  • Double stick
  • Wet adhesion
  • Easy release system
  • Stretch-in

Do Installation Methods Differ Across Carpet Types?

Not exactly, they differ according to the place you’ll install the carpet in (rather than its type). The only exception is patterned rugs, which require the stretch-in technique.

For Residential Settings

Stretch-in is the most used method in residential settings. You place wood strips with nails around the room’s perimeter and the padding in the middle. Then, you stretch the carpet over it.

For Commercial Settings

Double stick installation is common for commercial or public areas with heavy foot traffic (like hotel corridors). You glue padding to the floor and glue the carpet to it.

The Carpet Installation Process Duration

Typically, any installation over 750 square feet takes up most of the day. And if it’s over 900 square feet, it might take over a day.

Factors Affecting the Duration

The exact duration of the carpet installation process depends on the following:

  • Amount of carpet to install
  • Amount of furniture to move
  • Room size and shape
  • Installer experience
  • Temperature
  • Custom runners
  • Extra services

Are There Any Preparations for the Installation Process That May Impact the Timeline?

Yes, you must check that the site conditions are suitable for installation. Assess the sub-floor condition, temperature, humidity, floor condition, and underfloor heating. You may need to remove the old flooring and prep your subfloor. You should also let the carpet relax for at least 24 hours after rolling. Finally, you need to select and install the underlay.

How Does the Size of the Room Affect the Installation Time?

Naturally, the bigger the area you want to carpet, the more carpet you’ll need and the more time the process will take.

Does the Type of Carpet Affect the Installation Time?

Yes, some carpet types (like carpet tiles) are faster to lay than others (like wall-to-wall carpet).

Fitting the Carpet Yourself vs Hiring a Professional

To make an informed decision, you should consider the benefits of both DIY and professional carpet installation.

Fitting a Carpet Yourself

The benefits include saving on labour costs, learning a new skill, and gaining hands-on experience.

Hiring a Professional

The main advantage of professional local carpet installation is that installers have the knowledge, expertise, and tools to lay your carpet and give it a good finish.

Professional installation also comes with a warranty and protects the carpet warranty through appropriate handling. And experts have the know-how to reduce waste and can conduct other services, such as replacing subflooring, underlay, and so on.

New Carpet Maintenance

Carpet maintenance is empirical if you want to protect it, but what are the required measures?

How Do You Clean Your New Carpet?

You can’t go wrong with hot water extraction done by a cleaning company. Additionally, using the appropriate vacuum removes dirt particles before they stick to your carpet. Use a suction-only vacuum for wool carpets.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your New Carpet?

Get it professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months and vacuum it two to three times a week.

What Cleaning Products or Solutions Are Effective and Safe on Your Newly Installed Carpet?

You’ll find a solution of one-part distilled white vinegar and three parts water effective. Also, adding equal parts baking soda to water will keep your carpet fresh and bright!

How Should You Address Spills and Stains on Your Carpet?

Spot-clean them as soon as possible. If they’re liquid stains, blot them with a white cloth or paper towel. If they’re more solid, use the edge of a credit card or dull knife to remove the solids. Then, use a stain-removal solution to take care of any residue.

What Are the Best Practices for Removing Dirt, Debris, and Pet Hair?

We recommend using a vacuum with strong suction to remove dirt and debris frequently because they’re loose. As for pet hair, run a rubber-edged squeegee over the carpet.

Choosing the Right Carpet

It all starts with choosing the right carpet choice. There are many factors you need to take into account when choosing the right carpet for your property. Here’s what you should consider.

The Room

Where do you plan to fit the carpet? How much traffic does the room get? Is the carpet likely to get stained? You'll want a durable and stain-resistant carpet if it’s a high-traffic area or one where spills and stains are common, such as a living room or dining room. If not, you can go for a carpet with a fancier feel.

The Environment

Carpet provides you with a degree of thermal insulation, and so does underlay. Accordingly, you can consider your atmosphere when determining the carpet thickness and underlay quality.

Your Needs

You should pick a carpet material with the features you’re looking for. For example, do you need it to be durable, easy to maintain, stain-resistant, soft, luxurious, inexpensive, or else?

Carpet Types

Let’s look at the available options.


We can classify carpet materials into natural and synthetic ones. On the one hand, natural materials are cotton, linen, silk, wool, and more. On the other hand, synthetics include polyester, nylon, acrylic, olefin, and propylene.

Styles and Patterns

The main carpet styles are as follows:

  • Loop pile or Berber
  • Cut pile
  • Plush pile
  • Saxony
  • Textured cut pile
  • Frieze pile
  • Cut and loop pile

Old Carpet or Flooring Disposal

Before you install new carpet, you’ll need to get rid of the old carpet or flooring. Here are some questions to ask:

Are There Any Regulations or Guidelines in Your Area Regarding the Disposal of Old Carpets?

We suggest you do your research about waste disposal guidelines in your area. Most carpets fall under the textile waste category, but some are big enough for ‘bulky waste’.

What Are the Environmentally Friendly Options for Disposing of Old Carpets?

According to the European Clothing Action Plan (ECAP), some environmentally friendly options are reusing the textile via second-hand stores (after a good professional cleaning job), upcycling and redesigning, and recycling.

Are There Any Local Recycling Centres or Facilities That Accept Old Carpets?

Do a local search for recycling centres that take old carpet. Also, check if your council does recycling.

Will the Flooring Installers Dispose of Your Old Carpet or Flooring for You?

If you’re hiring professionals to do the job, ask if and how they’ll dispose of your old carpet for you.


Although carpet installation may seem overwhelming, it helps to break it down into steps. You have the selection, preparation, installation, and maintenance.

If you want the carpet to add comfort and warmth with an aesthetic touch, you should work with professional fitters. At Clever Carpets, we’ll supply and install your carpet for optimal results!

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