How to attach carpet to a concrete floor

Updated February 21, 2017

Carpeting a concrete floor will add warmth and comfort to any room. Concrete is a sturdy foundation for installing the carpet. Before laying the carpet on the concrete surface, it will need preparation. An unprepared concrete surface may allow excessive moisture to penetrate the installed carpet, causing mould and mildew growth. Cleaning and applying a moisture-proof sealer onto the concrete surface will aid in keeping your carpet dry.

Sweep the concrete with a push broom. The broom will remove all loose debris and dirt from the concrete surface.

Kill any growing bacteria on the concrete floor by mopping the entire area with a diluted bleach solution. Run warm water into a large bucket. Add three to four drops of mild dish detergent, and a capful of bleach into the bucket.

Rinse the diluted bleach solution off the concrete surface with a clean mop, dampened with clean water. Suck away all the excess water from the concrete with a wet/dry shop vacuum. Allow the concrete to dry for up to 48 hours. Drying time will vary according to temperature and humidity levels.

Apply a coating of commercial waterproof sealer to the concrete floor, using a long-handled paint roller. Allow the sealer to dry as stated on product label.

Lay waterproof plastic barrier sheeting over the concrete floor. Use duct tape to secure the seams of the barrier to each other.

Place sheets of 1/2-inch plywood over the waterproof barrier sheeting to cover. Use a power drill to secure concrete screws every two feet around the perimeter of each sheet of plywood. Make all necessary adjustments in size to fit the plywood sheeting over the concrete floor surface using a circular saw.

Hammer the tackless strips down to the plywood along every wall in the space. Tackless strips have the included nails already halfway inserted within them for easier installation.

Roll carpet padding out over the plywood sheets, covering the entire floor surface. Leave the tackless strips exposed for the carpet. Lift up the edges of the carpet padding and apply a thick bead of construction adhesive underneath. Tape all of the carpet padding seams together with the duct tape.

Measure the length and width of the floor space with a tape measure. Cut the carpet to fit the measurements, adding an extra two inches onto the width and length.

Lay the carpet over the carpet padding, securing the edges to the tackless strips along each wall. Cut the excess carpet with a carpet knife, or tuck it under available baseboards.

Things You'll Need

  • Push broom
  • Bucket
  • Mild dish detergent
  • Bleach
  • Mop
  • Wet/dry shop vacuum
  • Commercial waterproof sealer
  • Long-handled paint roller
  • Waterproof plastic barrier sheets
  • Duct tape
  • 1/2-inch plywood sheets
  • Power drill
  • Concrete screws
  • Tackless strips
  • Hammer
  • Carpet padding
  • Construction adhesive
  • Tape measure
  • Carpet
  • Carpet knife
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About the Author

Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.