Summary: Learn how to lay carpet underlay, fit gripper rods, and install the underlay padding.
Laying the carpet underlay
A carpet underlay has many useful properties which make it a common instalment underneath carpets. Although not all carpets require an underlay, it is important to have one for the carpets that do. An underlay will reduce carpet wear by acting as a cushion, which slows down the flattening of the pile. It also offers excellent heat and sound insulation. If you have under floor heating, it is recommended that you install a carpet underlay that has a good thermal conductivity rating.
- You will need to lay gripper rods around the perimeter of the room you are carpeting with the gripper teeth pointing towards the wall. There should be a gap between the rods and the wall of about the thickness of the carpet you will be laying. When nailing the rods to the floor use a carpet layers hammer or a claw hammer. These are narrow hammers that help you to avoid hitting the teeth on the rods. Use masonry nails or suitable adhesive if the floor surface is concrete.
- When you come across a corner in the room, cut the rods to size using a junior hacksaw and butt the rods up against each other.
- If you have a curved wall, you will need to cut the rods into smaller pieces to follow the curve as accurately as possible.
- Now you need to fix a threshold strip in the entrance to the doorway. This is a metal strip with teeth that holds the carpet down.
- Now you are ready to fit the underlay. Roll out a couple of metres and position it so it’s up against the top end wall and side of the room. Butt the underlay up against the gripper rods (not on top of the gripper rods).
- When fixing the underlay to the floor you can either staple it or nail it using tacks; on concrete floors use double sided tape.
- Continue to unroll the underlay, keeping it up against the gripper rods. Smooth it out so it stays flat and fix in position. Any pipes that need cutting around or excess underlay that needs to be cut to size can be done so using a utility knife.
- Staple gun
- Trimming knife OR craft knife
- Paper underlay
- Double-sided carpet tape
Carpet underlay installation video
Summary: DIY video showing you how to lay carpet underlay.
Not all carpets require an underlay but it is often recommended that you fit one because a carpet underlay can not only make your carpet feel softer and slow down the flattening of the pile, but it is also very good for heat and sound insulation.