How to Restretch Carpet

Carpet in a room.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Needle-nose pliers
Flat-head screwdriver
Carpet tacks
Work gloves
Staple gun
Power carpet stretcher
Knee kicker
Utility knife
Carpet cutter

It helps to restretch carpet if you find that it looks old or has loose sections. Bumps and wrinkles in certain areas can also be eliminated. This gives your carpet a smart and new appearance. All it takes to restretch carpet is some time to spare and a few basic tools and materials. You can rent some of the tools in a hardware store if you prefer not to purchase. These include the power stretcher, knee kicker, and carpet cutter. The guide below shows you how to proceed.

Step 1 – Clear the Room

Remove all furniture and items from the room. This will allow you to work comfortably without obstructions.

Step 2 – Detach the Carpet

Use your pliers and a flat-head screwdriver to remove the staples that secure the carpet to the padding and tack strips underneath. This will allow you to pull back the carpet from the wall and not rip the padding underneath. Be careful not to damage the carpet as you pull it away. For areas that are difficult to remove, use a pry bar to detach the carpet from the tack strips. Remove the carpet from all sides of the room except for one side which should have the carpeting intact.

Step 3 – Power Stretch

Position the base of the power stretcher opposite the carpet edge you intend to stretch. Place the machine against the baseboard so that it doesn’t damage the wall while you work. Adjust the shaft length of the stretcher until the head is 6 inches away from the opposite wall. Push down the lever on the machine to embed its teeth into the carpet. As you apply more pressure on the lever you’ll feel the carpet stretch. Repeat until the carpet stretches to the wall.

Step 4 - Trim Excess Carpeting

Make a slit underneath the carpet with your utility knife where you need to trim off excess carpeting. Place the carpet cutter in the slit. Press down the cutter to trim off the excess carpet. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for all the sides where you removed carpeting.

Step 5 – Use a Knee Kicker

This helps to stretch the carpet into place in corners, small spaces or around built-in features in the room. Embed the teeth of the knee kicker into the carpet you need to stretch. Fit one knee into the padding at the base of the knee kicker. Slam your knee against the knee kicker so that it stretches the carpet to the wall. It may take a few kicks to get the desired result.

Step 6 - Secure the Carpet

Staple the carpet to the padding against the wall with your staple gun. Hammer some carpet tacks through the carpet into the tack strips. It is a good idea to wear work gloves. The sharp tack strips and staples can easily cause cuts.

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