If you think that the carpet installation requires you to just lay the carpet onto the floor, you are totally wrong. In fact. You need a power stretcher for installing carpet properly as it is supposed to be.
A carpet stretcher is designed and produced to particularly install wall-to-wall carpet, however, it works well for most carpeting projects.
This is one of the carpeting tools which comes with a set of tines on the head functioning to grips the carpet. Power stretcher typically works by tensioning the caret and pulling it closer to the wall.
To make sure that you have a proper-installed carpet, the use of power stretcher is much of advantage to help you do the project. It also makes sure that your carpet flooring will be free from any lumps and bumps.
If you want to carry out the carpeting project by yourself, you can either buy or rent this power stretcher and learn how to use it.
No matter you call it power stretcher or carpet stretcher, this tool is very essential for installing a carpet.
It stretches and hooks onto the tack strips along the edges, allowing the carpet backing to taut.
Thus, carpet is successfully laid without lumps, bumps and loose areas. This tool is much helpful to help you handle the job by yourself.
Here are the common things that most DIYers want to know dealing with the DIY carpeting projects.
The Importance of Purchasing Power Stretcher
Most DIYers are questioning whether or not it is important to buy a power stretcher. In fact, anyone doesn’t have to purchase it unless there is a carpet installation project they will handle.
Even when a person need to handle carpeting for the entire home, renting the tool is much more recommended than purchasing it. However, you must make sure that the tool is in a good quality.
In most cases, the inexpensive carpet stretchers will not work as good as it is expected. Instead, they cause the carpet to wrinkle and bump.
The Cost of Power Stretchers
Power stretcher for installing carpet usually costs about $500 for the decent quality ones. In this case, the professional-grade sets of power stretcher can be pricey.
Though you may be able to get them at $50, it is quite possible that it is the simplest version. If you are seriously willing to purchase the tool, compare what is included in the set.
Typically, a good set of power stretcher comes with the more extension tubes for getting the best results.
The Rental Cost of Power Stretchers
Can we just rent the tool?
The answer is definitely yes.
Some large rental outlets are ready with the sets of power stretcher to rent. The costs are usually ranging from $30 to $40 per day or $125 per week.
Take a note that this rent doesn’t include a knee kicker tool to stretch the carpet on stairs and other tight areas.
In this case, you can rent the tool separately with the price at $17 to $20 per day. If you are a new to installing carpet, factor one more day to allow yourself to learn the curve.
The Use Of Knee Kicker
Due to the fact that renting a power stretch doesn’t include a knee kicker, you can separately rent it like we have mentioned above.
A knee kicker is important and helpful to perform the function of stretching the carpet that the large power stretcher is not able to do.
In the other words, if a power stretcher cannot perform stretching in carpeting, you need a knee kicker to do it.
In this case, most professional carpet installers uses not only power stretchers but also knee kickers to handle their carpeting projects.
The Possibility To Revive Existing Carpet with a Carpet Stretcher
Keep in mind that carpet stretchers are designed to install not only new carpets but also the existing ones.
If you have already had carpet flooring with wrinkles and bubbles, you can still be able to rent the tool to smooth down and revive it, extending the carpet’s lifespan for some years to come.
Hiring A Professional Carpet Installer
If you think you are not skillful enough to use a power stretcher for installing carpet, will hiring a professional carpet installer be a good idea?
Since professional installation is pricey enough, a trick must be applied to get the minimum budget.
One of the tricks you can do to help minimize the cost of hiring an installer is to remove all of the furniture and the carpet as well as padding by yourself firstly before the installation project is started.
Once you finished with those removals, you can ask the installer to start the projects. Typically, you will need to pay $3 to #6 per yard for the standard carpet.
If you ask your installer to remove the old carpet, you will be charged an additional price about $4 per yard.
The other factor to consider whether you hire a professional installer or not is the carpet quality.
No matter how skillful you are, if you don’t have an experience in carpeting, you won’t get the same results as the professional installer.
Where To Rent or Purchase A Power Stretcher
Once you decide to install the carpet either yourself or by hiring an installer, the next thing to do is to find out where to rent or purchase a power stretcher.
Not only big-box home improvement stores but also the local rental outlets rent some tools related with carpeting such as carpet stretchers, knee kickers, stair tools and seam cutters.
In this regards, home improvement stores usually provide one brand of carpet stretcher available for sale completed with a basic selection set of hand tools.
It is always a good idea to find and purchase a quality stretcher and other special tools for investments.
Tips For Installing Carpet Yourself
So you insist on installing the carpet for home yourself, here we come with the tips enabling you to do the DIY carpet installation.
In this case, there are always several assumption that spring up your mind about installing carpet particularly using a power stretcher, right?
Let’s understand more about it now!
Fact about Free Installation
Just because you read an advertisement offering free installation doesn’t mean that it is totally free. It is due to the fact that the cost typically covers the labor of the installer team.
Therefore, keep in mind that you can save your money by purchasing a carpet without installation labor.
However, when you purchase the tools such as power stretcher, padding, seaming tape and other related tools, you will be required to pay $1 to $1.50 per square foot for a professional installation.
That is the time you start bargaining. If you are willing to handle the carpeting projects yourself, try to refuse the deal.
In most cases, many installation team will successfully get you in the deal of paying the removal of old carpet, padding installation, new carpet installation and furniture re-positioning even without you realize it.
Thus, you must be critical about the cost included in the carpet price.
Rent Special Tools
As we have mentioned above, it is not always necessary to purchase the tools including the power stretcher for installing carpet.
You can otherwise rent them all including knee kicker, seam iron, hammer utility stapler, tin-snips, utility knife and chalk line. They are all definitely available in some rental centers as well as home centers.
Noticeably, the tools are all expensive to purchase, so it would be better to rent and save your money.
Learn How To Use a Power Stretcher
It is very important to learn how to use a power stretcher well in order that there will be no wrinkles and lumps.
In this case, there are two types of power stretcher you can try. Those are a long power stretcher and a knee kicker.
A power stretcher is used to brace against the walls, stretching the carpet across the entire space while a knee kicker is used to push the edges into the corners and push the tack strips around the room perimeter.
Install The Tack Strips Using A Gap Between The Wall
The next tip to install the carpet is installing a tack strips using a gap between the wall.
The tack strips must be attached to the subfloor around the room perimeter to grip the edges of carpeting.
If you are just a new DIYer, avoid shoving the carpet tack strips against the baseboard or the wall since you will need an extra space to tuck the carpet edges over the strips.
The gap between the tack strips will be just a hair less than the carpeting thickness to makes sure that the tucked portion will remain wedged in place.
Purchase an Extra 5 Percent for Patterned Carpet
To match the pattern, you will spend more time in cutting and seaming pieces, right?
Thus, you need to add 5 percent overage for the waste for the non-patterned carpeting and another 5 percent.
So you must totally provide 10 percent. The larger pattern, the more waste time you will require.
Be Aware of Carpet Pile Direction When Seaming
Since carpet has typically a pattern, seaming two pieces will require careful attention for the pattern match.
Even for a non-patterned carpeting, you may still need to detect the direction of the carpet’s pile by overlooking from different directions.
In this case, the carpet pile should be consistent enough from one piece to another piece. Believe it or not, even a professional installer has been known about it.
Tips For Using A Power Stretcher
To support you handle the carpet installation yourself, we are going to share you the best tips to use a power stretcher.
If you are installing wall-to-wall carpet, you need to stretch the carpet, right?
So here are the 5 steps you can try in learning how to use the power stretcher well to get the best result of carpet installation.
The step includes measuring the length of the teeth in the power stretcher head before you start working out the installation.
Make sure the teeth is long enough to go through the fibers of the carpet and grip the backing instead of going through it.
This way, you can always adjust the length using a knob at the head of the power stretcher.
In using the power stretcher for installing carpet, perform step 2 that requires you to create a pad for the wall where the carpet has been attached to the tack strips. This way, protecting the pad from the power stretcher is recommended.
Later, position the pad against the base of the wall which is in the opposite of the area where you will stretch the carpet.
When you are finished with step 2, the next step to follow is to position the base of the power stretcher against the pad. At the other end of the power stretcher head, position the tip to grip the carpet.
Now you need to place the head of the tool about 6 inches away from the base of the wall where you start stretching the carpet.
In this way, the length of the tool must be changed and the tube which is connecting the head and the base must be adjusted.
Don’t forget to angle the head of the tool slightly from the opposite wall to enable you to stretch the carpet about 15 degree angle.
Lastly, make sure you press down the stretcher lever to stretch the carpet well. Then, lock the power stretcher in place.
Afterwards, the carpet must be hooked over the tack strip. Repeat this step until you finish stretching all the carpet between the two walls.
Overall, using a power stretcher for installing carpet is much helpful to get the best result of carpet installation.
Though you may be able to handle the job without a stretcher, it is not recommended that you do the project without this tool at all. It is because installing the carpet improperly will cause it to buckle and wrinkle.