Home Garden

How to Stretch and Trim Carpet

Make carpet installation easier by using the tools the professionals use especially when stretching and trimming carpet. Research what tools you need for carpet installation, and then rent or purchase the tools at your local home improvement store or tool rental shop. The proper tools give your carpet the professional installation look you desire.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpet
  • Knee pads
  • Installed tack strips
  • Knee kicker carpet installation tool
  • Carpet stretcher
  • Wall trimmer or utility knife
  • Stair tool
  • Metal doorway strips
  • Vacuum
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    • 1

      Roll out your carpet over the floor you are covering. Make sure your carpet is the right size for your space. Try to have an extra inch of carpeting along the walls or borders of the space.

    • 2

      Put on knee pads. Attach a small section of carpet to the tack strip in a corner section of the room. Position the toothed end of your knee kicker tool about three inches from the wall in front of the tack strip. Drive your knee into the padded end of the knee kicker tool to drive the carpet forward. This causes it to firmly attach to the teeth of the tack strip. Pull gently on your carpet to see if it is firmly attached to the tack strips.

    • 3

      Use an automated carpet stretcher to install the opposite side of your carpeting. Position the carpet stretcher with one end against the wall where you attached the carpet with the knee kicker. Place the end with teeth approximately six inches from the wall directly across from the carpet you have already attached. Adjust the extension tubes, if necessary, to reach across your floor.

    • 4

      Activate the lever of the carpet stretcher to push and stretch your carpet over the tack strips on the opposite side of the room. Attach a section of carpet using the knee kicker and the carpet stretcher, and then stop to trim your carpet.

    • 5

      Trim the excess carpet using a wall trimmer or utility knife. Tuck any unsightly carpet remains behind the tack strip with a stair tool to be hidden by the baseboard trim. Use the stair tool to tuck any carpet remains under baseboards you did not remove prior to carpet installation.

    • 6

      Continue securing your carpet to the tack strips. Stop to trim your carpet after completing installation of small carpet sections.

    • 7

      Install metal strips to secure your carpet in doorways. Clean up your work area and vacuum your new carpet.