Bring in the Professionals
A quality installation is critical to the performance of your carpet. To put it simply, this is a job for the professionals. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends hiring an installation contractor who adheres to the CRI 105 (Residential) Carpet Installation Standard for all aspects of your installation.
In most cases, your retailer will handle the installation. If your retailer does not provide installation services, ask them to recommend a professional installer they trust.
Learn more: Home Carpet Installation Checklist
There are several things you can do, both before and after installation, to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Prepare for Installation
Here are some things to keep in mind before and during your carpet installation:
- Make sure that you understand the services your installer will provide and the prep work you need to handle yourself. For example, who is responsible for moving your furniture? If the installer will do the work, does the company charge an additional moving fee? Similarly, determine who will remove and dispose of the existing carpet and cushion. Check for carpet recycling options in your area.
- Complete other remodeling projects in the room, such as wallpapering or painting, before installing new carpet.
- Remove all breakable items from the area being carpeted and detach and store wiring from TVs, stereos, and computers.
- Vacuum the old flooring to reduce airborne dust and dirt. After the old flooring is removed, vacuum the subfloor as well.
- Inspect your new carpet’s texture, color, and style to make sure there are no visible defects before installation.
- Ask your installer to place seams in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams to be invisible.
- Insist that your installer follow the instructions from the carpet manufacturer and/or those set forth in the CRI Installation Standard. Among other things, this standard requires that carpet must be power-stretched for proper installation to minimize wrinkling and rippling. Seam edges must be sealed with an appropriate adhesive to prevent delamination and edge ravel.
- Finally, it is your responsibility to provide an adequate supply of fresh air during installation. Open windows and doors, use an exhaust fan, or operate the fan of your heating or air conditioning system. The “new carpet smell” will clear very quickly, usually in less than 72 hours.
After the Installation
In the months following installation, you may notice some changes in your carpet. Most of these are normal and will not affect the carpet’s life or appearance. Below are a few changes you may notice and some tips to address them as your carpet settles over time:
- Shedding: The shedding of loose fibers is normal and should subside with regular vacuuming.
- Sprouting: If a single tuft extends beyond the carpet’s surface, simply clip it off with scissors. Do not pull it out.
- Pile reversal or shading: Light reflections and bends in pile fibers (including those that occur following vacuuming) may result in color variations across your carpet. This is a characteristic of plush carpet, not a defect.
- Wrinkling: all your retailer if you notice wrinkles or ripples. It may be necessary to professionally restretch the carpet.
If you have any additional questions, contact your retailer and/or the carpet manufacturer.