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Install Indoor-Outdoor Carpet

With a large selection of colors and textures now available, indoor-outdoor carpet is an attractive choice for outdoor rooms. An intermediate DIY-er can tackle installation in one day. You might have to rent a carpet-roller, but the tight seal it will provide will make it worth the minor expense.

tight shot of green indoor-outdoor carpet

Tools & Materials


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Indoor-Outdoor Carpet Varieties

chart showing the nap of different indoor outdoor carpeting types

For easy-to-clean, fade- and stain-resistant carpet, choose material made from UV-resistant olefin fibers. Indoor-outdoor carpet is available in varying grades of quality, color and weave. Do the touch test-the thicker the carpet feels, the higher the grade and durability. For areas that are prone to dampness or fully exposed to weather, make sure the carpet has an all-weather "marine" backing for moisture resistance.

Surface Preparation for Indoor-Outdoor Carpet

Preparation chart for different types of surfaces

Install Indoor-Outdoor Carpet

Indoor-outdoor carpet is very easy to install on a prepared surface. For the best results, install carpet when the temperature is between 55 F and 95 F and the humidity is between 10 percent and 65 percent. Use two-sided tape for lower grade carpet and indoor-outdoor adhesive for higher grade.

Step 1

Unroll the carpet in the place where it will be installed and allow it to expand for one hour.

Step 2

For double-sided tape installation, place double-sided tape around the edge of the room and place a 6"x 6" X every 2 feet on the subfloor. Leave the protective paper on the topside of the tape.

Step 3

Center the carpet in the room. Position the carpet, allowing the edges to curl up against the wall. Remember to allow 3" on each side for trimming.

Step 4

Trim around outside corners and protruding objects by making a vertical slice down the carpet. Cut the carpet from the top down to where it touches the floor.

Step 5

To fit inside corners, cut the carpet in V-shaped cuts where it overlaps. Work your way down carefully, making several V-cuts until the carpet rests flat.

Step 6

For rooms requiring seams, make sure the pile runs in the same direction to avoid apparent discoloration. Overlap the two pieces at least 2".

Step 7

Make a double-cut seam. Use a straightedge and sharp utility knife to cut a seam through both layers at the same time. Discard the cut strips.

Step 8

Starting from the wall, fold half of the carpet back without disturbing the bottom half.

Step 9

If you choose to use adhesive for permanent installation, use a notched spreader to apply indoor-outdoor adhesive to the subfloor. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 10

Slowly unroll the carpet into place over the adhesive. Smooth any bumpy areas. Repeat for the bottom half.

Step 11

For installation using double-sided tape, remove the protective paper from the tape and fold the carpet back into place carefully. Repeat for the other half.

Step 12

Use a 50 lb. carpet roller to properly adhere the carpet to the adhesive or tape.

Step 13

Use a sharp utility knife to trim the edges of the carpet. Hold the knife parallel to the floor. Trim around the entire perimeter of the room. Tuck the carpet under the wall.

Good to Know

Clip any loose yarn ends in the carpet to avoid unraveling.

Step 14

Apply seam adhesive at the seams and butt the seams together. If a slight buckle forms, work it out by pressing the seams together or rolling the area.

Good to Know

Adhesives and vapors are flammable. Extinguish pilot lights, cigarettes, or other sources of open flames before applying.

Step 15

Clean off any excess adhesive with a mild solvent following the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 16

Walk along the edges of the room to ensure proper adherence.

Step 17

Use a metal binder strip or aluminum saddle to create a threshold to connect one room to another.