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How to cut a roll of carpet

Updated February 21, 2017

Purchasing carpet by the roll can mean a large savings, especially if you have a large area to cover and plan to buy directly from the mill. The biggest problem a homeowner encounters with this project is learning how to cut a roll of carpet. Since standard carpet comes in 12- or 15-foot widths and a roll weighs several hundred pounds, it must be cut to fit each room in which it is to be installed. Luckily, cutting a roll of carpet requires only a few basic tools.

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  1. Measure the area where the carpet will be installed and add 1 foot to the length. The extra foot will give you 6 inches of installation scrap edge on either end in case the beginning edge of the roll of carpet is not uniform.

  2. Unroll the carpet in a large open area, measuring the length you need for your installation.

  3. Pull the piece of carpet over the roll so the back side of the carpet is exposed.

  4. Cut the length of the carpet even with the edge of the roll, using a utility knife and taking care to cut away from your body and hands.

  5. Tip

    Roll the cut piece of carpet in reverse of the direction it was on the original roll, so the backing is exposed. This will give the carpet a chance to "relax" and will facilitate installation.


    Always wear gloves when using a utility knife.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife

About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.

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