How to Lay Indoor-Outdoor Carpet on Concrete

Indoor-outdoor carpet may be the perfect answer for basement rooms or work areas because it's designed for easy cleaning and resistance to stains and fading. Concrete needs the right preparation before the installation date arrives. Carpets placed in areas exposed to weather, moisture or dampness should have an all-weather backing added to prevent moisture buildup. A high-quality indoor-outdoor carpet tape adds an additional level of moisture protection to the carpet. This job works better with an assistant.

Things You'll Need

  • Self-leveling compound
  • Putty knife
  • Variable hand grinder
  • Stand-up grinder (optional)
  • Transition strips (optional)
  • Double-stick adhesive tape
  • Sharp carpet knife
  • Carpet roller
  • Sharp scissors

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Fill in holes or chips in the concrete, using self-leveling compound filler and a putty knife. Sand out bumps with a variable-speed hand-held grinder for small areas of concrete. Rent a stand-up concrete sander for large areas of rough concrete. Sweep and vacuum the floor to remove all dust and debris.

Choose the right day to lay the carpet. Indoor-outdoor carpet should be placed on a day when humidity is 10 to 65 percent and temperatures 55 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the carpet to fit the room. Cut from the backside of the carpet, using a sharp carpet knife. Add 3 extra inches along all sides for the best fit. For example, a 120-inch-square, or 10-by-10-foot, room would require the carpet be cut at 123-by-123 inches. Snip away loose threads with sharp scissors.

Adhere double-sided tape around the perimeter of the room. Leave the protective paper in place on top of the tape.

Create a 6-inch 'X' of tape every 2 feet, starting with the center of the room and working out. Leave the protective paper coating on top of the tape.

Place the Carpet

Place the carpet in the room by unrolling it face up and allowing it to expand for an hour.

Center the carpet and push it into place. The carpet should curl up the sides of the wall about 3 inches all around the room.

Cut an incision in the carpet to fit the carpet around protruding corners. Start at the top of the carpet and cut down toward the protruding corner.

Cut the carpet at the inside corners, using a V-shaped incision. Cut down from the corner of the carpet to the floor. Once each corner is cut, the carpet should rest flat against the floor.

Adhere the Carpet

Walk to the center of the back wall, the wall furthest from the door or entry. Gently pull the carpet away from the floor and roll it back to the center of the room. Remove the paper backing on the tape. Gently roll the carpet back over the tape. Push the carpet back down and into place against the exposed tape.

Pull the remaining carpet away from the floor and roll it back over the just adhered carpet. Remove the paper backing on the tape. Starting from the center of the room, begin rolling the carpet back into place on top of the exposed tape. Push the carpet into place at edges and corners.

Roll a 50-pound carpet roller across the carpet to soundly adhere the carpet to the tape.

Trim excess carpet along the walls, using a utility or carpet knife. Use a carpet knife by holding it parallel to the floor and trimming around the perimeter of the room. Push the edges of the carpet under the wall.

Tips & Warnings

  • A transition strip at the entry or along exposed edges of carpet (places where the carpet is not against a wall) can protect the installation from raveling.
  • Allow damp concrete to dry for 60 days before applying carpet.


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