DIY Fraying Carpet

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Fraying carpet is a common problem at thresholds, transition areas and poorly installed carpet seams. Constant foot traffic or movement from furniture can make the fraying worse. You can prevent further fraying at these areas by repairing them quickly. Areas where carpet meets a hard surface such as tile or wood take a lot of abuse and fraying can be stopped by covering the transition area with a transition strip, also called a carpet bar. Repairing a frayed carpet seam can be done with hot melt seam tape and a seam iron.

Things You'll Need

  • Transition trim
  • Measuring tape
  • Hot melt carpet seam tape
  • Seam iron
  • Scissors
  • Carpet roller
  • Small board for the seam iron
  • Utility knife
  • Work gloves

Fraying Carpet at Seams

Separate the yarn at the frayed seam with your hands so you can view the seam.

Cut through the seam tape used to hold the frayed seam together and remove it. Cut the tape at each end and only remove the portion of tape where the seam is frayed. Use a sharp utility knife to accomplish this. Cut the tape, not the pad.

Trim away any loose or frayed yarn from the carpet edges. Use sharp scissors to make a clean cut.

Measure the length of the open seam and cut a length of hot melt seam tape to match.

Lift the carpet and slip the seam tape under the carpet, adhesive side up. Center the tape between the two carpet edges.

Pre-heat the seam iron to the temperature the tape manufacturer recommends. Wear work gloves to protect your hands from burns while using the seam iron.

Lift one side of the carpet and touch the iron to a corner of the hot melt tape. Heat the tape about 30 seconds -- the glue needs to melt -- and drop the carpet down over the melted spot.

Draw the seam iron down the length of the seam. Work in 1 foot increments pushing the seam together from both sides. Work behind the iron and press the carpet into the melted adhesive with your free, gloved hand.

Walk on the seam to further secure the seam. Applying a carpet roller to the seam also helps adhere the glue to the seam.

Fraying Carpet at Thresholds

Examine the spot where the carpet is fraying and identify the floor surface the carpet transitions to. Each type of floor combination will require a different type of transition trim.

Measure the width of the threshold or door opening where the carpet frays, and the thicknesses of each surface. The measurements will dictate the type and length of transition trim you need to purchase.

Measure any open space between the fraying carpet and the opposing surface. There does not need to be a space between the surfaces to use a transition strip. However, if a space does exist, you will need to know its width in order to purchase the best trim for your carpet problem. Some transition strips sit between the two floor surfaces, some slip under and over the carpet and allow the tile or hard surface to butt against the trim and some act as a dome to cover both surfaces.

Go to a home remodeling or hardware store to buy the transition strip. Use the data you have collected to select a trim to cover the fraying. For instance, a transition strip known as a carpet to tile reducer may only work when the tile is an eight of an inch thick and the carpet is no more than a quarter of an inch thick. Knowing the details of your fraying problem can help you make the right decisions while shopping.

Install the transition trim. Transition trim kits usually contain screws or other items needed to complete the installation or provide instructions that list the type of nail, screw or glue you need. Trim away frayed yarn with scissors before installing the transition strip.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not trim the frayed carpet with scissors if the carpet is still under warranty. Fraying in other areas of the room may indicate a problem with the carpet. Review the warranty and contact the dealer or manufacturer to discuss a solution.
  • Check the furniture for exposed wood or metal that might be fraying the carpet. Look at the legs and feet and turn the furniture over to view the bottom of the feet. Exposed nails and missing hardware can snag and fray carpet. Repair the furniture and the fraying will end.
  • Hot melt seam tape hardens in a few minutes. Ask someone to assist you with the seam pressing if you cannot work fast enough to heat and press the seam.

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