How to Install Wall-to-Wall Carpet Yourself

Determine the Area of the Room

Measure the longest walls in your room. Multiply the length and width, and divide by 9 to determine the square yardage. Add 10 percent to allow for errors, irregularities and pattern matching.


Clean the Subfloor

Make sure the surface to be carpeted is smooth and clean. Scrape up any paint or joint compound and sweep and vacuum the floor thoroughly.


Remove the Doors

If possible, remove the doors from the room so you won’t have to work around them. Having the doors out of the way will also make it easier for you to cut off the bottoms of the doorjambs if necessary.


Install the Tackless Strips

Cut the tackless strips to size with a strip cutter or heavy snips (Image 1). Nail the strips 1/2″ from the wall (Image 2). Don’t install tackless strips across thresholds or doorways; the tacks on the strips are sharp and could poke through the carpet and hurt your feet. Tackless strips come in a variety of widths, thicknesses and heights. Make sure you’re using the correct size. If you’re installing carpet over a concrete subfloor, use masonry tacks or epoxy adhesive to hold the tackless strips in place.


Install the Carpet Pad

Lay out the carpet pad perpendicular to the direction you plan to install the carpet (Image 1), and staple it near the tackless strips with a staple hammer (Image 2).


Staple Any Pad Seams

Staple the seam of the pad, alternating staples so that they aren’t beside one another. Stretch the padding so that the pieces are butted tightly together.


Trim the Pad

Feel through the padding to locate the tackless strip, and use a utility knife to cut away the padding along the interior edge of the strip (Image 1) so that all the tacks are exposed (Image 2).


Cary Wiedman

Notch Corners for Trimming

Measure the room at its longest point, and add 3″ to the measurement. Take the carpet outside if possible, and notch the back on both sides at the appropriate length. The carpet will be easier to handle outside. You might want someone to help you.

Deep Clean Your Natural-Fabric Couch For Better Snuggling

After a long day, your cozy couch is the perfect place to unwind, which sometimes involves stinky feet or a late-night snack. You might not realize your couch is a bit dirty, but giving it a deep clean helps remove built-up stuff that you’d rather not think about — like sloughed-off skin cells and leftover bits of food. If you have a natural-fabric couch, here’s how to make your sofa look like new again.

Identify the Fabric

Couches come in lots of shapes and materials, with some even having removable and washable cushions. If you are lucky enough to have a cotton-blend or linen couch, you can easily clean it with natural ingredients. Before getting started, give your couch a good once-over to figure out what it’s made from. Most have a tag that identifies it as:

  • W: OK to use water for cleaning.
  • S: Only use a solvent-based cleaner on fabric.
  • SW: Either water or a solvent cleaner is safe to use.
  • X: Only use a vacuum for cleaning.

Prep Your Couch

Get your couch ready for grooming by using a clean and dry white hand towel or washcloth to brush the entire piece of furniture, breaking up any dried-on spots and removing any bits that have made homes of nooks and crannies. You can also use a stiff brush for this step. Avoid using any colored towels or sponges, as the dye may alter the color of your couch.

Deep Clean

Sprinkle the entire couch with a good heap of baking soda. Baking soda helps release lurking smells and break up stains in the fabric. If you’re feeling your sofa really needs a serious clean, mix together this dry natural carpet cleaner, and then use for covering the fabric. Allow the baking soda to sit on the couch for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour before vacuuming using a brush attachment.

Stains, Begone

Now take a closer look at the couch to find any lingering stains. Mix together this easy cleaning solution, and do a small fabric spot test in an unseen location to check if there’s any discoloration. Dip the washcloth in the cleaning solution, and gently dab and rub stains — or simply use for wiping down the entire couch. You’ll be amazed with the results!

Just Like New

Allow the couch to dry, and touch up as needed. It may appear darker in color until it’s completely dry. This cleaning method is safe to use on fabrics and can be done anytime your sofa needs a cleaning — or a little touch-up.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff