How to fit a carpet

Written by jay kurz | 13/05/2017
How to fit a carpet
Fitted carpet gives a room modern, clean lines. (David Hughes/Hemera/Getty Images)

If you are planning to install new carpet in your home, you may want to fit it yourself instead of hiring a professional since hiring someone else to fit your carpet can get expensive. The process of fitting carpet is simple and can be accomplished with a minimum number of tools and time. Anyone who can use a tape measure and razor knife can fit carpet.

Remove the old carpet and pad. Unless you plan to reuse it, also remove the tack strip that holds the carpet in place. It consists of a narrow strip of wood with small curved nails protruding from it and is placed 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) from the wall around the entire perimeter. If removing the sharp tack strip, wear thick work gloves and use the claw part of a regular hammer to pry it up from the floor.

Prepare the floor by sweeping up any dust or debris with a broom or a shop vac, if one is available.

Measure from wall to wall, measuring the entire room. Add three extra inches on all sides to give yourself room for error. For example, if you measure from wall to wall and get eight feet, cut eight feet and six inches of carpet, so you'll have three extra inches on each side.

Put the carpet facedown and transfer your measurements using a wax pencil and a straight edge to draw the lines.

Cut out the piece of carpet using your razor knife.

Place the carpet in the room. The carpet should go up every wall 7.5 cm (3 inches) or so. Once this is done, you can begin the installation process.


Help from at least one other person will speed up the process.


Wear knee pads when working with carpet.

Things you need

  • Hammer
  • Broom or shop vac
  • Tape measure
  • Wax pencil
  • Razor knife
  • Straight edge

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