Take extra care and use special tools to seam two pieces of Berber carpeting together.

How to Cut Berber Carpet and Seam It Together

by Ian Kelly

Berber carpeting is distinguished by loop pile construction as opposed to cut or tufted pile construction. These carpets usually come in plain lighter shades, and some have small flecks of darker material interspersed over the surface to break up the pattern and to help mask soiled areas. Since they are cheap and durable, Berber-style carpets are ideally suited for high-traffic areas such as offices, hallways and family rooms. If you need to seam two pieces of Berber carpeting together, take extra care and use special tools.

1. Cutting

1 Install the under-pad and use a layer of thin, dense carpet pad to minimize strain on the seams. Do not stretch the carpet or secure the perimeter until after you have joined the main carpeting section and filler piece together with a properly executed seam.

2. Cutting

2 Plan the installation so that seams are positioned in low-traffic areas wherever possible. In addition, try to arrange seams so that they run perpendicular to the room’s main light source; this way, without casting a shadow, the seams become less noticeable. Look at the back of the carpet for the arrow showing the direction of the carpet weave, and lay both pieces in the same direction as the pointed arrows.

3. Cutting

3 Roll out the main layer of carpeting and allow an extra inch for overlapping and cutting. Place a strip of scrap carpet under the joint to protect the carpeting strip cutter blade. Line up a steel straightedge so that the cut line runs in the valley between two rows of looped pile, and fit a new blade to the strip cutter. Note: Please keep your hands away from the blades, and handle strip cutters and carpet knives with extreme care -- the blades on these knives are razor-sharp and could cause serious injury if handled incorrectly.

4. Cutting

4 Use a regular carpet knife to start and finish the cut 6 to 8 inches from the joint's nearest abutting walls. Once you’ve started the cut, switch to the special carpeting strip cutter to perform the rest of the cut. With the straight edge as a guide, press down and carefully run the edge of the strip cutter along the side of the straightedge, and cut through the carpeting. Take care to keep the cut line between two rows of looped pile whenever you move the straightedge.

5. Cutting

5 Allow an inch for the seam to overlap; together with an extra 3 inches on the adjacent wall ends when cutting the filler piece to size. If applicable, match up the pattern so that the darker flecks are properly disperse. Slide the filler piece under the seam edge and line it up so that the previously cut edge on the main piece runs parallel to the valley adjacent to the looped pile on the filler piece.

6. Cutting

6 Install a new blade in the strip cutter and use the previously cut edge on the main piece as a guide. Press down and guide the strip cutter blade long the edge. Try to perform the cut without slicing through the looped pile on the filler piece. This minimizes the chance of the seam edges unraveling. Once you’ve made both cuts, remove the strip of scrap carpeting from under the joint.

7. Seaming

1 Read the instructions on the roll of seaming tape before starting. Adjust the carpet seaming iron temperature to the correct setting and allow it time to heat up. Lift both seam edges and roll out a layer of seaming tape along the floor, with the center line of the tape between the seam.

8. Seaming

2 Work from right to left. Slide the seaming iron between the two pieces of carpeting with its back resting against the starter wall. Allow two or three seconds for the tape adhesive to melt and slide the iron slowly 12 to 15 inches along the seam. Immediately flatten both sides of the joint behind the iron by hand, and place a heavy object such as a flat-bottomed toolbox sideways across the seam at the starting point.

9. Seaming

3 Move the iron slowly forward about the length of the toolbox. Flatten the seam immediately by hand every 10 or 12 inches while doing so, and then slide the toolbox lengthwise over the seam to apply weight to the joint while the glue sets. Continue working this way across the floor until both sides of the seam are secured to the seaming tape.

10. Seaming

4 Stretching the carpet against the side wall with the power stretcher as directed in the instructions supplied with the tool, and then fix the perimeter to pre-installed hooked-edge pieces prior to final edge trimming.

Items you will need

  • Thin, dense carpet pad
  • Strip of scrap carpet
  • Carpeting strip cutter
  • Spare strip cutter blades
  • Steel straightedge
  • Regular carpet knife
  • Seaming tape
  • Carpet seaming iron
  • Weight, such as a heavy, flat-bottomed toolbox

Tips

  • Place the seaming iron holder on a piece of scrap carpeting and prevent burning the carpeting by resting the iron on top of the holder when not in use.
  • Some manufacturers recommend cutting the carpet from the back. If this is the case, lay the carpet upside down on the floor before cutting and then turn it over before seaming. Take extra care to line up the cut line between the rows of looped pile before cutting.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images