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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have seen many posts about people putting carpet on their walls. Maybe this will help someone. My family was in the carpet business for years. Just a couple tips for those doing walls etc. Unless you have the knowledge and the tools...I would hire someome to do the floors. Walls and steps on the other hand just take a little care...


1. Bring the carpet into the room at least a few hours before installation and unroll if possible. Best to bring it in the night before. Heat affects how the carpet behaves. The warmer the room is the better. This will allow the carpet to RELAX, and will be alot easier to deal with. When the backing is cold it is alot more abrasive also, making for more scratches on painted trim etc..Once the carpet is installed, hung etc..Temperature plays less of a factor. If you put cold carpet on walls or floors....when it gets warm it WILL bulge, sag and stretch.


2. Buy a knife specifically for carpet. Sheetrock/utility knives will work....but carpet knives are much, much better. Buy lots of blades and change them alot...use both sides...(spin the blade around).


3. When cutting, make sure you hold the knife very straight. If you don't, you will shave pile off one side of the cut and it will not look good :) On the other hand....if you aren't going to be using the "other side" of a cut peice...angle the knife slightly to give your good side more nap. If hiding a seam...it is an old trick to angle both sides of the seam out (away from the cut you are making) with the knife to give the seam lots of nap. Be sure to recut the remainder of the carpet straight if you are going to use it elsewhere.


4. Make any rough cuts using a chalk-line....preferably with WHITE chalk. Blue and red can stain certain types of carpet....mainly real wool and wool berbers... cut your pieces into the approximate size. After, use a metal straight edge....to make your straight finish cuts (when seaming or a straight edge against trim etc.


5. When stapling or nailing with brads.. spread the nap of the carpet with your fingers and staple where you see the backing. Tap all staples with a hammer....to make sure they are seated and also to further hide them. After stapling , (if you dont have a carpet tractor), use something (maybe a putty knife) to "fluff" the nap around the staple...not so hard as to remove nap...just enough to hide the staple. Use staples with the smallest head available or use carpet brads.


6. This is one of the most important. It is only when dealing with multiple peices. Carpet (fabric also) always has atleast one, direction. This is MOST important with pile carpet as opposed to berber...but berber almost always has some type of pattern to follow. To determine which way a carpet is running: run your hand back and forth across a piece of carpet. You will notice when you go one way...that the carpet lays down that way..and stands up when you go the other(you can also notice it when you vacuum...its what makes those patterns in the carpet.) Make sure all peices you cut, that the nap falls the same way....to add to the confusion of this...some carpet has two directions..Meaning, if you rub side to side...one will stand and one way will fall...and if you run your hand up and down...it will have one way that stands and one that falls. Make sure everything is running the same. Another trick is to lay out your carpet and after while cutting your peices...draw arrows on the backing of the carpet with a marker. If you don't pay attention to nap you will notice BIG color changes in some carpet. Following direction sometimes means buying more carpet than planned. I recommend it. I have been in plenty of homes...that will have a stair tread or landing turned..to save carpet and it looks aweful. This tip also applies to apolstering with velvet or any cloth with a nap. I can't stress it enough...MAKE SURE ITS ALL GOING THE SAME WAY!!!


7. You get what you pay for usually...but when selecting carpet price isnt always the biggest factor. If doing any kind of apolstering with carpet...ie....covering a hushbox, a step etc... take a peice of the carpet you are considering buying and fold a corner over HARD, so the backing side meets the backing side. Look at the nap where it is folded. Can you see lots of white backing? That is what you will see when you apolster something with it.


8. When purchasing carpet. Check the face for uniformity. Carpet is like anything else...it is not all perfect, there can be non-uniform areas where the dye didnt take. I have seen the face of carpet get run over by forklifts, check for any obvious dirt marks. Check the backing....make sure it is fastened to the face of the carpet well..Bubbles in the backing anywhere in the carpet are not acceptable..and either mean bad glue or water exposure. It is called "De-lamination" when this occurs. The carpet is no good. Sometimes, when veiwing a big roll...the edges may be delaminated slightly. This sometimes occurs when warehouse workers are careless and drag a roll accross cement floors, and does not necessarily mean the roll is bad. Most carpet will have 3" or so of extra backing around the edge to allow for this.


9. If buying carpet for floors....most carpet comes in 12' widths..but alot is available in 15'. If your room is more than 12', but less than 15' you can avoid seams. Seams also are almost always slightly visible. If seams are necessary...try not to place in the walkways of the room. Place against a wall that does see much foot traffic or is covered with furniture.


Any questions feel free to email me. Good luck!
 

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Wow, This is going to be great for some people here, My friends family are redoing their house with hard wood floors, and the carpet they have now is only 2 years old, we are going to get some of it to do some rooms in this house, laundry room, moms room etc, places that still have that old 70s orangey carpet *yuk*. I know this will help me. Thanks.


Acually one question I do have.


How do you know what size to cut the carpet too? I mean say a room is 10'x10', would you cut the carpet to 10'x10'? or smaller so that when you use the tool to, I assume, stretch the carpet over the nail strips that it does not hit the wall? or do you cut it to 10'x10 feet and then the extra carpet that touches the wall gets folded in behind the nail strip that is about 3/8 of an inch away from the wall?


I hope this made sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cut it larger. About 6" up each wall is good. Any less becomes a pain to trim. As for your stretching question in a 10 x 10 room the carpet will stretch only an inch or 2 in lenght and 1/2 that in width..The carpet has to hit the trim some. If the carpet is WARM...and it wont scratch baseboards up much. Trimming is best done with a wall trimmer. Using a carpet knife increases chances of cutting baseboards. When you stretch carpet...(to make this simple...there is actually a system)...you first trim and tuck(using a carpet stair tool or a very dull hook knife) the carpet behind the tackstrip on a wall. Then you stretch to the opposite wall. You place the knee kicker about 1" in front of the tackless (tackstrip). When you kick, the carpet gets stuck on the tackstrip. (This takes practice and it is aweful when you put the head of the kicker to close to the wall and drive the kicker into the baseboard. It wont usually damage the baseboard but I can guarantee you will do some serious cussing while holding your sore knee..)I personally use a stair tool and rub the carpet onto the tackstrip in front of the kicker. Then you move the kicker the width of its head down the wall and repeat until you have the carpet stuck on the tackstrip down the whole wall. When you rub the carpet onto the tackstrip it actually is also making a line, where the carpet that is going to be trimmed sticks up straight against the baseboard. Trim about 1/2" above this line and tuck the carpet down behind the tackstrip. There is much more to it...but this is the basic. Very important is to make sure that the tackstrip is nailed well. There are nails in it...but when you cut it to fit (door jambs etc..) make sure that you have at least 2 nails in every peice no matter how small it is. Also, make sure you staple the carpet padding down so it doesn't move while Kicking (stretching) the carpet. If you are serious about doing it yourself it isnt rocket science but the right tools are a must(roberts and crain are good brand names). Check local pawn shops.( Good luck :)
 

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Thanks for that :)


About the tools, I figured I would rent them, Get it all ready, padding stapled down carpet rough cut. then go rent the tools for a weekend. Start in the laundry room, and then onto the other rooms. I am fortunate in the sense that I am good at working with my hands, Wood work, mechanic, carpentry, etc.

http://www.geocities.com/a1rabbit2/theater/school.html


So I hope that gives me an advantage.
 

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Ross, great info! Thanks for taking the time to write this.


I'm still a ways away from this stage, but I appreciate the info. One question I didn't see answered regards the adhesive to use for wall carpet. I've read about different glues used with success - exterior carper adhesive, heavy wallpaper paste, tile mastic. What's the best one to use for wall-suitable carpeting?


Ross
 

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Ross,

Your carpet expertise could come in real handy. I am in a situation where carpet has already been laid down and I would like to now run some flat speaker wire without pulling it up. My four main speakers would cover the incisions I make in the carpet. Do-able, not Do-able? Thanks, Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bear in mind, that my family was in the carpet business. I am not. But I was around it and worked installing through my teen and some summers during college. I mention this because products have changed somewhat during the last 10 years. There may be new and improved products out there that I havent used.


Attaching carpet to the walls, is something I have seldom done as it is not all that commom. My experience with carpeting walls is mostly just a strip of carpet around the room in place of baseboard or cove-base. I would use a combo of staples and adhesive (if there is wood moulding or other trim going over the edge of the carpet, I would use that to my advantage and staple like crazy where it cant be seen). You could use contact cement, but this could get costly over a large area. Carpet glue might work well. It has the consistency of thin pudding...It is usually spread thin, and take a while to dry. Tile mastik is also an option, and may be a great one....though I have never used it. I would guess that if it can hold tile on a wall in a bathroom it should be able to hold carpet up. I would in any case use enough staples in discrete places to hold the carpet until the adhesive cures. Use a small toothed trowel when spreading mastik or glue, as adhesive may come through the backing. Contact cement and tile mastik will be much harder to get off of the face of the carpet than carpet glue... you may also want to call a carpet store and see what they think.


Damon--Is it possible to tuck the flat wires under the baseboards? If not....maybe give a carpet installer a call and explain that what you want to do....he could pull the carpet up...say down one wall....you could lay the wires and then he could reinstall. I would say as a guess..that unless he has to re-apolster stairs or something time consuming....that you would be looking at a minimum charge. By minimum charge I mean the installers minimum to go out to a job ($50 back when I was doing it) and do something small like fix a seam etc. Taking up a wall and reinstalling it shouldn't take him more than 1/2 to an hour.

What city are you in BTW?
 

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I am in Dallas.

In my situation there is no wall carpeting, but in order to keep my rear speaker runs as short as possible I would like to run the wire under the carpet that has already been laid down in a Suite at the new Sports Arena. Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wish I had known, I am ending a tour in Austin on Sunday. Maybe I should start carrying my old carpet tools on the road with me :) Something that comes to mind...I am wondering what the floors of the suite are made of. Most likely cement or some kind of poured floor. You might find that the carpet is bonded to the floor. If it isnt the pad will be. You might be better off going with longer wire runs. Good luck :)
 
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