To transport carpeting into your home, most professionals have to fold or roll the pieces to have them fit into the trucks or vans. However, this can leave the carpeting with wrinkles or creases in unwanted places and sometimes these mistakes are still visible after the carpeting is installed. To pull wrinkles out of your new carpet, you will have to restretch the carpet by using many of the same techniques the installers used to lay the carpet, while paying more attention to flattening the surface completely.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Staple gun with 5/16-inch staples
- 2-by-4-inch board
- Power stretcher
- Knee kicker
- Utility knife or carpet cutter
Remove all of the furniture from the room so that you have full access to the carpet. Loosen the carpet from the tack strip in one corner of the room, using a pair of pliers. Pull on the carpet very carefully and without too much force, because you can easily pull out carpet fibres with the pliers.
Put on your protective gloves once the tack strip is revealed, since it holds extremely sharp nails that secure the carpet in place. Slide your hand gently under the loosened carpet and pull it slowly away from the tack strips. Work your way around the room until you have completely loosened the carpet along all of the walls of the room.
Pull out any exposed staples along the area of the carpet pad, under the carpet you just pulled loose. The pad will rip if you pull it up without removing the staples first.
Gently pull on the tack strips to ensure they are completely secure against the subfloor. Pry any loose tack strips away from the subfloor with a pry bar and nail new ones into place. Make sure that the gripping nails are facing toward the carpet and away from the wall.
Lay the carpet padding back against the tack strips. Staple it into the tack strips every three inches with 5/16-inch staples.
Set a 2-by-4-inch board against the wall, directly across from the centre of the longest wall in the room. Set the back end of your power stretcher against the wood to brace it and protect your wall. Add extensions to your power stretcher until it extends 6 inches from the loosened edge of the carpet.
Set your power stretcher to its deepest setting. Push the head into the carpet and push down on the lever to dig the stretcher's teeth into the carpet, pulling it taut. Push the machine so that the stretcher sets the carpet onto the tack strip; this will stretch the carpet and remove any wrinkles.
Stretch the carpet in sections across the wall. Start at the direct centre, then move 18 inches toward a wall with a door. If neither wall has a door, just pick a direction in which to move. Stretch the carpet every 18 inches one way, then switch and work in the other direction. This method will completely stretch the carpet and remove all wrinkles.
Repeat the stretching and pulling along all four walls of the room. For tight areas, such as in corners or around immovable installations, use a knee kicker, which works the same way as the stretcher but is braced against your knee.
Trim off any excess carpet padding or carpeting with a utility knife or carpet cutter. Cut from the back of the carpet so that you don't tear any of the surface fibres.
Tips and warnings
- Rent a power stretcher and knee kicker at a hardware or home-improvement store. You can purchase these tools, but renting makes more sense for a single project.
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