How to Install Carpet on a Concrete Floor

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure

  • Chisel

  • Hammer

  • Self-leveling concrete

  • Tackless strips

  • Masonry fasteners

  • Foam underlayment

  • Foam underlayment adhesive

  • Duct tape

  • Carpet

  • Utility knife

  • Seam tape and seam iron

  • Knee kicker (carpet stretching tool)

  • Baseboard or trim


Consider using carpet tile if rolled carpet is too difficult. Carpet tile is a much simpler alternative that produces similar results.


Don't go for the thickest carpet padding available. Use the thickness recommended per the particular carpet you choose. Padding that's too thick for a particular type of carpet will bunch up and produce poor results.

Carpet Samples

It's hard to find a floor covering that can compare to the lush feel of carpet beneath your feet. While this material can range from simple to extravagant, the budget-conscious consumer will find many options available. To make the project even more affordable, it is possible to install your carpet yourself, saving yourself the expense of hiring a contractor to perform this work. When installing carpet, it's easiest to start with a solid concrete subfloor, which provides a stable base for installation.


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Step 1

Measure the room to determine how much material you will need. Once you've determine length and width, you can multiply these numbers to arrive at a square footage. Carpet is generally sold in yards, but if you provide the store or distributor with a square footage, they can transform this number into square yards for pricing and sales purposes.

Step 2

Patch the concrete subfloor as required. While carpet and underlayment will be able to hide some flaws in the concrete, sagging or bumby areas may show through. To prevent this, chip away bumbs using a hammer and chisel. Use a self-leveling compound to fill in any low spots. This will prepare the floor for successful carpet installation.


Step 3

Place tackless strips around the entire perimeter of the room. The strips should be installed 1/2" from the wall, with the tacks facing the wall. Shoot masonry screws into the strips every 6-8" on center to fasten them to the concrete. Use tin snips to cut the strips as necessary.

Step 4

Pour a bit of underlayment adhesive around the perimeter of the room. This will hold the carpet padding in place as you install it. The padding should cover the entire floor, but should not overlap. Tape the seams together using duct tape, but do not add flooring adhesive anywhere by the perimeter of the room.


Step 5

Lay out your carpet and measure it to make it fit your room. You will need to cut strips that are a few inches longer than the length of the room. Use your utility knife and cut from the back, making sure to cut in a straight, even line. Use a straight edge to guide you if necessary.

Step 6

Place the carpet into the room, butting the seams together and lining up the ends. Place seam tape, adhesive side up, under the carpet to connect the different pieces. Use a seam iron to heat the tape and join the sections together.

Step 7

Stretch the carpet as far as you can with your hands, then use a knee kicker to pull the corners into place. Start at one corner, hooking the knee kicker into the carpet. Use your knee to tap the knee kicker while pulling the carpet with your hands. Do this until you are able to attach the corner of the carpet to the tackless strips. Repeat this process for all four corners.

Step 8

Cut away the extra carpet around the perimeter of the room, or tuck it behind the tackless strips. Install baseboards or trim to cover this gap around the edge of the room.



Emily Beach

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.