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How to install carpet around a toilet

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing carpet requires that you nail a tack strip to the subfloor around the edges, spread an adhesive over the subfloor for the underlayment, and then lay the underlayment and carpet down. Stretchers pull the carpet taught to the edges where a simple razor blade trims the carpet to the right size. Installing into a bathroom requires working around toilets and cabinets. Installing around a toilet is best done by laying the carpet with the toilet removed.

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  1. Trace the outline of the toilet onto the subfloor with a marker.

  2. Turn the water off to the toilet and flush it several times to drain out any water. Disconnect the water pipe and remove the ground bolts with adjustable pliers. Pull the toilet out and set it to the side.

  3. Install tack strips on the left and right sides of the location for the toilet. Place the tack strips 1 to 2 inches from the sides of the markings on the subfloor for the toilet. Hammer the tack strips into place.

  4. Install the carpet following normal procedures or hire a professional to install the carpet.

  5. Cut out the carpet with a sharp utility knife starting at the centre of the drain. Press down around the location of the toilet to find the drain. Start your cut there. Cut outwards until you reach the mark for the toilet. Cut the carpet along the marks for the shape of the toilet. Remove the cut out section. Cut any loose threads with scissors.

  6. Reinstall the toilet and attach the water lines.

  7. Tip

    Always replace the wax ring when you remove a toilet. Reusing an old wax ring could leak to leaks.

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Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Marker
  • Hammer
  • Tack strip
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Scissors

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