In order to lay wall-to-wall carpet properly, individuals will need the help of a carpet stretcher. This is a tool that allows carpet installers to make sure the carpet lies flat and does not have any wrinkles or folds that could potentially be dangerous. Installing carpet without one of these handy tools is not a wise idea. By understanding more about a carpet stretcher, consumers can determine the value of utilizing such a tool while laying carpet.
The tool is an elongated device with a row or rows of “teeth” on the bottom. It features a lever that is uses to stretch the carpet out from one side of the room to the other while the teeth are gripping the carpet. As the lever is pushed down, the carpet is stretched out so that it lies flat, and then tacked down near the walls. It is usually used with another tool called a “knee kicker,” which helps stretch the carpet from one wall to another before the stretcher is used to finalize the job.
Ease of Use
While the stretching tool is relatively easy to use, it is a rather bulky tool so it often needs more than one person to operate. Professionals, however, typically learn to use the stretcher by themselves, often with someone else operating the knee kicker. While it may take a few attempts to get the positioning and motions correct, the carpet stretcher is a simple tool that is user-friendly.
The Cost of Carpet Stretchers
There are many different kinds of carpet stretching tools available, from simple metal poles to kits containing everything one will need to lay carpet. The average cost for a good quality stretcher is between $400.00 and $800.00. This would typically come with the knee kicker tool as well as additional tools to make laying carpet easy and fast. To purchase each piece individually, individuals may end up spending more. There are alternatives to purchasing a stretcher, including renting a stretching kit from a local hardware or home supply store.
Laying Carpet without a Stretcher
If an individual was to lay a room of carpet without using a stretcher tool, they would leave additional space in the carpet. This could turn into wrinkles or folds in the carpet which can lead to injury and the carpet will not be as aesthetically pleasing. In order for the carpet to look professionally done, it needs to be put down with a stretcher. Many individuals attempt to lay carpet with only a knee kicker and no stretcher. While this can be done, the job will still not be as professionally done as if it would if a carpet stretcher were used.
A carpet stretching tool is an extremely useful tool that allows individuals to place their carpet perfectly across the floor. It saves time and can actually prevent injuries from wrinkled or folded carpet. Those who do not want to spend the money to purchase one should at least rent one from a local hardware supply store to ensure that the carpet is professionally laid and looks nice.