How to Prepare for Carpet Installation

man installing new carpet

Since we are in the process ourselves, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a quick guide on how to prepare for new carpet installation. There’s a lot to be done to simplify the process, as I have learned!

You’d think choosing from the zillion colors, styles, patterns, and textures would be the hard part. Nope – there’s a lot of work getting ready for carpet installers (I don’t even want to think about doing it ourselves!)

It’s a lot easier process if you can change the carpets in an EMPTY house. Just for the record.

Getting New Carpet?  Here’s How to Prepare for Installation

It’s hard to believe we are in the final stages of our whole-home renovation.  The end is in sight, although it still seems impossibly far away.

One of the very last items on the list is new carpeting.  We are replacing dark brown shag carpeting throughout the upstairs, that may be (cross my fingers I sure hope not!) original when this house was built in 1983 (Yuck!)  Carpet doesn’t last 36 years, does it?  Maybe the previous owners had it replaced at some point.  At any age, it is high time we replaced it.

We are getting this lovely, modern, tan and white berber carpet installed next week.  I’m not embarrassed to tell you we chose it partly to match the dog. Shedding is real, my friends.  The carpet is also a Stainmaster, because, again, dog.

how to prepare for carpet installation

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The carpet is chosen, ordered, and paid for, and we have professional installers, so you would think my work is done.  You would think wrong.  There’s a lot to do to prepare for new carpets!  Improper prep can cause delays and extra expense, so know what is expected of you before the contractor’s truck pulls into your driveway.

Related Post: How to Organize Your Home Without all the Stress

Before You Sign a Contract for New Carpeting – Know This Information!

  • The contractor should review with you exactly what areas will be carpeted.  Don’t forget stairs, landings, and especially, closets!  The contractor will then take measurements, and should review the layout again with you just to be sure no area was overlooked.
  • In addition to carpet, you will need to choose padding.  There are usually 3-4 different quality levels.  Get the best you can afford.  It will not only impact your walking experience, good padding will extend the life of the carpet.
  • Determine who will remove and dispose of the old carpet.  I recommend you give this job to the contractor, even if you have to pay extra.  It’s heavy, messy work.
  • Baseboards – will you be keeping your baseboards or replacing them?  Generally, baseboards get installed BEFORE carpeting, but AFTER hard flooring.  Find out for sure how your contractor works it so there are no surprise time delays.
  • Determine who is responsible for moving furniture on installation day.  Chances are good you will have to do some heavy lifting yourself, and the contractor will only move the largest pieces, such as sofas and beds.
  • Do you have any items that are extremely difficult to move, such as a piano, waterbed, aquarium, or pool table?  Determine what arrangements must be made for these items.
  • Is the carpet in stock or must it be ordered?  How long will that take?  How long after it arrives will it take for the installation to be scheduled?  Where will the carpet be stored during that waiting period?

Just Before Your Carpet is Installed – There’s Work To Be Done!

  • Move all furniture that is your responsibility to move.  Even if the installer is doing most of the large, heavy furniture, you will still need to move chairs, small tables, lamps, nightstands, and such.
  • Clear the surfaces of all remaining furniture.  Completely. 
  • If there are items you will need during the installation (laptop, eyeglasses, dog’s leash, diapers, shoes…), make sure you put them somewhere you can access them easily.
  • Disconnect and remove all electronics, such as computers, stereos, tabletop televisions.
  • Empty the closets of any low-hanging items and anything on the floor.
  • Remove bedding and pillows from all beds.
  • Remove all miscellaneous décor items.
  • Clear the walls of art, mirrors, and drapes.

More Things to Prep

  • Clear furniture, décor, wall art, and scatter rugs from the pathway to the area being carpeted.  Carpet is bulky and heavy, and you need to make it as easy as possible for the installers to get it where it needs to be.
  • Move cars out of the garage so that it can be used as a staging area for the contractor.
  • Consider boarding your pets for the day and letting children stay with a friend or relative, for their safety and your peace of mind.
  • If children will be home, make sure they have plenty of distractions located safely away from where the installation will take place. 
  • Think ahead about what access you will have to the kitchen and bathrooms.  It may be wise to pack drinks and snacks to keep near you if the contractor will be working in the vicinity of the kitchen.

After Installation

So, now that you’ve had a long, crazy day with strange men constantly going in and out of your house, your carpet is in!

Make sure you have a copy of the work order, carpet care instructions, and warranty information.

And now, you get to move all that furniture back, along with the rest of your things. But first, take time to walk through all of the areas of installation. Make sure the carpet has been installed properly and to your satisfaction, and there are no stains (we found a big ink blot in our hallway – fortunately we caught it before the installation crew left!) The fun never ends.

Depending on the carpet you’ve chosen, there may be an odor for a day or two. You may need to keep windows open during this time.

Was it worth it? YES. Relax on the couch with a cup of tea, or better yet, a nice glass of wine (white only, if you’ll be in a room with the new carpet!)

Read More:

Final Thoughts on The Complete Carpet Installation Guide

Ultimately, the more you plan ahead, the easier the installation will go.  Be prepared for dust, debris, and disruption, and strangers coming in and out of your home.   It’s a temporary situation, so make the best of it. It will all be worth it when you are sinking your barefoot toes into your beautiful new carpet!

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how to prepare for carpet installation

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