How to Stretch Loose Carpet


Over time, carpet backing tends to loosen, which will cause bubbles and wrinkles to form in the carpet. Also, if the carpet wasn't properly stretched when it was installed, the homeowner is more likely to have problems down the road. With the proper tools, you can stretch the carpet to give it a tight, newly-installed appearance. In order to get a satisfactory result, the carpet in the entire room will have to be stretched out; stretching out only a section of the room that's affected will only relocate the problem area.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Knee pads
  • Pliers
  • Power stretcher
  • Utility knife


  • Remove all furniture from the room.

  • Put on the safety goggles, work gloves and knee pads.

  • Go to a corner of the room and begin pulling up the carpet from the tack strip using the pliers to grip the carpet. Work your way around the room, leaving one wall attached to the tack strip.

  • Check the underside of the carpet to ensure the carpet padding has not bunched up. Replace any damaged carpet padding.

Stretching the Carpet

  • Place the power stretcher on the wall where you left the carpet attached to the tack strip.

  • The other end of the stretcher should be placed about six inches from the wall on the opposite side.

  • Push the lever to turn on the carpet stretcher, which will stretch and secure the carpet over the tack strip.

  • Continue working your way around the room until all of the carpet has been stretched and secured.

  • Trim the excess carpet by taking the utility knife and trimming along the baseboard.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many local hardware stores with tool rental departments rent power stretchers.
  • Once the carpet is stretched, if there were vent holes in the floor, these may now be in a different location and it may be necessary to patched some seamed pieces to refit the hole.
  • Take your time when trimming excess carpeting, as you'll want to be sure to apply enough pressure to get a straight cut.

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  • Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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