How to Install Carpet Pad

How to Install Carpet Pad

How to Install Carpet Pad

Knowing how to install carpet pad doesn’t mean you’ll be doing the job; you may choose to supervise it. But with the know-how under your belt, you can hire qualified workers so you get a top-notch job done on your new carpet and padding.

Laying carpet correctly is a big job. Part of the success of the job comes from selecting quality caret and carpet padding, as well as doing the preparation well. One step many people underestimate the importance of is how to install carpet pad.

For new carpet to last you have to buy quality carpet that’s durable and will hold up to the daily wear and tear, buy quality padding, and install both correctly. If you skimp on any one of those steps, you may be disappointed in having your carpet look bad quickly, and not wear for many years. For this article, let’s talk most about how to install carpet pad.

First, prepare your floors. Clean the subsurface of dust, dirt, debris, trash and spots so the pad doesn’t get dirty, which will effect the carpet too. Carpet can be installed over almost any surface — cement, wood, linoleum, vinyl or even stone (though I don’t know why you’d want to do that!) with proper preparation.

Once the floor is clean it’s time to install tack strips (also called tackless strips in some areas) need to be installed next. The tack strip goes around the perimeter of the room, except in front of doorways, being nailed at about 8-12 inch intervals. The pins should point toward the walls about 1/4-1/2 inch between the wall and the strips. Nail the tack strips to your floor so you have something to attach the carpeting to. If you have masonry floors, then the tackless strips may have to be glued down to install the carpeting; at the very least masonry nails will be needed.

Now it’s time to install the carpet pad. The carpet padding is an important part of the carpeting installation process, because it can make the carpeting more comfortable and more durable. The waffle side of the carpeting needs to face up for maximum cushioning and it is cut to fit inside the tackless strips. Padding can be either stapled or glued. If you go the stapling route, staple it every six inches. If you are gluing it, as you would especially want to do on cement, select a low VOC (volatile organic compound) glue so you don’t pollute your indoor air.

Cut the carpet pad to roughly the right size and then trim the pad to be just short of the tack strip. You want to have the padding away from the tack strip a little so that when you stretch the carpet the padding doesn’t ride up onto the tack strip, interfering with proper carpet installation. Carpet padding pieces should be butted together, as you lay them down, rather than laid on top of each other for maximum durability and comfort. Tape any seams to keep the padding from creeping or shifting under the carpet.

To finish the job, and the article, it’s time to lay the carpeting. This process takes skill and effort to ensure that the carpeting is tight and properly installed. Cut your carpet to fit the room area with some excess to hold on to so you can stretch the carpet fully. Use your seam tape and iron to connect the seams. A knee kicker grabs the carpeting and firmly places it on the tack strips. Now it is time to use the power stretcher to tightly stretch the carpeting to the wall. In doorways, you will use a gripper edge to keep the carpet in place when the doors rub against it. Once the carpet is in place, you can move in the furniture and enjoy your room.

Learning how to install carpet padding is important even if you are having it installed by a professional. You now know something about the proper process so you can determine if your carpet installer is doing it correctly. Knowledge is power, and you can ensure a great carpet installation now.

Comments

I found the article helpful. I was wondering, if once the carpet is in place,should there always be a crunch sound around the whole border of the room? I had carpet installed four months ago and it seems to keep pulling up around a certain corner even if they keep stretching it. The edges crackle when you step on them.I was told this could mean the tack strips are not right.

Shelley Healy at August 2, 2007 5:22 PM

Crackling Carpet; that may be the newest in flooring options! And juts think, you were the first to report it.

No, carpet edges shouldn’t crackle when you walk on them, and the carpet shouldn’t keep pulling up either. I’d agree with the proposal the carpet strips are a part of the problem. Or, the padding could be covering the tacks so the carpet isn’t being held.

The crackling puzzles me. Again, it could be the padding on the tack strips and crackling as you step on them, though I’d think it would be hard to walk where there are tack strips.

There could be a problem with the seaming too. The tape that holds the edges together could be brittle and crackle, though I’ve personally not heard of that before. The seaming could have been done at too high a heat, melting the fibers rather than fusing them (a difference of degree).

If your flooring installer can’t seem to give you answers you are content with, is it worth bringing someone else in to give you an opinion?

Good luck. And report back what you find.

The Flooring Lady at August 2, 2007 5:36 PM

I had a new carpet installed over concrete flooring. Was he supposed to GLUE before putting down the padding??

gail at August 31, 2007 7:58 AM

The padding needs to be attached to the concrete in some fashion so it doesn’t move around underneath the carpet. An adhesive around the edges is one way, though it may not do enough to keep the padding from moving. Or adhesive underneath the entire length of padding strips will keep the padding from moving.

What did he do?

The Flooring Lady at August 31, 2007 8:13 AM

Am I supposed to install tack strip at the edges of doorways? I know not to put it across the doorway, but what about at either end of the door opening; the 4 or 5 inches that make up the thickness of the walls.

John at October 22, 2007 8:32 AM

I’ve seen tack strips used in the doorway, along the framing, and I’ve seen it not used there too. You want to hold the carpet down so it’s not shifting with time and use. Doorways are busy areas so need support for the carpet.

I stappled the 1/2 padding around the wall area of the room. The floor is old tounge and grovve.

Do i need to staple in the field area?

What would be the spacing and how long of a stapple should be used?

don nap at August 31, 2008 4:35 AM

We just installed tile in our previously-carpeted bathroom. Now I’m looking for a litle help in how to secure the carpet edge from the hallway (which we cut when we removed the bathroom carpet) to the new tile edge. This is in a doorway. Do you have any advice? Thanks.

All you need is a threshold strip — there are different kinds for different needs. It depends on if the two areas are level with each other. If you go to your local Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. they’ll be able to fix you right up. They come in a variety of widths and materials (wood, metal, etc.), so try to get an idea of how wide you want it to be and what color or material. Be sure to tell whoever helps you that it’s for adjoining areas that are ceramic & carpet. Make sure to measure the difference in the height of the floors (without the carpet) if applicable.

The Flooring Lady at September 2, 2008 11:07 PM

I’m getting ready to replace carpet in a room that has had little traffic. Is new padding required? Can the tack strips be reused?

Hi Wendy,

Maybe and maybe. depends on what condition the carpet pad is in. If it’s still holding together well and springs back after stepping on it, it might be ok. Really hard for me to tell you for sure since I can’t see & feel it. As a general rule though, it’s usually a good idea to replace the carpet pad, unless the old carpeting is relatively new. (like a couple years old)

) Kudos to you for using your noggin.

The Flooring Lady at September 20, 2008 2:17 PM

Hi, my name is Alecia, I was curious on what you would put in between doorways because I have tiles in my kitchen and I am about to get carpet in my living room. What would I do to divide the two different floorings? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you.

Alecia at October 5, 2008 7:03 PM

Hi Alicia,

You’d need something along the lines of a piece of t-molding or a reducer. It depends on if the floors of the two rooms are the same height or not. If you go to your local home improvement store and already know which one you’d need, they’ll be able to help you.

The Flooring Lady at October 6, 2008 8:27 AM

I just bought a carpet padding, high grade, with an odor eater film attached to one side. The pad is 1/2 inch, the film is blue. Which side goes down?

Kim at October 25, 2008 2:54 PM

Hi Kim,

From their website: «The system combines two bonded cushions with a spill-proof laminate film that prevents liquids from saturating the cushion where they can harbor odors and damage the subfloor. The laminate is treated to release natural enzymes that eliminate odors. The second part of the system is Odor-Eaters Odor and Stain Remover for Carpet, sold in a 32-oz. spray bottle. It treats spills at the top of the surface that don’t penetrate the carpet backing. An easy way to quickly clean spills and keep your carpet looking beautiful.»

I have concrete floors and driving a masonry nail in is next to impossible for me. What can I use to hold the threshold strip to the floor that will hold the carpet at a doorway?

Amy at November 14, 2008 7:56 PM

Hi Amy,

You could try using some sort of flooring adhesive. Do you have anybody who can nail the threshold strip for you?

The Flooring Lady at November 15, 2008 8:12 PM

we had rubber carpet padding for my living room and stairs just put in. the installer put the waffle side facing the wood floor and the straight side which had a moisture block protection facing up is that the right way?

also when he did the stairs he did not round the steps with the padding so when i climb the stairs and walk on the edges it feals a little hard was this done correctly?

ark at February 26, 2009 5:11 PM

Hi Ark,

The waffle side is supposed to face up — as stated in the article.

As far as the stairs, sometimes padding is not put on outer edges, sometimes it is. It is usually a personal preference.

The Flooring Lady at February 27, 2009 11:06 AM

How to Install Carpet Pad

Knowing how to install carpet pad doesn’t mean you’ll be doing the job; you may choose to supervise it. But with the know-how under your belt, you can hire qualified workers so you get a top-notch job done on your new carpet and padding.

Laying carpet correctly is a big job. Part of the success of the job comes from selecting quality caret and carpet padding, as well as doing the preparation well. One step many people underestimate the importance of is how to install carpet pad.

For new carpet to last you have to buy quality carpet that’s durable and will hold up to the daily wear and tear, buy quality padding, and install both correctly. If you skimp on any one of those steps, you may be disappointed in having your carpet look bad quickly, and not wear for many years. For this article, let’s talk most about how to install carpet pad.

First, prepare your floors. Clean the subsurface of dust, dirt, debris, trash and spots so the pad doesn’t get dirty, which will effect the carpet too. Carpet can be installed over almost any surface — cement, wood, linoleum, vinyl or even stone (though I don’t know why you’d want to do that!) with proper preparation.

Once the floor is clean it’s time to install tack strips (also called tackless strips in some areas) need to be installed next. The tack strip goes around the perimeter of the room, except in front of doorways, being nailed at about 8-12 inch intervals. The pins should point toward the walls about 1/4-1/2 inch between the wall and the strips. Nail the tack strips to your floor so you have something to attach the carpeting to. If you have masonry floors, then the tackless strips may have to be glued down to install the carpeting; at the very least masonry nails will be needed.

Now it’s time to install the carpet pad. The carpet padding is an important part of the carpeting installation process, because it can make the carpeting more comfortable and more durable. The waffle side of the carpeting needs to face up for maximum cushioning and it is cut to fit inside the tackless strips. Padding can be either stapled or glued. If you go the stapling route, staple it every six inches. If you are gluing it, as you would especially want to do on cement, select a low VOC (volatile organic compound) glue so you don’t pollute your indoor air.

Cut the carpet pad to roughly the right size and then trim the pad to be just short of the tack strip. You want to have the padding away from the tack strip a little so that when you stretch the carpet the padding doesn’t ride up onto the tack strip, interfering with proper carpet installation. Carpet padding pieces should be butted together, as you lay them down, rather than laid on top of each other for maximum durability and comfort. Tape any seams to keep the padding from creeping or shifting under the carpet.

To finish the job, and the article, it’s time to lay the carpeting. This process takes skill and effort to ensure that the carpeting is tight and properly installed. Cut your carpet to fit the room area with some excess to hold on to so you can stretch the carpet fully. Use your seam tape and iron to connect the seams. A knee kicker grabs the carpeting and firmly places it on the tack strips. Now it is time to use the power stretcher to tightly stretch the carpeting to the wall. In doorways, you will use a gripper edge to keep the carpet in place when the doors rub against it. Once the carpet is in place, you can move in the furniture and enjoy your room.

Learning how to install carpet padding is important even if you are having it installed by a professional. You now know something about the proper process so you can determine if your carpet installer is doing it correctly. Knowledge is power, and you can ensure a great carpet installation now.

Comments

I found the article helpful. I was wondering, if once the carpet is in place,should there always be a crunch sound around the whole border of the room? I had carpet installed four months ago and it seems to keep pulling up around a certain corner even if they keep stretching it. The edges crackle when you step on them.I was told this could mean the tack strips are not right.

Shelley Healy at August 2, 2007 5:22 PM

Crackling Carpet; that may be the newest in flooring options! And juts think, you were the first to report it.

No, carpet edges shouldn’t crackle when you walk on them, and the carpet shouldn’t keep pulling up either. I’d agree with the proposal the carpet strips are a part of the problem. Or, the padding could be covering the tacks so the carpet isn’t being held.

The crackling puzzles me. Again, it could be the padding on the tack strips and crackling as you step on them, though I’d think it would be hard to walk where there are tack strips.

There could be a problem with the seaming too. The tape that holds the edges together could be brittle and crackle, though I’ve personally not heard of that before. The seaming could have been done at too high a heat, melting the fibers rather than fusing them (a difference of degree).

If your flooring installer can’t seem to give you answers you are content with, is it worth bringing someone else in to give you an opinion?

Good luck. And report back what you find.

The Flooring Lady at August 2, 2007 5:36 PM

How to Install Carpet Pad

I had a new carpet installed over concrete flooring. Was he supposed to GLUE before putting down the padding??

gail at August 31, 2007 7:58 AM

The padding needs to be attached to the concrete in some fashion so it doesn’t move around underneath the carpet. An adhesive around the edges is one way, though it may not do enough to keep the padding from moving. Or adhesive underneath the entire length of padding strips will keep the padding from moving.

What did he do?

The Flooring Lady at August 31, 2007 8:13 AM

Am I supposed to install tack strip at the edges of doorways? I know not to put it across the doorway, but what about at either end of the door opening; the 4 or 5 inches that make up the thickness of the walls.

John at October 22, 2007 8:32 AM

I’ve seen tack strips used in the doorway, along the framing, and I’ve seen it not used there too. You want to hold the carpet down so it’s not shifting with time and use. Doorways are busy areas so need support for the carpet.

I stappled the 1/2 padding around the wall area of the room. The floor is old tounge and grovve.

Do i need to staple in the field area?

What would be the spacing and how long of a stapple should be used?

don nap at August 31, 2008 4:35 AM

We just installed tile in our previously-carpeted bathroom. Now I’m looking for a litle help in how to secure the carpet edge from the hallway (which we cut when we removed the bathroom carpet) to the new tile edge. This is in a doorway. Do you have any advice? Thanks.

All you need is a threshold strip — there are different kinds for different needs. It depends on if the two areas are level with each other. If you go to your local Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. they’ll be able to fix you right up. They come in a variety of widths and materials (wood, metal, etc.), so try to get an idea of how wide you want it to be and what color or material. Be sure to tell whoever helps you that it’s for adjoining areas that are ceramic & carpet. Make sure to measure the difference in the height of the floors (without the carpet) if applicable.

The Flooring Lady at September 2, 2008 11:07 PM

I’m getting ready to replace carpet in a room that has had little traffic. Is new padding required? Can the tack strips be reused?

Hi Wendy,

Maybe and maybe. depends on what condition the carpet pad is in. If it’s still holding together well and springs back after stepping on it, it might be ok. Really hard for me to tell you for sure since I can’t see & feel it. As a general rule though, it’s usually a good idea to replace the carpet pad, unless the old carpeting is relatively new. (like a couple years old)

) Kudos to you for using your noggin.

The Flooring Lady at September 20, 2008 2:17 PM

Hi, my name is Alecia, I was curious on what you would put in between doorways because I have tiles in my kitchen and I am about to get carpet in my living room. What would I do to divide the two different floorings? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you.

Alecia at October 5, 2008 7:03 PM

Hi Alicia,

You’d need something along the lines of a piece of t-molding or a reducer. It depends on if the floors of the two rooms are the same height or not. If you go to your local home improvement store and already know which one you’d need, they’ll be able to help you.

The Flooring Lady at October 6, 2008 8:27 AM

I just bought a carpet padding, high grade, with an odor eater film attached to one side. The pad is 1/2 inch, the film is blue. Which side goes down?

Kim at October 25, 2008 2:54 PM

Hi Kim,

From their website: «The system combines two bonded cushions with a spill-proof laminate film that prevents liquids from saturating the cushion where they can harbor odors and damage the subfloor. The laminate is treated to release natural enzymes that eliminate odors. The second part of the system is Odor-Eaters Odor and Stain Remover for Carpet, sold in a 32-oz. spray bottle. It treats spills at the top of the surface that don’t penetrate the carpet backing. An easy way to quickly clean spills and keep your carpet looking beautiful.»

I have concrete floors and driving a masonry nail in is next to impossible for me. What can I use to hold the threshold strip to the floor that will hold the carpet at a doorway?

Amy at November 14, 2008 7:56 PM

Hi Amy,

You could try using some sort of flooring adhesive. Do you have anybody who can nail the threshold strip for you?

The Flooring Lady at November 15, 2008 8:12 PM

we had rubber carpet padding for my living room and stairs just put in. the installer put the waffle side facing the wood floor and the straight side which had a moisture block protection facing up is that the right way?

also when he did the stairs he did not round the steps with the padding so when i climb the stairs and walk on the edges it feals a little hard was this done correctly?

ark at February 26, 2009 5:11 PM

Hi Ark,

The waffle side is supposed to face up — as stated in the article.

As far as the stairs, sometimes padding is not put on outer edges, sometimes it is. It is usually a personal preference.

The Flooring Lady at February 27, 2009 11:06 AM


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