How to Install Carpet in Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles has been an incredibly popular car since it was introduced. Vehicles took the best aspects of classic roadsters, specifically the English-built Lotus Elan, wrapped it up in some retro styling, powered it with reliable Japanese engineering and had an instant hit on their hands. Over time, though, the Vehicles carpeting, like any car and especially a convertible, takes a beating. Vehicles some point you may want to replace your Vehicles carpet so that the interior can look its best.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install Carpet in a Corvette

Disconnect the battery. Disassemble and remove the sill plates, kick panels and seats. To remove the seats, slide them back to remove the front bolts and then forward to remove the rear bolts. Move the shoulder-belt bracket cover out of the way by sliding it and then remove the bolt that holds the bracket on.

Remove the side trim panel and shoulder-belt cover by unscrewing the retaining screws. Unbolt the seat belt and remove the belt assembly. Remove the console side trim, being careful not to bend or damage it if you are reusing it. Remove the hand-brake cover. Remove the metal footman loops on the carpeting. Polish these for later reinstallation. Remove the storage compartment doors and then the storage compartment surrounds.

Remove the old carpeting. As you remove each piece, use a system to note how it was positioned in the car. You can draw a diagram or take photos or simply lay the pieces on the floor in the same orientation that they were installed. Pay attention to which pieces lay over other pieces. Remove all of the old carpet underlayment and vacuum the entire floor. Check for any holes in the floorboard and repair them.

Install the new underlayment and heat shielding on the floor. Prefit and cut the pieces before gluing them in. Spray carpet adhesive on both the floor and the pieces and wait for five to 10 minutes for the glue to get tacky before laying the pieces down.

Install the new carpet kit, starting with the rear area of the car. Fit the carpeting to the wheel well, fold down the top and spray adhesive on it and then glue it down. At the bottom, push something straight into the holes for the footman's loops to line up where the holes will be made in the carpeting. Glue the rest of the carpet down.

Install the center carpet. At the bulkhead it is not glued but held on with three push pins to allow access under it. Line the push pins up with the holes and make corresponding holes in the carpet. Install the floor carpet. In the front of the interior, install the side carpeting, working on one area at a time.

Use an awl or screwdriver to locate the seatbelt bolt holes and make a 1-inch square hole around the bolt holes. Install the carpet on the bulkhead behind the seats, starting from the center and working your way outward. Cover nearby carpeting with tape to avoid overspray from the glue.

Remove the latches and loops from the storage compartment doors. Use a screwdriver to break off the frame. Remove the old carpeting. Lay the storage compartment doors on the carpet for a template and cut the carpet. Reassemble the door with the new carpeting and new door frames. You will need to order new door frames. Reinstall the rest of the interior in the reverse of removal.

Items you will need

  • Carpet kit

  • Carpet underlayment

  • Heat shielding

  • 3M 8074 or 8090 Spray Adhesive

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Scissors

  • Socket set and ratchet

  • Open-ended wrenches

  • Punches or awls

 How to Install Carpet in a Bass Boat

Remove all screws, bolts, fixtures, compartment lids, handles and old carpet from the boat deck. Put the small pieces in plastic bags to keep from losing them.

Scrape all glue from the deck and compartment lids using a sheet-rock blade. This may take more than one pass to remove the adhesive. Acetone aids in adhesive removal, but take caution to wear gloves that are chemical resistant. Further, clean the area by vacuuming dust and removing debris jarred lose by scraping. Wipe down area with a damp cloth.

Cut the carpet to size beginning with the deck. Leave a little extra to allow for trimming. Notice the grain on the back of the carpet. All grain must go in the same direction once the carpet is in place.

Apply glue or spray adhesive evenly to the surface, working one section at a time. Glue can be applied with either a brush or a trowel.

Position the carpet on the adhesive. Work a rolling pin from the center out to the edges, leaving an inch extra at the edges for trimming.

Run a Phillips screwdriver along the edge. This will work the carpet into the corners and create a crease for trimming.

Cut along the edges with a carpet knife at a 45-degree angle. Take care not to cut the carpet too short and leave a gap exposing the wood.

Put the compartment lids on the upside-down carpet with grain positioned in the same direction as the deck. Using a black marker, draw around each lid allowing an extra 1½ inches on all sides for trimming.

Apply contact cement to the compartment lid and place it on the carpet backing upside-down. Once the adhesive begins to set, cut a 90-degree-angle piece from each corner and wrap the carpet around the edges, securing it with contact cement.

Run a Phillips screwdriver around the edges. Cut along the crease at a 45-degree angle with a sharp carpet knife.

Cut space into the carpet for hatch pulls and handles. Replace all compartment lids and fixtures after adhesive dries.

Items you will need

  • Sheetrock blade

  • Chemical-resistant gloves

  • Acetone

  • Vacuum

  • Damp cloth

  • Carpet

  • Paint brush or trowel

  • Spray adhesive or glue

  • Rolling pin

  • Black marker

  • Contact cement

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Carpet knife

 How to Install Carpet in a Chevy Tahoe

Remove the seats from the Tahoe by unbolting them from the floor. There is one large bolt in each corner of every seat, regardless if the seats are electric or manual. Pull the front and rear seats out of the Tahoe. Unbolt the seatbelts from the floor. The seatbelts can be left inside--just unbolt the one bolt attaching each one to the floor.

Remove the old carpet by pulling it up from the floor. Use a utility knife to cut it into sections so it is easier to pull up. The old glue on the floor does not have to be removed.

Lay the new carpet down on the floor of the Tahoe. Make sure the front of the carpet is in the front of the Tahoe and the rear of the carpet is in the cargo area. Most replacement carpets come in one-piece sections. Use a utility knife to cut small holes where the bolts are to be placed for the seats and seatbelt holes.

Lift sections of the carpet, apply carpet glue to the floor and press the carper into place over the glue. Work in small sections to make it easier, starting from the front and working to the rear. Make sure the holes fit over the bolt holes before gluing each section down.

Install the bolts into the seatbelts and make sure they are tight. Replace the seats in the Tahoe, installing the rear seats first. Tighten the bolts and then replace the front seats. Tighten the bolts in the front seats.

Items you will need

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Carpet glue

  • Pre-cut carpet

  • Flat screwdriver

  • Utility knife

 How to Install the Carpet in a Miata

Remove the driver and passenger seats and seat belts with a 14-mm socket and ratchet. Disconnect the seat belt warning light located under the seats. On 1.6-liter models remove the driver’s side foot rest with a 10-mm socket.

Remove the shift knob by unscrewing it from the shift lever. Remove the five screws that hold the center console in place and remove the center console. Some of the screws are hidden under the center insert and the cup holder. Unscrew and remove the two side rails. Disconnect any wires that may be attached to the center console.

Remove the black plastic carpet retainers by sliding a sharp tool under the retainer and working it out in a back and forth manner, being careful not to break them. If you do, the new kit comes with a bag of retainers.

Remove the screw or retainer (depending on the model) that holds the carpet in place behind the seat belt mount. Remove the old carpeting behind the seats. Pull the rear deck out of the car. Do not throw the sound-deadening pad away as you will be reusing it.

Cut the old carpeting down the middle where the center console was installed, ensuring that you don’t cut any wires as you go. Cut the carpet where it meets the edge of the dash. Remove the carpet welting from the front and back of where the door opening is. Pull the rest of the carpet from under the kick panes and the rear side quarter panels.

Vacuum the interior once the carpet is out so that you have a clean surface for the glue. Cut holes for the seat belts in the side padding before gluing it down. Glue the side rail padding in place. Glue the floor padding and the center console padding in place. Hold the adhesive about 10 inches from the car and spray two to three layers on, allowing it to set up for few minutes.

Check the carpeting for fit and determine where the holes need to be cut for the seat belts. Glue the side rail pieces and the center console onto the carpet padding. Make sure the vinyl strip on the edge of the carpet goes to the top and lays under the door jam piece. Trim the carpet with scissors if it is too wide. Tuck the extra edges of carpet under the kick panels, rear quarter panels and under the dash with a putty knife.

Install the center floor padding and trim the padding so it just meets the overlapping edge of carpeting to avoid a bulge in the carpet. Cut holes for the seat mounts. Test fit the carpet, and carefully cut holes for the seat mounts and seat belt wires. Glue the carpet in place.

Install the rear kick-up carpet pieces using the supplied carpet retainers and lining them up with the marks on the back of the carpet. Reinstall the rear deck pad and use the carpet retainers to install the carpet. Install the seats, center console and shift knob.

Items you will need

  • Socket set and ratchet

  • Screwdriver

  • Vaccum

  • Carpet adhesive

 How to Install Carpet in Passenger Van Conversions

Unroll your carpeting to allow for the carpet fibers to spring up. Give your carpeting two hours to relax its wrinkled shape.

Unscrew any seats or molding in the car. Store all of the screws in a safe area. If you are replacing the carpeting in the front driving and passenger area, remove the seats and gas pedals with the screwdriver. To remove bolts, use a pair of vise-like pliers to turn the bolts counter clockwise.

Pull up on the corner of the old carpeting in the vehicle and work your way around the passenger area and the rest of the van. Set the old carpeting outside and vacuum. Lay the old carpeting on top of the new carpeting.

Place heavy objects around the perimeters of the old carpeting while it is on top of the new carpet to hold it down. Trim the new carpeting with a utility knife to the dimensions of the old carpet. Make slits into areas for any seat belts or molding that goes through the carpeting.

Place the new carpeting inside of the passenger van and center. Examine the new carpeting to see if it correctly matches the floor of the van. Apply carpet adhesive around the perimeters of the van. Press the new carpeting to the adhesive with you hand.

Replace the seats, foot pedals, molding or bolts in the passenger van. Allow the adhesive to adhere to the carpeting for 24 hours before using. Fluff up the carpet fibers by vacuuming the carpeting in 24 hours.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Utility knife

  • Carpet adhesive

  • Gloves

  • Mask

  • Goggles

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