Materials Needed for Stretching Carpet
Carpet stretching is labor-intensive, but it does not require a high level of skill. This means that many do-it-yourself enthusiasts who are eager to save money while keeping their home well-maintained may be able to tackle this project. Before you get started, you will need to assemble all of the tools and equipment necessary to get the job done. Some of these items, like work gloves, pliers and a flathead screwdriver, may already be stashed in your supplies. You may need to pick up a yardstick or a 2×4, a pry bar and a carpet or utility knife. A power stretcher and a knee kicker are also required. These two items may be purchased for several hundred dollars. If you only need to re-stretch the carpeting in one room, renting these items may be more cost-effective.
How to Stretch Carpet in Six Easy Steps
When you have a few free hours and all of the essential tools and equipment nearby, you are ready to walk through a few easy carpet restretching steps.
1. Clear the Room.
All furniture and decorative items should be removed from the carpet. The entire surface area of the floor should be clear. Once all objects are removed, vacuum the floor to create a clean workspace.
2. Pull the Carpet Away.
While wearing the work gloves, use the pliers to gently pull up the carpet around the perimeter of the room. The carpet should be stuck to the tack strips, so do your best to protect the carpet from damage while you pull it up. Before you move on to the next step, ensure that the carpet is free along three sides of the room and still affixed along the fourth side.
3. Place the Power Stretcher into the Carpet.
Place the yardstick or 2×4 along the wall where the carpet is still firmly affixed. The power stretcher should be pressed up against the wood piece so that the wood protects the wall and baseboard from damage. It should also be placed with its teeth facing downward perpendicularly to the rippled area. The extension poles that came with the power stretcher can be extended close to the opposite wall. Then, you can adjust the power stretcher so that the teeth penetrate through the carpet and its backing.
4. Start Stretching the Carpet.
With the power stretcher in place and locked onto your carpet, you can adjust the lever to extend the machine’s head. Ideally, you will feel tension by doing so. If this requires too much strength, you must readjust the machine to avoid damaging the carpet. If it feels like you are barely using any force, you may not actually be stretching the material sufficiently to remove the wrinkles. If you experience either of these situations, repeat the previous step before proceeding. When this step is done correctly, your carpet will eventually reach the end of the room. Push the carpet back onto the tack strip so that the taut carpet is held in place.
5. Focus on the Entire Room.
If you have a large room with loose carpet across a significant area, you may need to move the power stretcher to the right and left of your starting point. You can repeat these steps until the entire floor is covered by tight, smooth carpet. You may also need to use the knee kicker to work on tight spaces, like corners.
6. Cut and Tack the Carpet.
If your carpet stretching efforts have resulted in extra carpet along one side of the wall, roll, the extra carpet up as needed. Trim the excess carpet away using the carpet or utility knife. However, leave enough carpet to tuck underneath the baseboards. You may use the yardstick as a straight edge to assist with cutting, and the yardstick can also be used to push the carpet edge underneath the baseboard. Ensure that the carpet along the entire perimeter is properly affixed to the tack strips.
You can see that carpet restretching may be easy enough for many people to complete on their own, and it can have a tremendous impact on ambiance and safety in the room. Now that you know how to stretch carpet, you may be ready to assemble your supplies and get started.