Installing carpet over a concrete or tile floor is a great way to make a room warmer. Carpeting will also reduce echoes and create a safer play environment for children. |
Installing carpet on a concrete or tile floor is similar to other installations, but requires different techniques for holding the carpet in place. The hardest part may be selecting the type of carpet that best suits your needs. The type of weave and material you pick depends on your desired price range and your desired strength and durability.
During carpet installation, floor preparation is usually minimal. If you are replacing carpet, pry up the old carpet from the tackless strip. The padding and tackless strips can be reused if they are still in good shape. Make sure the floor is dry and free of debris. Sweep or vacuum the area to ensure a clean, flat surface for installation. If you are installing carpet directly over concrete, check for moisture problems before installation and get them fixed. Excess moisture can ruin your new carpet.
You'll also need to confirm that the carpet won't be damaged by exposure to excessive moisture. In high moisture environments, you'll need to correct the moisture problem or consider an indoor/outdoor carpet.
Tackle Moisture First It is important to avoid installing carpet over concrete that is subject to damp conditions. To test your floor for moisture, lightly tape a 2' x 2' sheet of plastic over a portion of the floor, sealing all edges. Leave the plastic in place for 24 hours. If the plastic has moisture underneath it, then you'll need to seal the concrete with a moisture sealer or waterproof paint.
Getting Tacky Wall to wall carpeting is typically installed using tackless strips. A tackless strip is a thin piece of wood that is pierced with small metal barbs. The metal barbs grab and hold the carpet without the need for tacking or stapling. Tackless strips come with nails pre-set in the wood. Tackless strips are installed by nailing the pre-set nails into the sub floor.
Tackless strip should be applied to the entire perimeter of the room, spaced about ½" away from the walls. Don't install tackless strip across doorway thresholds. The barbs on the tackless strips should face the wall. Don't leave gaps where two pieces of tackless strip meet, and don't use pieces of tackless strip that don't have at least two mounting nails in them.
Carpet or Tile? If you're installing carpet over concrete, you'll need to purchase tackless strips that come with concrete or masonry nails installed. This type of tackless strip usually has a "C" in its part number or will have the word "concrete" printed on it. Concrete nails are designed to penetrate and hold concrete better than standard nails.
When you are nailing into concrete, make sure you know where the heat ducts under the floor are because you may accidentally puncture them. To find the ducts, wet the floor along the wall and turn the heat up. The pipes are located in the area that dries first. Mark this area with chalk and avoid it when nailing the tackless strip to the floor.
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