How To Install Carpet Over Existing Carpet
Laying new carpet over existing carpet is a great way to save time and money on an install. The old carpet can act as the padding you would place under the new floor covering and you won’t be adding more material to already crowded landfills.
If your previous carpet has been glued to the floor then you may not want to deal with the time and the expense necessary to rip it all up and remove the old adhesive. Simply placing the new material on top can give your room a whole new look without the hassle and expense.
But doing the job well means knowing how to do it right and while paying an installer labor costs to do the work for you might seem like the best approach, doing the work on your own could be financially beneficial in the long run.
So this step by step guide is designed to help you make sure you’re accomplishing what you’ve set out to do with results that will seem like you had a professional come in and lay the carpet down for you.
Cause for Concern
Before you start on the process, you need to be sure you’re laying down new carpet on top of existing carpet that’s suitable for the task. That includes first measuring the height of the carpet to see how much higher your floor will be with two carpets stacked onto one another.
Layering can become a troublesome problem for rooms with low ceilings. It can also present challenges for pre-existing doors that might need to be res-ized in order to clear the higher carpet. You may also need to remove and reinstall any trim that has been installed in the room.
For best results layer your carpets with low-pile options both underneath and on top. The thinner your carpet, particularly that which you place on top, the better off your likely to be with this endeavor.
There’s also the concern for not being able to check the subfloor beneath your existing carpet. When new carpets are installed, the subfloor can be diagnosed for any major problems that might have developed over time.
If you don’t tear up your carpet, it’s tougher to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
Carpet Installation Steps
After you’ve considered your options and you still want to venture forth with installing new carpet over the existing one that is currently in your home, these are the steps you need to follow in order to do the job right.
This is something you should only have to do once, the closer you stick to the instructions, the more successful your installation.
Check the Backing
This goes for the carpet that has already been laid down. Pull up a small portion somewhere and check what kind of backing your old carpet has on it. You’ll see either jute or rubber and the type you currently have right now will determine what you need for the new carpet on top.
For jute, you’ll want lay down padding or a thin plywood underlay over the carpet before you lay down your new carpet on top. In the case of the latter, thin plywood is also good for carpets that are older and have a lot of visible wear and tear. It acts as a firm foundation upon which you can place the new carpet.
For rubber backing carpet, you shouldn’t need a pad, the carpet should be sufficiently supported by the existing carpet. That material will act as the pad instead.
Clean Your Carpet Thoroughly
Here is where your friendly neighborhood Chem-Dry comes in as they can give your old carpet a complete deep cleaning in order to eliminate all remnants of dirt, bacteria, germs, and other contaminants that can lead to mold under your new carpeting.
This is a very important step in the process for the health of you and your family. Carpets that have mildew underneath are a significant health hazard.
Installing Tack Strips
Here is where you’re going to apply the hardware for holding your carpet down on top of your old carpet. You need to cut out segments of the existing carpet where you’re going to insert your tack strips. This can be done with any heavy-duty razor or cutting utensil fit for carpet.
However, this is really only necessary for rubber-backed carpets and jute backing carpet don’t need this extra step included. Simply attach the strip over your old carpet.
In either case, you’ll need to secure the strips with a hammer and concrete nails that are long enough for penetrating the existing carpet if you’re not cutting out segments of the carpet to lay them in.
Roll Your Carpet Down
If you need padding put down first, then do that before you lay out your carpet material over the old one. Be sure all of the tack strips are covered.
Then stretch your carpet so that it covers the entirety of the floor and be mindful that you don’t have any wrinkles, folds, raised areas or other incongruities visible. When necessary, use heavy-duty glue to hold down the new carpet so that it fits tightly and securely.