How To Install Wall To Wall Carpeting In Your Backyard Shed Office or Studio Office

stretching carpet with carpet stretcher

Installing wall to wall carpet is a great way to beautify a room. This article teaches you how to install wall to wall carpeting. All of the tools used to install carpet can be rented from most tool rental stores.

brief how to

In this article, you will find information about:

  1. Make Sure Tack Strip Is In Place And Firmly Attached
  2. Sweep The Floor
  3. Install The Carpet Pad
  4. Lay The Carpet On The Floor
  5. Trimming The Edges That Will Be Seamed
  6. Apply Seam Sealer To The Seam
  7. Pull The Carpet Edges Next To Each Other
  8. Put Seam Tape Underneath
  9. Use A Carpet Seaming Iron To Seam The Carpet
  10. Install The Carpet Onto One Tack Strip Along One Wall
  11. Cut The Carpet Along The Wall With The Wall Cutter
  12. Use Stair Chisel to Tuck The Carpet Edge Under The Baseboard
  13. Stretch The Carpet Using A Carpet Stretcher
  14. Finish Doorways and Closets.

tools and materials

  • Carpet
  • Carpet pad
  • Seaming tape
  • Seaming glue; A glue that seals the ends of cut carpet so the fibers do not unravel
  • Staples or glue for the pad install
  • Cushion Back Cutter; A special cutter that guides itself between carpet fiber rows
  • Utility or Carpet Knife
  • Stair Chisel; A wide blade dull chisel that is used to press the carpet into tight corners
  • Wall Cutter: A special carpet cutter that guides the blade along a wall to perfectly cut the carpet the proper distance from the wall.
  • Knee Kicker; Used to move the carpet around in small increments while you are kneeling on it
  • Stretcher; Used to stretch the carpet onto the tack strip.
  • Carpet Tractor

step 1 Make Sure Tack Strip Is In Place And Firmly Attached

After you remove the existing carpet you will need to check all the tack strips along all the edges.

  • If there are any areas that have a lot of tacks missing or the strips are loose then they should be replaced.
  • Install new tack strips with the back edge 3/8" from the face of the baseboard. If there is no baseboard then install the tack strips 3/8" from the wall.
  • The tack strips should run continuously along the whole perimeter of the room that the carpet will be installed in.
  • Most importantly, The little nails on the carpet tack strip must be pointing toward the wall or they will not hold the carpet.

carpet tack strip installed

There are two types of tack strips. One comes with nails made for concrete and the other for wood. Make sure to get the right one for your job.

carpet tack strip

step 2 Sweep The Floor

Make sure there is nothing on the floor before the carpet pad and carpet is installed. There is nothing more frustrating than feeling a bump under newly laid carpet.

step 3 Install The Carpet Pad

Carpet Pad Gap: Carpet pad should be installed so there is a 1/4" gap between the tack strip and the edge of the carpet pad.

carpet pad gap

Fastening Carpet Pad: The carpet pad is fastened to the floor differently for wood or concrete subfloors:

  • Concrete Sub Floors: For concrete floors use carpet pad adhesive. Dribble the adhesive in rows about 12" apart.
  • Wood Sub Floors: For wood sub floors use staples. Install a staple along the edges of the carpet pad about 3 to 4 inches apart.

Tape The Seams: The final step in installing the carpet pad is to tape the seams with quality duct tape. Apply duct tape on all the seams between the rows of carpet pad.

step 4 Lay The Carpet On The Floor

You are now ready to install the carpet. Start by laying the carpet out on the floor in the location that it will be installed. The edges will usually roll up the walls about 1 to 4 inches, this extra carpet will be trimmed off during the install. If there are multiple runs of carpet they all need to be laid down with the edges touching so they can be trimmed and seamed together to make one large body of carpet that covers the whole room.

carpet laid on floor rolled up wall

Nap Direction: Make sure the nap in the carpet is running the same direction for all the pieces of carpet to be installed. Look at the carpet, ruff it up and smooth it out with your fingers to determine the nap direction.

step 5 Trimming The Edges That Will Be Seamed

The factory edge of carpet is not good enough to seam the carpet. The carpet must be cut about an inch back from the edge so that you get a straight edge that has clean fully sewn in carpet fibers.

Cushion Back Cutter: Use a Cushion Back Cutter to cut the carpet between the rows of fibers.

Cut Perpendicular Edges: Make sure that the cutter is straight up and down when cutting so that the cut edge is straight up and down. This helps to keep the seam less visible once it is all together.

Cut Down The Fiber Rows: Look closely at where the fibers attach to the carpet backing you will see that the fibers are sewn in rows, just like a farmer plants vegetables. Put the cutter between the two rows of fibers that you want to cut and follow the rows all the way across the piece of carpet.

Cutting Patterned Carpets: Patterned carpets will need to be cut so the patterns of the two pieces match up. Take time to count the carpet loops and get the pattern matched perfectly. Once you find the row to cut on put the cushion back cutter into the row and follow it along the entire edge.

step 6 Apply Seam Sealer To The Seam

Seam sealer helps to keep cut edges of carpet from unraveling. Apply a small bead of seam sealer along both of the freshly cut edges of carpet and allow it to dry. Be careful to not get it onto the carpet.

step 7 Pull The Carpet Edges Next To Each Other

Move the newly cut carpet edges next to each other so that they are perfectly aligned. They should be just kissing each other so there is no gap or bunching between them. Use the knee kicker to move them around if you are dealing with large pieces.

step 8 Put Seam Tape Underneath

Once the edges are aligned to each other you are ready to seam the two pieces of carpet together. Start by rolling the edges away from each other and putting the seaming tape under the joint. Center the tape on the joint. Make sure the tape runs along the whole seam.

step 9 Use A Carpet Seaming Iron To Seam The Carpet

A seaming iron works by heating the glue on the top of the seaming tape and then after the iron is moved out of the way the carpet is pressed into the glue which, when it hardens, holds the seam together.

carpet seaming iron tape

  • Start at the most convenient end and roll the two edges away from each other.
  • Set the hot iron onto the top of the seaming tape
  • Let iron heat up the glue for several seconds, make sure the glue is melted, the time varies depending on the room temperature, iron heat setting etc.
  • Once the glue is melted then move the iron along the tape one iron length and let it start heating the next section of glue.
  • While the iron is heating the next section you will join the section that was just heated. Align the two carpet edges to each other over the hot glue. Press the edges together and into the hot glue. You have time to get the seam right because hot glue does not cool that fast. (if you have ever got hot glue or wax on your skin you know this principle)
  • Use the carpet tractor to press the carpet into the glue.
  • Repeat this process down the whole seam.
  • Let the seam cool and strengthen

step 10 Install The Carpet Onto One Tack Strip Along One Wall

Before stretching the carpet onto the tack strips one end of the carpet needs to be hooked onto its tack strip and the other edges loose so they can be stretched away from the end that is hooked.

Make sure the carpet is square with the room. Use the kicker to move the carpet around. The carpet should still be rolling up the wall an inch or more.

Use the Stair Chisel or smooth hammer head to press the carpet down into the tacks on the tack strip. Push the carpet into the joint of the wall and floor hard enough to form a hard corner. It should have a sharp bend from the floor going up the wall.

press carpet into tack strip

step 11 Cut The Carpet Along The Wall With The Wall Cutter and Utility Knife

The wall cutter has a guard on one side that holds a blade to cut carpet along a wall. Use the wall cutter to cut along the wall. Make sure that the carpet is bent in a hard angle from the floor plane and up the wall before using the wall cutter. The wall cutter will cut the perfect length so the remaining edge of the carpet can be tucked under the baseboard.

wall carpet cutter tool

At corners you will need to use a utility knife to finish the cuts. follow the same cut line as the wall cutter, you want just enough carpet left to barely tuck under the baseboard.

cut carpet at wall with utility knife

step 12 Use Stair Chisel to Tuck The Carpet Edge Under The Baseboard

The final step to installing a carpet edge is to tuck it under the baseboard. Use the stair chisel to tuck the carpet under the baseboard.

tuck carpet under baseboard

step 13 Stretch The Carpet Using A Carpet Stretcher

Stretching the carpet makes the carpet lay flat on the floor and decreases the chances of wrinkles. Stretched carpet is also less likely to come loose from the tack strip.

The carpet is already attached to the tack strip on one end of the room. It is now ready to be stretched and hooked to the tack strip on the opposite wall. The carpet stretcher has two ends, an end with hooks to grab and push the carpet with and another end that simply butts up against the wall that has the carpet already attached to the tack strip.

Set up the carpet stretcher by adjusting the expandable tubes to go all the way across the room

carpet stretcher across room

Put the end that butts up against the wall, (the one with no teeth), against the baseboard on the wall that the carpet is tucked under the baseboard. Protect the wall by using a 3' long or longer piece of wood between the stretcher bumper and the wall.

carpet stretcher protect base board

Put the end of the stretcher that has the teeth on it about 6 to 8 inches from the wall and hook it into the carpet.

carpet stretching placing stretching end

Press down on the lever. This will stretch the carpet.

carpet stretcher stretching carpet

Use the Stair Chisel to press the carpet into the tack strip while there is tension on the carpet. Use the kicker to stretch the carpet into the tack strip as you move farther away from the carpet stretcher.

pressing carpet into tack strip with carpet stretcher

Move the Stretcher about 36 inches down the wall and repeat the stretching and pressing into the tack strip.

step 14 Cut The Carpet Along The Wall With The Wall Cutter

Use the wall cutter to cut along the wall as you did on the first wall.

step 15 Install The Carpet In The Other Direction

Stretch The Carpet The Other Direction In The Room using the carpet kicker.

carpet kicker stretch second direction

Press the carpet into the tack strip and make the carpet form a hard angle up the wall.

press carpet into tack strip

Trim the edge using the Wall Cutter.

wall carpet cutter tool

Tuck the cut edge under the baseboard using the stair tool.

tuck carpet under baseboard

step 16 Finish Doorways and Closets.

Door ways are either seamed to the adjacent piece of carpet, or the edge is finished with a reducer strip. The joints in doorways are always put directly under the center line of the door when the door is in the closed position.

If you are installing carpet in a closet you will install it as described above only you will most likely use the knee kicker to stretch the carpet because there is not enough length of carpet to get a good stretch.

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