Preparation Before Carpet Installation

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Some things need to be done before carpet installation. Preparation for carpet installation involves:

  • Heating the installation area.
  • Moving any furniture or objects.
  • Taking up any old carpet.
  • Floor preparation. 

Proper preparation will produce a better-quality installation.

Preparation Carpet Installation

The area where the carpet is being installed needs to be as hot as possible. Turning up the furnace the night before will be enough. If no heating system is in place, space heaters should be used. 

The carpet to be installed should also be exposed to that heat. This allows the carpet to stretch better when installing, preventing buckles from forming later.

All furniture and objects should be removed before installation. A lot of households can be moved by two people. Others will require a dolly or several people. 

Pool tables and solid wood entertainment centers have been the most challenging in my experience. The plastic pads are put under the corners of a piece of furniture to help it slide, sometimes helpful.

Also, the old carpet and padding will need to be removed. Please check out “How to Remove Old Carpet” to get instructions on doing this easily and efficiently.

In some jobs, floor preparation must be done as well. This is minimal, and most jobs site will not require this step, but it is necessary for a good result in some jobs. 

Floor preparation usually involves sweeping and or shop vacuuming, leveling the floor, and in some cases tightening the subfloor with a few screws. Most major repairs fall under carpentry and are not done by the majority of installers.

The floor should also be swept, and if needed, a shop vacuum can be used to get large debris. When the floor is cracked or has small sharp drop-offs, a floor leveler is often the best solution.

DAP Web patch 90 or a similar floor leveling compound should be used. To level, the floor here is a few simple instructions to ensure a flawless leveling job.

Near the area to be repaired, pour a pile of powdered patches onto the floor. Using a flat trowel or float, indent the peak of the pile. The pile should resemble a science fair volcano project. 

Pour water from a container into the center of the pile while knocking down powder from the edge into the water. Keep mixing and adding water until you have a thin paste.

Hold the trowel or float in your hand with your wrist tilted forward. 

Spread some paste over the uneven area. Place the long edge of the trowel on the higher part of the floor, keeping the trowel at around a 45-degree angle. 

Lightly drag the trowel lightly across the damaged area to where the floor is good. Rotate your wrist, moving the trowel back around and across, slightly overlapping the last stroke. 

Continue applying less and less pressure until the floor is smooth. Repeat as needed, and then let dry.

In addition to leveling the floor, you may also have to repair any squeaks you might hear when you walk throughout the room. When this situation does occur, you can easily place a few screws to keep the squeaking at bay. 

To stop a squeaking floor, first, walk around the room and note any squeakiness. When you hear a squeak put a screw where you were stepping, this should stop the squeaking; if it does not, add a screw. 

The screws should follow the same pattern as the nails in the subfloor. After you feel you have finished, try to do one last round before installation.

Good preparation is essential before the start of installation. The carpet needs to be as warm as possible to ensure proper stretching; the cold carpet will buckle later when the temperature gets hotter. 

Most imperfections on the floor will show through the carpet after installation. Proper preparation will make the carpet look and feel better and extend the life and prevent the need for repairs.

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