A Carpet Installer's Notebook: Turning the Corner
December 14, 2010
Last issue the topic was end capping oriental runners, particularly machine made, to make area rugs. As I thought about it afterwards it seemed that the logical followup should be dealing with the turn at the landing when installing those same runners on stairs. Here we go…
Bear in mind, here we will not be able to match the pattern because in making the turn we are quarter-turning the carpet, but we can fool the eye. I am going to show you two different ways to make the turn. This month the first and easiest is a diagonal cut. Next month the second and a little more challenging is a square cut.
With either technique, dealing with a mid-floor landing (one flight of stairs running to the floor above and one flight running to the floor below), is problematic. You will not be able to fool the eye on both turns. Most, well 90+ percent of the time, the pattern repeats will not match with the landing width and your most important need of keeping the runner centered on the stairs.
(Photo 13) This is a situation that the customer must be made aware of before starting the installation.
First determine the portion of the pattern you wish to be the center point of the turn. (Photo 1)
Measure the width of the runner from the inside edge of the serging (Photos 2 and 3), in this case 24 ¾ inches. Using the center of the pattern you have chosen, measure, in this case, 12 3/8 inches in each direction, (Photos 4 and 5) and mark your carpet following across the weft rows with a pencil.
This gives you a perfect square of the field carpet. If you’re scratching your head, “pencil? Weft rows?” read last month’s “A Tip of the (end) Cap.”
Line up your straight edge with the corners of your marks to cut the diagonal seam edge. To me this is the easiest way to make the 45-degree cut and assure it is through the center of your chosen pattern.
(Photos 6 and 7) Stop your cut before the serging on each edge of the cut (Photos 8 and 9), leaving extra serged edge on the seam edge. Seal your cut edges! Repeat for the second half of the landing.
In the last article I showed you how to hand serge, a useful technique; you never know when it will come in handy, but a it is a bit tedious and quite frankly a pain in the butt.
After writing that article I was thinking and came up with this idea; cut one point of the diagonal square at the serging, leave an extra amount of the serged edge the width of the serging on the other (Photo 10).
When they come together a little dab of hot glue on the loose threads to cover the edge make a much easier and just as nice corner. (Photo 11).
The finished turn is shown in Photo 12; although the pattern isn’t matched, it does do a good job of fooling the eye.