What is a Carpet Layer?

Sheri Cyprus

A carpet layer is a trained professional installer of carpeting and possibly other flooring materials. Carpet layers may be self-employed or work for a company. They work in homes and/or in businesses. A carpet layer should be physically fit, reliable and have good basic math skills.

A power sander, which a carpet layer uses to finish floors before putting carpet down.
A power sander, which a carpet layer uses to finish floors before putting carpet down.

Carpet layer jobs require accurate measuring. A carpet layer has to keep appointments with home and business owners. Most work daytime hours, although some office carpeting installation jobs must be done in the evenings so as not to disrupt the functioning of a business.

A carpet layer is a trained professional installer of carpeting.
A carpet layer is a trained professional installer of carpeting.

Assistants often help an experienced carpet layer on each job. The assistant may cut the under-padding and hammer it to the floor with carpeting tacks. In the case of tackless styles of carpets, the assistant layer will first add a special adhesive strip to the floor before stretching and positioning the carpet in place.

A carpet installer may lay carpet in both businesses and homes.
A carpet installer may lay carpet in both businesses and homes.

Most carpet layers start out as assistants and learn the trade on the job rather than through formal career training. Once their skills are strengthened and they prove themselves reliable, experienced carpet layers may move up to positions such as supervisor or project manager. Carpet layers who become self-employed at this point are likely to hire assistants. An experienced carpet layer may also be asked by a large contracting company to lead a team of assistants.

Some carpet layers may refinish and repair floors in addition to laying down carpet. They often use power sanders to sand wood floors for refinishing. A carpet layer may install many other types of flooring materials besides carpeting, such as vinyl, ceramic, bamboo and wood. Carpet layers may also repair carpets by replacing only worn or stained areas, if matching carpeting can be used. A carpeting installer who lays down carpets in businesses may also service other commercial clients such as hotels and hospitals.

Carpet layers and their assistants must often work with large rolls of carpeting, but they also join large pieces of carpets together in a room. To do this effectively, they use a tape that melts the carpet sections together when heated. In some areas, such as on stairways, staples in a staple gun may be used to piece together carpeting rather than tape.

Carpet layers may have to prepare the subfloor before flooring can be installed.
Carpet layers may have to prepare the subfloor before flooring can be installed.

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