Method for Carpet Laying

Method of fixing

Most wall-to-wall carpets can be fastened with tacks or by any of the makes of carpet grippers. Carpets can also be loosely laid, with only a few fixing tacks at doorways.

There are two lengths of carpet tack: 19mm and 25mm. The first is used on the carpet hem-when it is folded at the edge-and the second for corners where the folds of the hem make three thicknesses.

Hemming is not necessary on tufted carpets.

Carpet grippers can be used by the home handyman and should be selected according to the backing of the carpet. These consist of wooden or metal battens with numerous spikes projecting at a 60° angle. The all-metal versions have teeth projecting from the main body.

Nail the fittings to the floor, round the room, end to end, 6mm from the wall, with the spikes facing the skirting. The spikes grip the backing threads of the carpet and hold it in place. These systems can be used on stone or concrete floors. The fittings are glued or nailed into place with a strong contact adhesive.

Cutting carpet

If you intend to cut the carpet yourself, spread it out on the floor and chalk the exact pattern of the room on to the pile surface, but not on the back. Use a pair of scissors or a sharp handyman’s knife to cut out the shape.

To join, place the two widths together so that the pile surfaces meet face to face, matching any pattern very carefully. Make sure that the piles of both pieces are running in the same direction: this is particularly important with plain carpet.

Seam the two widths together with carpet seaming tape and adhesive, pulling the carpet tight to take up fullness, tucking any protruding fibres back into the pile. Or you can sew it by hand.

Laying the carpet

When laying the carpet, empty the room of all furniture and, if possible, take off any doors that swing into the room. Open the carpet to room length and position it before putting down the underlay. The pile should sweep away from the window – this avoids shading in daylight. Fold one half of the carpet back on itself about halfway, then put down the underlay on the floor thus exposed.

Repeat the procedure the other end, having laid the carpet loosely over the underlay. This will prevent wrinkles in the carpet which are caused through the movement of the underlay.

If using rubber underlay, join the seams with adhesive tape. With felt underlay, stitch the seams before laying.

If you are planning to tack the carpet down, start at the corner of the room where there are two plain walls, that is, with as few abutments as possible. Butt the carpet up against the wall, leaving about 40mm up the skirting for the hem. Fix the carpet temporarily with tacks about 150mm out from the skirting along these two walls.

Use your knee-kicker to stretch the carpet along the length-then the width. This is very important, for if a carpet is stretched in the wrong way it can, of course, be ruined as it will wrinkle and pull out of shape.

Start from the centre of the wall, stretching alternately towards both corners. Fasten the stretched area with tacks as a temporary fixing.

Where there are projections such as pipes and fire-places, first trim back the underlay about 50mm from the wall to leave a channel for the hem. Fold the hem, tacking through the fold every 130mm, to hold the edge firmly.

When using tackless systems, position the carpet in the room and put down the underlay as described. Trim the underlay so that it meets the edge of the batten that is furthest from the wall. Fix the carpet along two walls, as described, and use the knee-kicker to stretch it over the spikes of the tackless fittings. Remove the temporary tacks and re-stretch the carpet, allowing 10mm overlap. Turn down the overlap and press it firmly into the channel between the wall and the fittings.

A carpet can be protected at the doorways by using a metal bar which is nailed to the floor, the carpet being slipped under the clip and stretched into place. If the carpet is merely tacked, bind the edge in the doorway with binder tape to prevent fraying if the selvedge has been trimmed off. Non-woven or latex-backed carpet will not fray, of course, but the tape will help to give the carpet strength at an area where it is exposed to hard wear.

Before refitting the doors, measure the thickness of the carpet pile and underlay to make sure that the door will swing short over the carpet; the end can be planed off if it is too low to move with ease over the pile.

10. November 2011 by admin
Categories: Featured, Handyman Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Method for Carpet Laying

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