Karastan states "must" power stretch all installations?

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by waterford, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. waterford

    waterford Member

    Hi,
    I visited another well respected carpet/flooring store in my area. this one a Carpet One store. They are a Karastan retailer and they do NOT power stretch
    any of their installations. They claim they get Zero complaints about any ripples
    or waves in the carpet and have been in business 65 years with an "A+" BBB
    rating.
    I than got home and when on Karastan's website and when you click on installation, there it is....it CLEARLY states..."All installations must be power
    stretched".
    I am wondering why this retailer never power stretched when Karastan
    requires it?

    So my question is...Is it really impossible to get a top quality installation with
    just the kicker?? How can this retailer have stayed in business all this time
    if just using the kicker supposedly is not recommended?

    Thanks
     
  2. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I've been doing Karastan for 30 years and there is no way to keep it tight by kicking it in. Sure, for maybe a week or two but when it gets the traffic the waves will show up. I don't know how the BBB works, probably looks at bill paying and such. What state are you in?
     
  3. waterford

    waterford Member

    New Jersey
     
  4. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three

    My opinion on this subject is...

    Parents know that climbing trees is dangerous and they try to keep kids from doing it. The kids will not get hurt most of the time if they climb trees. What if a branch breaks? What if a freak wind comes up? What if it starts to rain and the branches get slippery? There are any number of variables that are unknown or out of control. The fact is that some kids fall out of trees and we as parents will try our best to no avail.

    The same sort of thing applies to flooring installation. If you aren't careful and you cut corners you will eventually pay for it with failed installations. A store that says that it always kicks in their carpets and has never had a wrinkled carpet is lying. Even those installers that power stretch religiously will have wrinkled carpet.
    Why do the carpets wrinkle? Improper stretching pattern, humidity, tackstrip failure, insufficient latex and other materials in the carpets, traffic patterns, etc. All of these reasons have nothing to do with power stretcher vs. kicker but they still occur. Hence, if they lie about one thing, they are probably lying about other things. :yesss:
     
  5. cobravenom

    cobravenom Pro Member

    Yes in my opinion it is impossible to get any quality installation with a knee kicker. It was not designed for the purpose of stretching a room and is only intended for setting and for things like stairs and small closets. Anything that a power stretcher will fit in needs power stretching and that is not debatable if you want the customers material to last as long as it possibly can. Carpet One here in Tulsa Oklahoma has incredibly low rates so no installer that knows anything about installing will work for them. This creates an environment of workers that only use knee kickers and use whatever seaming tape is on sale that week and halex tackstrip. I dont know how they are in your area but I can assure you that they are lying to you about 0 callbacks as that is not possible. Hope this helps!
     
  6. Daris Mulkin

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

    Any installer that is kicking in a Karastan Karaloc must hve knees that look like Popeye's arms. Karastan Karaloc the excellent carpet that it is is a very difficult carpet to install especially in the width.
    Now let me ask you if you paid the price for a Karastan carpet expensive as it is wouldn't you want that carpet to be of top quality? Not having it installed to Karastan's specs it is no longer top quality and you aren't getting what you paid for. It would be like buying a Cadilac and they put in Yugo parts.
    I guess maybe those stores that don't powerstretch anything must sell a lot of rugs you have bound and roll out across the top of the floor.

    Daris
     
  7. Darren Ramey

    Darren Ramey Charter Member I Support TFP

    Even the cheap builders grade carpets look better and last longer if they are stretched in. As far as I know, all mills require their carpet to be stretched. Any installer that isn't power stretching is doing their customers and their own bodies a disservice.
     
  8. waterford

    waterford Member

    rooms too small to power stretch?

    Hi,

    Another retailer I called today, after giving them my room demensions, told
    me my rooms are too small to use the full size pole power stretcher. Instead,
    they would use a mini power stretcher. Would the mini stretcher be better
    that just the kicker? Or are these installers just being lazy and you can use
    the regular stretcher for my rooms?


    The rooms are 12'9" x 18'6"
    8'4" x 9'2"
    hallway is 34 1/2"W x 12FT

    Thanks
     
  9. Don Monfils

    Don Monfils PRO CARPET Charter Member

    I use a power stretcher in a closet , if it will fit.
     
  10. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    I am going to be the bad guy here. First al,l mills say there carpet is to be powerstretched, not just Karastan. Next Karastan has lot's of carpet that is on action back ( it is a Mohawk product, they own them )
    Next just because a company say they powerstrech does not mean they are doing it right, I have been out to many time's where the powerstrecher was used or being used complety wrong, the installer just pushed down the handle not even getting stretch, or moved the head way to far apart not getting an even stretch. This can cause just as much of an issue with the carpet.

    It is not only C1 that are way under paying installers.
    My advice is buy from a sale's person and store you feel will back up any concerns you might have years down the road.

    PS, C1 main head quarters tells all the compaines that have thier name on the store to powerstretch.
     
  11. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I can use my pole power stretcher on all of those areas. Sounds like the salesman doesn't know what he or she is talking about.
     
  12. waterford

    waterford Member

    Found a CFI installer in my area.

    Hi,

    Well, after much internet research, and going to the CFI website, I have
    found a retailer who is CFI installer and is the actual owner of the store.
    I spoke to him on the phone. ALL his installations are always power stretched,
    no matter what size the room is.

    His store is about an hour away in Bucks County PA, but claims he installs
    in my area all the time. Is this guy my wisest choice??

    In the area of Princeton/Trenton in Central New Jersey, a very populated
    and rather upscale area with HUGE homes, I find it quite interesting that
    there are literally NO retailers who power stretch, yet all these retailers have
    great reputations, A+ BBB ratings and been around for 30-40 years. I dont
    get it. Why are there not TONS of customer complaints of waves and ripples
    in their carpets for just using the kicker to install that most of you guys here
    claim will happen??

    Makes me really wonder the importance of power stretching and all the guys
    here that states using a kicker alone is NEVER quality installation.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  13. TwoStar

    TwoStar Maybe Three


    I am sure that every installer on here has experimented with shortcuts at one time or another. They even use certain shortcuts that they have learned on a regular basis. I know they don't all think that power stretching is an absolute necessity. I think the real question should be why would a group of experienced professionals agree that an expensive, time consuming portion of the job is important, to such an overwhelming majority, if it wasn't a very good idea.

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense. I was having difficulty making my point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  14. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    If it's the industry standard and an installer/retailer opted not to follow it, then wouldn't you call that a shortcut? If you think shortcuts are acceptable for quality workmanship, then go ahead and take your chances.

    I bet a lot of surgeons could get away with not washing their hands before cutting into a patient too, before finally, some patient got an infection. It might be rare, but do you want to be the one customer in a hundred (or whatever the number) to get wrinkles because the manufacturer and industry recommendations were not followed?

    Not all problems are reported to the BBB. And most people don't call the BBB to give praise either. I don't think the BBB sends anyone out to inspect and I bet they don't have a copy of the industry standards or even know if a particular company follows them.

    Jim
     
  15. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    I had a helper from New Jersy back in the early ninties who told me that when he worked out east the company had twenty trucks loading up with carpet every morn. Not ONE TRUCK had a power stretcher in it! The first time he saw a power stretcher was when he came to work for me. He also said that most installers out east "weted" the carpeting before he kicked it in. Wet carpet will stretch pretty easily, however the carpet will delaminate and then you have no choice but to replace it. I'm sure the sales person says something like "these wrinkles are caused by the carpet delaminating...you need to replace all of this carpeting...fortunately we have a sale going on now and the price is only double the manufcturers suggested retail price." (heh heh heh) With all the "helpful sale staff around to replace this "worn out" carpeting its no wonder the stores get A+ from BBB.
     
  16. waterford

    waterford Member

    This is so interesting...So all these carpet retailers in the Princeton/Trenton area of
    Central NJ are ALL installing in these million dollar homes incorrectlly by NOT power
    stretching? And they all are still in business?
    Not only do these retailers have A+ ratings, in addition, the mast majority of the internet
    reviews are also all very positive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  17. polestretch

    polestretch Senior Member

    Most consumers have no idea that ALL carpet over cushion must be power stretched. When I go out to do a restretch, most times the homeowner blames themselves for the wrinkles because they moved furniture around the room. When I get my power stretcher out and am setting it up, I get the "what is that tool? I never saw the other installer use one of them" comment. :(
    Not every carpet that is kicked in will need a restretch, thus the consumer doesn't realize the carpet was installed with just a kicker. Most carpets that do wrinkle, take time to wrinkle. Anywhere from a couple months to the more common 3-5 years to over 10 years depending on the structure and makeup of the backing.
    You are in the minority, you understand how a carpet should be installed. Some of the sales people may have never seen a carpet being installed, let alone a power stretcher. I was installing 7 1/2 years before I ever heard of one!:eek:
     
  18. Barry Carlton

    Barry Carlton Senior Member Published

    There's a story about a person that runs a stop sign for nearly all his life....does that make it right or acceptable?....then he gets hit while running the stop sign and blames the other party for his stupidity. don't fall into the same trap.
     
  19. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    Like I said in my first post, if you trust the company and feel they will take care of any issue's years down the road then go with them.
    It is a fact that most carpet ( not all ) even knee kicked in will last a year. It is also proven fact that most consumers if having an issue with bubbles or seams they do not call the company that did the job back to fix they find someone else.
    Also a fact that many carpet's have been stretched in with a knee kicker and have lasted the length of the carpet, the question you need to ask yourself is, do I want to take the chance
     
  20. UncleCliffie

    UncleCliffie Charter Member

    Back when I was inspecting, I had pictures in my laptop showing a power stretcher in use, as well as a knee kicker. I always asked if the consumer was present during the installation or the restretch procedure. If they replied they were there during either procedure, I would bring up the picture of the kicker and ask if they saw that in use. Then I would show them the stretcher and in most cases if they had wrinkles or had restretched the carpet they had never seen the stretcher. That fact plus the perfectly round holes in the backing where the carpet was hooked onto the tackstrip was a certain indication of improper installation practices.
    Dick Johnson
     
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