Step 2: Stretch the Carpet

person lever-activated stretcher to demonstrate how-to install carpet
Photo: Ryan Hulvat
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Unroll the carpeting flat onto the padding. If the carpeting has a particular pattern or texture, be sure it's oriented correctly in the room. Use a knee kicker to force the carpeting into position against one wall. Move along the wall, striking the kicker with your knee until you've pulled out all wrinkles and slack.

Switch to a lever-activated stretcher to pull the carpet tight to the wall. Use your hand to firmly press the carpeting down onto the pointy spikes of the tack strips below. Check to be sure the oversized carpeting laps up onto each wall by at least a few inches.

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    Tools List

    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • hammer
      Hammer
    • hand saw
      Handsaw or special wood snips
    • knee kicker
      Knee kicker
    • lever-activated stretcher
      Lever-activated stretcher
    • carpet tool
      Carpet edger
    • edge trimmer
      Wide-blade carpet chisel
    • seaming iron
      Seaming iron and seaming weight
    • electric stapler
      Electric stapler
    • portable carpet edge binder
      Binding machine

    Shopping List

    1. Carpeting

    cut slightly oversized to allow for final trimming



    2. Heat-activated seam tape

    used to bond the seam between two pieces of carpeting

    3. Carpet padding

    for installation under carpeting