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Carpet Stretcher

Learn Basics About This Essential Carpet Installation Tool

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Roberts 10-254 Power Stretcher Kit

Roberts 10-254 Power Stretcher Kit

Copyright/Courtesy Roberts
Find out why a carpet stretcher, also called a power stretcher, is an essential tool for installing carpet. The lack of a carpet stretcher, or the lack of desire to learn how to use one, is almost certainly a deal-breaker for any DIY homeowner. Because of this, many homeowners choose to hire professional carpet installers.

Learn about this crucial piece of equipment to help you decide whether to go DIY or hire a pro.

Common Questions About Power Stretchers

  • Q: “Can I purchase a carpet stretcher for a one-time-only job?”
    A: Not advisable. Quality carpet stretchers are out of reach of most DIY homeowners. Less expensive carpet stretchers will not perform as expected, leaving the carpet wrinkled and bumpy.
  • Q: “How much do carpet stretchers cost?”
    A: At the time of this writing (mid-2009), quality power stretchers run around $400 and up.
  • Q: “Can carpet stretchers be rented? If so, how much do they cost?”
    A: In a poll of several parts of the U.S., carpet stretchers rented for about $25 per day and about $75 per week. Keep in mind, though, that for novice carpet installers, one extra day should be factored into the rental period to allow for the “learning curve.”
  • Q: “Can I get by with a ‘knee kicker’ instead of a carpet stretcher?”
    A: No. ‘Getting by’ with a knee kicker is analogous to using a hand sander instead of a floor sander for sanding floors. The knee kicker performs a function of carpet stretching that the larger power stretcher does not do and vice-versa. Carpet installers use both power stretchers and knee kickers in their work.

    Learn Basics About Carpet Stretchers

    Carpet stretchers are not in the tool shed of most homeowners. Learn a few things about this unusual tool before buying or renting one.
    1. Carpet Stretchers Can Be Used to Revive Existing Carpet
      Carpet stretchers aren’t just for installing new carpet. If you’ve got old, wrinkled, and bubbled-up carpet, it is possible to rent a power stretcher to smooth down and “revive” your carpet, extending its life by a few years.
    2. It May Be More Cost-Effective to Hire a Pro Installer
      Figure that you rent a power stretcher for about $85 (tax included) for one week to smooth out your existing carpet. After you factor in your own labor and the learning curve, it may be more cost-effective to hire a professional installer. An installer can stretch a mid-sized house in one workday. It is worth looking at both options.
    3. Places to Buy a Carpet Stretcher
      We found one the Roberts Power-Loc Power Stretcher available for just around the $400-$500 mark. If you decide to go the bargain route, you can buy an inexpensive carpet stretcher for around $70.

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