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Laying underlay and carpet - advice please

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My son's bedroom has wooden floorboards laid down on it - some of which are quite gappy. Somebody has given me some underlay (8 mm foam), however, I have never used underlay before. I've looked it up … Read More
Sophiasky Avatar
11m, 2w agoPosted 11 months, 2 weeks ago
My son's bedroom has wooden floorboards laid down on it - some of which are quite gappy. Somebody has given me some underlay (8 mm foam), however, I have never used underlay before. I've looked it up on google, and it says to staple the underlay to the floorboards and to put down gripper carpet rods (never used those before either). My son's bedroom is very small (around 6 m2) and I was going to put down the carpet myself.

I do not actually own a staple gun and don't want the extra expense of buying one - can you use some type of staple/nail that can be hammered in instead? Also, I looked at gripper rods - which it says to nail to the floor, but I do not have a carpet stretcher and was wondering how you push the carpet on top of the gripper rods - seeing there are spikes sticking up on them? Any advice would be most appreciated. Thank you.
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Sophiasky Avatar
11m, 2w agoPosted 11 months, 2 weeks ago
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#1
Selling staple guns for £4.99 complete with staples in lids this week
#2
You'll need a staple gun, carpet stretcher, stanley knife, hammer and a carpet tucker. If it's just for one room I'd be tempted to get a price for someone to fit it for you.
#3
If you buy carpet, it often comes with free fitting. I know they include this in the price really.
#4
mutley1
If you buy carpet, it often comes with free fitting. I know they include this in the price really.

They would not do it, as the room is very small - only around 6 m2 (in an L-shape too, due to the built-in boxed staircase behind the bedroom door - free fitting for this company is for rooms larger than 12 m2.
#5
Just use adhesive, it's saves a lot of time. I'm putting down new underlay for entire house and I've just used adhesive. It's £4 a bottle from SCREWFIX
#6
Sophiasky
mutley1
If you buy carpet, it often comes with free fitting. I know they include this in the price really.
They would not do it, as the room is very small - only around 6 m2 (in an L-shape too, due to the built-in boxed staircase behind the bedroom door - free fitting for this company is for rooms larger than 12 m2.

Have you thought about laminate flooring instead? Easier to do it yourself and will last longer than carpet.
#7
Lay gripper rods an inch from skirting and put underlay up to gripper rods. I've seen underlay secured and unsecured, once carpet is on it it won't move anyway. Then need to trim carpet so it tucks (hopefully) under skirting. A knee kicker stretches the carpet to remove wrinkles and secure it over gripper rods. I've used a long bladed chisel to push the carpet under skirting but once you've paid for the knee kicker etc it's probably cheaper to get someone local to fit it.
Sounds simple but not always that easy, plus one mistake and carpet may be useless. I've done some and regretted a few.
#8
shubyz
Just use adhesive, it's saves a lot of time. I'm putting down new underlay for entire house and I've just used adhesive. It's £4 a bottle from SCREWFIX

Have you just used the adhesive on the underlay (to save using a staple gun) and then fitted carpet carpet gripper rods with the nails? Thank you.
#9
For the underlay rather than glue use tape http://www.screwfix.com/p/eurocel-double-sided-carpet-tape-white-brown-liner-50mm-x-25m/93189

In the old days they just used carpet tacks http://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-General-Purpose-Tacks-16mm-40g/p/516100 rather than gripper rod. Its cheaper and actually quite easy.

Edited By: mas99 on Aug 06, 2016 11:58
#10
Sorry, do you mean just for the underlay? My carpet is not foam backed so will need fixing down on top of the underlay, that is why I thought I would have to use gripper rods. Surely, if I used double sided tape on the carpet as well, it would not stick to the underlay properly?
#11
Sophiasky
Sorry, do you mean just for the underlay? My carpet is not foam backed so will need fixing down on top of the underlay, that is why I thought I would have to use gripper rods. Surely, if I used double sided tape on the carpet as well, it would not stick to the underlay properly?

Just read the reviews on Screwfix for this and somebody said:-
" stuck the underlay and then the carpet really well Will definitely use again "
So, I take it that they did use this to stick the carpet to the underlay?
banned#12
Just hire a professional, it ain't gonna cost more than £30/40.

All these other solutions may be fine, but if it's laid shoddy, it's gonna look shoddy, just cough up the initial expense.
#13
Long time since I did this and I am "old school" but for a room this size DIY without much outlay should be fairly easy.
First of all, knock up some papier mache and fill those floor board gaps - may as well do it while you can.
Next, make sure you have removed any nails etc still sticking up through floorboards so floor is nice and smooth.
Next, give it a good wash and let it dry naturally - a day or so.
Cover the floor with newspaper or brown paper.
Lay the underlay as best you can on this. Use carpet tacks to hammer down at edges and corners - not too many - you only need it to grip a bit while you put the carpet on top. Carpet tacks have big heads and very sharp points - quite easy to knock in with a hammer and easy to lift if it goes wrong. Make sure you get as far to the edge of the room as you can and try to ensure the tack head buries itself below the level of the underlay.
Do the same for the carpet - doubly ensuring head goes below surface - just so they are not unsightly showing and a bare foot cannot be caught on it easily. oh and you might want to put a layer of paper also on top of the underlay - just prevents a bit of sticking together to make it much easier when it comes to lifting it in the future.
#14
tardytortoise
Long time since I did this and I am "old school" but for a room this size DIY without much outlay should be fairly easy.
First of all, knock up some papier mache and fill those floor board gaps - may as well do it while you can.
Next, make sure you have removed any nails etc still sticking up through floorboards so floor is nice and smooth.
Next, give it a good wash and let it dry naturally - a day or so.
Cover the floor with newspaper or brown paper.
Lay the underlay as best you can on this. Use carpet tacks to hammer down at edges and corners - not too many - you only need it to grip a bit while you put the carpet on top. Carpet tacks have big heads and very sharp points - quite easy to knock in with a hammer and easy to lift if it goes wrong. Make sure you get as far to the edge of the room as you can and try to ensure the tack head buries itself below the level of the underlay.
Do the same for the carpet - doubly ensuring head goes below surface - just so they are not unsightly showing and a bare foot cannot be caught on it easily. oh and you might want to put a layer of paper also on top of the underlay - just prevents a bit of sticking together to make it much easier when it comes to lifting it in the future.

This looks a lot easier than using the carpet grippers - how far apart do you suggest that I place the carpet tacks along the edges of the carpet (hard back to it which seems covered in a very thin layer of felt)? Thank you.
#15
TBH I'd want to see the carpet and underlay before deciding exactly how to fix it. The weight, construction and stretch of the carpet makes a difference. I'd use tape on the underlay then tacks around the edge of the carpet. Getting tape sensibly between the underlay and the carpet might not be easy. carpet tacks are cheap, I'd not skimp - every 3 or 4 inches maybe?

Use a new blade in a decent knife to cut - anything a bit blunt will make a mess.

The advice from tardytortoise is good.
#16
mas99
TBH I'd want to see the carpet and underlay before deciding exactly how to fix it. The weight, construction and stretch of the carpet makes a difference. I'd use tape on the underlay then tacks around the edge of the carpet. Getting tape sensibly between the underlay and the carpet might not be easy. carpet tacks are cheap, I'd not skimp - every 3 or 4 inches maybe?
Use a new blade in a decent knife to cut - anything a bit blunt will make a mess.
The advice from tardytortoise is good.

I was hoping to get some carpet tacks at my local Screwfix (much nearer than Wickes), however, on their website I cannot see them stocked - thank you for the advice though, much appreciated.
#17
Just get a few rugs.
#18
Do what #13 says and here's a video. Just forget the grippers. https://youtu.be/vMbvshfAaK0:)
#19
Sophiasky
tardytortoise
Long time since I did this and I am "old school" but for a room this size DIY without much outlay should be fairly easy.
First of all, knock up some papier mache and fill those floor board gaps - may as well do it while you can.
Next, make sure you have removed any nails etc still sticking up through floorboards so floor is nice and smooth.
Next, give it a good wash and let it dry naturally - a day or so.
Cover the floor with newspaper or brown paper.
Lay the underlay as best you can on this. Use carpet tacks to hammer down at edges and corners - not too many - you only need it to grip a bit while you put the carpet on top. Carpet tacks have big heads and very sharp points - quite easy to knock in with a hammer and easy to lift if it goes wrong. Make sure you get as far to the edge of the room as you can and try to ensure the tack head buries itself below the level of the underlay.
Do the same for the carpet - doubly ensuring head goes below surface - just so they are not unsightly showing and a bare foot cannot be caught on it easily. oh and you might want to put a layer of paper also on top of the underlay - just prevents a bit of sticking together to make it much easier when it comes to lifting it in the future.
This looks a lot easier than using the carpet grippers - how far apart do you suggest that I place the carpet tacks along the edges of the carpet (hard back to it which seems covered in a very thin layer of felt)? Thank you.
i use a binary halfing technique. so 1 in each corner, 1 half between these 2. then 1 halfway between the centre and each corner. and keep halfing until you think you have got enough in. no exact science to it - just do what feels right.
if you do that with the underlay, when it comes to the carpet just tack slightly to left or right of those halfway points and then you cannot hit a tack with a tack

Edited By: tardytortoise on Aug 06, 2016 14:16
#20
tardytortoise
Sophiasky
tardytortoise
Long time since I did this and I am "old school" but for a room this size DIY without much outlay should be fairly easy.
First of all, knock up some papier mache and fill those floor board gaps - may as well do it while you can.
Next, make sure you have removed any nails etc still sticking up through floorboards so floor is nice and smooth.
Next, give it a good wash and let it dry naturally - a day or so.
Cover the floor with newspaper or brown paper.
Lay the underlay as best you can on this. Use carpet tacks to hammer down at edges and corners - not too many - you only need it to grip a bit while you put the carpet on top. Carpet tacks have big heads and very sharp points - quite easy to knock in with a hammer and easy to lift if it goes wrong. Make sure you get as far to the edge of the room as you can and try to ensure the tack head buries itself below the level of the underlay.
Do the same for the carpet - doubly ensuring head goes below surface - just so they are not unsightly showing and a bare foot cannot be caught on it easily. oh and you might want to put a layer of paper also on top of the underlay - just prevents a bit of sticking together to make it much easier when it comes to lifting it in the future.
This looks a lot easier than using the carpet grippers - how far apart do you suggest that I place the carpet tacks along the edges of the carpet (hard back to it which seems covered in a very thin layer of felt)? Thank you.
i use a binary halfing technique. so 1 in each corner, 1 half between these 2. then 1 halfway between the centre and each corner. and keep halfing until you think you have got enough in. no exact science to it - just do what feels right.
if you do that with the underlay, when it comes to the carpet just tack slightly to left or right of those halfway points and then you cannot hit a tack with a tack

Thank you for the advice - off to buy some tacks tomorrow.
#21
dereklogan7
Do what #13 says and here's a video. Just forget the grippers. https://youtu.be/vMbvshfAaK0:)

Thank you for the video, will be using the tacks as suggested in post number 13.
#22
Sophiasky
dereklogan7
Do what #13 says and here's a video. Just forget the grippers. https://youtu.be/vMbvshfAaK0:)
Thank you for the video, will be using the tacks as suggested in post number 13.
I'm sure you'll do a good job. :)
#23
I have now bought the tacks. Just one more question really - do I lay the underlay right up to the skirting board (with no gap in between) or leave it about an inch away from the wall (there is no space underneath my skirting board - they are flat on the wooden floor boards)? If I have to lay a slight space, how much do you suggest (about an inch)? Then, if that is done, the carpet would be put down right up to the skirting boards. The only thing that I thought about is that the underlay is 8 mm thick, so if a gap is left (like you do if you use gripper rods) the edge of the carpet would be 8 mm higher than the underlay if that makes sense (space underneath as no underlay below that piece of carpet)?
#24
Sophiasky
I have now bought the tacks. Just one more question really - do I lay the underlay right up to the skirting board (with no gap in between) or leave it about an inch away from the wall (there is no space underneath my skirting board - they are flat on the wooden floor boards)? If I have to lay a slight space, how much do you suggest (about an inch)? Then, if that is done, the carpet would be put down right up to the skirting boards. The only thing that I thought about is that the underlay is 8 mm thick, so if a gap is left (like you do if you use gripper rods) the edge of the carpet would be 8 mm higher than the underlay if that makes sense (space underneath as no underlay below that piece of carpet)?
Lay the underlay as close to the skirting board as you can.
Then lay the carpet as close to the skirting board as you can. You want a real snug fit - no need to leave any gaps.
#25
tardytortoise
Sophiasky
I have now bought the tacks. Just one more question really - do I lay the underlay right up to the skirting board (with no gap in between) or leave it about an inch away from the wall (there is no space underneath my skirting board - they are flat on the wooden floor boards)? If I have to lay a slight space, how much do you suggest (about an inch)? Then, if that is done, the carpet would be put down right up to the skirting boards. The only thing that I thought about is that the underlay is 8 mm thick, so if a gap is left (like you do if you use gripper rods) the edge of the carpet would be 8 mm higher than the underlay if that makes sense (space underneath as no underlay below that piece of carpet)?
Lay the underlay as close to the skirting board as you can.
Then lay the carpet as close to the skirting board as you can. You want a real snug fit - no need to leave any gaps.

Thank you, just wanted to check this before starting the job.

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