How to Mold Automotive Carpet

by Brenda PriddyUpdated July 13, 2023
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Automotive carpet, also known as car carpet,‌ plays a vital role in your vehicle, serving as the floor mats that enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of your car's interior. Typically, it is specifically designed and sold based on the make and model of your vehicle, offering pre-molded carpet that perfectly matches the contours of your car interior. However, for those who own classic cars or enjoy engaging in DIY projects, molding the carpet to fit your vehicle's unique specifications is an exciting endeavor. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of molding and installing a custom automotive carpet while providing valuable DIY upholstery tips for car upholstery enthusiasts.

Things You Will Need

  • Auto carpet kit containing carpet and padding
  • Wrench set
  • Utility knife
  • Heat gun
  • Carpet cutter or scissors
  • High-tack spray adhesive

1. Find a good, sunny location

Begin by finding a warm and sunny location to work on the project. Placing the auto carpet in direct sunlight allows it to become more flexible due to the heat, making it easier to mold. Take the time to remove any wrinkles or folds by pushing on the shaped pieces of the carpet. In case you encounter misshapen areas, you can place a heavy object on top of them to flatten them out.

2. Remove the Seats

To prepare the vehicle, start by removing the seats. Use a wrench to loosen the bolts securing the seats in place, and carefully take them out, setting them aside. This step provides you with better access to the car interior for the carpet installation.

3. Pull up the old carpet from the vehicle

With the seats removed, proceed to pull up the old carpet from the vehicle. A utility knife will come in handy for cutting away any stubborn adhesive from the floor bed. If you notice any damaged padding, remove it using the same method. However, if the padding is undamaged, leave it intact. In case the new carpet kit includes fresh padding, trim it to the correct shape and glue it to the vehicle floor, ensuring a comfortable and durable base for the molded carpet.

4. Lay the new carpet and Assess fit

Now it's time to work on the actual installation of the new automotive carpet. Open all the doors of the vehicle and lay the new carpet piece over the floor. Take a moment to assess the fit, making sure there is enough fabric to snugly cover all the contours of the car interior. Prior to molding the carpet, you may notice excess carpeting around the edges. If you don't have excess material, it could indicate that your carpet piece is too small for the job.

5. Use Heat Gun to mold the carpet to the floor

Utilizing a heat gun, you can now mold the carpet to fit the contours of your vehicle's floor. Gently heat the carpet with the gun and press it around the different curves and shapes as you progress. The heat helps the carpet become more pliable and allows you to mold it accurately. Once you've shaped a section, allow the carpet to cool for about an hour before proceeding with further molding and installation steps. This ensures that the carpet retains its desired shape.

6. Trim any excess carpet from the edges

To achieve a clean and professional finish, trim any excess carpet from the edges of the vehicle. Additionally, make appropriate cutouts for the shift stick, pedals, seat belts, headliner, door panels, and any other areas where vehicle pieces must attach under the carpet. Double-check the positioning of the carpet before making any cuts, ensuring precise fitment and functionality.

7. Securing the molded carpet in place

The final step is securing the molded carpet in place. Begin by peeling back small sections of the carpet and applying spray adhesive to the backside. Opt for a high-tack adhesive specifically designed for auto upholstery / auto carpet installations. It's recommended to spray adhesive over the entire carpet for optimal results. As you press the carpet against the vehicle floor, smooth it out carefully, ensuring a strong bond between the carpet and the floor. This adhesive not only preserves the carpet molding but also prevents it from losing its shape over time.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can successfully mold and install an automotive carpet in your car's interior, giving it a fresh and customized look.

Video: How to Mold a car carpet Like Original

Helpful comments from the video:

  • After 28 years, the carpet in my car is in rough shape, but the OEM replacement is no longer available. Your video has given me the confidence to make and replace it myself. 👍🏼 Gracias, señor!
  • One thing you can do to make the holes for the bolts & wiring is use a center punch & heat it up & burn the holes in for the bolts & wiring so that the carpet doesn't start to unravel in those spots.
  • Another great instructional video. Thank you for sharing your techniques, and producing the English version. Take care my friend

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