DIY Fitting Carpets

Updated February 21, 2017

Carpets are often incorporated into rooms of the home to enhance overall appearance and for matters relating to comfort. However, carpet installation can be a costly process. But you can save money by taking on the installation task yourself. Fitting a carpet may seem intimidating, but with the proper tools, some time and a little know-how, you'll be standing on your professional-looking carpet in no time at all. Follow these steps and learn how to fit carpets the DIY way.

Prepare the floor for carpet fitting by sweeping it clean. Pull out any protruding nails to ensure a smooth surface. Use a screwdriver to remove any doors to the room.

Measure the thickness of the carpet you are prepping to fit. Mark a chalk line 1 ½ times the thickness of your carpet from the wall around the perimeter of your room. Use a hammer and masonry nails to nail down carpet gripper, or strips of wood with metal teeth that hold carpet in place, along the perimeter line. Point the angled edge of the carpet gripper strips toward the wall as you nail them down.

Position the underlay strips, or carpet padding, over the carpet gripper strips. Position the underlay as close together as possible without overlapping them. Find the inside edging of the carpet gripper strips and staple the underlay across it. Cut any extra underlay over the gripper strips with carpet trimmer. Seal the underlay seams with seaming tape. This will secure the underlay when you fit the carpet.

Use the measuring tape to measure the longest side of the room, and then add 4 inches. Mark the measurement line across the back of your carpet. Place a board under your cut line to protect the front of your carpet, and use a knife and straight edge to cut the carpet backing across the marked line.

Allow the straightedges of the carpet to overlap when laying them out. Cut the overlap with a carpet trimmer so they fit together evenly. Lift the two carpet edges where they join and apply seaming tape to the floor. Apply a seaming iron to the tape to heat the sticky side. Position the two carpet seams over the tape and press them together. Apply a rolling pin over the carpet seams to permanently adhere them.

Attach one edge of the carpeting with a knee knicker, also known as a carpet stretcher, which uses metal teeth to hold the carpet. Position the knee knicker approximately 4 inches from the wall and use your knee to strike the padded end of the knee knicker to stretch out the carpet. Pull the carpet over the carpet gripper strips and trim any excess over the gripper strips with a knife.

Cut any excess carpet along the room doorway so the carpet edge lies underneath the door. Install a threshold bar to secure the doorway carpeted section.


Use glue as opposed to nails to install your carpet gripper strips if you have hard subflooring, such as such as concrete or tile.


Always wear gloves when using hand/power tools to prevent injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Masonry nails
  • Hammer
  • Carpet underlay
  • Utility knife
  • Staple gun
  • Carpet
  • Chalk
  • Straightedge
  • Seaming iron
  • Seaming tape
  • Rolling pin
  • Knee kicker
  • Carpet trimmer
  • Threshold bars
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