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Job Photographs

  • A man is outside, carrying a roll of carpet towards a front door.

    Carrying the carpet in from the van. This piece of carpet has already been cut to roughly the right size.

  • A man is kneeling down on some bare floorboards.  He is holding a steel tape measure along a metal rod, and cutting the rod with a small hacksaw.

    Measuring and cutting a gripper rod to the correct length.

  • A man is kneeling on the floor, spreading glue over some underlay with a metal scraper.  There is a large bucket of glue on the floor behind him.

    Spreading glue on the underlay.

  • A man is kneeling down on the floor, fitting a carpet round a long red leather seat in a pub.

    Carpet fitters deliver, cut and lay floor coverings such as carpets and vinyl for their customers. This fitter is laying a carpet in a pub.

  • A man is picking out some metal rods from the back of a van.

    Choosing the correct gripper rods. These will make a neat edge for the carpet to be tucked under.

  • A man is kneeling down and fixing some underlay to the floor near a door frame.

    Fixing the underlay in place.

  • A man is kneeling down on the floor, using some very large scissors to cut a carpet.

    Cutting the carpet so it fits neatly round a corner.

  • A man is vacuuming a carpet in a pub, using a red and black vacuum cleaner.

    Vacuuming the newly laid carpet to pick up any loose fibres.

  • Carpet Fitter

Carpet Fitter

Introduction

Carpet fitters visit homes, offices and shops to prepare floors and put down floor coverings such as carpets, vinyls and laminates. Some carpet fitters also calculate the quantity and cost of the covering needed.

Also known as

  • Flooring and Carpet Fitter

Work Activities

As well as fitting carpets and underlay in people's homes, you also fit vinyl, carpet tiles, laminates and other sorts of floor coverings in shops, offices, schools, hotels, sports centres and other buildings.

The working day starts at the warehouse or shop, where you collect the floor coverings that the customer has ordered, and load up the van.

When you arrive at the customer's premises or home, you might first have to move furniture so that the floor space is clear. Then you might have to remove old floor coverings and prepare the surface of the floor.

You might fit a rubber or flame-retardant underlay, often using a special type of glue. Once this has been done, the new floor covering can be measured and cut; any patterns have to be carefully matched.

The coverings have to be cut and laid carefully so that they fit rooms exactly. You will use glue, tapes, tacks, gripper rods (spiked edging to hold the carpet securely) and special tools to fit the coverings.

If separate pieces of carpet have to be cut, you must join them together carefully so that the edges do not show. Sometimes you have to remove, trim and rehang doors so that you open and close over the new carpet.

Some who are self-employed or working for a small carpet retailer, help customers choose suitable floor coverings, measure the floor space and estimate the amount of floor covering needed. With larger outlets, this is often done by an Estimator or Salesperson.

Domestic Carpet Fitters usually work on their own or with one other person.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Carpet Fitter, you will need to be:

  • fit and strong, and able to kneel, bend and lift
  • able to work without supervision
  • good with your hands and able to use tools for cutting and fitting
  • able to pay attention to detail and work carefully and accurately

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £22,500 - £23,000
  • With experience: £23,500 - £27,000
  • Senior Carpet Fitters earn £28,000

Hours of work

Carpet Fitters work 39 hours a week. This often includes evening and weekend working.

Where could I work?

Employers are specialist flooring contractors and carpet retailers.

Opportunities for Carpet Fitters occur in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Carpet Fitters to work independently as self-employed fitters.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local newspapers, on Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

You can enter this career by applying directly for trainee posts with specialist flooring contractors and carpet retailers.

Training

You will be trained on-the-job, working alongside an experienced carpet fitter. Some employers send staff on short courses run by the Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA).

The FITA Basic Carpet Fitting course is aimed at newcomers to the trade. This four-day course focuses on various aspects of the job, including:

  • health and safety
  • preparation of surfaces
  • carpet construction
  • methods of fitting
  • tools of the trade
  • customer relations

Other FITA courses include the intermediate and advanced carpet fitting courses.

It might be possible to work towards a NVQ certificate in floorcovering (construction) at level 1 and a NVQ diploma in floorcovering occupations (construction) at level 2.

The National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers offers the fitter membership grade to members who have passed a written or verbal exam and supplied three referees who can verify the member's standard of work. The master fitter grade is for fitter members who can also pass a practical demonstration of their fitting skills.

Progression

Carpet Fitters could progress to Team Leader or Manager posts. Many Carpet Fitters become self-employed.

Work Experience

Previous experience working in woodworking or tiling would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

You might not need any academic qualifications to get into this job. However, you will need to have English and maths skills. GCSEs in both these subjects could be useful.

Other entry qualifications could include a BTEC level 2 qualification, for example.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Some entrants have developed relevant skills in, for example, woodworking or tiling.

Statistics

  • 74% of people in occupations such as carpet fitting are self-employed.
  • 8% work part-time.

Further Information

Flooring Industry Training Association (FITA)

Address: 4c St Mary's Place, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1PH

Tel: 0115 9506836

Email: info@fita.co.uk

Website: www.fita.co.uk

National Institute of Carpet and Floorlayers (NICF)

Address: 4c St. Mary's Place, The Lace Market, Nottingham NG1 1PH

Tel: 0115 9583077

Email: info@nicfltd.org.uk

Website: www.nicfltd.org.uk

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