Preparing Your Home for New Carpet

new carpet installed in your home

Most home owners decide to change the carpeting in their homes every 10 to 15 years. Many home buyers list new carpeting as one of their first renovations upon taking ownership of their new house. It seems that whether it’s from wear and tear, or a disagreement in decorating tastes, acquiring new carpeting is on a lot of home owners’ to do list. So, just how do you prepare your home for its new carpet? That all depends on what’s already underneath your feet, and who is doing the job at hand.

Preparing Your Home for Someone Else to Do the Work

If someone else is doing the job from start to finish, you’ve got an easy time of it. You simply need to remove all your furniture and vacuum the existing flooring. The contractors/installers will be handling the rest, including removal of the current carpet, or preparation of the flooring if tile or wood. This is a rather expensive project, though, so what you save in time and effort, you’ll pay for in fees.

Preparing Your Home When You Are Doing All or Part

If you’ve decided to save some dough along the way, you can take care of the preparation work yourself. We’ll look at the three most common types of flooring covered or replaced by new carpeting so you can know exactly what’s in store for you.

Carpeting – When simply replacing one old carpet with a fresh new one, there are quite a few steps involved to prepare your home for new carpet. Let’s walk you through them:

  1. Remove furniture
  2. Vacuum thoroughly. I know it seems weird to clean a carpet that you are replacing, but working with a clean carpet is much easier and safer health-wise than working with a dirty one.
  3. Open the windows, if possible, to help remove airborne dust.
  4. Go to the corner of the room with a pair of pliers. Pull up the corner of the carpet. You’ll most likely be stripping it from a tack strip, so you may have to pull with some force to get it started.
  5. Cut the carpeting into strips or sections with a utility knife or special carpet tool. Roll the sections or strips for easier handling.
  6. Once all the carpet is removed, begin to remove the foam under pad.
  7. Check the tack strips for damage. If damaged, use a pry bar to remove the old tack strips.
  8. Use your hammer or pliers to remove any nails and staples that may remain.
  9. Use a flashlight to find and remove any staples or tacks that may remain. The light should shine off their surface, allowing them to be located easily.

Wood or Tile – If you are removing wood flooring or tile, you’ll want to contact a contractor or carpeting specialist. Most folks prefer to simply cover wood flooring, but the newer laminate wood floorings often aren’t suitable for a simple cover up. Tile and wood floor removal requires special tools and knowledge, so professional assistance is best.

Preparing Your Home With Wood Flooring for New Carpet

If your home has existing bare wood floors, there are some steps you’ll have to take to make them ready for their new covering of carpet.

  1. Check the floor for any needed repairs. You’ll need to fill any cracks larger than 1/8 inch, and you’ll want to sand any areas that are off level by more than 1/32 of an inch.
  2. Fill any cracks or dents with latex patching compound and a putty knife.
  3. Scuff sand any glossy or highly polished floors, to allow carpet to adhere to the surface.
  4. Coat new or sanded wood floors with a flooring primer, to ensure carpet glues will stick.
  5. Vacuum, dust and if necessary wash any wood floors. They should be free of dirt, grease, oils, and wax before the new carpet can be installed.

Preparing Your Home With Concrete Floors for New Carpet

If you’re carpeting a basement’s or industrial loft’s concrete floors, there are only 3 steps to take in preparation.

  1. Patch any holes or uneven areas with a latex or polymer patching compound.
  2. Cover the floor with a flooring primer. You may need to contact your carpeting professionals to ensure that the type of carpet adhesive they plan to use is compatible with your primer before you apply it.
  3. Use a tri-sodium phosphate cleaner to wash the floor. Open windows or set up fans to make certain the floor is completely dry.

Your new carpeting can add color and style to your home. You can really brighten up a room with a fresh new carpet underfoot. And you can have those old floors ready for that new carpet in no time at all with a little elbow grease, patience, a few tools, and the right steps to follow.

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