Stretching carpet is a job that is very important when you are in the middle of a carpet installation. In order to ensure that the carpet is going to look good in the future, you need to make sure that you stretch it properly. Here are the basics of how to stretch carpet effectively.
1. Lay the Carpet In
Before you can start stretching the carpet, you need to make sure that the carpet is in place. In order to do this, you need to unroll your roll of carpet in the the room in which it is going to be installed. Make sure that the carpet is unrolled fully. It should go up the edge of the wall a few inches in some spots.
2. Complete Seams
Once you get the carpet in place, you are going to need to complete the seams before you stretch. The carpet seams need to be together so that you can get a good stretch on the carpet afterwards. You will need to use seam tape and a seam iron for this portion of the job. Place the seam tape under the edges of the two pieces of carpet. Then take your seam iron and place it under the edge of the carpets. Run the seam iron along the edge of the two pieces of carpet and heat up the seam tape. This will melt the seam tape and bind the two pieces of carpet together.
3. Power Stretcher
After the seam is completed, you can begin power stretching the carpet. The power stretcher is essential as it helps you get a good stretch across a large room. The power stretcher is going to spread out across the room. You will then need to press down on the handle to get a good stretch on the carpet. Do this in several areas across the room so that the entire piece of carpet is stretched out across it.
4. Carpet Kicker
At this point, you will need to use a carpet kicker. A carpet kicker is a small tool that has a rubber grip on the bottom to grab the carpet fibers. You will then have to thrust your knee into the padded area on top of the kicker. This motion is going to create the force that is necessary in order to grab the carpet and put it up on to the tac strip around the edge of the room. You will need to use the carpet kicker all the way around the outside edge of the room.
Once you use the power stretcher and the carpet kicker, there is a good chance that you are going to have some excess carpet along the edge of the wall. When this happens, you need to use your utility knife in order to cut off the extra carpet. This will provide you with a smooth, finished look along the wall.