Carpet Installation: What to Expect & How to Prepare
Professional Carpet Installation
At the time of your purchase, your flooring retailer will either have professional carpet installers on staff or will recommend an independent installer in your area. In most cases, the retailer will handle all the details of arranging the installation.
Your flooring retailer will first send a professional estimator to your home to measure your floors. The estimator will determine exactly how much carpet you will need to buy and, in most cases, will determine the layout of the carpet in the room. Among other considerations, the estimator will decide where to place seams, how to match patterns, and how to minimize carpet waste.
From there, a professional carpet installation will be scheduled. Flooring retailers have their own procedures for arranging and scheduling a professional installer, and you should ask for all the details they can provide. But the following guidelines will give you a good idea of standard practices.
Who moves the furniture?
Although most carpet installers will remove furnishings from the room, you should remove all breakable items--like vases, lamps, collectibles, and dishes--before the installer arrives. You should detach wiring from TVs, VCRs, stereos, and computers. You should also clear desktops, tabletops, and bookshelves.
Will they move the piano?
The complimentary removal of furniture is often limited to those items that two men can easily handle. Some retailers may charge an additional fee for large, cumbersome items, including pianos, pool tables, aquariums, and oversized furniture. All of these items may vary by retailer and you will need to verify this with them before installation of your new carpet.
What if my doors no longer close?
Some doors may need trimming to accommodate the thickness of your new carpet. Doors that do not open and close properly due to the new floor may be removed during installation, and it will be up to you to have the doors cut and re-hung.
What about moldings?
It may be necessary to remove moldings and reattach them during installation. Because some moldings, particularly quarter round, are fragile, breakage could occur. If it does, you will be responsible for replacing them. Scratches or nicks to baseboards are also a possibility, and you will be responsible for the touchups. Shaw's revolutionary soft carpet backing, SoftBac, virtually eliminates damage to walls and baseboards during installation.
Will installers move my water heater?
Professional installers aren't typically skilled in plumbing or electrical work. They will remove appliances from the room to install your flooring under or around them, but they do not typically disconnect or reconnect gas, water, or direct-wired appliances. Most installers also won't disconnect computer systems.
What about the bedrooms?
All sheets, blankets, and spreads should be removed from beds before the installers arrive. All items from the tops of dressers and from closet floors should also be cleared.
What if the sub-flooring is damaged?
All floor coverings, including carpet, need to be installed over a structurally sound and properly installed subfloor. Any wood that has been damaged by insects, water, or other factors should be repaired prior to carpet installation.
Do I have to remove my old carpet?
The removal of existing carpet on the day of installation is typically a part of an installer's service, but you should ask to make sure. Hauling the old carpet and padding away may require an additional fee.
Do I need to supply anything?
Installers provide the know-how, the equipment, and the muscle; you provide the power. Installers will need to use your power for their electrical tools, and they will typically use such areas as porches or patios to store equipment.
Other Installation Tips
Either the night before or the morning of your installation, vacuum the old carpet to minimize the airborne dust and particles that removing it will cause. Additional Carpet Installation Resources.
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Five common carpet myths debunked.
Learn about proper installation and your warranty.
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