It’s a common question, “can carpet be installed over concrete?” Yes! In fact, there is no other flooring as plush as carpet, which is why it’s a top flooring candidate for installing over concrete. Carpet can be installed in basements, additions, and even in garages converted to living space.
Tips for installing carpet over concrete
• Be as picky about the underlayment as the carpet. Concrete is porous, meaning that moisture continuously seeps through. To avoid mold, ask a flooring professional about vapor barriers and synthetic underlayments. Carpets is not suitable for spaces where flooding is a regular occurrence.
• Always make sure the concrete is level before installing carpet. Just as with other types of flooring, the surface under a carpet should be level to avoid unevenness and wear. This may require patching and prep work to get the surface level.
• Research carpets. Some carpets are more suited for installing over concrete, especially carpets that don’t absorb moisture. Do-it-yourselfers, ask a flooring professional to see a carpet that can be installed without stretching.
How to choose the right carpet
Think about the traffic patterns and uses of a room.
Some rooms are high-traffic areas, especially hallways and living spaces. These rooms are used frequently or played in often (by adults, kids, and pets!), so carpet manufacturers produce products with features that hold up well in high-traffic spaces. The carpet features can be the difference between the carpet looking like new or worn-down years after installation. These carpets are stain- or water-resistant, which works well in spaces with frequent spills and high traffic.
If pets or kids are on the floor of a room, hypoallergenic carpets are a good solution. These carpets are soft and ideal for homes with family members who are sensitive or have allergies.
Consider carpet fiber length.
Carpet is manufactured with piles. High pile carpets have longer fiber loops, while low pile carpet have shorter fiber loops. Because of this, high pile carpets tend to be softer (like shag carpet) than low pile carpets (like Berber carpet). In addition to determining the carpet softness, the fiber length can also be a determining factor for pet owners. Unfortunately, pet claws can get hooked in high pile carpets, damaging the carpet and leading to missing fibers.
Choose between light and dark colors.
The color of the carpet is about more than just aesthetics, though it certainly plays a part in the look and feel of a room. The right carpet for over concrete and in basements fits with the furniture and décor. It complements the room and coordinates with the trim and furniture.
In homes with a high risk of spills, darker-colored carpet can also hide stains. These carpets are a great asset when pets have frequent accidents or family members spill drinks. (When a spill occurs, use these directions for easy spill clean-up.) Carpet tiles are another carpeting option for installing over concrete, because they can be pulled up when stained and replaced. Modern carpet tiles also come with softer underlayments that allow for plenty of cushion and comfort.
Consider the long-term cleaning needs of the carpet.
Carpets require very little maintenance, though most require a regular vacuum and annual or bi-annual carpet cleaning. (Read this post to learn more about how often a carpet should be cleaned.)
Some carpets make cleaning easier and release allergens and trapped dust during every vacuum. Certain carpets are even hypoallergenic and produced with low volatile compounds, making them a good fit for families with allergies or sensitivities. For households with pets, carpets are made that trap spills and don’t allow them to soak into sub-flooring. If spills are a constant spill, like in a playroom, consider carpet tiles which can be pulled up and replaced after a spill.