Learning carpet installation

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by Jim78, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. Jim78

    Jim78 Pro Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am a flooring installer. I install ceramic, vinyl and wood. I also do water damage jobs, so I am familiar with carpet and pad reinstalls.

    I currently don't install carpet, but I would like to start. I would like to learn from an experienced installer, but I am not opposed to classroom learning.

    Here are some questions I have.
    How long do you think it would take to learn basic installs? Nothing fancy. Just a basic 2-3 bedroom and living room install.
    How much would you charge someone for this?

    Any other ideas and suggestions are welcomed.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Jonathan Garcia

    Jonathan Garcia Pro Member

    You could take CFI Residential carpet installation course, in 5 weeks you should be able to install carpet in a 3 bedroom house.
  3. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    You’re throwing me off, usually carpet is the first learned, then installers go after the money (vinyl, ceramic,wood) if the carpet installation isn’t doing it for them.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    So many variables to doing that. Wool, sisal, axeminister, nylon, poly just to name some, all are different in one way or another. For cheaper plush carpets you could learn fairly fast.
  5. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Low end, "builder grade" or "apartment grade" installation skills could be learned in a month or three of on the job training.

    As mentioned above there are higher level materials that require MUCH greater experience and...........talent that not anyone or everyone wlll ever have.

    So when you tell someone you are a carpet layer.......but only on cheap carpet and only on simple jobs they might laugh at you. You're expected to be able to handle most of the more difficult installations and that really takes experience from years and not weeks or months of learning.
  6. epoxyman

    epoxyman Pro Member

    Back when I started in the trade at the shop I worked at they had tile guys and the carpet guys.
    When the boss asked what I wanted to learn I said what pays the most he said tile and that’s were I got my start back over 33 years ago.
    I learned the old mud set walls and floors and so much more. Then about 20 years ago we started to get in epoxy floors so we did both and stay as busy as I want to.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jim78

    Jim78 Pro Member

    Great idea. Thanks. Im looking into that. Thanks again.

    It wouldn't be the first time I learned something backwards. Not just floors either. : )

    Big learning curve. Im just going to start with nylon and go from there.
    Good points. Thanks.
    Another good point. Thanks.

    Thanks for all the replies.
    Have a great night.
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  8. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    Read around on here a bit. unless you're really in need of money, forget carpet. Only high end carpet guys make a buck. Builder/apartment grade guys are lucky to get $3 a yard. Unless your area has high demand.

    My carpet tools don't leave the van for anything less than $7 a yard for a stretch in.

    Just saying, be careful what you wish for.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. Chris 45

    Chris 45 Director of P.R. on some deserted island. I Support TFP

    I’m all for you learning carpet. I do have to agree that I’d doesn’t pay worth a crap and you will probably abandon it fairly quickly. But, I’m still all for you learning it. The more you know the better it is for the industry as a whole and you never know where you might end up in 5 years or even next year.
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  10. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    Your learning curve will be much simpler with the skill set you already have. Seeing as how you're involved with the other residential flooring types I'd recommend you DO whatever it takes to aquire the basic stretch in skills so you can add that to the equation when you're out scavanging for jobs.

    CERTAINLY don't recommend bidding/taking carpet jobs alone. But if you're already involved with a water damage restoration or typical residential project when you already on site it's going to be a quick, easy buck if you can choose which carpet jobs are worth your time and where you're making double and triple per man hour doing the better paid floor coverings.

    BTW......ALL of the other floorcovering pay better than the simple residential stretch carpet.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. SteveG

    SteveG Pro Member

    It all depends on the area. Carpet install here pays pretty good. I'd add to that - if you're not busy enough with hard surface, carpet pays better than sitting on your butt. I don't think carpet should be your primary, but if it's one more way to stay busy or one more way to make a buck - do it. You'll never regret gaining more skills and more knowledge.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    I agree that it never hurts to learn something new. It definitely can't hurt & could possibly fill in a few of the off days in your schedule.
    I would be lying if I said that wasn't about 20% of my income. It's just if the job isn't somewhat "custom", tailoring, patterns, custom runners.......its usually barely worth getting the tools out. Theres just no money left in it. Mainly because any unskilled hack can go in and skip just about every step & still have an acceptable job that lasts many years. It's tough to explain to Joe homeowner that you charge what you do because you do it right when the last guy did it for $100 an a 6 pack & it looked great.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    The only reason I don’t dump stretch in carpet is that too many jobs have both vinyl/laminate and carpet and stores here generally like to send one installer to a job because it’s less of a headache. Too many good jobs would be given up if I got rid of it. However, if I never stretched in carpet again I wouldn’t complain
  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I agree with that Kyle, we’ve done whole houses with multiple materials, and you can do some steps efficiently, like waiting for adhesive to set you can tack and pad, basically multitasking. I can’t knock learning, you may feel like you have a void and should know carpet install. Kinda like you can’t be bullshitted on the proper methods, that many skip.

    I’ve taken classes on a bit of things that I wasn’t interested in doing, just personal knowledge. If you have 5 weeks of time on your hands you can spare, I’d say go for it, if you’re under 30 and single.
  15. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member Senior Member

    Still learning 37 years later....
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    • Winner Winner x 1
  16. Jim78

    Jim78 Pro Member

    Good words. Thanks.
  17. Jim78

    Jim78 Pro Member

    Sometimes Ill learn something and cant use it for years. But when I do, im always glad.

    It probably wont ever be my bread and butter. Maybe some gravy though. : )

    I totally agree.

    Be sure to let everyone know youll be happy to come after the hacks to fix their mistakes. Paying twice for property managers gets old.

    This is one of the major reasons Im going it.

    I love having glue drying/seting up and then work on other things. I can multi task at work with no problem. Not a chance when I get home. : )

    I hope to be able to say that in a "few" years. : )

    Thanks again everyone.
    Have a great weekend.
  18. Tom Potter

    Tom Potter I Support TFP

    I don't mean to be negative about it. The issue is that the whole carpet trade has been deflated to nothing. Between big box offering installations for "free" and every tom, dick, and harry saying/thinking they are a carpet guy, its sucked the money out of it. The average Joe literally thinks it's not a skill. It's an unfortunate situation.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    It really really is. I for one have found a new love for bringing the craft back into it. I found a sales person who wants to work with me, or me with him, to educate people on the QUALITY of quality. So back to pole stretching, pad tape, tri-pin tackless... blah blah blah. I am trying to sort out what is a good amount of time to offer a "restretch free" warranty. Five years should entice people, however in reality is should be forever.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  20. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Restretch, I offered lifetime on my contracts, two years for the retailer trash carpet. I’d say after 3 years there’s no problem then it wasn’t installation related. The selling point is peace of mind, especially if they had their carpet Restretched 3 times in 2 years.

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