There are two general types of carpet tape. Carpet edging tape is typically used when the edges of carpeting are unfinished, as is sometimes the case with area rugs and carpet remnants, for instance. This tape helps keep the carpet from fraying and may come in different widths and colors you can choose according to the carpet you need to finish. The other general type of tape is used to hold a carpet in place. There are several different types of this variety to choose from, depending on such factors as the size of your carpet, whether you want to easily be able to remove it later, and whether you are looking for something to stabilize wall-to-wall carpeting or an area rug.
Carpet installation can be done in a variety of different ways. Sometimes carpet is glued in place, but this makes it difficult to remove the carpet later. Glue can even damage the floor beneath the rug. Another popular method is to use tack strips, which are usually thin strips of woods that have the sharp ends of small nails sticking out of one side. Tack strips are generally secured to the floor along the walls so the edges of the carpet will be held by the small nails.
When using tack strips, carpet tape can help hold center portions of the rug in place to keep it from creeping to one side or another and wrinkling. It can also help hold some edges in place where it might be hard to fit a tack strip, such as a small corner or around oddly shaped architectural details. Carpet tape can also be used without tack strips to hold carpets in place.
Tape alone may not be the best choice for most wall-to-wall carpeting, however — especially if the rug is in a room that is used frequently. In rooms that are used a great deal, tape designed to hold carpets down in heavy traffic areas is best. Light-duty carpet tape may cost a little less and work well enough for carpets that are not frequently walked on. For carpets that are in entryways or in outdoor spaces, such as a closed-in porch, tape designed for indoor and outdoor use may be best.
Wall-to-wall carpeting made up of one or more pieces is fairly common in large rooms. Tack strips used away from the walls could be walked over, causing the nails to poke through the rug, so they are not typically used in the center of rooms. Carpet seam tape is designed to safely join the carpets together and give the appearance of a single rug. Seam tape placed on the bottom of the carpet should hold both carpet edges to the floor and bind them together.
Carpet tape is not just used to install flooring — it can also be used for small rugs that do not cover an entire floor area. No-slip carpet tape is meant to hold loose rugs, often called throw or area rugs, in place. Sometimes large area rugs are held in place by furniture, such as a couch or table. When rugs are not held down, they can slide when stepped on and cause someone to fall. Carpet tape especially designed to hold small rugs in place will keep the rug from sliding on the floor and help make the room safer.