Installing Rubber Carpet Pads

Before you lay down carpet over your floor, it's important to first install rubber carpet pads. These pads, also known as underlay, are essential for the prolonged health and quality of your carpets. They help to protect the carpet from moisture and other damage from below and insulate the carpets from temperature changes and other incidences that may cause them damage. Read on for a brief guide on how to install a rubber carpet pad setup in your home before you lay down regular carpet.

Tools and Materials

  • Protective gloves
  • Carpet solvent
  • Pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer and nails
  • Stapler
  • Tackless strips
  • Rubber carpet pads
  • Duct tape

Step 1 -- Remove the Previous Underlay

If you're redesigning a part of your home and you need to install new carpet where carpet existed before, you should begin by first removing the old underlay. Do this by first wearing your protective gloves. Find the corner of the carpet underlay after you've removed the carpet and begin to pull it up by hand. This may require some force. As you remove the underlay, use the pliers to remove the staples that are holding that underlay in place. If you run into problems with the glue that is holding the underlay in place, use the carpet solvent to help loosen it so that you can remove it by hand.

Step 2 -- Repair the Subfloor, If Necessary

With the underlay removed, examine the subfloor for signs of damage and repair them. This includes nailing any loose boards back into place, removing debris or other items which may make the subfloor uneven, and repairing cracks or other damaged areas.

Step 3 -- Install Tackless Strips

Lay down tackless strips about a half inch from the wall around all sides of the room. Avoid placing them in front of doorways. The tack should be oriented toward the wall and the strips should connect at all corners and edges of the room.

Step 4 -- Cut the Underlay

Use the utility knife to cut the rubber carpet pads into strips. The strips should be long enough that they will run the length of the room easily. They should be as long as the tackless strips which will bind them to the floor.

Step 5 -- Lay the Strips

Lay out the rubber carpet pad strips starting at one side of the room and working your way to the other. As you do this, insert staples into the strips about every 6 inches along the way. Make sure that the strips butt up against each other but that they don't overlap at all. When you're done, use the utility knife to trim off any excess strip material that may be overlapping or hanging over the edge of the room boundary. Finally, cover up the seams of the carpet pad strips using duct tape to help ensure a secure underlay for your new carpet. You're now ready to lay down the new carpet over your floor.