How to tighten carpet

Most carpet installed in homes use tack strips or carpet grippers to secure the carpet to subfloors. Over time, carpet can become loose or bubble up around a room. Fortunately, correcting this problem is not too difficult with the right tools. Many homeowners can rent carpet stretching tools from a local supply store and tighten carpet in a weekend project, depending on the size of the room. Carpet types will generally not affect the carpet stretching process.

Remove all furniture from the room. Place it outside of the area where you will be stretching the carpet.

Detach two sides of the carpet on opposite ends of the room. For example, start with the north and south ends of the room.

Use a knee kicker to reattach one side of the carpet. Move down the entire wall to stretch and reattach the carpet.

Cut excess carpet with a utility knife. Press the carpet edge beneath the baseboard using a carpet tool.

Place a power stretcher onto the floor. Attach one end to the newly stretched carpet edge. Stretch the carpet across the room toward the opposite wall.

Stretch the carpet across the room in a fan pattern, working your way toward the outside walls. Attach the carpet using the knee kicker after you stretch it across the room.

Cut excess carpet with a utility knife. Press the carpet edge beneath the baseboard using a carpet tool.

Repeat Steps 1 through 7 for the east and west walls in the room to stretch and tighten the carpet.

Replace the furniture.


Ask a friend to help you with stretching the carpet. The process will probably go smoother and faster than doing it yourself.


Be careful to not overstretch the carpet as you can ruin it.

Things You'll Need

  • Knee kicker
  • Utility knife
  • Carpet tool
  • Power stretcher
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About the Author

Daniella Lauren has worked with eHow and various new media sites as a freelance writer since 2009. Her work covers topics in education, business, and home and garden. Daniella holds a Master of Science in elementary education and a Bachelor of Arts in history from Pensacola Christian College.