How to Lay a Carpet with Underlay Separate

If you’ve never laid carpet before, then you need to start small and build your way up. Remember, the cost of replacing a carpet you’ve cut wrong could be more than the cost of having it fitted professionally. So start small, take your time, and always remember: measure twice, cut once.

There are two types of carpet: those with padded underlay attached and those where the underlay is separate. We’ll discuss installing the separate underlay here.

For this task, you’ll need gripper rods. Nail them to the floor, leaving a small gap between the skirting board and rod – a bit smaller than your carpet thickness. The nails you select should be according to your floor: concrete floors require masonry nails. For doorways and curved wall areas, cut the rods into shorter pieces to make them work.

Roll out the underlay so that it meets, but doesn’t overlap the rods. Secure the underlay with staples or two-sided tape. Roll out your carpet, making sure it sits squarely in your room. Stretching as you go, push the carpet along the wall to form a crease where skirting board meets floor. Trim the excess, leaving 10mm to work with. As you reach each corner, secure the carpet on the gripper rods. Because you’re stretching, you may need to trim a few times – but remember less is more; once you’ve cut too much, you’re in trouble.

Finally, push your excess carpet down between the gripper rods and the skirting board and secure the doorways with threshold strips.

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