Carpet Layers, Does Good Workmanship Matter?
Your choice of flooring can make or break the look your home. You know this so well, which is
why you patiently went through the process of researching and shopping around for the best
carpets to pull off the interior design you like.
You picked the best one and shopped smart. So now, it’s just a matter of installing the carpet layers. A word of advice: Don’t pick just any installer. Once your carpet is cut and laid, it’s there for a long time. Good workmanship is the key to achieving seamlessly carpeted floors.
Call in the pros
Installing carpet is a skill that is learned and honed through years of experience. It’s not simply a matter of covering the floor with carpet; installers follow a standard procedure to ensure the finished work not only looks good but also performs well.
First, carpet layers measure the room and plan the layout, taking into account traffic patterns and the placement of seams and transitions. Next, they inspect the floor for any imperfections that might show through or for any damage that needs repair. Patching holes or replacing worn subflooring is highly necessary.
Moreover, they need to lay on some carpet padding or foundation material that will provide
soundproofing and cushioning. This is an important step as the cushion also prevents excessive wear to the floor covering and keeps it looking nice. Finally, the carpet layers are rolled out, measured and cut. Every good installer knows to allow extra inches when cutting the carpet for the final fitting.
Seams and transitions
The true mark of good workmanship is being able to hide or minimise seams. The seams are usually joined by sewing or held in place by using heat-tape and a carpet iron. They have to be aligned perfectly with walls and thresholds, and must run along the direction of foot traffic to avoid fraying. A professional also knows better than to run seams perpendicular to doorway openings. If the carpet “blueprint” is not well-thought out, there’s a possibility that closet and bedroom doors may not swing free.
Carpets with patterns must be expertly cut to match the patterns at the seams. For some carpet styles, such as looped or low-cut pile carpets, the placement of the seam will inevitably show. This is known as telegraphing or “peaking”. Nevertheless, a good installer will know how to make the seam tight and less noticeable for an excellent finish.
Where two different flooring products meet, e.g. hardwood floor and carpet layers, it’s what we call a transition. Like seams, transitions must be minimised. Professionals use tried and true methods to match the surface heights of the two materials in order to achieve the smoothest possible transition.
Preparing for carpet installation
Being prepared for the installation will also make the process go faster and be a lot less stressful on you. Yes, that means you also have a part in this. So here’s a checklist of to-do’s and must-know’s before installation day:
- Furniture – All furniture must be removed from the areas to be carpeted. This includes home decor and other objects in the room. Some installers will do this for you, but expect an additional charge for it.
- Old floor covers – If you are renovating or replacing flooded carpets, consider beforehand how your old floor covering will be removed and disposed of. This will require quite a lot of time and can be messy. If you are planning to do it yourself, leave the tack strips in place and remove the staples from the original pad. It’s best to do this a day or two before installation so there is ample time for cleanup and floor preparation. On the other hand, we will be happy to discuss options for your old carpet removals.
- Subflooring – Depending on the type of carpet being installed, your existing subfloor may need to be prepared or replaced to receive the new covering. In many cases, mouldings and baseboards will have to be removed, and then retouched after the installation is complete. You should know that, this is not usually part of the carpet installer’s responsibility. But we will be happy to discuss this with you.
- Doors – Doors may need to be cut down or shaved off to ensure clearance. Sometimes, the doors may need to be removed during carpet installation and then re-hung afterwards. You’ll need to arrange for a qualified carpenter for this.
Carpets must have been power stretched to prevent bubbling or wrinkling. All carpet piles must run in the same direction throughout the house, sweeping down the stairway or towards the main entrance. Look around for any damage caused during installation.
Hiring professional carpet installers will minimise your worries and provide an enjoyable floor covering experience for many years.