Stretching carpet with a kicker, mini or crabjack

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by ortiz34, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    That's a great tip David.
  2. Elmer Fudd

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

    Yes, and no Dobby!! If the installer used ONLY a kicker, you can often see a distorted area on the carpet backing where he set the kicker and gave it a HUGE kick. If the stretcher is misadjusted the teeth will also puncture the backing and leave marks on top of the cushion.

    What David mentions, elongated pin marks are called "tear drops" or "tiger tracks". Those are highly techical terms to be used by inspectors only!:eek:
  3. David Hunt

    David Hunt Charter Member Senior Member Published

    These do not confirm a stretch under tension, the only confirm improper use of tools. Likewise, the elongated pin tracks do not indicate proper stretch, but they do indicate stretch under tension. Anyone that has ever used a power stretcher properly has seen this occur when the stretch is taken, the spreader is placed on the tack strip and the carpet draws back as the stretch released.

    It is also worthy of note, elongation will be greater on the stretch walls then the set walls. Here again, none of this is scientific proof of anything on its own. What it is, is one piece of information that helps build a better understanding of took place.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Elmer Fudd

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

    If you see these every foot or so it is pretty telling that ONLY a kicker was used.

    Often when you see the top of the pad scored by stretcher teeth you will also have the cushion pushed up onto the tackstrip.

    Agree that tiger tracks are only an indication of stretch tension.

    Pretty much all of the inspection business is NOT scientific, it is based upon observation and determination of what went on in the past. Much of it is this observation balanced against the knowledge of how the flooring SHOULD have reacted under ideal circumstances, and how it will react under less than ideal conditions.
  5. FlooringGirl

    FlooringGirl Senior Member

    All I know is that it was determined in an inspection situation at our store, with excellent verification, a power-stretcher was not used, according to the markings on the carpet backing. After that, I looked at some carpet which was removed for flaws, and saw the stretcher marks they were describing in that other report, which weren't there on the other deal, on the back.

    It all goes back to ... you cannot fake holes in siding from hail damage by hitting it with a hammer, because true hail marks are shaped just like an eye. That was what I learned when we had a giant hail storm and people were trying to fake it.

  6. jlauder1185

    jlauder1185 Pro Member

    Im a 1185 union installer in chicago and have put down thousands and thousands of yards of glue down carpet with a crab. It is a necessity to have one on a large scale glue down pattern match. Excellent tool for glue down that being said I dont even bother trying to use one tackless. Power stretcher all the way !
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

  8. Heinz W

    Heinz W Pro Member

    Hi all, new guy here. New to the forum, not to carpet installation.

    In my book, ALL tackless jobs should be power stretched. Anywhere the thing fits it should be used. Otherwise the carpet is not installed properly. Period. I've been thinking of hacksawing a couple inches off of my head so it will fit in tighter places, especially narrow hallways.

    Power stretching is more important than ever with all the different backings around today.
  9. Daris Mulkin

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

    Don't you think hacksawing off part of your head will hurt? ;):eek::p


  10. Heinz W

    Heinz W Pro Member

    Haha no Daris, off the pole end! ;)
  11. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    Don't hacksaw the pole! You coulf date Lorena Bobbit for that. :D
  12. Heinz W

    Heinz W Pro Member

    You guys are a riot!
  13. smc

    smc Pro Member

    i have been installing for almost 20 yrs
    80% of my jobs are residential carpet
    i have never even seen a power stretcher
    zero callbacks for restretches and still have both knees
  14. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    90% of residential customers don't know any better. I do a brisk business repairing work like yours. If you are not using a stretcher you are not are making it LOOK installed.
  15. smc

    smc Pro Member

    im going to assume it comes down to technique or force behind hitting knee kicker
    i have gone to quite a few houses that require restretching( not originally installed by me)

    most heavy carpets i use 2 rows of tackstrip on power walls
    not saying power stretcher is wrong .i was just never taught that way
    and i dont do large commercial jobs where appropriate stretch cannot be achieved without blowing a knee
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  16. Daris Mulkin

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

    Canadian standards are different than American standards. I Canada you can kick in a 5 meter x 5 meter room. We have to go by the CRI Standards of Installation. Canada goes by the British rules. I don't understand how that can be as the mills say how to do it and most of them are here in the US. But things are different when you cross borders.


  17. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    It's not that carpet can't be kicked in, it's just a matter of why not powerstretch? It's easier on your body. Maybe I'm just lazy like that.
  18. smc

    smc Pro Member

    canada has no flooring standards( i wish they did)
    only certification i get is thru companies like armstrong or forbo
    and i have seen guys take the course and pass just because they installed flooring in a 3x4 makeshift room
    lifes a little different in the real world

    the forbo course was pretty intense
    the armstrong certified installer course on the other hand....
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2014
  19. Heinz W

    Heinz W Pro Member

    What Nate said, exactly!

    Yes, easier on the body and does a much better job too.
  20. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    I just use the stretcher head without the tail block and a 4x4 if it's tight quarters, a 2x4 will work,

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