How to Install Carpet?

Installing carpet is one of the best ways to make a room cozy and aesthetically pleasant. Depending on your location, hiring a professional carpet installer can be pretty expensive. Therefore, maybe you are wondering if you can take it as a DIY project.

The procedure of carpet installation is straightforward. You just have to make sure you have access to the right tools and materials and then dive into action. This post is a step-by-step guide to getting the job done by yourself. Here is how to install carpet in a room.

How to install carpet over wood flooring?

To install carpet on wood, you can use either spray adhesive or contact cement. We will focus on the first method, which is easier. Using spray adhesive is also a cleaner and more straightforward way to get the job done. The following method is for you if you are wondering how to lay carpet without a stretcher. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Make sure you have the necessary tools and materials

Here are the things you will need for the DIY project:

  • Carpet
  • Utility knife
  • Spray adhesive
  • Latex glove
  • Towel
  • Nose mask

Step 2: Measure the room

Measure the width and length of the room. Once you have found the numbers, add 2-3 inches to both the numbers. If it is a large room, divide the space into multiple rectangular parts. Be sure to keep some room for mistakes.

Buy about 5% more carpet than you need, so that you can match the pattern in case you end up wasting some carpet. Once you have measured the room and selected the carpet, it’s time to get your hands dirty.

Step 3: Prepare the room

Before you put the carpet on the floor, make sure the room is thoroughly prepared. If there are musty patches, squeaking or sunken spots, repair them. Check for damage or moisture in the floor. Use waterproof filler to fill the cracks and then level the spots.

Step 4: Choose the right carpet

Before you figure out how to lay carpet, do a little bit of research and be sure to find the right carpet. Here, take a few factors into consideration. Pay attention to the fibers the carpet is made of. Nylon, olefin, polyester and wool are some commonly used to make carpet.

Also, learn about the weight, thickness and strength of the yarn. For busy households, frieze cut piles and plush cut piles are great choices. Choose the pattern and color carefully. You can expect a darker color to hide soiling more effectively.

Step 5: Lay the carpet

Cut the carpet as per the size of the floor and then lay the carpet on the surface uniformly and consistently. Be sure to place the carpet with the back side facing upward.

Step 6: Clean the carpet

Use a clean and dry rag or towel to clean the back side of the carpet. By no means use water to clean the carpet, because adhesive does not work if the surfaces are moist.

Step 7: Apply spray adhesive

The most important part of the process is to apply the spray adhesive on the carpet. Apply the mist evenly and uniformly. There are spray adhesives for many different purposes, so be sure to choose the right spray adhesive for carpet.

Of course, the drying time depends on the spray adhesive you choose, so read the instructions carefully. However, most carpet spray adhesives dry within 15-30 minutes. For personal protection, wear a nose mask and a pair of latex gloves.

Step 8: Invert the carpet

Now lay the carpet on the floor, with the correct side facing upward. To attach the carpet uniformly, walk on the carpet. It should be installed smoothly.

Step 9: Cut off the extra portion

Once you have attached the carpet to the floor, use a knife to trim the extra portion of the carpet. If you accurately measured the floor area and the carpet, this step does not apply to you.

Cut off the extra portion

How to install carpet on concrete?

Installing carpet in a room with a concrete floor is a great way to turn an uninspiring and bland room into a warm and inviting space. Basically, you do it just the way you install carpet on a wooden floor.

Unlike wood, concrete is a hard and cold surface, and therefore there is a risk of condensation between the carpet and the floor. Installing a synthetic underlay is a straightforward way to prevent condensation.

Choose carpet that is capable of withstanding aggressive cleaning. Consider choosing a neutral scheme so that the process of pattern matching does not overwhelm you. For covering concrete, carpet tiles are preferable to large sections of carpet.

How To Install Carpet On Concrete


Take some time to clean the room and prepare it for the carpet. Resolve the mold, damp or drainage issues. It’s a good idea to remove the skirting boards and doors. If there are cracks in the floor, fill them with a leveling product. Allow the floor to dry thoroughly before you start installing the carpet. Keep the doors open so that the room is well-ventilated.


The installation process is not fundamentally different from that of installing carpet on a wooden floor. However, before we discuss how to put carpet on a concrete floor, we have to be familiar with a subfloor. It is a structural layer that provides a stable surface.

Now, let’s see how to install carpet padding. A typical subfloor may consist of  5 x 10-foot sheets. The subfloor thickness is usually ½ inch. OSB sheets or plywoods can be used as the subfloor layer. The exact procedure will depend on the type of padding you are installing, but you can usually do it without having to use fancy tools.

Once your subfloor is ready, install the carpet by following the exact same steps as stated in the previous section. While it’s possible to carpet without adhesive, the task can be completed in a far more efficient way if you use spray adhesive.

Pro tips for installing carpet

Now that you know how to lay carpet, keep the following things in mind as you dive into action:

  • Be careful when applying spray glue. Although Sprayidea spray adhesive is non-toxic, it can offend your sense of smell, so wear a nose mask.
  • Before you lay the carpet on the floor surface, clean the floor and allow it to dry. Any hard object beneath the carpet can ruin the carpet.
  • To secure the carpet properly to the floor, walk on the carpet or use a flat piece of wood.
  • Carpet adhesive can take up to 48 hours to dry completely. During this time, do not place a heavy object on the carpet. Allow the carpet to become a part of your floor first!

Carpet Installation FAQs

Can existing carpet pad be reused?

Yes, but you should probably not reused your existing carpet padding, particularly if it is not dense or thick enough. Another reason to replace the existing carpet padding is that the previous one can contain odors and spills. In some instances, however, it’s okay to reuse the padding.

How do I prepare the floor before installing carpet?

Empty the floor and clean it before you install carpet. Clear off the dressers, pack up all loose items and disconnect your electronics. Then remove everything from the closet floors, and empty the space under your bed. Remove all furniture out of the room.

Should I paint my room before or after installing carpet?

When installing carpet, you will have to use stretching tools that will touch the baseboards and walls. As you cut the carpet into pieces, it will touch the lower part of the walls, and potentially scratch the paint. If the procedure of carpet installation chips or cracks the paint, you will have to touch it up afterwards.

Wrapping up

While the procedure of installing carpet may not be that easy in some cases, you can take it as a DIY project if you have the time and tools. The preparation phase may seem a bit challenging, but the installation part is rather easy.

Now you know how to install carpet and are better prepared to take actionable steps. Hopefully, now you are confident of your ability to get the job done by yourself.