Carpet stretchers are there to help you lay carpet like a pro, reducing the time and effort that you need to put into to getting the job done. They are basically used to fit the carpet snug and flush against the floor, avoiding any lumps and bumps. Not only this, they can also be used for stretching already laid carpet that has pulled away from runners, or possibly to make it join new flooring in another room.
Best Pick – Carpet Stretcher
- One year parts guarantee
- Small bumper pad and spare spikes available
- Great value
- Modified for the Professional carpet fitter
But before you can get to work, you need to find a carpet stretcher that is going to be right for you, otherwise you could end up having to put in a lot more work than necessary, or even worse…with a damaged carpet.
How Does A Carpet Stretcher Work?
A carpet stretcher has teeth with different depths that grip onto the carpet that you are working with. By pushing the teeth into the carpet, you can then “kick” or hit your knee into the cushion end of the carpet stretcher to pull the carpet into place. This is why carpet stretchers are sometimes called carpet kickers or knee kickers.
Once the carpet has been stretched into position it can then be secured down with carpet tacks at the edge of the rooms to stop it from moving back into its original position.
Features of Carpet Stretchers
There are some main features that you need to look out for when purchasing a carpet stretcher. We have given you details of these below to help you make your purchase…
The material of your carpet stretcher is important because this will determine how heavy your tool is and how durable it is likely to be (amongst other things). The best models that we have found on the market are made with diecast aluminium or plated steel which are both durable and lightweight. They will be able to get the job done easily and should last for a number of years before they need replacing.
Plastic models will be less likely to last as long, due to the force that they are having to be put under after every use. As we know, plastic is just not as strong as its metal counterpart! However, if you are only planning on using your carpet stretcher occasionally then plastic models will be cheaper, so may be worth considering (you just can’t necessarily expect the same standard of finish!).
How easy your carpet stretcher is to use is important. This will affect how long it takes you to complete the job and also the finish that you are left with. If you have paid a fair amount for the carpet in the first place, you are definitely not going to want it ruined by a difficult to use carpet stretcher.
Check the grip on the carpet stretcher that you are considering purchasing.as this will affect how easy it is to secure the teeth into position and hold onto the carpet stretcher when you are working. Look out for special non-slip grips or ones that are checkered in design as these will be easier to hold on to.
The bumper is one of the most important parts of the carpet stretcher (in our opinion anyway!). A poor bumper not only means that you will have to take more regular breaks, making the jobs take longer, but could also leave you needing a new kneecap if you are using your carpet stretcher regularly! Look out for a carpet stretcher with a thick foam pad that fully covers the top of the tool. You want one that is going to be spongy but also that is firm enough to withstand a beating without thinning or breaking.
Best Budget – Carpet Stretcher
- 【Help to install carpet】This is a helpful stretching tool when carpet is being installed. It is helpful to make carpet installation more tidy.
- 【Height adjustment】The extending steel tubes with four settings are designed to adjust the height.
- 【Flexible use】There are 8 settings for teeth depth adjustment for different carpet pile thickness from 5mm to 20mm.
- 【Suitable size】The ultra wide aluminum head with replaceable grippers can offer better effects when you use.
- 【Steel teeth construction】The steel teeth structure deisgn can adjust the length of the extension effectively.
The size of your carpet stretcher will determine where exactly you can work and the carpet areas that you can stretch. If you purchase a larger carpet stretcher then it will usually be easier to use and be able to withstand more force (and therefore impact this force upon the carpet you are working with) but a larger carpet stretcher also means that you may struggle to work with it in smaller spaces, which could leave you with a bit of an issue when it comes to fitting these carpets.
Most models are usually around 18” x 4” x 4” (give or take the odd inch) so we would be wary of any that is considerably more or less than this, unless this is actually what you are looking for!
The teeth will determine how the carpet looks after you have finished the job, and also how efficiently you can get the job done!
Make sure to check the quality of material that the teeth are made out of, as if the teeth aren’t made out of a sturdy material (such as steel) then they could become damaged very easily, or may not even grip into your carpet properly!
You also need to check for the length,size and number of teeth in each model. Most teeth will come in varying lengths that can be altered depending on the carpet that you are working with, but if you have a particularly thick carpet then you will need to make sure the teeth are going to be long enough to get right down to the bottom of the carpet, otherwise you could find the teeth just tearing through the weave of the carpet! The more teeth that are provided will mean firstly that they will be able to get a better grip on the carpet but also that the force of pressure from your knee will be spread over a larger surface area – this means that you will find less damage to your carpet and the job will also be done quicker!
The weight of your carpet stretcher is important as this will impact on how easy your tool is to move around when completing the job, and also moving from one location to another. Bearing in mind that you are probably going to be on your hands and knees for most of your work, the last thing you want is a tool that is too heavy and going to be difficult to move around.
The tools that we looked at varied quite considerably from around 3.5kg to just over 1kg.
NOTE: One thing to bear in mind is that carpet stretchers that are closer to this 1kg mark are likely to be made out of weaker materials, such as plastic, so may not be as durable as some of the heavier models that you find on the market.
We hope this has been helpful in advising you on some of the main features that you need to consider when purchasing a carpet stretcher. However, there are some other features that we would recommend you being aware of before committing to that important purchase – we have explained these below.
Extra Features for Carpet Stretchers
- Replaceable kneepad – You will save yourself a considerable amount of money in the long run if you can find a model that has a replaceable kneepad. If you purchase a decent quality carpet stretcher then it will take a long time for the rest of the tool to suffer wear, however the kneepad can quickly become worn as it is taking a lot of force throughout its use. Replaceable kneepads can simply be unscrewed and replaced with new ones whenever you start to feel your knee taking more of a hit than the carpet stretcher!
- Adjustable length – Many carpet stretchers will come with adjustable lengths to enable you to fit into those smaller spaces with your tool but also to work in bigger areas and spread the force. Look for models with a telescopic handle which has multiple adjustment positions. Many will then be able to range in size from as little as 15” up to 22”.
- Replaceable teeth – Some models now come with replaceable teeth, which means that when the teeth become worn or broken, you aren’t left having to replace the whole tool. This makes your purchase much better value for money.
Best Of The Rest
- 8 settings for teeth depth adjustment for different carpet pile thickness from 5mm - 20mm
- Extending steel tubes with four settings for length adjustment
- Ultra wide aluminum head with replaceable grippers
- Steel teeth construction
- Protective knee pad and padded handle
- Heavy duty steel construction for durability
- Cushioned knee-pad that lets you kick the carpet and stretch into place onto the grippers
- Ideal tool for stretching new carpet into the corners without leaving wrinkles or bulges
- Makes carpet fitting easy and gives you a professional finish Featured special design ensures even results, won't mar work material or surfaces
- Special design ensures even results, won't mark work material or surfaces
- For Carpet Installation
- Serrated Clamps, Large Handle, Unique Design For Maximum Pulling Power When Removing Carpet
- Extra Heavy Aluminum Casting
- 17-1/2 to 21-1/2"
- High contour neck for use over stretcher head and poles
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a carpet stretcher and a carpet kicker? A carpet stretcher and a carpet kicker are essentially the same things and both are used to stretch your carpet to the edges of a room. Some more technical sites may define a carpet kicker as being a smaller version of a stretcher, used in spaces where a larger model wouldn’t fit.
Do I need to remove the furniture from my room to use a carpet stretcher?
In most instances, you will need to remove as much furniture from your room as possible if you are wanting to complete a decent quality job with your carpet stretcher. The more furniture you have on the carpet the harder it will be to stretch and also the less even the stretching will be. However, if it is difficult to remove the furniture from the room then you may be able to get away with moving it around the room so that it is not in the way.
Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API