It may not be the most thrilling part of your job, but we need to talk about the elephant in the room: How important diligent planning is in any carpet installation process! The planning stage of any carpet installation process is probably the most underappreciated factor in relation to just how severely it affects financial performance, for better or worse. To achieve a healthy profit, and avoid risk factors, you need to look at aspects like reducing wastage, avoiding delays and forestalling problems such as inadequate site access for heavy five metre long rolls of carpet.
To succeed, you need to be diligent both in planning and carefully checking all details. Creating a plan for your carpet installation is most – and a good way to start is to create a checklist for each project and following it carefully, as no two projects are entirely alike.
We recommend that you make a generic template for your carpet installation checklist, which you can adapt to your individual projects. Below, we'll share some of our best tips for how to plan a carpet installation.
Start with gathering information
Firstly, before any carpet has been ordered and cut you need to collate a host of information. So start by asking questions and keep asking until you have firm answers. As a minimum, you will likely need to talk with your client and carpet supplier. Some questions you might need them to answer are:
- What type of carpet is being installed? Plain, patterned, tufted, Axminster etc?
- What widths is the specified carpet available in?
- What is the recommended method of installation in regards to the specific carpet?
- What type of backing is required/specified for installing the carpet?
- What is the best subfloor for the carpet being installed?
- Does the site in which you plan to install the carpet have underfloor heating?
- What time of year will the carpet be installed? (As temperature will affect the installation.)
- Is the installation date likely to be met or is the project timeline overly optimistic?
Make your list of questions as long and detailed as necessary and be sure to pin down an answer for each. Information is KEY, so if in doubt ask. Remember: The time spent planning the carpet installation carefully is time saved from correcting mistakes down the line.
For wall to wall carpet installations you will also need to check:
- Seam positions
- Pile direction
- Best width of carpet to avoid excess wastage
- Site logistics (can the carpet be readily delivered to the site or are there access issues)
Acclimatisation of the site
When you're making your plan for installing a new carpet, it's important to check with your carpet supplier how long the carpet needs to be laid out flat on site prior to installation and alert the construction manager that this time is necessary. In cold seasons, you may need to also ensure that heating is available and will be turned on to assist with the eradication of creases and ensure the carpet will stretch correctly during the installation phase.
Depending on the adhesives used, the site may need to remain vacant after the carpet installation and be aired for 24 to 48 hours. Ensure you know the recommended time for airing and alert those in charge of the entire project as to this period of time.
Check the delivery
Once the carpet is delivered, it pays to follow a complete checklist to ensure all is in order and no mistakes have been made. This checklist should include:
- Carpet dye batches are the same and match. The same dye batches need to be kept together for use in any particular area/room. Where seams are required, the two pieces of carpet must come from the same dye lot, preferably the same roll, whether the carpet is plain or patterned.
- Check that patterns match up when laid out on site
- Check the labelling on each roll of wall to wall carpet and each box of carpet tiles to ensure the order is correct, there is nothing missing, and there are no mistakes. If you have any doubts about the suitability of a carpet to its intended use now is the time to speak up.
- Also check that the carpet underlay or backing is the correct product that has been specified and ordered.
Check you have the right gripper for the job
There are a number of different types of grippers with different pin heights and fixings for different subfloors. A good tip is to obtain carpet samples from the supplier prior to carpet installation so you can test you are using the appropriate gripper.
- Use a short pin gripper for thin gauge carpets such as flatweave
- Use a standard medium pin gripper for most tufted and woven carpets
- Use a long pin gripper for heavy, reinforced back carpets and thicker underlays
- A microplast gripper, a combination of microplast tape and standard gripper pins, is good to use on flatweave installations on stairs.
Always use grippers where possible, even in “double stick” carpet installations. You’ll find the carpet installation will look visually better and neater.
Check adjoining floor converings/finishes
Using the wrong trim where the new carpet installation meets different floor finishes can cause considerable problems. Understand what types of floor covering the carpet is being fitted up against so you can select the appropriate profile/trim for the carpet installation.
Ensuring a great finish
The finish of the carpet is what everyone will see – not the time spent actually installing the carpet. So, if everything has run smoothly until now, don't forget to incorporate some important detail-checking in the last part of your carpet installation plan.
When finalising finished levels of wall to wall carpet, here’s a key fact to remember: the finished height of any traditionally fitted wall to wall carpet installation should be total carpet thickness plus the thickness of the carpet gripper. There is a common misconception that the finished level of broadloom carpet is the thickness of the underlay plus the thickness of the carpet, however this will only be the case if gripper is not used.
Are you interested in having a chat with ege carpets about your next carpet project or do you need help with how to plan a carpet installation? Reach out to us here.