Carpet Stretching – All You Need to Know (To Not Do It Yourself)

Why Carpet Stretching is necessary:

Carpet stretching is, generally, done in two different situations: During the initial installation and for a carpet repair. The initial stretch, during installation, ensures that the carpet is taught, secure, and even across the entire floor covering. Taught carpet will stay in place and stay smooth and flat to the floor where it belongs.

What causes carpets to ripple or buckle:

    • Poor installation: The carpet may have been improperly installed. In most cases of a bad installation the installer didn’t use a power stretcher properly or at all.
    • Excessive wear due to traffic: Sometimes a Lavado de Alfombras Retiro a Domicilio will need to be re-stretched because of wheelchairs, walkers, tricycles, etc. Even when installed to perfection it can become loose from excessive wear.
    • Sliding heavy furniture: Carpet is made of layers of fabric. When heavy furniture slides across the carpet it’s likely that it will cause rippling.
    • Latex: if the latex holding the backing together deteriorates it’s called delamination, the carpet essentially loses its grip on itself, resulting in buckling and loss of fiber.
  • Improper padding for carpet type. Certain pile types require specific padding types; if these are paired improperly, the right amount of grip and support may not be present, resulting in carpet buckles. Make sure you consult a trained professional or manufacturer’s guide when purchasing carpet so you get the right padding to accompany it.

If your Carpet is Rippling:

(to stretch or not to stretch)

If you have carpet that looks more like the ocean than a flat carpet, you may have a problem. As soon as it begins to loosen up and become rippled, it wears faster. The bigger the ripples, the faster the ripples grow. This is because carpet is designed to lay flat and not move at all. When you walk on carpet ripples it causes the carpet to move up and down, further loosening it.

If your carpet is loose it’s time to take action. In most cases, carpet stretching can fix the ripples and buckles, and there’s no need to waste money replacing the carpet because of how it lays.

Carpet stretching is a common type of carpet repair that essentially involves pulling the carpet up from around one or more edges of the room, re-stretching it to proper tightness, cutting the carpet to the proper length, tacking back down into place and finally tucking it in along the edge.

Like any type of carpet repair, stretching carpet is more involved than it seems to be. Stretching carpet isn’t just a matter of smoothing out ripples and re-securing, or pulling at the edges by hand as you would a bed sheet. Carpet stretching comes with its own tools and techniques that help you do the job right.

Essential Carpet Stretching Tools

A professional who repairs carpet for a living will have all of these tools on hand. If you decide to try and stretch carpet yourself, most or all of these tools should be available for rental or purchase at a relatively reasonable price. Even contracting out your carpet stretching is far more cost-effective than replacing the carpet, so either way, these tools, in your hands or someone else’s, save you quite a bit of money.

Partial list

    • Knee stretcher. A knee stretcher, also known as a kicker, is a special tool that has a grip on one end, to attach to the carpet, and a pad on the other end, for you to ‘kick’ with your quadriceps, (do not kick with your knee!
    • Power carpet stretcher. In the trade we usually call this too our stretcher. The stretcher is the most important tool for stretching carpet. It’s specially designed to adjust to any size room and help stretch carpet much more effectively than anyone could do by hand (or by knee). A power carpet stretcher features a very long pole with a carpet grip on one end, a wall brace on the other, and a handle lever in the middle. Don’t even try to stretch a carpet without one. This is the most expensive tool most of us carpet people have.
    • Carpet or slotted blade knife. Involved in almost every carpet repair task you can imagine, a good carpet knife will never let you down. In the case of carpet stretching, the knife is used to trim excesscarpet from the edge after it’s been pulled tight.
  • Staple gun. An industrial carpet staple gun isn’t a regular staple gun. The staples are far narrower so that they fit between the nap. Carpet staple guns aren’t always necessary for carpet stretching, but it’s good to have on hand just to make sure. Because a properly stretched carpet is pretty tight, the tack strip alone may not hold it down satisfactorily, in which case the staple gun eliminates any doubt.

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