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The traditional and most frequently used style of carpet installation is "Over Padding". Before the carpet or rug is put down, padding should always be laid first. Padding gives more cushioning for your feet and keeps the rug from sliding, which helps prevent slips, falls and spills.
For wall-to-wall carpeting installation, the most common method is to lay wooden tack strips around the perimeter of the room. The tack strips have pins sticking up that grab the carpet and hold it in place. The tack strips are attached to the floor using small nails, which leave holes in the floor when the carpet is removed. The padding also is usually either nailed or stapled to the floor.
No padding is used in "Direct Glue Down" installation. Adhesive is spread on the floor, the carpet is laid down and all seams are made. The adhesive creates a permanent bond between the carpet and floor. This type of installation is most commonly used with commercial type carpets. In residential applications it would be used in kitchens, basements and in outdoor situations like patios.
Carpet can be seamed and trimmed to fit wall to wall without being attached to the floor in a "Loose Lay" Installation. Binding can be applied (usually this will be an in store service and the carpet can then be delivered to you upon completion) for a nice finished edge. This type of installation is ideal in apartments were landlords will not allow installation of new carpeting, tile and wood floors that you don't want to damage with installation procedures, or situations were you will want to take your carpeting with you when you move.
The Waterfall method is the most common installation style for steps for steps. In this method the carpet is brought across the rounded nose of the tread and drawn down into the crotch at the base of the riser.
Upholstered steps are applied in the same manner as in waterfall steps with the exception that the carpet is attached to the underside of the riser first and then brought straight down the face of the riser to the crotch below. This is a more finished looking approach and defines the step more.
A Runner is a carpet strip slightly narrower than the step and is installed down the center of the stairs leaving exposed wood on both sides. The edges of the runner can be bound or turned under and the flow of the runner over the riser can be in either of the styles listed above. This method would be ideal when you have well-polished wood flooring that you would like to be visible but you would also like to have the comfort and warmth of carpeting.
Capped installation is used when the staircase has some or all of the steps open ended (i.e. not meeting a wall). This highly tailored style of installation is the most elegant when done properly.
Check the texture, color, and style, make sure there are no visible defects before installation. The carpet must be power-stretched to minimize wrinkling and rippling. Seam edges must be sealed with appropriate adhesive to prevent delaminating and edge ravel. Buying your carpet from an authorized "Seal of Approval" retailer will ensure a professional installation. A quality installation is critical to the performance of your carpet and will protect your indoor air quality.