How long will carpet stretching last?

We get asked how long carpet stretching will last whenever we do a stretch. The simple answer is you should only need to get your carpet stretched once. Most people are asking this question because they believe that stretching is an ongoing process. Carpets do relax but do not relax indefinitely. 

Think of it like this, carpet is like a good pair of leather shoes. As you wear your shoes, they break in and relax. They do not over time keep relaxing and become bozo the clown shoes. Carpet is just the same way. When it’s installed it should have an inch of stretch put on it. Think of it like a rubber band that is pulled tight.  Over time the carpet relaxes. When it’s restretched we make it tight again. Since carpet doesn’t keep relaxing indefinitely we almost never need to stretch a carpet a second time from normal use. If you pull a piano across the carpet that will pull and stretch the carpet with it. So we recommend any furniture that is moved across the carpet to either be picked up and set down, so it does not pull the carpet. Or you can use furniture glides to reduce the friction on the carpet. One last trick is to move the furniture 4-6 inches past where you want it to be and then slowly move it back so that it releases the pull on the carpet. We do offer a one year warranty on all stretches to give you peace of mind. In over 20 years we have only gone back on one job and that was because the movers pulled a piano across the room wrinkling the carpet. 

This leads to a second question. Why does carpet get wrinkled? This is a longer answer that would take time to explain the construction of carpet and the glue in the backing, the materials and the weather. But first what is stretched or wrinkled carpet. It’s when the carpet is slightly larger than the walls around it. Think of your fitted bed sheet, to remove the wrinkles you pull on the sides to move the extra fabric under the mattress. Stretched in carpet is installed over padding. It’s pulled tight like a trampoline over the padding. The goal is it’s a tight area rug over the padding and doesn’t move. To make it more simple there are 3 reasons that carpet will stretch.

#1: The carpet was not installed properly. If the carpet wrinkles in the first year it wasn’t put in correctly. That might be because it was too cold when it was installed. You want the carpet and room to be 70 degrees so that carpet will be properly pliable, not hard and stiff. Another reason is it was not power stretched into place. If you use a knee kicker only you can’t put the proper tension on the new carpet to have one inch of stretch so that it can absorb the extra carpet as it relaxes over time. Lastly it wasn’t installed in the right order. If you install all the rooms and then the hallway you can’t pull the rooms tight against the hallway and will get wrinkles under the doors. 

#2: The carpet is heavily used. This will cause the carpet to break down faster then normal. In a commercial area, or some place with heavy traffic or movement. Dogs running around the house gripping the carpet with their claws. An office chair without a desk mat covering the carpet.  

#3: The carpet is damaged. Moving a piano across the room will distort the carpet. If you have a water leak that soaks the carpet for days the carpet will break down. If carpet is left very dirty for a long time the dirt will act like sandpaper to the carpet with each step across it and the carpet will break down early.