How to Use a Power Stretcher

Power stretcher, also known as a carpet stretcher, is probably the most important tool for stretching an older carpet or laying a new one. It effectively prevents the carpet from buckling or getting wrinkled. Carpet installation can become much easier if you know the right way to use a power stretcher. Fortunately, learning to properly use a power stretcher is a very simple task.

Things Required:

– Carpet
– Carpet padding
– Gripper edge
– Stair tool
– Staple gun
– Utility knife
– Trimmer
– Tackles strip
– Carpet power stretcher


  • 1

    Before you can effectively use a power stretcher, the floor on which you plan to install the new carpet needs to be prepared. If the floor is covered with an old rug, you will first need to strip the rug and then clean the floor properly. If your plan is to lay carpet over a concrete floor, make sure there are no cracks on the floor. Fill out the cracks if required.

  • 2

    Using dimensions of the new carpet, nail tackles strips in place. Be sure to join pieces of tackles strips at the corner and to leave a space equal to 2/3 of the carpet’s thickness.

    After you are done nailing the tackles strips in place, lay the carpet padding waffle on its side and secure it along the edges using staples from a staple gun, spaced 6 inches apart from each other.

    You can now move on to installing the carpet. Make sure that the actual dimensions of the carpet are at least 6 inches longer than required.

  • 3

    Hook the carpet to the tackles strips you had installed earlier. Base the carpet power stretcher at the wall where the carpet is hooked. Dig the teeth of the power stretcher about 6 inches from the wall, opposite to the one where the carpet is hooked, and lock the stretcher in place by pressing the lever. Be sure to repeat this step on all corners of the carpet.

  • 4

    Trim away the excess carpet using a trimmer and a utility knife and then smooth out the carpet edges with a stair tool.

    For trimming excess carpet around the door, rest the ends of the centred carpet under a closed door. Just to be sure that the carpet stays in place, consider installing a gripper edge.

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