How to Use a Power Carpet Stretcher

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A correctly installed carpet lies tight to the sub-flooring of your home and does not wrinkle. A carpet wrinkle wears faster than other parts of the carpet and allows the carpet to shift. The shifting results in additional wrinkles. This shortens the lifespan of the carpet. To properly install carpeting and avoid wrinkles, you need the correct tools. A power carpet stretcher is an important device that uses mechanical power rather than electrical power.

Things You'll Need

  • Notepad
  • Pencil
  • Power carpet stretcher
  • Knee kicker
  • Stand with your back to a short wall of the room. Draw the shape of the room, marking the corner to your right A and the corner to your left B. Move to the other short wall of the room. Place your back against the wall. Mark the corner to your left C and the corner to your right D.

  • Assemble the tube sections of the power stretcher to match the size of your room. Attach the tail block and the power head to the assembled tubes according to the usage manual of the power carpet stretcher.

  • Refer to the carpet manufacturer's recommendations for the stretch to apply to the carpet. A general rule is to stretch the carpet 1 to 1 and 1/2 percent of the carpet's width and length.

  • Manually hook the carpet into the tack strip mounted to the sub-floor at corner A.

  • Set the tail block of the power carpet stretcher 30 inches from corner A on wall A-B. Place the power head of the power carpet stretcher 4 inches from corner C.

  • Pull the handle of the power stretcher. Push the carpet onto the tack strip of corner C to hold the carpet in place. Secure the carpet along wall A-C with a knee kicker, a carpet installation tool.

  • Move the tail block 30 inches down from corner A, resting on wall A-C. Place the power head 4 inches from corner B.

  • Pull the handle of the power head. Push the carpet onto the tack strip at corner B.

  • Secure the carpet to the tack strip along wall A-B.

  • Stretch the carpet along wall B-D by keeping the tail block on wall A-C and the power head 4 inches away from wall B-D. Move the power stretcher along the wall as needed until you reach wall D-C.

  • Move the tail block to wall A-B. Place the power head 4 inches from wall D-C. Stretch the carpet along the length of wall D-C.

  • Cut and finish the carpet as recommended by the carpet manufacturer.

  • Disassemble the power carpet stretcher when the carpet is installed.

Tips & Warnings

  • The closer the total length of assembled tube sections to the length of the room, the better stretch you will achieve on the carpet.
  • Certain types of carpet will only stretch along their width or length. This information is contained in the carpet's installation instructions.

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References

  • Photo Credit carpet roller image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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