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How To Prepare Your Subfloor For Carpet Installation

Prior to installing carpet, you will want to take time to clean and prepare your subfloor. The subfloor is the concrete pad that is below any type of flooring you have. Cleaning and preparing this surface helps ensure your new flooring lies flat without any dips or bumps in it. Follow these steps to prepare your subfloor yourself before having carpeting installed.

Remove Everything From the Floor that You Can

The first step to preparing your subfloor is to remove everything from the subfloor that you can. This includes any carpet tack strips, carpet padding and leftover glue or adhesive. Use a metal scraper to gently scrape and lift up glue or debris that won't lift up with your hand. Continue scraping until the floor is free of debris. As you scrape, try not to dig deep into the concrete or you can scratch it or leave dents.

Clean the Subfloor

The next step to preparing the subfloor for carpet installation is to clean the subfloor. If your subfloor is stained or has an odor to it, you may want to clean it. These stains or scents are most frequently caused by pet accidents, but can also be caused by spills that weren't properly cleaned. To begin with, vacuum the floor to remove dirt, dust and any leftover glue residue.

If spots or stains are present, purchase a concrete soap and mix it with water, following the manufacturer's directions. Scrub the stained area with a medium-bristled cleaning brush. Once the stain has lifted, dab at the spot with a dampened cloth to remove soap residue and allow the floor to dry completely. Never place carpet padding or carpet over a damp subfloor or else mold may develop.

Level the Subfloor

The last step to preparing your subfloor for carpet installation is leveling the subfloor. If there are any dents or dips in the subfloor, you will want to level them with a leveling compound. This helps ensure your flooring is level once it is installed. The easiest way to level a concrete subfloor is to purchase a premixed leveling compound.

Apply a small amount of the mixture on a putty knife. Rub the mixture into the dip or dent until there is enough compound so that the dip or dent is level with the rest of the floor. Allow the compound to dry completely. Once the floor is level, carpet installation can begin.

It is important that your subfloor be cleaned and leveled before your carpet is installed. If you are having your floor professionally installed, this is something that a carpet installation company does on your behalf. If you are installing the flooring yourself, you will need to complete these tasks on your own.