Carpet Installation Tips: Top 5 Insetting Shortcuts for Custom Rug Fabricators

When insetting design elements into wall to wall carpet it can be a challenge doing the work ‘on-site’, so why not plan ahead and save yourself the hassels and headaches associated with this type of installation? Here are a few tips.

As an experienced custom rug fabricator, I have been exposed to some tough on-site job requests. Admittedly, there are some projects that will demand your time ‘on site’ that you just can’t get around with a good shortcut. You just have to grin and bear it.

I always prefer to do the bulk of the fabrication at my workshop. This of course, helps me minimize the on-site time that I spend on a job – and keeps me off my knees! Working on the floor, as any installer can testify, is a grind. It’s really tough on the knees and body.

My workshop has large 4′ x 8′ tables (some linked together to create really big surface areas) that allow me to stand upright and do my work. I have anti-fatigue mats that run the perimeter of the tables and cushion my feet against the cold, energy sapping concrete. Personally, I’d much rather work in my own environment listening to music at high volume levels than working on-site.

Tip #1

Find a good carpet installer if you aren’t experienced in installation. As a trained rug fabricator, it isn’t necessary to be an installer too. Find the best installer that you can, plan your strategy for the project. Be there for the installation. Bring all of your gear and extra carpet. You want to be prepared for any last minute adjustments.

Tip #2

Have a clear understanding of your carpet cuts before you begin. If the whole house is facing a complete installation then this is especially important. If it’s just a room that you’re working on, then it’s no big deal because you’re ordering just enough carpet for that room.

Tip #3

When adding multiple borders around the perimeter of a room, you can pre-seam and pre-bevel the borders prior to installing. For example, if you have 3 borders, then seam/bevel the 3 borders at your workshop. Then seam once to the main field and bevel once ‘on-site’. I suggest mitering the corners of your borders as you install, this is more professional and hides those corner seams better. Even single border projects can be beveled prior to seaming (it is faster).

Tip #4

Prefabricate any design details that you possibly can. Example: Your client wants a few roses in each corner of the room. You can do the bulk of this work prior to going on-location, If your design is properly planned. If you’re really prepared, and the rooms aren’t too large, then you can prefabricate the whole room and install it in one piece, but be careful here because you do need to allow for power-stretching and trimming.

Tip #5

When insetting into existing wall to wall carpet. Do your research first. Examine the existing carpet closely. Is it in very good condition? Is it a good quality? You want the answers to these questions to be YES. You don’t want to waste your time working with old and tired carpet.

These are just a few tips for successful inset installations. If you do a quality job then your customer will love what you’re doing and appreciate the beauty that you are adding to their home. They’ll love you even more if you come in, quickly do your job, and leave a small footprint.

Working on-site doesn’t have to be a chore. As you can see here, planning ahead is the key. Save yourself valuable time and money by being prepared. Do as much prefabrication OFF-site as you can.