Laying Integral-Pad Carpeting

Integral-pad (or cushion-backed) carpeting is bonded to its own cushioned backing, thus eliminating the need for a carpet pad. It's especially ideal for applying carpet directly over concrete. Cut-pile, berber, and other styles are available in a good selection of colors.

In small spaces, such as bathrooms and closets, you can cut the carpeting to fit and lay it without carpet tape. Edges have a tendency to curl in time, however, so it's best to anchor big pieces with double-sided tape.

Prepare the room as you would for any other type of carpeting. The floor should be structurally sound. Clean the floor well so the tape can adhere.

Buy double-sided carpet tape, which is 2 inches wide. It has a protective paper that covers the top; remove the paper only when you are ready to attach the carpet. If the installation involves seams, buy 5-inch-wide carpet tape and a seam adhesive recommended for your type of carpeting.

1. Test fit the carpeting.

Cut the carpeting several inches larger than the room and set it in place. Make sure piles fall in the same direction. Allow about 1 inch extra all around the perimeter of the room.

2. Mark for seam locations.

Join any seams by folding back one piece and drawing a line on the floor along the edge of the other piece.

3. Apply double-sided tape.

Center double-sided tape on the line and stick it to the floor. Check to see that the seam runs through the middle of the tape, then peel off the protective paper on top.

4. Apply seam adhesive.

Press one piece of carpeting into place, taking care not to create folds. Apply seam adhesive along its edge to cement the pieces together.

5. Roll a seam.

Use a rolling pin or seam roller to press the carpeting firmly against the tape. Brushing the pile will cause the seam to virtually disappear.

6. Make a tape border.

Without sliding the carpeting out of position, fold it back from two of the walls and apply a tape border. Smooth the tape before removing the paper.

7. Smooth the edges.

Roll the carpeting back so it retains its original position, then drop -- don't slide -- it onto the tape. Smooth the edges with your hands so the tape adhesive gets a good grip.

8. Trim off excess.

Trim off excess carpeting with a utility knife or a carpet knife. Tamp the edges down by rubbing the carpet with the heel of your hand. The pile will hide minor irregularities.

9. Finish with base shoe molding.

Finish by installing or replacing the base shoe molding. Nail molding to the baseboard, not the floor. Drill pilot holes and drive in finishing nails. Set the heads of the finishing nails with a nail set.

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