How to Install Outdoor Carpet DIY

Laying carpet on your porch or patio provides a safe, nonskid surface. Outdoor carpeting also is an easy fix for covering up unattractive concrete. Laying outdoor carpet does not require special skills. If you can use a box knife and a trowel, you can lay outdoor carpeting. You can install outdoor carpet in a day or less, depending on the size of your project.

  1. Measure the length and the width of your porch or patio. Multiply the length and the width together to determine the square footage; this is the amount of carpet you need.
  2. Add extra carpeting if you have steps. Measure the length and the height of each step. Add all the measurements together, then multiply the total by the width of one step. This will give you the amount of carpet that you need to cover your steps.
  3. Sweep dirt and debris off of your porch. Repair any dip pits in the concrete with a water-mixed concrete patch; otherwise, carpet with thin backing will sink into the pits. Allow the patched areas to dry overnight.
  4. Start laying your carpet closest to the house. This will allow you to work your way off the porch or patio. Dip your whisk broom into the glue. Spread the glue two feet out from the house wall, then extend the glue the entire width of the porch or patio.
  5. Leave the carpet rolled up so it's easier to work with. Place the edge of the carpet tight against the wall. Roll the carpet toward you. Only unroll the carpet far enough for it to cover the glued area.
  6. Spread another section of glue as you did before. Unroll the carpet far enough to cover it. Smooth out any wrinkles in the glued carpet with your hand. Continue spreading glue and unrolling the carpet until you have reached the edge of the porch or patio.
  7. Fit the carpet around any handrail posts, using a helper to hold it. Unroll the carpet straight up the post. Hold it tight at the base of the post.
  8. Cut the carpet straight up the center of the post with your box knife. Make the cut all the way to the end so the carpet will separate. The carpet will lay around the post, then seam back together on the other side. Trim the carpet at the base of the post with your box knife.
  9. Cut the excess carpet on the edge of the porch with your box knife. Hold the carpet tightly to the edge of the porch. Rest the edge of the knife against the edge of the porch as you cut the carpet, for a straight, even cut. Do not cut the excess carpet away from the step area.
  10. Spread glue on two steps at a time, covering each entire step. Roll the carpet onto the glued steps. Smooth out the wrinkles with your hands. Continue this process until you have covered all the steps.
  11. Cut off the excess carpet at the base of the last step. Hold the carpet in place with your drywall knife to provide straight edge to cut against. Trim the excess carpet off of the edge of the steps using the same technique as you did when cutting the excess carpet off the edge of the porch.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Exterior carpet glue
  • Whisk broom
  • Box knife
  • Blades
  • 12-inch drywall knife


  • Change knife blades often. When you cut carpet, the blade dulls quickly.
  • Most carpet layers use a trowel to spread the glue. Using a whisk broom will give the same results and is much quicker.

About the Author

Based in Oklahoma City, Debbie Tolle has been working in the home-improvement industry since 2001 and writing since 1998. Tolle holds a Master of Science in psychology from Eastern Illinois University and is also a Cisco-certified network associate (CCNA) and a Microsoft-certified systems engineer (MCSE).