To Power Stretch Or Not To Power Stretch
Next, leaving the tail in place, make an angle stretch toward the corner of B&C. Move the stretcher head to the other side of the first (straight) stretch, making an angle stretch. Bump and secure wall B. Place stretcher tail on wall B approximately 2’ from the corner of A&B. Stretch straight from B to D, then one angle stretch to A, bump and secure wall A.
Move the tail to the corner of A&B making angle stretches (approximately 15 degrees) the length of wall D to wall C. Next, straight stretches from wall A running the length of wall C to D.
Figure 2. When stretching a patterned carpet a slight variation on the theme is needed to help keep the pattern straight. After setting and stretching walls A&B, taking care to assure the pattern is straight, make a sharp angle stretch from corner AB to corner CD, pulling the pattern to the same point in CD as it is in CB and DA. This will leave the un-stretched carpet on walls C & D with a bow in the pattern, which straightens out perfectly when those walls are stretched.
Figure 3. My favorite stretching method is what we called a butterfly or as some people call a fan stretch. This is a great way of stretching a room for an installation team working together.
The start is similar to the first stretching pattern we discussed. Start by securing 3 to 4’ of wall A. Stretch straight across to wall C. Bump up and secure wall B. Next place your power stretcher in the center of wall B and make a straight stretch from the center of B to the center of D.
Next, make angle stretches from B (approximately 15 degrees each) to the corner of D&A. Return to the center of D, making angle stretches from B to the corner of D&C. The beauty of this stretching pattern is that while you are completing the angle stretches to the corner of D&C and breaking down the stretcher for the width, your partner has bumped up and secured the remainder of wall A. Then while you stretch wall C (straight or slight angle stretches) your partner trims in and finishes the stretched walls. A smooth piece of teamwork, quick with no wasted effort.
These three basic stretching patterns or a variation of these patterns will get you through most stretching situations you will come up against. I can hear some of you saying, “Well that’s fine if the room is square, but I’ve got closets, alcoves, and hallways in the real world.” That’s true, and what I taught my son is to break down the areas to a collection of squares or rectangles and then install those.
Figure 4 is an example of a typical bedroom. You break it into two areas: the main room (area 1) and the closet (area 2). Now you have two rectangular areas, which you can install following Figure 1,or if it were a pattern using the stretching steps in Figure 2. Now, no more excuses. Save your back and eliminate callbacks. Get to stretching!