Re-attaching Carpeting along 1 wall

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  #1  
Old 09-30-00, 08:36 PM
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I had some water seep into the lower level of my home. The carpeting along the north wall got wet about 1 foot in from the wall. I pulled the carpeting away from the wall and dried it. I cut the padding up in a 2 foot wide strip from the wall and dried that also. All other walls have not been disturbed.

I have been un-able to get a carpet installer in to re-attach the carpeting along that wall. I am concerned about getting a ripple in the carpeting if I do it myself.

Finally the question: Is this something I can do myself with a kicker? The wall is apx. 22ft long. No cutting or seaming required. If so how?
Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 09-30-00, 09:45 PM
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CuriousGeorge:

Yes, this is definitely something you can do yourself. All you need to do is rent a kneekicker from Home Depot.

Rotate the knob on the top of the kneekicker so the strong steel spikes dig into the carpet backing, but no deeper. Then, set the head of the kicker about 5 inches away from the wall, hold the head down with the thumbs of both hands while you hold the carpet down onto the tack strips with the fingers of both hands, gracefully raise your knee about 6 inches, and bump it fairly hard. I like to hold the head of the kicker down with my thumbs and the carpet down with my fingers simultaneously. Pros you see on TV only hold the head of the knee kicker down by grasping the handle near the head. If you haven't done this before, do it my way and it'll probably be easier.
 
  #3  
Old 09-30-00, 09:50 PM
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Sorry, I should have explained...

When you bump the knee kicker, the carpet will lurch foreward about 1/4 inch, and then snap back. You apply downward pressure with your fingers so that when the carpet snaps back, it gets hooked on the tack strips.

DO NOT worry about tearing the carpet by kicking it too hard. Won't happen. In fact, my experience is that the best carpet kickers are the guys who've never done it before because they at least kick it hard. Professionals really don't kick it in as tight as they should, and that's why on some carpets you start to see them loosen up after several years. If they were kicked in tight when they were installed, they wouldn't have slack in them after a few years.
 
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Old 10-01-00, 06:10 PM
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Hi,

Thanks alot. Did as you suggested and it worked great. The basement is finaly back to normal.

Thanks again.
 
  #5  
Old 10-02-00, 12:34 AM
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You work quick George. I only posted that at about this time last night.
 
  #6  
Old 10-04-00, 12:42 PM
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Wondering if I should attempt the same, but with different circumstances. Had new carpet installed, but the business went belly up right after my job. In the master, we have several evenly spaced ripples which I believe were caused by them folding the carpet and not stretching it enough during installation. At first, just one ripple appeared and I thought it was something under the carpet, but then the others appeared over a one month period, so I'm hoping it just neads more stretching.
 
  #7  
Old 10-07-00, 12:18 AM
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Gerard21:

That's probably what it is. If it's just light and dark bands going across the carpet, and the gradually disappear with time, that's just the carpet tufts having been crushed on one side from laying in storage for a long time. However, if the carpet seems loose, and it tends to get worse, you certainly won't do any harm by tightening it.

The only carpet in my building that ever developed ripples from being too loose was installed professionally. It's the age old problem... professionals know how to do the job, but benefit little from doing it "well". Amateurs compensate for their lack of knowledge and experience by trying to do it meticulously "well". If we can't get the professionals to care, maybe we can provide knowledge and experience to the amateurs.
 
  #8  
Old 10-31-00, 10:16 PM
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A true professional would have used a powerstretcher. You can most likely also rent this from Home Depot as well.
Too many people get paid for doing inferior work.
 
  #9  
Old 11-01-00, 12:40 AM
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Hi Nestor,

I just discovered this board today (home sick and nothing to do) and have read a number of your posts made over the last month or so. Boy, you sure have it in for us pros. I've been in the flooring bizz for 29 years and helping do-it-yourselfers for the last 5 or 6. I hope I can change your mind a little.

First, any real pro knows a knee kicker is a placement tool, not a stretcher and the power stretcher is for stretching a carpet properly. Even the tool maufacturers and carpet manufacturers ascribe to this rule. However, for many do-it-yourself projects, the knee kicker is adequate, but it's also a dangerous tool if not used safely.

A knee kicker has a cushion on one end, but it can still hurt your knee severely if you happen to glance off the edge of it during a power-kick. There's also a chance of throwing your back out and, yes you can rip the carpet (the cheap stuff so many people buy).

If you look at the business end of the kicker, you'll see those adjustable pins you have described in your posts. You instruct correctly how to set the pin depth so they only go into the backing through the pile. But, if you look closely, you'll see that those pins are set back from the front edge of the head and inch or so. Those little short pins are called the cotton head (they provide a firmer grip on the carpet face without damaging it).

To properly use a kicker to attach carpet to tackless (it's refered to as "tackstrip" mostly, not "smoothedge"), you place the head on the carpet directly behind the tackless, holding it firmly at the neck with one hand (your left if you're right handed) and either a stair tool, a dulled hatchet (my favorite) or a "carpet spreader" in the other hand. Bump the kicker and jam the carpet into the crotch where the wall meets the floor almost simultaneously (the kick is slightly ahead of the other hand).

As a matter of fact, if you're booting in a thinner or more flexible carpet, you don't even need to jab it into the crotch -- the cotton head of the kicker rides up on the tackless and when you release, the carpet is already attached to the tackless. You can then bump it again to get it a little tighter, but I usually recommend renting a stretcher to stretch carpet properly and using the kicker as it was intended -- a placement tool for non-stretching walls.

Give the method a try the next time you have to do a unit. Let me know if I can explain it a little better. I really hope it helps you because I see you are very helpful to others in this section (haven't had a chance to check the other sections out yet, but I will).

Glad to see people like you so dedicated to helping people save money and have an enjoyable experience fixing up their homes.

Best r'gards,

Jim
JMFloors
 
  #10  
Old 11-02-00, 08:16 AM
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Whoa!! I want to watch a homeowner with a kneekicker! Can I record the cussing!
A powerstretcher, is the best tool for someone that has never kicked a kneekicker. If the Carpet was originally installed with a powerstretcher properly. You will NEVER get it up on the tackstrip, and most likely rip the carpet in the process of trying.
Jim pretty much hit the nail on the head.
 
  #11  
Old 11-02-00, 08:22 AM
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Why does it say "Apprentice" next to my user name?
How do I change that?
I'm by no means an Apprentice.
 
  #12  
Old 11-02-00, 09:09 AM
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Perry,

Apprenticeship is not a 4 year program here, it's just for a few messages (5 or 6 I think). Also, you can edit your posts here to add or delete something you forgot in the previous post. 'Course, you don't wanna do this a day later or after your first post was already replied to.

Jim
JMFloors
 
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