How do I know if my carpet is installed right?

If your carpet is not installed correctly it could shorten the life-span significantly. Professional carpet installers (almost always) use a power-stretcher to stretch the carpet tight from wall to wall. This all-important “stretch” prevents wrinkles from developing during the life-span of your carpet. Another tool, the carpet knee-kicker is to be used in addition to the power stretcher. The knee-kicker is a hand held tool with a rubber pad on one end, the installer uses his knee to move the carpet into place. It looks like it hurts the knee to use this tool, and it does! If the installer just uses a knee kicker, your carpet may not be stretched in tight enough. Sometimes, in a very small room (10 x 10 or less) , a knee-kicker may be sufficient to get enough stretch.  Before you hire a carpet installer, ask if a power-stretcher is used.  If not, you may want to look for another carpet installer. Do you have carpet installer questions? Post your questions here!

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The Carpet Professor

Alan Fletcher - aka The Carpet Professor, a 30+year veteran of the carpet and flooring business and trusted consumer advocate since 1998. Alan provides free unbiased carpet buying information to consumers. Visit to learn how to save time and money; how to select new Carpet or Flooring wisely; and learn how to recognize and avoid common retail Carpet scams! Free! Visit to learn more about selecting natural or engineered wood flooring, waterproof vinyl tile or vinyl plank flooring for your home, office or rental property. Free!

3 thoughts on “How do I know if my carpet is installed right?”

  1. James L Barnes says:

    We had Laura Ashley carpet installed 4 years ago. The installers used knee kickers only and they have been back twice in an attempt to cure what has become a more and more severe problem of Buckling in ridges almost an inch high in several places. Other carpet installers have told us this should not be happening and the carpet may be defective. After reading above I am coming to the conclusion it may be the installers who have caused the problem. They are now backing away from us as we seek a remedy to the problem.

  2. alanjohn1 says:

    It sounds like your carpet was installed poorly. Your carpet should not have wrinkles after four years. There is only one other reason that a carpet will stretch out like that, it’s when the carpet and pad have become soaked when being cleaned. If the carpet and pad become too wet it can cause the carpet to stretch out, especially Berber styles. Some carpet cleaning companies hire people who have no carpet cleaning experience and that can be a recipe for disaster if they get your carpet too wet.

    You need to have your carpet restretched, and I wouldn’t count on the previous installers coming to your rescue. if they just used a knee kicker then you don’t want them back anyway.

    It will cost you some money, but you should hire a qualified installer to do the job. figure about $4-5 per yard to fix the problem, maybe more depending on the situation. Act as quickly as you can to avoid any more damage from occuring.

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