How clean is clean enough for the floor before a carpet install?
July 23, 2008 6:37 AM   Subscribe

I am laying carpet in the basement this week. It's has a quality carpet pad and will be on top of concrete. The drywall mud/tape guy and the guy who sprayed the ceiling left an absolute mess on the floor. I've cleaned, scraped, swept, scraped, mopped, scraped etc. for a couple nights and the floor is fairly clean now. At the very least, it is VERY LEVEL as any cracks are now filled with mud that has been smoothed over. My question is - how clean does the floor need to be? Do I have to worry about the little bit of mud/drywall dust somehow magically seeping up through the pad and into my carpet?
posted by tickettrader to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
You've probably gone above and beyond already. Assuming that it's level and pretty clean you're fine.
posted by true at 6:56 AM on July 23, 2008

It's probably worth going over the floor with a vacuum cleaner before you lay the carpet. But really a bit of dust isn't going to magically work its way upwards against gravity through your carpet.... and if it does, it'll end up in the vac anyway at some point. Just make sure you don't lay the carpet over any pets or small children...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:01 AM on July 23, 2008

I worked with for a home builder one summer and before carpets are installed the subfloor is at best "dirty" and worst "filty" You would be surprised at the mess left under any finish material in most houses.
posted by comatose at 7:26 AM on July 23, 2008

From having pulled up carpet and rugs, I can tell you that dust and grit will filter down and join any small amount of dust you leave. Lots of dust & grit.
posted by theora55 at 8:00 AM on July 23, 2008

Nothing to worry about, your pad will be filthy in short order anyways.
posted by Mitheral at 8:53 AM on July 23, 2008

You needn't seal your concrete basement floor, before laying carpet, but if you don't, it will continue to slowly generate concrete dust, underneath your carpet pad, indefinitely, in response to small movement of the carpet and pad as people walk on it. Sealing the floor, before you put down carpet, can reduce radon infiltration, and dampness too (but a simple sealing is not a good enough water barrier to damp proof a basement).
posted by paulsc at 1:12 PM on July 23, 2008

Just to follow up - the carpet guys arrived and commented on how much cleaner the floor was compared to most new construction.
posted by tickettrader at 6:44 AM on July 24, 2008

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