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 the installation.
In most cases, the retailer will handle the details of arranging installation. At the time of purchase, ask your floor covering retailer to recommend a professional installer if there is not one on staff. Be sure to ask about additional fees, such as the removal and disposal of old flooring and moving larger furniture pieces.
There are several things you can do, both before and after installation, to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Preparing for the Installation
When getting carpet installed, make sure that you know what services your installer will provide and what you might need to handle yourself. For example, there may be an additional charge to move your furniture. Here are other some things to keep in mind before and during carpet installation:
- 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 carpet to avoid the possibility of airborne dust and dirt. After the old carpet and cushion are removed, vacuum the subfloor as well.
- Determine who will remove and dispose of the existing carpet and cushion. Check for carpet recycling options in your area.
- Check your new carpet (texture, color, and style) to make sure there are no visible defects before installation.
- Ask that seams be placed in less visible areas, but don’t expect seams to be invisible.
- Insist that the 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. Here’s what to do as the 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. Do not pull it out.
- Pile reversal or shading – This seeming color change may occur in various parts of the carpet, caused by light being reflected in different ways as pile fibers are bent in different directions. This is a characteristic of plush carpet, not a defect.
- Wrinkling – If ripples occur, call your retailer. It may be necessary to professionally restretch the carpet.
If you have any additional questions, contact your retailer and/or the carpet manufacturer.