There are certain jobs that seem to cost an arm and a leg to have a professional carry out and laying carpet is one of them. Though we don't underestimate the level of skill that many carpet fitters have, if you are looking to save some money during a home refurbishment we think you can take this task on and make a great job of it, too.
We've put together some tips that will help you lay carpet like an expert so take a look and see if you could be saving money and learning a new skill this weekend!
Before you start thinking about laying a carpet, you need to assess and prepare the room it will be going in. We recommend that you remove all furniture (even in your bedroom) and any skirting boards that you plan to replace so you can have a really accurate idea of how much carpet you'll need and what style will work best.
Don't choose anything until you have seen what your preferred carpets look like in your room, during daylight and evening hours. You might find an example that looks amazing during the day but come the evening, looks too dark. We know it's difficult but don't rush the selection or measuring processes.
When you know exactly what carpet you want you need to start planning how you intend to lay it and we think the best place to start is by ordering too much of it! Remember, you can always cut more away but you can't glue it back on so get a piece that is bigger than you need.
Go slowly with the trimming and pay attention to if the carpet is moving in a way you weren't expecting. This is doubly important if you have a strangely shaped room as you could easily find yourself without enough in an awkward corner.
With just a little excess left at the edges you can stick your carpet down. Take your time with this and work in a methodical manner so you can be sure it is stuck down nice and flat absolutely everywhere. There are a number of techniques to lay carpet down, including special double sided tape and carpet grippers, so be sure you have read the manufacturer's advice or you could invalidate any warranties.
We love this natural carpet from Crown Floors and you can see how perfectly it has been stuck down. Not a ripple or a bump anywhere to be seen!
Now is the time to get a fresh Stanley knife blade in your cutter and start really working with the material as you need to stretch it slightly to make sure it will stay put and be a snug fit under skirting boards. Corners can be notoriously difficult to get right but with a little patience you'll get there.
If you are using a heavily patterned carpet, little errors in the corners might go unnoticed but for bright installations you will need to get your perfectionist hat on and keep slowly cutting excess carpet away and stretching it until the finished product looks right. It'll be worth the effort.
Corners are one thing but when you lay carpet yourself you need to make sure that the edges are finished without compromise as this is what can cause accidents. If you've ever tripped on an uneven carpet you'll know just how painful and unexpected it is. You don't just get the pain from a hard landing but often you'll burn your skin, too. Ouch!
Take the time to be really fussy about your edges, making sure they are especially well glued or fixed down and you'll never have to worry about taking an unexpected trip again.
When you stand back and are happy that you managed to lay carpet as well as a professional, make sure you finish the job off with the right hardware. We are talking about metal doorway clips that keep the carpet nice and flush to the floor, allowing you to open you door easily and not trip on an exposed edge.
You can get decorative versions or simple shiny ones and, thanks to the popularity of wood flooring, even wooden alternatives, too. Don't you just feel like a flooring expert all of a sudden?
For more carpet inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Choosing The Right Carpet For Your Home. The range of styles is staggering but we know you'll find a carpet you love in here!