Whether you are laying your own carpet for the first time or repairing a piece of damaged carpet, there are several important tools needed to complete the job. A carpet stretcher is an important part of the equation: It is a tool with teeth attached to it designed to gently grab the carpet without causing any runs or snags. Once the carpet stretcher is applied, you pull the carpet gently toward the wall or seam, so it is flush.
Any excess carpet can be removed by using a utility knife or special scissors. The stretcher is actually two parts, and the other end is attached to the farthest end possible, to hold the carpet in place. While these tools can be a bit expensive, making your own carpet stretcher or improvising the process is fairly easy to do.
First, make sure there are no bumps and lumps in the carpeting. This can be done by walking over the carpet a couple of times, so it shifts towards the wall until smooth. Put on kneepads, and walk your way across the carpet on your knees.
This will ensure there are no lumps, and the carpet is slowly being pushed towards the edge. A knee kicker tool will be needed to help get the carpet pushed into the corners and border of the wall. Using the knee kicker, push it along the edge to move the carpet forward. A carpet stretcher is basically long tubing with teeth on the edges to grip the carpet.
Using some metal tubing, you can apply some tacked striped to the edge, and make the stretcher on your own. Using the teethed edge, attach it to the carpet about six inches from the wall.
Next, attach extension tubes to each end so they stretch the length of the room. For this, you can purchase conduit or metal tubing. Even PVC piping will work well as long as it attaches properly and securely to the edges with the teeth so it stays gripped and connected throughout the stretching process. Slowly pull on the edge of your carpet stretcher, and use the knee kicker to help guide it towards the wall or seam.
Most store bought carpet stretchers have a lever that pushes the tubing down for a firm grip. A home made carpet stretcher will most likely not include this lever, so a slow, even pace is needed to make sure the carpet is staying flush with the floor and getting stretched as tightly as possible.