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Common and Basically Simple Approach to Carpet Stretching

Tired up lumpy, loose carpeting? You can restretch your old carpeting in less than a day. In fact you can fit, trim and restretch a new carpet in a modest size room yourself. With a few special rented tools and the coaching in this article, you can do a great job even if it's your first try.

The techniques we show also work to get rid of wrinkles. You won't save a lot by doing it yourself. But the big advantage is that you can get the room back in order on your schedule rather than idling on a carpet layer's backlogged customer list (or taking off work to keep the appointment). Over time carpets can become loose and need re-stretching. Often the cause is the setting or it may have something to do with when the carpet was laid. This common problem can cause a trip hazard and should be fixed . Stretching a carpet may be easier than you think. Turn the knob on the head of a knee kicker to adjust the length of the carpet grabbers. Adjust the grabbers so that they are long enough to penetrate the carpet but not long enough to penetrate the padding.

MAKING ROUGH CUTS: To install carpeting, roll out the carpeting in a large, clean, dry, and fat area. Measure carefully and allow at least 3 in. overlap for the perimeter of the room and for any seams. If you have cut-pile carpeting, cut it from the back. First, notch the ends where the cut will begin and stop. Then fold the carpeting over and make chalklines on the back between the notches. Cut along the line taking care to cut only the backing. If you have loop-pile carpeting, cut it from the front. Snap a chalkline and cut with a utility knife with a very sharp blade.

SEAMING DETAILS: 1. To cut a seam, put one piece of carpeting over the other so the overlap is about 1 inch Use the top piece as a guide to cut the bottom one. 2. The two pieces butt tightly. Insert a length of hot-melt seaming tape halfway under one piece of carpeting. Put the adhesive side up and align the printed center with the edge of the carpet. Heat the seaming iron to 250 degrees. Many stores have self-stick seaming tape that doesn't require an iron. 3. Hold back one edge of the carpet and slip the seaming iron under the edge of the other piece. Hold it on the tape about 30 seconds. Then slide it slowly along the tape while you press both halves of the carpet onto the heated adhesive. Make sure the two edges are butting. If not, pull them together and place a heavy object on them until they are bonded to the tape. If you're using self-stick seaming tape, merely press both halves of the carpet down firmly to the tape to make sure the carpeting bonds securely.


1. Walk over the carpet to shift it so it lies smoothly. Trim the edge to overlap the tackless strips by 1 or 2 inches. Make incisions for corners and cut around grates and other obstacles. Place the knee kicker about 1 in. from the tackless strip and at a slight angle to the wall. Bump it with your knee so it moves the carpet and hooks it on the strip.

2. Experiment with the power stretcher to learn how much "bite" is needed to grip the carpet and stretch it sufficiently. Pull the carpet taut with a minimum of force so it doesn't tear. 3. A stretching sequence drawing shows how to e stretch and hook the carpet onto tackless strips. Follow it as you work to find the correct placements for the knee kicker and power stretcher (Fig. 10). Stretching sequence. Carpeting must be stretched in the sequence shown here. The circles indicate points of attachment and the arrows indicate the direction of stretching. Follow the numbered sequence, which is detailed in the text. If you make a mistake in sequence, don't fret; just go back and do it over. Position yourself in a corner of the room on the side where the carpet is loose. Set the head of the knee kicker about 2 inches away from the wall so the grabbers grab into the carpet. Kick your knee into the back of the knee kicker, which is often cushioned. The knee kicker's grabbers will hold the carpet and pull it tight. Tuck the carpet under the wall trim with a 4-inch putty knife. Repeat along the edge of the wall until carpet lies tight. For more of this instruction, see link below:

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Article Tags: Carpet Stretching, Knee Kicker, Seaming Tape

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Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company
in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"

Home Repair
Home Business
Self Help

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