Wall to wall carpeting enhances a home's warmth and coziness like few other types of flooring. And its relative ease of installation tempts many homeowners into the task of putting in new carpet themselves. If you have plans to install new wall to wall carpeting in your home, read on. This article will help prepare you for the job by arming you with two valuable tips.
Rent a carpet stretcher.
One of the appealing things about carpet installation is that you don't have to use a million different tools to get the job done. In fact, you probably already own the majority of tools required—things such as hammers, staple guns, utility knives, and heavy-duty scissors. Yet there is one piece of specialized equipment you will certainly need: a carpet stretcher.
Theoretically it is possible to install wall to wall carpeting without a stretcher. But in practice, there's simply no way around it. Without the use of a stretcher, the odds are overwhelming that your carpet will come out full of wrinkles and bumps. The good news here is that carpet stretchers are relatively inexpensive to rent at most home improvement stores.
Incorporate a slight gap between tack strip and wall.
Tack strips, installed around the perimeter of the room, anchor the carpet firmly in place. As their name would imply, they consist of thin strips of wood with tacks protruding at an angle from their surface. The tack strips are nailed to the floor so that the ends of the tacks angle toward the walls. This ensures that the carpet remains nice and taut once it has been pushed down on top of the tacks.
When it comes to tack strip installation, many people make the mistake of placing them directly against the baseboard of the wall. This, however, causes problems by leaving the edge of the carpet exposed. Fraying, unraveling, and a generally untidy appearance are often the result of this amateur mistake.
Ask any carpet installation professional and they will tell you that there should always be a slight gap between the wall and the tack strip. The size of this gap should be a little bit smaller than the thickness of the carpet. That way, once the carpet has been attached to the tacks, the end can be tucked down into the gap between the strip and the wall. This protects the vulnerable edge of the carpet, while also ensuring a neat and tidy appearance.