Instead of paying for professional carpet installation, many homeowners decide to do it themselves. Whether you love weekend do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, or you’re simply trying to cut costs, installing your own carpet is a great way to save on your new flooring. Of course, investing money into all of the necessary tools can also be a hassle if you’ll only be carpeting one room. Many flooring retailers allow you to rent tools, and you can also typically find cheap tools from home supply stores. Once you have a clear plan in mind, you can begin buying the equipment. Here are some of the most important tools you’ll need to complete a professional-looking carpeting job without hiring someone to install it for you.
1. Measuring Tape
If you don’t already have a tape measure on hand, you’ll need to get one before you even pick out your new carpeting. You’ll use measuring tape to determine how much carpet to buy, and it is one of the single-most important tools of the carpet installation process. Be sure to get a little extra carpet to account for mistakes or irregularities in the flooring.
2. Tackless Strip
Tackless strips are thin pieces of wood that you’ll nail around the edges of the room. They are covered in small tacks or nails that hold the carpet in place. In addition to gripping the carpet, they also keep the edges of the carpet in place along the walls.
3. Power Stretcher
A power stretcher helps you stretch the carpet across the room smoothly. Laying the carpet out across the room might not seem like a difficult task, but you’ll end up with bumps and wrinkles if you neglect to use a power stretcher.
4. Seaming Tape
If you’re doing a complex carpet installation that involves carpeting between two or more rooms, you’ll need seaming tape to keep the flooring looking smooth. Lay the seaming tape underneath the two pieces of carpet where they meet, and seal it together. Make sure the carpeting is going in the same direction before applying the adhesive.
5. Knee Kicker
A knee kicker is a small tool that you’ll use to spread the carpet out evenly against the baseboards or in corners. It works similarly to a power stretcher, but on a smaller scale. You’ll use the power stretcher first to lay the carpet out across the room, and then you’ll use the knee kicker for detail work. If you want your carpet installation job to look professional, it’s important to use both of these tools.
6. Stair Tool
Even if you won’t be carpeting any stairs, it’s still a great idea to use a stair tool. After you’ve stretched the carpet across the room and used the knee kicker to create smooth edges against the walls, you can use a stair tool to tuck the edges of the carpeting into the space left between the baseboard and the tackless strips.
7. Staple Hammer
Before you install the actual carpeting, you’ll use a staple hammer to install a carpet pad. The carpet pad provides an extra layer of padding and insulation between the floor and the carpet, and is especially important if your floor is made of hard materials, such as concrete.
8. Carpet Knife and Wall Trimmer
You’ll also need both a carpet knife and a wall trimmer to trim the carpet’s edges neatly. A carpet knife is primarily used to trim carpet that needs to fit around nontraditional shapes or obstacles, such as an entryway or hallway. A wall trimmer is used for excess carpeting that lines up against the wall. When you place the trimmer against the wall, it cuts the carpeting in a straight line that matches the wall’s edge. Both of these tools are important for a successful carpet installation, as they’ll help you to ensure that there are no uneven edges or jagged lines in your flooring.
Gina Hopkins writes about interior design projects including researching carpet installation out of St. Louis, MO. Always looking for the best bargain on renovation materials, she tends to end up shopping at http://www.flooringamerica.com more often than not.
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