Robert Varden demonstrates using tackstrip as a pattern matching tool.


Matching patterned carpet is ALWAYS a challenge. The tools that CFI has introduced or reintroduced to installers in the last 11 years have certainly made a difference. This article presents another alternative that enhances the element of professionalism to the task of matching those patterns.

Use this procedure should you encounter pattern elongation in direct-glue installation, a situation that exists when a pattern on a breadth of carpet is larger than the pattern on the adjoining breadth.

For glue-direct installation:

• Match pattern in center of the seam and select the direction in which you will begin this procedure. In this illustration, the direction is north.

• Roll material back to match point and spread adhesive across the width of the material. Make the first spread no more than 3-feet wide to assure ease in setting initial pattern line.

• Roll material into adhesive. Pull dry line across the width of all breadths you are working on at the match point.

• Amount of experienced manpower will determine just how many breadths of carpet you can work with at the same time. To start with, let's just work with two.

• Measure from the dry line to the wall on both sides of the dryline to assure that you are parallel with the approaching wall. The dry line should always be over the glued area.

• Once pattern is completely aligned with dry line, secure the tackstrip with the pins into the face of the carpet pointing south and also on the south side of your dry line, exactly where the pattern matches across the entire width of the carpet.

• Note: Architectural (commercial) tackstrip is recommended. Remove drive nails and install tackstrip upside down.

• Important: When securing all tackstrip on glued area, be certain to allow sufficient room to access prior spread of adhesive.

• Make another spread approximately 3-4 feet wide across the width. Roll the carpet again into the adhesive.

• Measure from initial dry line approximately 3-5 feet on both ends and pull another line parallel with the first. Let's call this Line "B".

• The 3-5 feet distance will be determined by the amount of elongation or bow you are attempting to correct and how much working time is necessary. Until you are comfortable with this procedure, start with small increments.

• Place the deadman behind or on the south side of the initial row of tackstrip.

• Place another row of tackstrip completely across the width of the carpet, just in front or north of line "B," with the pins pointing north. DO NOT SECURE IT TO THE SUBSTRATE AT THIS POINT.

• Placing the head of the stretcher in front of, or north of the tackstrip, stretch the carpet in line with dry line "B." Once alignment is achieved, secure the tackstrip to the substrate.

• Proceed across the width with the powerstretcher, nailing through the tackstrip and carpet into the substrate. This procedure greatly diminishes the amount of stay nails because of the gripping power of the tackstrip.

• Continue moving forward in comfortable increments until you reach the north wall.

• It is important to move the dry line each time to align the patterns.

• Continue to ensure that the dry line remains parallel with the approaching wall so the pattern will be straight with the wall once you reach that point.

• As you reach the north wall, turn around and repeat the procedure starting in the center of the seam, moving toward the south wall.

• The above procedure can also be used in large areas with carpet that is distorted in the width.