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So you've decided to get new carpet for your home. Your next step is to prepare your room (or rooms) for the installation process, which probably means moving furniture from your space--and then bringing it back again. And maybe that furniture includes large, heavy pieces not so easily removed. Can you fit carpet with furniture in the room? We dug into this reasonable question, found what you need to know about fitting carpet and whether you can or can't keep your furniture in the room during installation.
Most professionals will advise against keeping furniture in a room while installing carpet because it alters the carpet's tension and fit, causing many problems. However, there are situations where moving weighty and large pieces isn't possible. Or perhaps you'd like to fit carpet yourself. For all these situations, we have some suggestions, and none of them will leave you feeling helpless and overwhelmed.
Let's explore what fitting new carpet entails, how to prepare your space for it, and what to do about the daunting task of moving all your furniture out of the room and then back again to its original place. Keep reading as we break down these guidelines and options for you.
The Carpet Installation Process
Typically, the process of installing carpet requires professional fitters. You may wonder why since cutting carpet for a room sounds pretty straightforward and would almost certainly reduce a carpeting project's cost. Before heading in that direction, consider what a professional installer is trained to do and how those skills prevent the problems that could potentially ruin your space.
Carpet fitters' skills are quite technical, requiring precise cuts, snug fit to baseboards, and stretching the carpet to the appropriate tension--all of which require specific professional-grade tools. Without them, rippling, movement, and even the tiniest of off-center placement will defeat your goal, and possibly wreck the carpet--already a significant financial investment. What's more, such problems are not only a visual distraction but a tactile one as well. It certainly isn't comfortable to walk over carpeting with lumps, bumps, or creased ripples.
The Weight Of Furniture
If fitting carpet depends on the placement and stretch of the material, the need to remove furniture when installing it becomes even clearer. The furniture's weight and position will inevitably affect how the carpet is stretched, even if it isn't immediately noticeable. In fact, in some cases, the carpeting problems won't be obvious until the project is done, the furniture is in place, and people have tread upon the carpet for some time.
With this in mind, flooring experts often require that all furniture be cleared from the room to be carpeted. What's more, you may need to disassemble some furniture to move it from your space and then move and reassemble it again after the carpet is fitted.
Moving furniture for carpet fitting is tremendously time and labor-intensive. It can be hard on a person's back muscles and knees, and undoubtedly necessitates at least two strong-abled people. This is no small project, and homeowners are best served to remember these important considerations.
Is It Possible To Keep Furniture In The Room During Fitting?
Yes, it is possible to keep furniture in the room to be carpeted, piling and shifting your pieces as you install the carpet. But, overall, this is not recommended. Fitting carpet is already a job requiring finely-tuned precision. Adding another shifting weight variable to the process will undoubtedly affect the tension that is key to a properly fitted carpet.
Do Carpet Installers Charge To Move Furniture?
Considering all that is involved in moving furniture--disassembly, reassembly, passing heavy and sometimes tricky pieces through doorways--it is a good question to wonder if the fitters can move furniture, as well as how much it would cost. The answer varies depending on who is installing your carpet.
If you purchase your flooring and installation work from any large chain home improvement store, their fitters will typically move basic furniture items free of charge. There are usually some exemptions such as taking apart bed frames, wall units, entertainment centers, or dressers with detachable mirrors. In such instances, carpet installers may move these pieces for an additional fee. The average cost for this service ranges between $4 per yard or $1 per square foot.
For quick reference, here are some pieces installers will not move, even for an additional fee. Extremely large, heavy, or fragile items; grandfather clocks, antiques, china cabinets, electronic beds, pianos, pool tables, and large exercise equipment. So, depending on the furniture you have, it may be worth hiring professional movers, despite the extra cost.
Can Carpet Fitters Work Around Beds?
You might have furniture, such as a bed or wall unit, that are better off remaining in place, with the carpet cut around them. Yes, carpet fitters can work around these pieces, though possibly charging a higher fee. They will be quick to offer these reminders: 1. Any future movement of your bed or wall unit will leave an unfinished floor area should the items ever be moved 2. Finding matching carpet to fill this hole cannot be guaranteed, and 3. There may likely be visual seams between the existing and added carpet.
Having a thorough discussion with your installers about your situation and finished room goals can alleviate potential problems and possibly discover other solutions for any other issues at hand.
Do Carpet Fitters Fix Floorboards?
Again, the answer to this question depends on who is doing the installation. Yes, carpet fitters can fix a floorboard or two. There may be a small fee, but since most carpet installers have extensive knowledge about flooring in general, including subfloors, they'll most likely know exactly what needs to be done.
If you have an entire area of floorboards needing repair, that's a different situation. You will need to call on a builder or carpenter, both of whom will have their pricing for their services. If you are looking to save money or have a small area to fix, a quick search online will offer several suggestions to fix the squeaky or broken floorboard yourself.
Can You Fit Carpet Yourself?
While professionals will dissuade you from fitting carpet yourself, it's not an impossible task. Just be sure you have at least two people for the job, precise measurements, the right tools, and lots of patience.
A few words of caution: installing carpet yourself is a very labor-intensive project. Moving both the old and new carpet back and forth requires heavy lifting. This could aggravate already existing muscle or back problems. Likewise, fitting carpet will require many hours of kneeling, including the repetitive stand/kneel movement inherent to a project like this.
Finally, if you do choose to fit carpet yourself, make sure you have a carefully detailed plan in place. Ensure you have plenty of assistance, a reasonable timeframe, and the appropriate tools and equipment that can save wear and tear both on your body and on the carpet.
What Tools Do You Need To Fit A Carpet?
As previously mentioned, installing wall-to-wall carpeting is a fairly specialized job requiring specific tools. Improvising using standard hardware and tools you may find in your basement or garage won't cut it. Thankfully, some of these specialized tools are available to rent or purchase as a set.
Here is a list of tools you need to fit a carpet:
- Carpet cutter
- Seaming iron
- Power stretcher and/or knee kicker
- Claw hammer
- Tape measurers
- Staple gun
- Carpet tack strips
- Floor tape
Can You Work On Other Room Projects Before Carpet Is Installed?
While you're at this stage in your home improvement efforts, now would be the time to replace or paint your baseboards. Likewise, if painting the room is an upcoming project, do it before the new carpet is installed. It's unlikely you'll have this opportunity again to work under these conditions anytime soon. Plus, new carpet, upgraded baseboards, or fresh paint can further transform your room's look and feel.
Fitting new carpet in your home is a great investment both for now and potential home value in the future. You'll want to make sure this project is appropriately done without cutting corners or making common mistakes during the process so that your finished room gives you the look and comfort new carpet can provide.