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How to install carpet tile


Written by RDotson

April 3, 2023

How to install carpet tile!

Here at The Last Inventory, we love carpet tiles!
So, today we are going to explain to you how to install them. We are excited to share this with you because we know this will save you a lot of money, time, and frustration. Many of you have asked,

“Is carpet tile installation easy?” 

“Can anybody do it?”

Our answer is yes, absolutely! So let’s get started. Don’t have any carpet tile yet? Click here

Carpet Tile Thumbnail

First this you will need to do is measure & pop a chalk line:

First things first, you’ll need a chalk line. Before we drop a chalk line to get a straight line, let’s get some important measurements. You want to measure a few points the same distance from the wall and then line your chalk up along those points.

You want to measure off the wall about one inch more than the width of the tile. This should account for any areas of concern where your carpet tiles may be short you would have to make more cuts but doing it this way would help prevent you from running short. For example, if you are using a 24-inch wide carpet tile, you would measure 25 inches off the wall and drop your chalk line there. This is going to make sure your carpet tiles do not start to get off-line as you make your way farther into the room.

Installation with Uncle Pete

The second step, we are going to glue the area

It is important to use the correct glue for carpet tiles. That glue is called pressure-sensitive modular tile glue. This glue is pressurized, so when you put the carpet tile down it will not move under pressure; however, if you decide to take the floor up, it is very easy. Even if you decide to replace a stained or damaged tile, you do not have to reapply the glue. It will always remain tacky. What makes this glue special is that you do not have to work incredibly fast to get all the tiles down before the glue no longer will stick to the tiles. You can apply the glue and lay one tile a day if you so choose (not that you would, but you could)! In addition to the glue, you will need a 1/16th-inch notched trowel or flat-side trowel to apply the glue to the floor.

Now that you have the glue and trowel, pour a small portion of the glue and use the trial to spread the glue in what we call the “half-moon spread.” You want to control the glue by spreading it towards your left to right in an arc-shaped motion. You will want to start at the furthest corner of the room from the exit and glue yourself out of the room. DON’T TRAP YOURSELF IN THE ROOM!

The third step is, we want to pick a pattern and begin laying the carpet

Now it’s time to pick your design! There are a few to choose from, so we suggest before you even glue anything down, lay out a couple of designs or a couple of patterns that best fit your area.

You will know your glue is ready for application whenever it is translucent. You can see through the glue to the floor, and you can see the chalk line that you initially put down. On the back of each carpet tile, there should be a pile direction. Look for the arrow. It will point you in the right direction. Pile direction is important because all carpet essentially has a natural flow. If you happen to run all your carpet forward, and there is one that happens to run backward, against that flow, that one carpet tile will either look lighter or darker compared to the rest. Consistency is the key. Start with the chalk line and work your way through the room maintaining your pattern throughout. When you get to a wall you can either leave all the cuts for the end or make the cuts as they come up.

Side Note: Cutting your carpet tile

Okay, so it’s now time to make your carpet tiles fit into those edges by making your cuts! A couple of tools you will need: a tucker and a carpet knife (don’t use a utility knife!) So whether it’s the wall, the bottom of a staircase, or a stage, the concept is virtually the same.

To cut, lay your carpet tile as though it already fits where you intend to lay it. Now, you want to use your tucker to create a crease in the tile along the wall to define where you will make your cut! Now you will take your carpet knife and cut along the crease you made. However, you are going to make this cut TOWARDS YOU. It sounds backward from everything you have learned but controls the blade. When you cut away from yourself, the cut will come out crooked and will waste your tiles. When you run the blade towards yourself, it results in a much straighter, cleaner cut. 

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