Stretching carpet with a kicker, mini or crabjack

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

  1. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Hey what do carpet guys call that pointed thing that some use to stretch carpet. They just stab it into a wood floor (through the carpet and pad) and stretch off of that point.:mad:

    I just about shit my pants the first time I saw a carpet installer do that.
     
  2. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    The spike. They even made one with 2 spikes. I had a single spike at one time and it helped in the rare case. But it wasn't the go-to tool for stretching anything on a regular basis. 'Course, the minute I mentioned using it on a different forum, the elitists lambasted me as a hack, as if I was selling the use of this tool as a gift from...

    I remember one time it came in handy was for an older woman with almost no money - certainly not enough to replace the horribly worn out carpet - and very worried about tripping over the waves of wrinkled carpet. She had a lifetime of possessions that she didn't want anyone to touch and I didn't have time to mess with. There wasn't a single straight shot from one side of the room to the other at any angle, so a stretcher just wouldn't work. But the spike made the job take only a very short time and the lady was as happy as could be.

    Some pros suggested I willfully destroyed the floor under the pad. I suggest whatever the carpet and pad covered up was not the big concern, it was keeping the old woman from hurting herself if she tripped over the carpet wrinkles. The few other times I used the spike were under similar circumstances. Every tool has a purpose. You can be selective in its use, or you can misuse a tool. I have always advocated the proper installation of flooring, but sometimes you have to do a repair the best way you can under abnormal conditions. But I guess there's a rule book that says you need to be hung by your thumbs for life if you use a spike. :rolleyes:
     
  3. Heinz W

    Heinz W Pro Member

    I do the same, yet often the head is just a bit too big to fit in certain areas. Many times I've found that if the head pole was an inch or two shorter I could stretch that narrow hall instead of angle kicking it.

    I haven't even seen my tail block in ages, it's somewhere in the dusty recesses of my van!
     
  4. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    By all means "Modify safely" whatever it may be!
     
  5. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    Mobile homes is were the tool shines. I have one. HACK!!!! I use poles to stretch pretty near everything though. Like all tools, if used improperly it will make the job worse, and if used properly can a be a big asset. Of course, there are many types of carpets that the tool should never be used on!!!
     
  6. Daris Mulkin

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

    Well the spike was invented to do mobile homes because the walls won't take a power stretcher. There was one mobile home company that used to have a picture taped up to the walls showing how to make the marriage line and this one in the picture had 3 spies in it. Called the spike or stinger in these parts.

    :old:

    Daris
     
  7. Nate Hall

    Nate Hall Types With Elbows Senior Member Published

    Here is one I did yesterday. The carpet was over 10 years old and on 1/2" pad. I don't know how long it has been loose but wrinkles this numerous don't show up overnight.
    loose.jpg

    power stretcher and the resulting flatness. (I pushed 2 inches up the wall with minimal effort) A knee kicker might have gotten an inch with much more effort. the first inch flattened the carpet the second inch put the required tension on the carpet.
    Stretched.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  8. Bud Cline

    Bud Cline Tile Expert Charter Member Senior Member Published

    Yup, that is where I first saw one being used, in mobile homes. No matter how much those guys beat on that subfloor with a hammer they just couldn't get the little upheaval/hump of OSB to go back down. So...this is how the pros do it huh?
     
  9. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Nice Nate,
    We don't do much carpet nowadays, doesn't pay, when we run into carpet for removal it's usually wrinkled, customers loose faith in the product and have LVT or hardwood installed, no problem the manufacturers saw it in the cards and make the other products as well.
    I would say we remove at least 20% of faulty installations, a lot of tile as well.
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  10. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    If you have a lump that you can feel under the carpet then the tool was used improperly. I won't say you should even use the tool in the first place, but you CAN use it in a way that isn't a disaster and actually helps make the job better. I'm sure there are some that will disagree, and that's fine.
     
  11. Elmer Fudd

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

    I don't want ya to think I'm pickin on ya, but.....

    If the wrinkles come back, due to delamination, age or whatever, and there should be an inspector called he will be asked "was the restretch done to CRI specs"? As an inspector, I would ask the homeowner "was ALL the furniture moved out of the room for the restretch?" When they say "Nope" (based on the pics) I am obligated to include that and say "not done to spec."
    Sorry to say I have had to do this to many installers, I hope not Nate!
     
  12. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Warranty on a restretch?
     
  13. Elmer Fudd

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

    Yep, I have seen folks have 2-3 restretches and then go back to Lowe's and say the carpet is defective. Lowes makes the mfg. hire an inspector.
     
  14. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Show them a picture of a power stretcher and ask if the homeowner ever saw one.
    They still offer lifetime warranty or are they extra money?
    I can power stretch a room with a few pieces of furniture on sliders, moved around four or five times.
    I couldn't warranty something I didn't originally install, restretches are time consuming, breaking seams and dutching jam/z (hi Jim)
     
  15. kwfloors

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

    Most restretches that I am doing the full stretch couldn't happen because they didn't re-nail the strip. Good enough for a kicker but not a stretcher.
     
  16. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    5/8" nails?
     
  17. Direct carpets

    Direct carpets Pro Member

    If it has been restreched 2 or 3 times and is buckled again how can the carpet be any good?? (As long as the stretched it)
     
  18. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    They didn't do it right the first time, they're not going to do it right the 2nd and 3rd. Usually they knew kick the wrinkles till the one year/two? Warranty is up.
     
  19. Incognito

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

    QUESTION to the real carpet pros

    I had to re-stretch a very large commercial dining room----at least 150 s/y in one room. I had my Senior and was going to bring it in but the guy I was working with said it wasn't necessary because--and I quote verbatim----"all the stretch has already gone out of the carpet. Now the best we can do is get it FLAT." He was much more experienced than I so I listened to him and we did it with knee kickers.

    Please explain-----right, wrong, crazy.........what? That was 25 years ago and I haven't done a dozen re-stretches since so what do I know?
     
  20. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Getting it flat is Pre stretch,
    There's a whole lot of science behind it if you look at it from a physics point of view. The way the backing is constructed , some of it is flexible, will pull back as much as you stretch it , some of it once it's flat it doesn't give you anything more .
     
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