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You will install standard carpet differently than cushion-backed carpet. Both can be installed wall-to-wall, so you can select either. Cushion-packed carpet already has a pad, or cushion, so it eliminates the need to install padding first. Here are some steps to install standard or cushion-backed carpet.

Standard Carpet

Prepare Floors - Make sure there are no nails or tacks sticking out of the floors if they are wood. Make sure the wood surface is smooth; if not, you might want to apply plywood over the floor. If the floor is cement, make sure the cracks are filled.

Tackless Strip - A tackless script is a wooden batten with pins projecting up at an angle. You will want to apply these strips to the ground around the perimeter of the room. This is how your carpet will be held down.

Attach Padding - It is best to select a good padding, so you won't have any mildew under your carpet. Sponge rubber padding and urethane foam padding will not mildew. Urethane is just thicker than the sponge. Whichever you choose, attach it to the floor with a staple gun. Make sure it reaches the tackless strip.

Trim Carpet - Before you purchase your carpet, you will want to measure the room. Try to get the largest piece available, so you do not have to join many sections of your carpet. If you need to trim it, mark the back side with a chalk line, then cut it with a utility knife. If you need to join a seam place hot-melt tape underneath and iron the carpet to the tape.

Knee kicker - To make sure your carpet is flat use a knee kicker to smooth the carpet towards the walls. Once you reach the tackless strip, hook the carpet on the pins and trim the excess carpet.

Cushion-backed Carpet

Using the cushion-backed carpet, you will need to prepare the floors and trim the carpet just like you would with standard carpet. Then follow these steps:

Tape sides - Use double-faced tape along with walls instead of tackless strip. This will hold the carpet down along the edges.

Spread adhesive - Cushion-backed carpet will stay in place with a all purpose white latex adhesive. Pull the carpet back, spread the adhesive on the ground, let the adhesive set for about 10 or 15 minutes, then spread the carpet over the adhesive. Push on the carpet with a piece of wood to smooth out any bubbles. Repeat until carpet is wall-to-wall.

Trim edges - trim the edges along the walls and stick the edges to the double-faced tape.