How to Cut Carpet Padding

Carpet padding is a critical part of the flooring process.

Carpet padding makes walking on the carpeting more comfortable, and it also helps protect the carpet so that it lasts longer. You will cut your carpet padding before installing the carpet itself, but after fixing the tack strips to the bare flooring. Be aware that in some regions, tack strips are actually referred to as tackless strips; they are in fact the same thing.

Measure the distance between your tack strips and cut the carpet padding to approximately the right size, leaving at least an inch of extra allowance. Use a utility knife or shears to make the cut.

Place the carpet padding, waffle-weave side up, with one edge lined up against the inside edge of one of the tack strips.

Trim the other edges of the carpet padding, using the utility knife or shears, so that it fits just inside the edges of the rest of the tack strips.

Lay down and trim, if necessary, more pieces of carpet padding to fully cover the rest of the flooring to be carpeted.

Things You Will Need

  • Utility knife or shears


  • Once it's cut to size, the carpet padding will be either stapled or glued in place on the bare flooring. If you have trouble kneeling on hard surfaces, you may want to either wear kneepads or kneel on a piece of scrap carpet or carpet padding as you work.