How Do You Stretch Carpet?


Quick Answer

To stretch carpet, install new tack strips and use a power stretcher and knee kicker to stretch the carpet over the tacks. Make sure to leave an overhang of carpet during installation, and cut away the excess after the carpet is pulled tight.

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Full Answer

Individuals with moderate home repair experience will be able to complete this project in a single day. It may require an investment of $20 to $100.

  1. Replace the tack strips
  2. Pull back the carpet off of the tack strip, starting at a corner and gently pulling back. Remove all of the staples from the padding, and peel that back as well. Remove the existing tack strips with a pry bar, and then install the new tack strips about 1/2-inch away from the baseboards with the nails pointing toward the walls.

  3. Attach the padding
  4. Push the padding against the new tack strips, cutting off the excess for a tight fit. Staple the padding to the sub-floor about every 3 inches, making sure to staple down the seams and along the edges.

  5. Cut and stretch the carpet
  6. Cut the carpet, leaving about 3 inches of overhang along all of the sides, and then use a power stretcher to attach the carpet to the tack strips. Set the power stretcher against the opposite wall and extend it until it is about 6 inches from the wall. Use the lever to push the carpet toward the tack strips, and push down on the carpet at the tack strips to connect the two. Use a knee kicker to stretch the carpet in tight areas that the power stretcher cannot reach.

  7. Trim the excess
  8. After the carpet is attached to the tack strips, use a carpet cutter to cut away the excess from the front of the carpet.

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