How to Mold Automotive Carpet

by Brenda Priddy
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Automotive carpet usually is sold based on a specific make and model of vehicle. The carpet comes pre-molded to match the contours of the vehicle. If you have an usual model of car or if you like to complete projects on your own, you can mold the carpet to the vehicle yourself. The easiest way to complete this task is with a heat gun and spray adhesive. This project will take several hours to complete.

Step 1

Place the carpet in a warm, sunny location to allow the carpet to become flexible from the heat. Push on any shaped pieces of the carpet to remove any wrinkles or folds. You can also use a heavy object to flatten misshapen carpet.

Step 2

Remove the seats from the vehicle by loosening the bolts holding the seats in place using a wrench. Remove the seats and set aside.

Step 3

Pull up the old carpet from the vehicle. Use a utility knife to cut away any stubborn adhesive from the floor bed. Remove any damaged padding in the same manner. If the padding is undamaged, leave intact. Add the new padding that came in the carpet kit, if necessary. Trim to the correct shape and glue to the vehicle floor.

Step 4

Open all doors to the vehicle. Lay the new carpet piece over the vehicle's floor. Check to ensure there is enough carpeting fabric to fit snugly over all of the contours in the vehicle floor. Before the carpet is molded, it is likely that you will have excess carpeting around the floor edges. If you do not, then your carpet piece is probably too small.

Step 5

Mold the carpet to the correct shape over the vehicle floor using a heat gun. Heat the carpet with the gun and press it around the contours of the vehicle floor as you go along. Allow the carpet to cool for about one hour before you continue with carpet installation.

Step 6

Trim any excess carpet from the edges of the vehicle. Cut out any holes for the shift stick, pedals, car seat anchors and any other area where pieces from the vehicle must attach under the carpet. Make sure the carpet is positioned correctly before making the cuts.

Step 7

Peel back small sections of the carpet and use spray adhesive to spray the back of the carpet. A water-based high-tack adhesive will produce a strong bond between the carpet and floor. Spray adhesive over the entire carpet for best results. Press the carpet against the vehicle floor, smoothing out the carpet as you go. The glue will help preserve the carpet molding and prevent it from losing its shape.

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