Carpet seaming question from a cleaner

Discussion in 'Cleaning, Maintenance & Restoration' started by the Rug Chick, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. the Rug Chick

    the Rug Chick Pro Member

    On one of the cleaners forums, got this question below. Any suggestions - and probably more importantly, recommendations on how to find someone to fix it (do carpet repair professionals have an organization?).

    Thank you!

    P.S. Today is my birthday... so don't yell at me on this one. Thanks! :)


    Subject: Carpet Seaming
    Posted By Matthew Brooke on 7/21/2010 at 12:17:01 AM

    I recently tried to install a diamond/crisscross patterned Berber carpet with a very long seam and it was extremely difficult. I was stuck in one room 4 hours, because of this seem. The pattern wasn't matching up on direction, but looked fine the other.

    Unfortunately I had installed a piece in the walk in closet to the right and a large piece on the left side of the room. So the middle was 8 foot gap. I tried matching center piece with closet side, but left side wouldn't match up. I eventually had to match with left side piece after chopping on it several times.

    This was a nightmare. Even after finally getting the pattern lined up, the seam looked awful. Does anyone have any advice for seaming Berber carpet? Or patterned carpet?
  2. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    This sounds like a joke.

    Oh, Happy Birthday.

    Anyways, when installing any pattern goods, I don't care if it's sheet vinyl, rug or tiles with a design/pattern you need to work in one direction from a center point or starting point without leaving any "gaps" in the middle. You can't just run around doing rooms willy-nilly and expect somehow the pattern will work itself out where the flooring all meets up eventually. That's a pretty typical rookie mistake.


    That's kind of a big word but it applies to this issue. When the dude laid a closet with pattern goods that wasn't in any way contiguous with the rest of the installation he set himself up for a "monkey match." In other words had he done the center piece first or second he could easily align the pattern. By skipping over to the closet he was just guessing, if he even did guess where the design features in that pattern need to be. So then he fought and fought to get the pattern on in all directions. I can't tell you how many times I run into this.

    Just last week I was doing a couple thousand yard carpet square job with a pattern tile that we're quarter turning. The job ran in 8 phases/nights. The first night we lay a couple hundred yard on one corner of the building and the second night they wanted to lay the opposite corner of the job over 100' away. Now with tiles and SOME patterns you can clip back the tile and meet in the center. But I had to make sure I got the quarter turn right as well. Took me an extra hour of snapping lines to make it work. I sure wish they had asked me how to run the sequence of the phases. I can't believe the wanted to jump around like that and no one caught the hassles they were creating for the installer.
  3. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I also agree with Brian. Start your main piece and continue from there. Also if it was a lattice type of pattern he may have been off pattern which I suspect as one piece of the lattice will duck under the other and one doesn't. You have to study the pattern very close at times. I've had it be one yarn difference that made the pattern.
    Sounds like an amature to me.
    I did a funeral home in a pattern wool, 3/4 carpet, where they made us jump across the main entry and start across that. Stretch in wilton. We worked for hours trying to figure where the pattern would hit on the other side. Still missed it by inches.


  4. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    Plain and simple. If you don't know what you are doing, don't do it. And Happy Birthday.
  5. Darren Ramey

    Darren Ramey Charter Member

    Even if there wasn't a pattern, it is never a good idea to start on the outside walls and work to the middle. Decide which piece needs to go in first, and then every other piece needs to come off of that. Berber needs to be installed the same way pattern or not. Otherwise you will end up with your rows not being straight to each other.

    I run in to this situation too often. Usually when a customer wants to move their own furniture and decides with the help of a salesman to do the bedrooms off of the hallway first.

    As for burning a long seam with a pattern. Line up the pattern in the middle of the seam and seam to the end one direction then go back and do the other. Depending on how bad the pattern is off, you may need to stay nail it at the center and stretch the short side up until it matches. Some patterns are too inconsistent even for that too work, and you can only line up a small section at a time, stay it off and stretch again. A Koolglide iron makes patterns like those much easier to deal with, as you can just spot seam it every so often down the length of the seam, then come back and get the rest once the pattern is aligned.

    Most diamond patterns are pretty easy to install, at least you can see them. Patterns get a lot trickier when it is some subtle white on white cloud pattern with nothing that really jumps out at you as a reference point to even cut on. I swear all of that stuff is being designed by someone that never got over a bad relationship with an installer and is taking it out on all of us.
  6. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    I did a Sears in Baldwin Hills next to the Magic Johnson Theaters about 20 years ago. The aisles were VCT on a diagonal. In the main entry there was a large multi-color pattern centered on the aisle and it extended into some of the smaller aisles. Of course any floorman would insist that the layout needs to start from there. Any floorman except my boss. He agreed to start in the extreme far corner of the store. You know how big the Sears stores are in the Los Angeles area? About a zillion square feet. They gave me an entire day to do the layout so the pattern would fall dead center of the entry starting..........I don't know, around a football field away. And if you're picturing an empty football field guess again. It's wall to wall construction materials, men and equipment.

    Like Daris' job we missed by a few inches. Nobody noticed except me.
  7. polestretch

    polestretch Senior Member

    First off Happy Birthday Lisa!:D

    Second, When working with patterns you must first determine what the length and width match are. Sometimes on harder to find patterns, I will mark the pattern with painters tape. That way you know exactly where match is. You must always start in the center and work out whether it is laying out shots or seaming. This is not for a beginner, I was laying carpet for 15 years before starting to feel comfortable with any kind of pattern.
  8. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

    I did 10-20 houses a year for a flipper, for 10 years, using only diamond pattern berber. I did kitchens, baths everything in the same carpet. Patterened carpet installation is not for an amateur. Many times the pattern can run off 2-3 inches in 20'. Stretching that up, stay-nailing etc. is one of the most difficult things for an installer to learn. It is much easier with a Kool Glide, but still not for an amateur.
  9. Sean Moore

    Sean Moore Pro Member

    Like they have all said, I don't even install a bit of material until I know how the pattern is going to fall. All main seams are made first, any "pre-stretch" past doorways or alcoves is done and then the last seams are made in those doorways.

    If the person stretched one piece and then tried to seam another long piece to it it's just not going to work.
  10. the Rug Chick

    the Rug Chick Pro Member

    Hey THANK YOU everyone on this...

    So, if I were a cleaning pro, looking for a carpet repair pro, where do I go? (Besides this forum - is there a directory under a specific service title, is it "carpet repair"?)

    Or... do I just send them to this forum?

    Appreciate you all taking the time to be patient with me - and thanks for the bday wishes. :)

  11. rusty baker

    rusty baker Well-Known Member

  12. Elmer Fudd

    Elmer Fudd Administwative Asst. Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    At the top of the page is a PRO Directory button, click on it and go to Installation Services. We have 23 Companies listed there.
  13. Chris Mha

    Chris Mha Charter Member Senior Member

    Happy Birthday Lisa.

    Do you know Deron Lopez out of L. A. Breeze Carpet cleaning? I think he knows of you. Deron does all sorts of repairs.
  14. Sean Moore

    Sean Moore Pro Member

    Find the most respected, oldest shop you can and get in touch with the oldest installer there. He's probably the repair man. He can make chicken salad out of chicken poop.

    If he can't there's SOMEONE in the greater LA area that can.
  15. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    You could also go to and find an installer in your area by typing in your zip code. It will bring up every CFI certified installer in your area within a 60 mile radius.

  16. stullis

    stullis Charter Member Senior Member

    Chances of fixing his mess is slim to none.
  17. Peter Kodner

    Peter Kodner Inspector Floors Charter Member Senior Member

    Happy BDay Lisa :D

    Am I the only one here wondering why a carpet installer is going to a cleaners forum to find out how to install? Is he actually a cleaner looking to broaden his horizons and got in way over his head???

    Maybe an installation education taught by installation pros would be the best advice for Mr. Brooke...

    From what he posted, I am not envisioning a very satisfactory repair and a replacement might be needed... unless there is some of the same dye lot available.

    Just saw saw Scott posted before I finished this...
  18. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    She's in San Diego. I suppose there's some south Orange County folks who service northern San Diego County but it's a good two hour drive from Los Angeles to San Diego so guys aren't going down there from here for a couple hours pay. Traffic makes it cost prohibitive time-wise.

    Before this recent downturn in our economy I refused to go south of San Clemente. You have to draw the line somewhere. Shops don't want to fully compensate me for the time and wear and tear on the vehicle so I always just said no. If they sat me home I'd be working elsewhere in a heartbeat.

    Of course I said the same thing about night work for 30 years and just this year I've given up and will work nights. I'm also going out of town (Bishop, CA) this weekend for the first time in at least 10 years. 900 s/y carpet tile with demo and lift of systems furniture. Friday/Saturday/Sunday. That ought to be a grand time. Just like the good ol' days.
  19. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    From the description it seems you might just have to monkey match the closet seam and then close that door when you're asking for the check.

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