It’s not hard to carpet a small to medium-sized room. Try to buy the best carpet and underlay you can afford, especially in hardwearing areas such as halls and stairs. For large areas that need carpet lengths joined edge to edge, a carpet fitter makes a neater job.
YOU WILL NEED:
• Strong utility knife and spare blades
• Tape measure
• Double-sided carpet tape
• Gripper strip
• Threshhold bar
• 100mm (4in) wide bolster chisel
Step 1: Fitting gripper strips
To hold the edges of the carpet taut, fit gripper strips around the edge of the wall. Nail the strips about 6mm (1/5in) away from the face of the skirting so that the carpet edge can be tucked into the gap underneath the skirting board.
Step 2: Fitting the underlay
If you’re fitting a separate underlay, lay the sheets across the room and join the edges with double-sided carpet tape. Trim around the edges so that the underlay butts up to the gripper strips.
Tip: It’s worth fitting a good quality thick underlay whatever type of carpet you choose as it will extend the life of carpet.
Step 3: Unrolling
Start by unrolling the carpet and aligning one straight edge with a straight section of wall. Fix the carpet to the grippers on this side.
Smooth out any creases and use a knee-kicker to stretch the carpet between this wall and the opposite wall and push it onto the gripper strip spikes opposite.
Tip: If your carpet is patterned, keep checking that it’s symmetrical and adjust if needed.
Step 4: Fixing
Use your hands or a rolling pin to push out any small creases, working from the middle of the room outwards. Fix the remaining sides to the gripper strips. Use a bolster chisel to push the carpet into the gap between the skirting and the gripper strips.
Step 5: Trimming
Trim off the waste carpet with a utility knife held at around 45 degrees to the skirting board. Use smooth even strokes to cut the 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.
Tip: Replace the utility blades regularly so that you can make clean cuts and don’t have to force the blade.