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Tips for Installing Carpet

By Karen Lawson
Tips for Installing Carpet

Installing new carpet isn't everyone's favorite job, but the right tools and some elbow grease can help you transform your floor. Novice do-it-yourselfers should make a point of understanding the necessary tools and supplies before attempting this home upgrade. Here are three indispensible tools you will need when installing new carpet.

Tackless Strips

These are pieces of wood lined with a row of angled tacks. Tackless strips are used to secure carpet to the floor and are called "tackless" because they do not require tacking from above. With the tacks facing the wall, tackless strips are typically nailed 3/8" to 1/2" from each wall. Carpet should be placed next to the tackless strip, and then stretched and put into place with a knee kicker.

Knee Kickers

A knee kicker is a metal tool that is typically 18 inches long that has sharp points, or "teeth," on one end and a knee pad on the other. Placing the "teeth" of the knee kicker about three to four inches away from the wall, use your knee to push the carpet over the end of the tackless strips. By doing so, the tacks will grab hold of the carpet and hold it in place.

Carpet Stretcher

The carpet stretcher is an invaluable tool that allows you reach far walls when installing carpet. A longer version of the knee kicker, the carpet stretcher can allow you to stretch carpet to adjoining corners. Use the carpet stretcher to take care of any slack that remains along the walls. In conjunction with the knee kicker, the carpet stretcher makes installing carpet yourself much easier.

Armed with some patience and a new understanding of some of the tools required, installing carpet yourself should go smoothly.

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