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Installing Carpet Glue Down Method

Carpet Buying Guide Sections

How To Install Glue Down Method

Download Carpet Flooring Installation Instructions | PDF's
PDF icon for PDF fileQuick Guide on How–to–Install Carpet – 300kb pdf | Our short installation guide for those with DIY experience.
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The glue down/double glue down method is similar to the stretch method. However, you'll be gluing the carpeting and/or padding directly to the subfloor. This method is a good choice for:

  • Areas exposed to excessive humidity (such as boat docks, ramps or outdoor patios).
  • Inclines or ramps.
  • Offices or commercial areas with heavy foot traffic or modular furniture.

If you're using the glue down method, you will NOT install padding below the carpet. If you want to use padding, use the double glue method: You'll glue the padding to the subfloor then glue the carpet to the padding. Only use the glue down method if recommended by the carpet/padding manufacturer.

  • Prior to installation, keep the installation area at a comfortable temperature (between 65?F and 95?F).
  • Keep the relative humidity between 10%–65%.
  • Perform a Calcium Chloride and pH Alkalinity test on concrete subfloors. Acceptable ranges for Calcium Chloride should not exceed 5 lbs per 24 hrs per 1000 sq ft. The pH Alkalinity should be above 9 on the pH scale.
  • Unroll your carpet and allow it to acclimatize for 24 hours or as directed by your manufacturer.

Install the Padding

Only install padding if you are using the double glue down method. Ensure your carpet and padding is approved for this type of installation. Follow all the manufacturer's recommendations for spread rate, trowel type and open working time.

  • Roll out the padding in the area. Cut strips to cover the whole subfloor but do not overlap. There should not be any gaps between strips of padding.
  • Roll back and temporarily secure each strip. Apply the adhesive to the subfloor following all the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Unroll the padding into the adhesive.
  • Allow the adhesive to dry completely before installing the carpet.

Cut the Carpet and Seams

When cutting, use a carpet or utility knife. Cut along the face for loop pile carpeting or along the back for cut pile carpeting.

  1. Measure the longest wall in the direction the carpet will be installed and add 6".
  2. Unroll the carpet pile side down. Use a pencil and chalk line to mark your measurements on the back of the carpet.
  3. Fold the carpet at the chalk line and use a carpet knife to cut along that line. Use a straight edge to help ensure your cut is straight.
  4. If you will need more than one piece of carpet, measure and cut the next section until you have carpet for the entire area. Allow for 4"–6" of extra carpet on either side of each piece. You'll trim this once the carpet is laid out to ensure seams fit together tightly. If you are working with a carpet pattern, allow for pattern match.
  5. Layout the cut pieces of carpet in the room. There should be extra carpet along all walls, perimeters and seams. Avoid placing carpet seams directly above padding seams. Ensure the pile runs in the same direction on each piece.
  6. Weight down each section (with buckets of glue or paint). Or nail the carpet temporarily in place to avoid shifting.
  7. Trim the carpet so it is flush with the installation area and lays flat at all corners. When cutting outside corners, trim from top to bottom. When cutting inside corners, trim small "V's" (with the point of the "V" at floor level) until the carpet lays flat.
  8. At seams, overlap the two carpet pieces by 4"–6" (or more for pattern repeats). Make sure the pile is running in the same direction and that patterns match or repeat naturally.
  9. Place a scrap piece of wood below the overlap area to protect the padding or subfloor. Use a carpet knife to cut through BOTH pieces of carpet.
  10. Align the two pieces of carpet on the floor. They should fit together perfectly and patterns should match or repeat naturally. Discard any excess carpet.

Clue the Carpet

If using the glue down method, you will be gluing the carpet directly to the subfloor. If using the double–glue down method, you'll be gluing the carpeting to the padding.

  1. Layout the carpet as it will be installed. Make sure all seams are flush.
  2. Starting on one side of the room, roll back and temporarily secure each section of carpet. Ensure all carpet pieces are weighted or nailed down so that they do not shift when you roll them back.
  3. Use a trowel to spread the adhesive onto the subfloor or padding. Follow all the manufacturer's recommendations with regard to trowel type, spread rate and open working time. If your area has seams, seal the seams as you get to them. Refer to the next section for specific instructions.
  4. Unroll each section of carpet and lay into the glue. Ensure the carpet is firmly in contact with the adhesive.
  5. Use a push broom to sweep the carpeting to push out any air bubbles.
  6. Use a carpet roller (75–100 lbs for carpet only; 30–35 lbs for carpet and padding) to roll the newly installed section, if recommended by the manufacturer. Roll widthwise and lengthwise.
  7. Repeat Steps 2 through 6 for the other half of the room.

Seal the Seams

With the glue down method, you'll seal seams as you reach them during the gluing process.

  1. Apply the seam sealer according to the manufacturer's recommendations along one edge of a glued down section of carpet.
  2. Quickly, place the edge of the carpeting into the adhesive and seam sealer. Ensure the seam is tight but not overlapping. Make sure both pieces of carpet are firmly in contact with the seam sealer adhesive.
  3. Roll the entire seam as recommended by the adhesive manufacturer.
  4. Once all carpet is installed, remove any weights or nails.
  5. Allow the adhesive to set and dry completely according to the manufacturer's guidelines. This usually takes between 24–48 hours.
  6. Vacuum the area and cut any loose fibers; do NOT pull!
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