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How to Stretch a Carpet

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule Jun 18, 2019
A loose, wrinkled carpet can rob your living room of its glory. Learn how to stretch a carpet yourself, with the help of carpet stretching tools.
Poor installation of carpet often leads to wrinkles. Sometimes water damage or aging can produce similar effects on the carpets. Then, carpet stretching becomes inevitable.
You should consider about stretching it as soon as first few wrinkles begin to show. Delaying this job can damage the carpet permanently as the wrinkles often lead to ripping and tearing.
Moreover, there are chances of people tripping over it and getting themselves injured. To check if the carpet needs to be stretched again, you need to lift it up at the center and then snap it back. If it lays flat, you probably do not need to stretch it. However, if it does not go back to its place, then your carpet needs a stretching.

Carpet Stretching Tools

If you are planning to stretch the carpet yourself, you'll have to arrange for the required stretching tools such as
  • Knee kicker
  • Power carpet stretcher.
If you do not know how to work a power stretcher, call a friend to help you out. Power stretcher is a device with two components a lever and head. Lever butts against one end of the carpet while head is to be moved around for stretching. Both these instruments can be found at your local 'Hire Shop'.

How to Stretch Carpet

Once, you have all the tools and supplies at hand, proceed as per the instructions.
» Switch on the power carpet stretcher and start working from the center of the carpet.
» Work on the small areas every time, stretch, and then move 18 inches before stretching the next section.
» Pull the carpet and hook it to the tack strip, every time you stretch.
» Begin working towards the wall that has a door, then move towards other sides.
» Stretch the sides properly, instead of 18 inches, start from a foot away from where you pulled it last.
» Hook the carpet to the tack board properly.
» Use a knee kicker for the areas difficult to reach, such as built in cabinets etc.
» You'll need to cut the sides and trim the edges, once the carpet is stretched. Also, make sure that the backing is intact.
» Tuck the overhang carpet under the baseboard.
While working with a power carpet stretcher, you need to be extra careful as it is indeed a very powerful tool. If you push down on the lever forcefully, you run the risk of ripping your carpet or pulling off a tack strip from other end.

Carpet Stretching by Professionals

Professional carpet stretching companies can be called for assistance, if you are not sure you can accomplish the job on your own. Most companies will work by removing the tacks from their place, pulling the carpet and then stretching it again by replacing the tacks.
 The cost of stretching will be about the same as that for installing it. Most companies will charge you somewhere around 0.30 cents per foot. The cost may rise up to 0.75 cents, if they are required to move any furniture. All in all, the entire cost of carpet stretching won't exceed $120. That is not too much of an amount to spend for a professional work.
However, if you do not have the time to wait for their 'waiting customers list' to clear up, you can indeed consider doing the job yourself. The Hire Shop will not charge you more than $50 for the mentioned tools.
A wrinkled, ripped carpet can spoil the entire look of your living room. Hence, you should not delay this particular job. Besides, stretching carpet adds to its life, as cleaning and maintaining it becomes easier.