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    Carpet laying tools

    When laying carpet or vinyl flooring you will need a variety of tools. The most common are listed below.

    Carpet shears

    These are similar to scissors but are larger and more heavy-duty. They can be used for cutting underlay as well as carpets.

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    Napping shears

    These shears are specially designed for trimming the joins in a carpet. One blade has a flattened edge, which rests on the pile of the carpet along the seam and acts as a guide.

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    Carpet knife

    This is a heavy-duty craft knife with a retractable blade designed for cutting carpet and vinyl flooring.

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    Carpet bolster

    Usually made from forged carbon steel, a carpet bolster has a 75mm (3in) blade and is used to tuck the carpet behind gripper rods to fasten it in place.

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    Double-sided tape

    This tape is adhesive on both sides and is used for attaching either foam-backed carpet or vinyl flooring in position. This tape should also be used to fix underlay to a solid floor.

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    Knee kicker

    This tool is used to stretch and position hessian-backed carpet. There is a flat plate with teeth at one end and a large cushioned pad at the other. A dial on top of the plate can adjust the depth of the teeth. With the teeth gripping the carpet the carpet layer ‘kicks' the padded end with his knee. Knee kickers - or carpet stretchers as they are sometimes called - are expensive but can be hired.

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    Carpet-layers hammer

    A hammer with a narrow heavy head used for fixing gripper rods to the floor or stairs. It will drive the nails into the floor without damaging the teeth on the gripper rods. A specialist carpet laying tool, it may only be available from a carpet shop.

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    Staple gun

    Used to fix underlay to a wooden floor. Staple guns can be manual of power operated, but both can be hired.

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    Gripper rods

    These are thin lengths of timber with sharp teeth or ‘tacks' to hold down the edges of hessian-backed carpets. They are fixed around the room with nails hammered into a wooden floor or glued in position on a solid floor.

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    Threshold strips

    Similar to gripper rods, threshold strips are positioned in doorways and are nailed, screwed or glued in position. They grip the carpet, holding it in place while the top folds over the edge of the carpet to protect it.

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