What holds carpet down?


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Old 07-29-13, 10:01 AM
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What holds carpet down?

I've got a carpet salesman trying to tell me that gravity is one of the major players working to hold my carpet down tightly. However, I think he is full of it, because gravity is a pretty weak force.

The salesman is trying to convince me of this because the installers didn't get the carpet down tight around the perimeter of the carpet. The installation was so loose in a majority of the installation that I could pull it up by gently pulling on it with my thumb and index finger.

The salesman said he has never heard of anyone pulling on carpet like and that I should expect it to come up if I pull on it because gravity helps keep it down. Can someone tell me what really holds the carpet down tightly, so I can be armed with some good knowledge the next time I have to talk to him?
 
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Old 07-29-13, 10:11 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

Carpet is installed by gluing it down or tacking it down. If it's glued, you shouldn't be able to grab anything and pull up. If it's tacked, that's at the periphery and you may be able to grab and move the middle a little bit - if you can move it a lot, it may need to be re-stretched.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 10:42 AM
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Stretched-in carpet will give some all over except at the edges. The tack strip has nails slanted toward the walls. The carpet is stretched over them and allowed to pull back and hook on the nails. It needs some slack in it. It can be too tight and damage the carpet. It just depends on how tight and really only a pro can tell you. I have been installing carpet for 40 years.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for the information!

It was installed with tack strip and stretching. I can now see how the tack strip and stretching provide the primary force to hold the carpet down.

I think the carpet over the area is ok because it has some give in it. The problem with the install is around the edges because that is where it is so loose I can pick it up easily. Clearly, gravity doesn't do a very good job of holding it down around the edges; that is the tack strip/stretchings job!

I'm sure they will get a good installer out to my house to fix this. I just wanted to educate myself in case the sales person brings up this whole gravity thing again.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 11:03 AM
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It's hard to find sales people that actually know the product they sell.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 11:09 AM
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It's hard to find sales people that actually know the product they sell.
They should give me a discount for educating their salesman...
 
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Old 07-29-13, 02:34 PM
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Probably from a Big Box and he was selling lumber last week.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 03:05 PM
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It is possible that the tack strips have failed in the areas that are loose. Is it on concrete or is it on a traditional wood subfloor? Older cured concrete (50 yrs old) sometimes is a bear to get the nails on the tack strips to set. Sometimes chemical glues are required to get the tacks to stay down. If you can easily pull up the carpet at the edge, lift and see if there is a tack strip underneath, wiggle to see if it is attached to the subfloor. I have seen installs where they failed to police the tack before installing resulting in a loose lay of the carpet.
 
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Old 07-29-13, 03:11 PM
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It was all subfloor. I think the tack strips appear to be fine. But I will keep my eye on that.

This probably was showing about 90% in the basement, and 60% upstairs. I put a sandwich subfloor (1" foam, 3.4 tounge and grooce OSB) in the basement, so they have new OSB to put the tack strips into, no old concrete here!
 
 

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