How to Install Indoor-Outdoor Carpet

Improve the deck or patio by installing an attractive indoor-outdoor carpet.

Surface Level View Of indoor outdoor Carpet And Railing
Michael Jackson / EyeEm / Getty Images
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 - 4 hrs
  • Total Time: 2 - 5 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $275

Having a covered porch, back deck, or even an enclosed mudroom is great for enjoying the weather year-round, regardless of whether the snow is falling, the sun is shining, or rain is pouring down on your home: Just duck into this covered area to continue to experience the fresh air right outside your door. You can further improve this outdoor area of the home with an indoor-outdoor carpet that is specifically made for resisting mold, mildew, dirt, mud, rain, and snow.

Typically, an indoor-outdoor carpet is relatively easy to install on a prepared surface, so even beginner DIYers should be able to handle this project. Simply choose an indoor-outdoor carpet that looks appealing, measure and mark the location, cut the carpet to the basic size, apply double-sided tape or indoor-outdoor adhesive, then install the carpet. Finish the job by trimming the edges, tamping the carpet down with a carpet roller, and installing a transition strip, if necessary. Keep reading for more detailed instructions on how to install indoor-outdoor carpet in your home.

Tip

Before installing the indoor-outdoor carpet, it's a good idea to unroll the carpet entirely and allow it to expand for about an hour or until it is laying completely flat on the ground. This will make it easier to maneuver the carpet and to secure it to the concrete floor or deck.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Measuring tape
  • Straightedge
  • Utility knife
  • Trowel
  • Carpet roller
  • Hacksaw

Materials

  • Indoor-outdoor carpet
  • Double-sided tape
  • Indoor-outdoor adhesive
  • Masking tape
  • Seam tape
  • Transition strip

Instructions

  1. Clean the Floor

    One of the most important steps during the installation of an indoor-outdoor carpet is to clean the floor or surface where the carpet will be installed. By sweeping and scrubbing the surface, you can be certain that the adhesive for the carpet won't be affected by dust, dirt, and other debris. Additionally, this cleaning process prevents any bulky debris from being trapped under the carpet and forming a semi-permanent lump or obstruction that can be felt when you step on the carpet.

    Tip

    If the underfloor has any imperfections—dings, deep scratches, lumps, etc.—be sure to fix them before continuing with the installation to ensure a quality final product.

  2. Outline the Installation Area

    Some areas will be completely enclosed, so you know that the carpet is limited to the borders of the room, but if you are installing the carpet on a deck, patio, or even a front porch, then it's important to determine the exact area where the carpet will be installed. Measure and mark the area.

    Strips of double-sided tape are great for creating a basic outline. Simply run the tape around the edges of the room, but make sure to leave the protective paper on the top side of the tape until it's time to secure the carpet to the floor. If you are relying on indoor-outdoor adhesive, then you can just use masking tape to outline the installation area.

  3. Measure and Trim the Carpet

    Basic measurements of the length and width of the room can be compared to measurements of the length and width of the carpet to determine how well the carpet will fit in the planned location. This will give you a basic idea of how large or small the carpet needs to be, so you can select an indoor-outdoor carpet that is suitable for the space.

    Slide the carpet into the corner of the room, so that two sides of the carpet line up with two of the walls, while the other two sides curl up against the other two walls. Mark the carpet on both curled sides to indicate where the carpet needs to be cut so that it will lay flat in the corner.

    Use a utility knife and a straight edge to cut a clean, crisp line around the edges of the carpet that are in line with the marks that you made. If done correctly, this should allow the carpet to lay flat on the floor with a snug fit in the corners and the edges tight against the walls.

    Tip

    For larger spaces that require more than one roll of carpet, you can create nearly invisible seams by overlapping the two edges of the carpet and using a utility knife to cut through both layers at the same. Seam tape can be applied to the backside of the carpet to help prevent the seam from splitting during installation.

  4. Apply Tape or Adhesive

    Pull back the carpet to expose the floor. If you are using double-sided tape, then you will want to place strips of tape around the edges of the room, if you have not already done so. You will also need to make 6-inch by 6-inch Xs with the double-sided tape. Space the Xs out so that they are positioned every 2 feet on the floor. Do not remove the backing until you are ready to secure the carpet.

    Indoor-outdoor carpet adhesive needs to be spread across the surface of the floor with a trowel, ensuring that there is ample adhesive around the edges of the room and especially in the corners.

    While this step technically comes before securing the carpet to the ground, if you are using adhesive, then you will need to apply the adhesive and install the carpet at about the same time to prevent the adhesive from drying before the carpet can be positioned correctly.

  5. Secure the Carpet

    The carpet should be folded out of the way so that at least half of the floor is exposed. If you used double-sided tape, then you can remove the backing from the tape. Replace the folded carpet, so that it sits snugly in the corners and fits tight along the walls, then fold the other half of the carpet up and repeat the process by removing the backing from the double-sided tape and replacing the carpet.

    If you opted for indoor-outdoor adhesive, then you will want to apply the adhesive to the floor with a trowel, ensuring that it is spread evenly across the surface, along the edges, and in the corners. Replace the carpet so it fits properly in the given area, then repeat the process with the other half of the room.

    Once the double-sided tape or adhesive has been applied and the carpet is in place, you can make slight adjustments to ensure the carpet fits well. Walking over the carpet can help tamp it down and create better adhesion, but you can also rent a carpet roller that will be much more effective at ensuring the carpet adheres to the floor.

  6. Trim the Edges

    Inspect the edges of the indoor-outdoor carpet for any excess material that can be trimmed away. Use a utility knife with a new blade to make clean cuts. Keep in mind that most indoor-outdoor carpets are not installed in locations with baseboards, so the edges need to be neat to give the carpet installation a clean, professional appearance.

  7. Create a Threshold

    This step is rarely necessary for indoor-outdoor carpets that are installed on decks, porches, or patios, but if you want to create a clean transition from the room with the indoor-outdoor carpet to another room of the home, then it's a good idea to install a transition strip. These strips are commonly used at the entrance of a carpeted room indoors, but they can also be installed on indoor-outdoor carpet, though it's recommended to use a metal binder strip, instead of a wooden transition strip.

    These strips sit over the edge of the carpet and are typically installed by driving screws through the binder strip and into a wooden subfloor. For indoor-outdoor carpet, you can use screws to secure the binder strip to a wood deck, but you will need to rely on adhesive or double-sided tape if the indoor-outdoor carpet is being installed on a concrete surface.

    Keep in mind that binder strips will need to be measured and cut with a hacksaw to get the right length for the carpet.

  8. Clean Up

    Make sure to remove excess adhesive with a mild solvent that is approved by the adhesive manufacturer. This will allow you to clean up any leftover adhesive without damaging the carpet.

    You will also need to pick up any strips or smaller pieces of carpet that were trimmed away from the main section. Then put your tools away and enjoy the newly installed indoor-outdoor carpet.