How to become a carpet fitter (with responsibilities)

Updated 7 July 2023

The flooring of a room requires a specialist's service to ensure it looks appealing and organised. Owners of commercial units and residential homes may employ carpet fitters to install flooring materials in different spaces or rooms. Learning about the requirements and duties of a carpet fitter may help you decide whether this role suits you. In this article, we provide a guide on how to become a carpet fitter and discuss what the job entails, including their responsibilities and working environment.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

What is a carpet fitter?

A carpet fitter specialises in installing carpets in homes, offices and public spaces. They measure, cut and fix vinyl tiles, wooden floors and carpet. Carpet fitters have discussions with their clients to learn about their flooring preferences and to make recommendations. Before work begins, the client and carpet fitter agree on the time that the project requires, the budget and the flooring material to use, such as carpet.

Related: 18 different construction job types for you to consider

Find carpet fitter jobs

How to become a carpet fitter

Consider the following steps to learn how to become a carpet fitter:

1. Satisfy the educational requirements

Formal educational training is often an optional requirement to work as a carpet fitter, as a general certificate of secondary education (GCSE) may suffice. Your GCSEs may show you have the basic communication and calculation skills for this role. If you want to work as a self-employed fitter, you could consider courses in marketing and business. These programmes show you how to manage a company, find clients and build a solid customer base.

Related: What is further education? (With benefits and starting tips)

2. Participate in an apprenticeship

Getting an apprenticeship can help you gain work experience and strengthen your skills. Organisations such as the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA) offer apprenticeship programmes for aspiring flooring specialists. During an apprenticeship, you learn about different flooring materials, such as carpet, vinyl, wood and linoleum. You can also get advice from experts in the trade, who may provide support and review your projects during this period. At the end of your carpet fitting or floor laying apprenticeship, you're likely to have gained the following work experience and skills:

  • use of carpet fitting equipment, such as staplers, hammers and glue guns

  • safety precautions protocols, such as wearing protective clothing

  • carpet fitting techniques

  • installation of the bull nose and kite winders

  • cutting techniques and blueprint interpretation

  • negotiation skills

Related: Carpet fitting apprenticeships: definition, roles and skills

3. Receive work training

Working with an expert carpet fitter can offer further experience. As a trainee, you can observe the fitter's work style and help them with tasks, such as measuring and cutting. The fitter may also assign work to you and inspect it to ensure you've done it properly. Additionally, they might provide feedback on your work and answer questions. Your time as a trainee often depends on how long it takes you to gain enough confidence and the skills to work independently, which may be one to three years.

Related: Vocational training: definitions, careers and examples

4. Use direct application

You can apply directly to companies for carpet fitter jobs without an apprenticeship or training. You may apply for these jobs if you have the necessary skills. An employer may expect you to demonstrate your skills, such as having a knowledge of carpet fitting techniques, before they decide to recruit you.

A carpet fitter's work environment

Carpet fitters work in various indoor environments, such as commercial or residential buildings, hotels, offices and restaurants. The job may require you to stand for extended periods or kneel on the floor while working. You might work in newly completed buildings or old houses that require new floor covers. As a flooring specialist, you can work independently or with an agency or company.

Related: Identifying and improving a hostile work environment

Responsibilities of a carpet fitter

The duties of a carpet fitter may include the following:

Having discussions with clients

Before starting a new project, a carpet fitter has discussions with a client to understand the latter's requirements. This allows them to display flooring samples, such as different carpet designs, for the client to select. After a client chooses the flooring, you can discuss the pricing and where to purchase the flooring materials.

During these meetings, carpet fitters and their clients agree on an installation day. For example, users of workspaces, such as offices, may choose weekends for installation to prevent disruption to business during the working week. Proper communication during client meetings can help you determine the most suitable arrangements.

Related: What is client communication and why is it important?

Ordering materials

Carpet fitters aim to find a reliable vendor, process a client's order and ensure the materials arrive at the appropriate time. Once carpet fitters determine a project's flooring materials, they order them from reliable vendors or suppliers. You might research or ask colleagues for recommendations on where to buy quality flooring materials. Experienced fitters often work with specific vendors or suppliers they can trust. When selecting a flooring material, carpet fitters take the following into account:

  • Fibres: Carpet fitters consider the type of fibres of a material and how they would suit a client's room. They may also take into account a material's colour and durability.

  • Manufacturing method: This describes a carpet's manufacturing process, which may influence the quality of the material. For example, a carpet fitter may consider woven carpeting with rubber fibres as a durable option in some circumstances.

  • Room traffic: When choosing a carpet, a fitter considers how many visitors a room may attract. Residential areas and offices require durable flooring to withstand frequent impact from users.

  • Fire resistance: They may consider whether a carpet is fire resistant to provide protection, especially in commercial buildings.

  • Colour: The colour of a carpet may also influence a fitter's decision. They typically try to ensure that a carpet matches a room's style and decoration.

Related: How to create a purchase order form (step-by-step guide)

Moving furniture and doors

Carpet fitters may move furniture to install new carpets or remove old ones. They may also unscrew doors if they cover some of the floor space. Their work requires a free and open space so that they can easily access the floor and complete their task. This means removing obstructions from a room so there's nothing in their way when it's time to work on the floor.

Measuring floor space

They measure floors to understand how much material they require. They use measuring tools to get a detailed evaluation of a room or space, including hidden corners and staircases. Proper evaluation of every room space allows them to perform an excellent flooring job. Carpet fitters usually measure floors before discussing the budget with a client, as an accurate measurement can influence the final estimate.

Removing flooring

Clients may require carpet fitters to remove old flooring before installing a new one. Carpet fitters cut and remove old flooring materials to prepare a floor for a new installation. During this procedure, it may be necessary to use pliers or chemicals to remove glue and nails from the floor. They also exercise caution during this process to prevent damage.

Preparing a bare floor for installation

Before installing a covering, carpet fitters clean, smoothen and level the floor. This ensures that it feels perfectly flat and smooth after completing a project. This process involves tools such as spiked rollers or pin levellers. Once they level the floor, they install a new carpet or a similar floor covering.

Measuring and cutting carpet

Measuring and cutting carpets into suitable sizes is part of their work. They spread the carpet, use a measuring tape to specify the required length or width and carefully cut the carpeting. Excellent techniques help them cut effectively and install carpet that fits perfectly into small spaces and corners. Some carpet fitters may use chalk lines to specify cutting paths.

Installing carpet

Fitters generally use adhesives to ensure carpet sticks perfectly to the floor. Using nails to fasten carpet edges to the surface helps it to remain in the right position. These flooring specialists also use such tools as glue guns and hammers.

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