Stretch Method For Carpet Installation

Stretch method is a popular method for carpet installations by most households.

This is especially the case where synthetic carpets are involved. This method involves cutting the carpet according to the length and width of the room. The carpets are then laid above a pad after which it is examined to check the patterns and uniformity. Once it is confirmed to be perfect, it is stretched on the floor and secured around the perimeter of the room.

Tools required for installation

Tools //
Tools //

The following tools are required for the installation of carpets using the stretch method:

  • Carpet cutter. Once you have cut and secured your carpet with tackles strip, this tool becomes essential to use The first step is to cut an entry point between the tackles strip and the wall. This entry point serves as a guide for cutting the whole carpet along its perimeter. Once done, position the cutter closer to the wall and press it firmly as you direct it along the wall to ensure uniform trimming of the carpet.
  • Carpet roller. To ensure the carpet fibers have been well blended together, it is recommended that you use a carpet roller.
  • Carpet tractor. This tool is similar to the carpet roller but more advanced with more than one row of rollers. This feature makes it very useful in blending fibers along seams.
  • Knee kicker. This tool is used in larger rooms to position the carpet. To use this tool, place the teeth of the tool 6 inches from the wall and at a position equivalent to the carpets thickness. The head should point down. Once this is set, kneel down and hold the tool using one hand and exert all your weight on this hand. After that, kick the end of the tool that is padded with your thigh. You can eventually opt to secure or continue positioning the carpet.
  • Power stretcher. For stretching the carpet in large rooms, use a power stretcher. The extendable side of the power stretcher should be placed against the wall. You should then set the stretchers teeth on the carpet but on the opposite wall after which you secure the carpet to the tackles strip.
  • Seaming Iron. Where the edges of a carpet can join, you use a seaming iron. Before gluing the seams together, ensure that the edges to be seamed are straight. To effectively use this tool, preheat the seaming iron and place it on the seaming tape for about 15 to 30 seconds. Once this is done, place the seaming iron over the tape, pressing it into the glue that has already melted behind the iron. After that, place heavy objects on top of the seam to ensure it is held in place as the glue dries.
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The process of installing carpets using the stretch method

Tackles strip installation

The first step is putting tackles strips all-round the perimeter of the room and floor vents. However, this should not be done for doorways. To install the tackles strip: Determine the quantity of tackles strip you will need in your area of installation. If the strips are required in smaller sizes, cut the pieces. Position the strip. This is done with the tackles facing the wall. It is done either 1/4″ or 1/2″ using a spacer. The tackle strips should meet without the existence of gaps in between. To secure the strips, use nails, masonry tacks or epoxy for wood subfloors and concrete subfloors respectively

Padding installation

Carpet padding is either glued for concrete floors or wood subfloors. To install pads: Remove all previous padding in the room. After this, cut enough strips to ensure maximum coverage of the floor while still avoiding overlap. At tackles strips, do trimming and ensure no gaps exist between the padding and strips For wood subfloors, ensure you have stapled the paddings well at every 18-24″. For concrete subfloors, go as per the recommendations of the manufacturer.

Cutting the carpet

Use a carpet knife to perform this operation. Cut either along the back or across the face depending on whether you are doing cut pile or loop pile carpeting.

Measure the length of your room towards the direction of installation and add 6″ to the measurement.

Unroll the carpet with the pile side facing down and mark the measurements on it using a pencil and chalk.

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Fold the carpet along the marks you have made and cut along the marks. Repeat the process in case you have several rooms to cover. For patterned carpets, make sure the patterns continue naturally on the next cut you’ve made. Layout the pieces you’ve cut on the chosen rooms. Trim the carpet at comers. Two options are available for this trimming outside and inside comers. When trimming inside, cut small V’s until the carpet is flat while when trimming outside, cut from the top to bottom.

Cuts and seams

In the case of seams, cut pieces will be needed to seal do this, therefore, Overlap two or more carpets Put a scrap piece of wood below the overlapped pieces. Using a carpet knife, cut through the carpet pieces. Align the carpets on the floor to check on patterns and whether they fit together. Roll the two pieces of carpet back together and do seaming using the seaming iron. Utilize the carpet roller to roll the whole seam as directed by the manufacturer in the user’s manual.

Stretch then secure the carpet

This is almost the final step.

Starting from one corner, use the knee kicker to do the stretching and secure the carpet using the tackles strips. Stretch and secure the carpet on the adjacent wall too. Go back to the wall opposite your starting point and use the power stretcher to stretch and secure the whole wall. Be careful to apply moderate force to avoid overstretching. Move to the last wall and repeat the above procedure to ensure stretching is done appropriately.

Tuck In, Trim and Finish Up

To tuck the in the carpet between the tackles strip and baseboard, use a stair tool. Trim, any excess carpet along the walls, using a carpet the doorways, ensure trimming is done such that it extends halfway through the doorway. All lose fibers should also be trimmed and therefore not pulled. Once the above is done, vacuum cleans the carpet and start using your carpeted room.

Installing Carpet: Hooking, Stretching & Trimming

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