Attaching the Carpet to your floor
Now that we know what type of carpet pad we will be using and this choice is actually made in conjunction with your carpet selection, we can figure out how we can attach it to the subfloor.
Carpet that is covering standard wood subfloors is attached at the outside perimeter of the room by a small strip of wood with tacks coming out of it pointed towards the wall. When the carpet installer stretches the carpet with their knee kicker or stretcher they force the carpet onto the tacks on one side of the room then stretch it over the tacks on the opposite side of the room.
When carpet is applied to stairs some of the same tack strips used around the borders of rooms are use in conjunction with long 1/4″ staples to wrap the carpet around the nose of the stair tred. Carpet Staples require a special staple gun and the staples are not usually available in regular home stores.
Gluing carpetis acceptable in some situations and industrial applications often use this method when warehouses are subdivided into work and office space. The backing of the carpet must be able to accept the adhesive and form a bond that will last over time. This type of carpet is usually very thin with a short pile. It costs less per foot but the quality is not really acceptable for most living or bedrooms rooms.
If you will be covering a concrete floor in your basement you actually have two different options. You can use a standard tack strip around the perimeter of the room as you would over a standard wood subfloor or you can glue the carpet to the concrete with special adhesives. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Tack Strip is somewhat more difficult to install on concrete but there are special hardened nails in the type used for concrete which do a decent job. If you choose to go with a standard method of tack strips you can expect greater then normal fluctuation in shrinkage of the carpet due to moisture in the concrete but using tack strips allows you to use a carpet pad under the rug. Additionally you should also use a poly tarp sheet to form a separation between the concrete and the padding so that you can reduce the growth of mold.