Completely empty the room if possible; it makes the job much easier. Make sure the floor is clean, dry and free from dust with no protruding screws or nail heads. This is a good time to fix loose or uneven floorboards. The better the sub floor is, the better your carpet will look and the longer it will last.

Think about door clearance; is your new carpet and underlay thicker than what it's replacing? You may have to take off, trim and re-hang the door(s). If so, why not take the doors off before you start fitting and make the job easier.

When cutting the carpet to fit exactly against the skirting board, there is a danger that a gap will be created between the carpet and the wall. For maximum accuracy hold the knife at an angle, with the point of the blade against the skirting and the handle leaning away from the wall.


The fitting operation described below can be used for any carpet with a backing of Felt (which has now replaced foam), Jute or man-made fibre (with names such as Actionbac, Superbac, etc,) and woven wiltons or axminsters.

There are some carpets that aren't suitable for fitting with underlay and gripper. The one you're most likely to find is washable bathroom carpet with waffle rubber backing. This is usually loose laid, with an interliner and secured around the edges with double sided carpet tape. Foam backed carpet is also fitted in this way

For a budget floor covering, felt backed carpet can be laid with just an interliner underlay such as 'Interweave' and held to the floor with self-adhesive mushroom carpet tape (similar to Velcro) but be aware that unevenness such as the joints between floorboards will show in the carpet; a good underlay helps avoid this.


If your carpet is to lie flat and wear well, it must be stretched during the laying. Achieving the right tension is the trickiest part of the job. Stretch the carpet too much and you risk tearing it, not enough and it will not lie flat and will ruck up when furniture is pushed over it. A bumpy carpet may not look too bad, but will become worn on the high spots.


Tape Measure
Hacksaw (to cut carpet gripper and door metals)
Trimming Knife
Carpet Stretcher or “Knee Kicker” (from Hire Shop)
Clean Bolster Chisel or Wooden Kitchen Spatula


Carpet Gripper strips
Door strips
Tacks (wood floor) or Double sided tape (concrete floor)