Proper wall-to-wall carpet installation is one of the most important factors that can determine the value of the return on your carpet investment. A proper installation can add years to the life and beauty of your carpet.
Installation with Tackless Strips
Most residential and some commercial carpet is installed
over a cushion (or pad), and is fastened to the floor by stretching the carpet
onto pins protruding from wood strips around the perimeter of the installation
area. The wooden strip with projecting tacks or pins is known as a 'tackless
strip,' so named because it contrasts with the now obsolete installation method
of tacking the carpet directly to the floor.
Glue-Down and Double Glue-Down Installation
Many commercial carpets may be glued down, using a contact-type adhesive, which is a better method for carpet in high-use areas or under moving furniture.
Proper trowel-notch size and knowing the time it takes for the adhesive to develop, as well as proper floor preparation and adhesive selection are all required for a successful installation.
Another method of contract carpet installation is 'double glue down'. In this process the cushion (pad) is glued to the floor, then the carpet is glued to the cushion with a quick-release glue. With this type of installation, the carpet can be removed for replacement without having to remove the pad that is glued to the floor.
Power Stretching vs. Knee Kicking
A carpet must be fully stretched according to the manufacturer's specifications during installation. All the 'give' in new carpet must be removed so no buckling, rippling or 'growth' occurs during use.
Unfortunately, many carpet installers use a 'knee kicker' device rather than a power stretcher. The knee kicker is seldom, if ever, capable of adequately stretching carpet to correct specifications. (The knee kicker is usually necessary for installation on stairs).
Carpet that has not been properly stretched will shift with use, especially in high traffic areas, and will appear lumpy with buckles, bumps and waves (or worse) and will often require re-installation.
A carpet seam is no better than the quality of the seaming tape used and the care taken by the installer who joins the carpet sections. A low quality installation usually involves the use of a poor grade adhesive seaming tape with the least amount of glue. The result is a weak seam, prone to break open when subjected to normal use or to the ordinary mechanical action of carpet cleaning.
Some woven carpets, such as Axminster or Wilton, call for specialized seaming methods. Many are made with natural fiber backings, such as jute or cotton, and even minimal shrinkage during wet cleaning may be enough to break open seams if they have not been seamed correctly.
These special woven carpets, and certain custom-made carpets, require either hand-sewn seams or use of only top-grade seaming tape to properly join carpet sections. A split seam is the likely result of improper or insufficient seaming during installation. It is usually not the fault of the carpet cleaner.
Once carpet is installed:
In a short time the new carpet will be 'right at home', bringing great pleasure to all.
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