7 Tips to Getting the Best Carpet Seams

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
File cutter
Carpet seaming tape
Seam adhesive
Carpet iron

Making the perfect seam when laying carpet can seem like a challenge, but with a little patience and the right attitude you will have no trouble. Although the best seaming methods can depend on your specific carpet, here are some general tips for creating great seams, or for fixing problems you may be having with yours.

1. Reducing Seam Peaking

One persistent problem with carpet seams is peaking. To smooth this out, you will want to stretch the carpet tighter parallel to the seam, and let the carpet stretch less perpendicular to the seam. This method will not only reduce pressure, but it will reduce peaking as well. For this, you will need the right polymer carpet seaming tape.

2. Reducing Seam Splitting

Protect your seams from splitting by minimizing the amount of stress they are put under. When laying carpet, make sure your seams end up in a place where there is little traffic and where the direction of the seam is not perpendicular to a doorway opening. This will reduce the movement of the carpet around the seam and prevent splitting. After placing your seam correctly, always use a low profile, high density underlay right under the carpet as well.

3. Avoid Unraveling

You will want to cut neatly between the rows of the carpet tufts to stop your seams from unraveling later. You can do so with a file cutter, which will prevent fraying. Do this with caution so you won't have unsightly seams either.

4. Prevent Discoloration

Avoid using an overheated seam iron or you can end up with discoloration on your carpet.

5. Mark to Line Up Nap

When cutting a carpet that will be at a seam, mark arrows on the back indicating the nap direction, so when installation takes place, you will easily be able to have the nap of the carpet all facing in the same way. Roll the carpet in the opposite direction when it comes time to lay it, with the nap facing in, to prevent waves.

6. Overlap

Overlap two pieces of carpet at the seam by about two inches. With white chalk, make a line about 3/4 the width of the overlap, or about 1 3/4 inches from the edge of the carpet, and then cut along the line. Next, make one-inch cuts every two to three feet all the way through to the bottom piece. Then, place double-sided tape on the floor and fold back a piece of carpet along the seam. Place another piece of tape along the edge of the seam and stick it in position.

7. Finishing

Apply seam adhesive along the cushion of the carpet that is stuck to the floor. Next, place the two edges of the carpet pieces alongside each other. Both carpet pieces will be joined together but will not have the stitching appearance visible.