How much does carpet stretching cost : Hiring a professional vs DIY tools

Professional carpet stretching and DIY carpet stretching being the options, many wonder whether they themselves can manage the task or there is need to hire a professional and how much does it cost. Well, the best method to choose would depend on you and your requirements. Proper insight towards the carpet stretching would help you to make a right choice. And, making right choice will not only result in quality work but will save you your precious time as well as money.

First time when I saw the carpet installation process in my friends place, I felt that the carpet stretching is just a simple task. At least from outlook it seemed so. But, the fact is,

stretched carpets are not just few kicks away. It needs its own skills, good amount of manual work and an adroit hand.

But, that doesn’t mean that the DIY carpet stretching not an option at all.

Hiring a professional carpet stretcher and its cost

Carpet stretching is done either during new carpet installation or, during the usage to clear the ripples caused due to high traffic, furniture movement etc, which in turn is called as carpet re-stretching. For former case, it is always preferred to go for a professional carpet installer, who would do all the installation work for you. For better life of a carpet, it needs to be installed properly. So, if you are trying to save on installation, be ready for the long term higher expenses.

The carpets will be new and they don’t come cheap. While using power stretchers and kickers you might damage the carpets. The carpet needs to be stretched, cut properly and tucked in under the base mould neatly. Else, the carpet would show ripples easily and one will end up re-stretching frequently.

Different tools being used in carpet installation, buying or hiring all the tools would exceed the cost of professional carpet stretching. Also, using of the tools in right way will be a concern.

Can you cut the carpet using wall trimmer without scratching the base mold and can you tuck it without damaging the mold shoe are the question that needs to be answered.

If you have never done a carpet installation, it is not a great idea to go for DIY carpet stretching method.

Even when carpet re-stretching is considered, hiring a carpet stretcher is preferred unless the ripple or folds are few and near to the wall. Even though small carpets (in area) can be stretched using DIY method, bigger room carpets with more ripples would need a professional. The old carpets may be delicate, and needs better handling while piercing the teeth of the stretcher and stretching it.

How much does carpet stretching costs

If you are concerned about the cost that would incur during the carpet stretching, it will not be expensive. On an average, you should finish within $50 to $100 for considering room size or $200 for the entire house. But remember, it would be worth the price and you can expect better results. Also doctor’s fees for the sore knee will be saved ;) .

But planning smart, you can reduce the carpet stretching/ installation cost. Check my article “carpet installation cost” to identify and minimize cost adding factors.

Being said that, DIY carpet stretching is still an option for you. It would be great if you want to clear a minor ripple or stretch the carpet of a small room. Now being aware of the draw backs of the DIY method, you can actually nullify them :) . And here is how you need to do it.

Do it yourself carpet stretching

Equip yourself with all the tools needed before stretching. Here are list of tools and there usage tips. But one needs to be careful. Carpet tearing, improper stretching and work load are the some of the concerns are that you need to keep in mind.

Carpet stretching Tools:

Kicker: Kicker is used to stretch the carpet. Keep the kicker about ½ inches from the wall with the teeth of the kicker are fixed to the carpet and you need to kick the kicker in order to stretch the carpet. But be careful. Make sure you are capable of it and would not end up with a sore knee. Wear a knee pad for protection if needed. For wider carpets and higher work load it is preferred to not use a kicker, but power stretcher.

Power stretcher:  For more effective and tight stretching a power stretcher is used. The stretcher will hold one end and will stretch the other end of carpet. But while using a power stretcher it is always good to have kicker as well.  There are also mini power stretchers for lighter loads.

You can either buy or rent both the kicker and power stretcher.

Wall trimmer: Once you stretch carpet towards the wall, you need to trim and remove the excess carpet using wall trimmer. Use the trimmer carefully so that you won’t end up scratching the base mold.

Stair tool: Stair tool is used to tuck the carpet under the shoe mold.

Knife: Use the knife to cut the while laying and stretching.

Here is a video that would help you to understand DIY method better

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  1. Jeff Schmitt says:

    Having installed flooring for the past 36 years, several thoughts came to mind while reading your article. First and foremost, carpet stretching is not just pulling the wrinkles out. A carpet needs to be stretched very tight in order to look, feel, and wear correctly. If you have the same carpet in multiple rooms, or throughout the house, and you have bubbles in only one room, it is a very good indicator that all the carpet is loose and needs restretching. In addition, it can be very difficult to stretch a carpet around doorways, especially when seemed on to other rooms or hallways. Also, use of a power stretcher is MANDATORY! A knee kicker is great for setting walls or moving the carpet around, and is an essential tool for the professional, but nobody can stretch a carpet with just a kicker! Do NOT wear knee pads while kicking. Knee pads are not designed for this purpose, and you can damage your knees if you try it.

    Using a wall trimmer can be tricky. A minor deviation in how flat you keep the trimmer to the floor can result in a carpet trimmed too long or too short, cause problems tucking the carpet. Also, shorter napped carpets need to be cut longer than longer napped carpets.

    The costs can vary, but generally speaking, most professional installers will have a minimum charge ranging between $75 and $150. This would normally cover one room, depending on the complexity of the installation. Most whole house restretches can be completed in half a day for $250 to $300, but a complex layout, where seams need to be taken apart and reseamed can cost upwards of $500. You can easily spend this much and more if you are planning on buying the necessary tools to do it yourself. You can probably rent the tools for about $50 for the day. It might be worth doing it yourself for small rooms that are not attached, depending on doorways and heater vents, but for multiple attached rooms, hire a professional.

    Is it worth the cost to restretch your carpets? That is up to you. A tightly stretched carpet will retain its resiliency and it will last longer, especially if it is installed over a high quality dense pad. Do not cheap out on the carpet pad. Pad is cheap compared to carpet, and a good pad can help the feel and performance of a less expensive carpet, while a cheap pad can degrade the performance and feel of an expensive carpet. If your carpet is generally in good shape, having your carpet stretched can give it new life, and save you thousands of dollars on new carpet.

    One final note, installers do not really like to restretch carpet, and consider it more of a service to the community. It can be a difficult and dirty job, sometimes involving shuffling furniture around to get to the correct walls. Installers would prefer to install clean new carpets that have less limitations, so don’t be surprised if you receive luke warm responses to your inquiries. Treat your installers well. Clean up all the clutter, clear out the room if possibly, and vacuum thoroughly. Your installer will appreciate your efforts, and you will get a better job.

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