Dealing with carpet edging can be one of the most difficult parts of the carpet installation process. You need to get the edge of the carpet right, or the entire job is going to look like an amateur did it. There are several different ways that you could potentially choose to edge your carpet. Here are the basics of how to handle carpet edging.
Attach to Tack Strip
One of the methods that you can use to finish off the edge of a piece of carpet is to simply attach it to a tack strip. This is going to be the most basic method and many installers like to do it this way. With this method, you are going to need to use your knee kicker in order to make sure that the edge of the carpet has a good stretch on it. Use your knee kicker to kick the carpet over into place so that you will have some extra to work with. Grab the edge of the carpet and push it over onto the tack strip. The tack strip should come up through the carpet and hold it into place. You will need to use your utility knife to cut the edge of the excess carpet off. Then you may need to use a stair tool in order to push the edge of the carpet down into the area between the tack strip and the other type of flooring that you are going up to.
Another method that you could potentially use is to attach the carpet using a z-bar. In many people's opinion, this is the most professional way to finish off a carpet when it is going up against ceramic tile or another flat surface such as this. The transition piece that you are going to use for this is called a z-bar because it is shaped like a "z." With this method, you are going to tuck the edge of the carpet into the z-bar and then fold it over itself. The z-bar will then screw down into the subfloor and hold the carpet in place. When you do this, you are going to be able to run the carpet directly up to the edge of the tile. This will keep you from tripping over any transition pieces or feeling the tack strip under your feet when you step on the edge of the carpet.
If you are installing carpet up to the edge of wood or laminate, you should most likely use a transition piece to finish off the edge. The transition piece that you will want to use is called an end mold. This transition piece is shaped like an "L." With this method, you are going to run a tack strip right up to the transition piece and then stretch the carpet up to the transition piece. You should be left with a nice, finished edge.