So, you have decided to purchase a new carpet for your home. Great news! You have made a big decision to improve the appearance of your hall, lounge, bedroom or any other room in your home but your work here is far from over.

Whether you have a professional carpet fitter lined up for installation or you are taking the task into your own DIY capable hands, preparing your room is essential to ensure you get the most from your new flooring choice, be it a soft and luxurious Saxony carpet, a clean and practical laminate flooring or durable luxury vinyl tiles.

Clear the Room

Step one in preparing for new carpet installation is to clear out the room. Having a blank canvas is the easiest way to get a smooth transition for new flooring.

Move Furniture

Removing all furniture from a room allows for full use of the space to prepare and fit your new flooring. If you are carpeting a small number of rooms in your home you should have space left to store this furniture. If you are laying new flooring throughout your home, it may be best to move this furniture to a garage if you have one.

It is also helpful to remove the doors and take these into a separate room. In order to fit your new flooring, you will need to carpet up to the door frame and connect the flooring on both sides with a door plate or Z Bar depending on the flooring choices.

Out With The Old

Removing your old carpet is an obvious step in getting a new one, but there is often confusion over who does this. Some carpet fitters will remove your old carpet and underlay as part of the service but will likely charge you for doing so.

Taking up the carpet and underlay yourself can save you time and money but it does incur more hassle. If you do choose to take up your own carpet we recommend going over it with a vacuum cleaner first to limit the dust disturbed in the removal process. Along with this, open windows throughout the house to air all rooms while your carpet is up.

Prepare a New Build Home For Carpet

If you have just purchased a new build property or a property where the carpets were taken by the previous owner your process to prepare may be slightly different.

In new build homes, the subfloor often has marks from building materials, such as plaster. These create an uneven surface on your subfloor and will need to be removed prior to the fitting of your carpet. If you do not prepare your subfloor to be as flat as possible in this way it could mean the finish of your floor will appear uneven and wavy. Having even flooring will likely affect how the material wears over time, possibly leaving patches that will need replacing sooner.

Paint First or Carpet First?

It can be hard to answer that age-old question.

What came first, the carpet or the paint?

While this isn’t as widely covered as the chicken and egg scenario, there is some contention over whether to paint first or lay your flooring first. We would recommend you always take the paint first option. There are numerous reasons for this.

Firstly, it is possible in the process of fitting carpets you will need to alter the placement of your floorboards or skirting. In doing this it is likely you will cause some damage to your wall. Secondly, you will be moving large and heavy rolls of carpet and underlay throughout your property. It is almost inevitable that at some stage you will catch your newly painted wall leaving a mark. Lay your new flooring and then cover securely with a large sheet of plastic to prevent your paint from leaving a stain if spilt.

Subfloors - Concrete Flooring

If you’re thinking of installing a carpet on a concrete floor in areas such as basements or new homes, there are a number of steps to take to prepare your concrete floor for carpets. These are fairly simple steps in the prevention of moisture and mildew penetrating the carpet.

Firstly, if the concrete surface is uneven you may be required to fill low spots and chip away any bumps. Use a latex self-levelling compound to fill any holes, working as quickly as possible as it sets within 15 minutes and smooth over with a trowel. For larger cracks, you’ll need a sand and cement mortar mix. and a hammer and chisel will do the job for any bumps.

It is important to thoroughly clean the concrete surface to ensure no dirt gets between the underlay and carpet. The best ways to do this is sweeping with a stiff broom and vacuuming the surface. Then, mop the area with a bleach solution, which will not only kill the bacteria on the surface of the floor but stop it from growing in between the carpet and concrete. Make sure you rinse the concrete after applying the bleach solution with hot water and let dry (use fans for quicker drying) before sealing the surface with a commercial sealing product. Try applying the sealer with a paint roller to give an even finish and allow to dry as instructed by the manufactures. Open windows to ensure everything is fully dry and ventilated before you put down your underlay and carpet.

For newly poured concrete floors, ensure a 28 day curing period in order to stop any moisture being trapped between the concrete surface, underlay and carpet.

Subfloors - Floorboards Wood Flooring

Preparation of wooden floorboards for carpet is a common practice among homeowners. It’s fairly straightforward and involves sanding and cleaning the surface to make sure the carpet sticks to the wooden boards. As with bare concrete flooring, you need to ensure the surface of your floorboards are level for underlay and carpet installation.

If not, rather than replacing them, you can sand the areas to even out the surface. If you find cracks in the floorboard, sand the surface area and fill them with a latex patching compound and a putty knife. If you have annoying creaky floorboards, this is the best opportunity to fix them! Find which boards are loose and check there are no cables or pipes underneath. It’s usually best to take out the old nails, drill new holes in the corners of each board and sink the screws down into the surface of the board so they don’t stick out.

Talcum powder along the joints of the floorboards should stop any additional creaky sounds! If you have a glossy finish on the current floorboards, sand the surface to allow for the adhesion of underlay and carpet - try our range of carpet adhesives and selection of underlay.

Don’t worry, restoration can be done with re-sanding and waxing. Make sure to coat new or sanded wood floors with a primer as this will ensure good bonding with the carpet glue.

Lastly, vacuum and dust the wood flooring. It needs to be completely clean before carpeting. There should be no grease, oil or wax on the floorboards and only use a small amount of water when cleaning the wooden surface.

You are now ready to carpet your floorboards! Check out our range of fitting tools to help you with the job.