Is DIY Carpet Installation a Bad Idea? Ask Yourself 5 Questions to Decide

Laminate floor installation

The first flooring decision most homeowners face has to do with material: carpeting, hardwood flooring, laminate flooring, tile flooring or vinyl flooring? There are so many options that it can be overwhelming to choose. But even once you’ve selected your material, the next dilemma you’ll need to face is whether to hire a professional or attempt a DIY installation. While there are a few products on the market that are specifically created to be self-installed, such as carpet tiles or peel-and-stick options, in most cases professional hardwood or carpet installation is the best choice. Regarding the latter, there are a few questions you should ask yourself to determine whether you can figure it out on your own, or if you’re better off hiring a carpet installer:

  1. Do I Have Access to the Right Tools?

    Carpet installers use several specialty tools, and you’ll need to either buy or rent them in order to properly install your carpet. At the very least, you’ll need a knee kicker and power stretcher. You’ll want to figure the cost of tools in when deciding if a DIY installation will actually save you money.

  2. Can I Meet Manufacturer Specifications?

    If your padding and carpet aren’t laid to manufacturer standards, then you risk voiding the warranty on your carpeting. All warranties are slightly different, so you’ll need to read up on the specifications that apply to your carpet.

  3. Will the Carpet Need Trimming?

    You need to look at the dimensions of your carpet, carpet padding and room to determine how much trimming will be necessary (carpet padding usually comes in two widths: 12 and 15 feet). Improper trimming can ruin your carpet and, again, void your warranty.

  4. Is the Room an Unusual Shape?

    Laying a square or rectangular piece of carpet can be relatively straightforward. But as soon as you take into account odd corners or obstacles such as heat registers, things get much more complicated. Fraying edges are both unattractive and unsafe.

  5. Can I Stretch and Secure These Materials?

    Carpet and padding both need to be stretched, and the carpet should be secured with glue or tack strips. Doing this improperly doesn’t just create the eyesore of a lumpy carpet; it can also produce ridges and wrinkles that can be tripping hazards.

Did you answer yes to all these questions? Will you be taking the self-installation route, or hiring a professional carpet installer? Share your thoughts in the comments. For more information see this.

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