Installing a patterned carpet can seem daunting, but follow a few simple steps and soon you’ll be feeling as snug as a bug in a rug. First, make sure you have an accurate measurement of the length of your room. Pick out the best patterned piece by measuring the characteristics of bow, bias, repeat variation and edge trueness. Carefully line up seams, and you’re good to go!
Measure your floor space carefully and accurately. The average width of carpet is 12 ft, so if your room is wider, remember to buy double the length of material you purchase. Make sure to buy about 10 percent extra for trimming and adjusting. The key to flawless installation is a deep understanding of your pattern, which can be identified by four characteristics.
Bow refers to shape of the pattern widthwise. Stretch a string across a piece of uninstalled carpet to measure arches or other variations along the width. Patterned installations that don’t allow for bow will be crooked or wavy at the seams.
Bias is how square or slanted your pattern is. Stretch another horizontal string 9 feet down the carpet’s length and create an X with masking tape or chalk. Measure diagonally along the X; if the two sides are even, then your carpet is square.
Most carpets will identify repeat variation on the back of the carpet sample (it will most likely be displayed in inches – round that number to the nearest foot, and add it to the length when you buy your material).
Trueness of edge can be identified using the same stretched string you used to find the bow. Look along the seams at the length of your carpet and notice the points where the pattern is the farthest from the horizontal string.
With careful measurements and plenty of material, installing your own patterned carpet is an exciting project. Make sure to measure the features on a single piece of uninstalled carpet and positioning will be a breeze. Finally, it’s just a matter of carefully matching the seams on your carpet pieces and attaching them to the carpet backing and floor. Then, sit back and enjoy the way your patterned carpet ties the room together!