Do You Have
Carpet Buckles, Waves, Ripples or Wrinkles?
Here are my Top 10 causes for
carpet wrinkles and how to deal with the problem.
is a Carpet Wrinkle?
wrinkles are the result of your carpet not being stretched in tight enough to
prevent wrinkles from forming over time.
All carpet installed over padding must be stretched
in tightly from one wall to another using a mechanical tool called a
“Power Stretcher” this tool is uses leverage instead of knee force.
usually requires the use of long metal poles that go from one wall to the
other wall and uses leverage to help stretch the carpet and affix it onto the
Knee-kicker is a hand-held tool used while the installer is down on his knees.
He uses one knee to physically "kick" or move the carpet into place.
Here is a photo of a knee kicker in use.
When a wrinkle develops on your carpet it
should be major cause for alarm. If not dealt with quickly it could end up
ruining your carpet permanently. If
your carpet is still covered under warranty then you might be able to contact
the carpet retailer where you bought the carpet and hopefully have your carpet re-stretched at
no cost to you.
if your new carpet warranty has expired or if your carpet installation
warranty has expired, you might have to hire an independent carpet installer
to come to your home and re-stretch your carpet for a nominal fee.
simple re-stretch of your carpet may fix your carpet wrinkle problem once and
for all and hopefully avert any permanent damage to your carpet. However, your
final outcome may depend on the reason why your carpet developed wrinkles in
the first place. In the next five pages I will provide you with the ten most
common reasons why carpets develop wrinkles and what you can do about
what you need to consider…
Carpet Re-stretch and Repair Costs
you can determine the exact cause of your carpet wrinkles, and your carpet is
no longer covered under any warranty, then maybe a simple and inexpensive
carpet “re-stretch” is all you need to have done. This is where you hire
an experienced carpet installer to come to your home and basically
“re-install” your carpet to re-stretch and remove any wrinkles. They will
use a machine called a “Power Stretcher” to stretch your carpet tightly
from wall to wall. Here is a photo of the head of a power stretcher.
will it cost to have your carpet re-stretched? If it’s just one or two
rooms, then maybe it might cost a hundred or two to hire a carpet installer to
re-stretch your carpet.
if your whole house needs to be re-stretched, then it could easily cost more
than it did to have your carpet installed in the first place.
Call a local
carpet installer and ask for a free estimate. Get several estimates if you can
and be sure to get local references.
Learn more about How to Verify a Contractor's License
your home happens to have wrinkles near floor vents like the one shown here, then it can become even costly
to fix your wrinkle problem because it will require more time and more effort
for the installer properly to re-stretch the carpet and might possibly require
some additional carpet seaming.
or What May
be the Cause of
Your Carpet Wrinkles?
your carpet is still under warranty, begin your carpet complaint by contacting
the retailer where you purchased your new carpet. You want them to come to
your home and inspect your carpet. You need to give them sufficient time to
investigate and come to some conclusion as to the probable cause of your
carpet problem and hopefully figure out who may be responsible for your carpet
The dealer will also contact the carpet manufacturer, if they feel
your problem may be caused by a carpet manufacturing defect.
this case the manufacturer may send a carpet representative or private carpet
inspector to inspect your carpet. If it is determined that your carpet is
still under warranty and it is a manufacturing defect, then you may receive
some form of recourse.
your new carpet warranty has expired or they deem your problem is a result of
carpet abuse or a bad installation, or some other issue not covered under
their warranty limits, then your claim will be denied.
new carpet warranty claims are denied when it comes to wrinkles. They usually
blame the cause for the carpet wrinkles on the installer not installing the
Do Carpets Wrinkle -
new carpet can quickly develop wrinkles if the carpet was not stretched in
properly. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, all carpet must be
installed according to certain guidelines as outlined in the CRI 104 and 105
standards which provide installers, retailers, specification writers and
building owners with detailed principles and guidelines for carpet
installation. These guidelines can be found online here: https://www.carpet-rug.org/Industry-Resources/CRI-Installation-Standards.aspx.
carpet installations are guaranteed for just one-year, sometimes two-years and
some carpet retailers may provide a lifetime carpet installation warranty.
Lifetime here means the typical life-span of the carpet, not your lifetime.
order for new carpet to be installed properly it requires that a power
stretcher is used to help mechanically stretch in the carpet tight enough to
help prevent wrinkles from forming over the typical life-span of the carpet.
If a power-stretcher is not used, then the carpet has not been installed
carpet installers do not use a power-stretcher and these installers should be
avoided. Some areas to be carpeted are too small to use a power-stretcher,
like small closets or small odd shaped steps or other areas, however these
small areas rarely develop wrinkles. In these situations the use of a knee
kicker is suitable. See photos above.
carpet installation also requires that the tack-less strips are installed
correctly and do not come loose from the floor. If the nails that fasten your
tack-less strips to the wood or concrete floor in your home happen to come
loose, then it may be the fault of the installer.
are Tackless Strips?
carpet installed over padding needs to be stretched in tightly over the top of
the tackless strips that have been nailed down all the way around the
perimeter of the room.
Strips are designed to hold the carpet securely. Each tackless strip has many
sharp nails that point upward and toward the wall and hold the carpet tight
once the carpet has been physically stretched over them with a knee kicker or
your carpet happens to come loose from the tackless strips or if the tackless
strips happen to come loose from the floor, then your carpet will no longer be
stretched in tight enough and your carpet can develop wrinkles over time.