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How to fit carpet underlay

Updated November 21, 2018

Fitting carpet underlay may seem like a pain, but it can be a fairly straightforward task if you have all the right materials. Carpet underlay absorbs sound in a room and is an effective insulator, helping the room to retain warmth. It also makes walking on your rug more comfortable and can help a slightly uneven flooring seem smoother all around. Using an underlay protects the quality of both your floor and your carpet, so fitting it correctly is a job worth doing right. Some people opt to hire professionals to do the job. However, if you are somewhat handy, fitting a carpet underlay yourself is a great way to save money.

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  1. Clean the room you are going to carpet, making sure that all of the old floor coverings have been removed and that any furniture, electronics or other objects have been placed somewhere else.

  2. Sweep the floor well, clearing it of dust and debris. Carpet underlay does help to make the floor seem smoother in areas with imperfections. However, it is always a good idea to clear away the obstructions that can be removed so that you start with as smooth a surface as possible.

  3. Unroll a section of the carpet underlay that you have purchased. Allow the underlay to lay across the width of the room. If it does not reach from one side to the other, begin at the centre of the room and roll the underlay toward the wall, allowing it to climb up several inches.

  4. Use a very sharp blade to cut the underlay, leaving enough excess for it to climb part of the way up the skirting board of the walls. To cut properly for the thresholds, allow the underlay to flop through the doorway. This is not a final cut, just an approximation of the size that you will be aiming for so that you are breaking the underlay down to a more manageable size.

  5. Make the final cut to fit the underlay using the edge of the carpet gripper as a guide. Cut the underlay at the spot where it touches the very edge of the gripper. This will ensure a tight fit for the underlay when attached to the carpet gripper. Do it the same way along the base of the threshold.

  6. Once you have cut the first width of underlay, continue the process throughout the room as needed. Follow steps 1 to 5 until you have cut enough carpet underlay to cover the floor. Multiple widths of carpet underlay will need to be joined with seaming tape or duct tape.

  7. Tip

    For areas with small recesses or irregularities, you may have to cut small flaps of the underlay in the initial measuring process, following steps 1 through 5.

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Things You'll Need

  • Carpet underlay
  • Carpet grippers (should already be in place)
  • Very sharp cutting blade

About the Author

Ashley Friedman graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Social Sciences. She has experience writing copy for the websites of creative professionals, and regularly contributes to several blogs covering popular culture, travel, food, and social action.

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