How to lay carpet without a knee kicker

Professional carpet and flooring installation requires the use of a wide range of tips and tricks. These are used depending on the flooring surface you are installing on and the type of carpet and flooring that is used.

When installing carpet, professional installers often use a bespoke carpet stretching machine. These machines are usually a lot larger and through their automated processes’ they ensure a precise and refined finish to any carpet by reducing the probability of wrinkles and bows developing. This is why we always suggest getting a professional to fit your new carpet. This will ensure your carpet looks it’s best. It also increases the life-span of your carpet and can save you money in the long-run!

Carpet Stretcher

However, if you have decided that self-installation is the best route for you, this guide will show you how you can replicate some of the results of a knee kicker using various techniques.

If you know you are not going to use a knee kicker, click here to see how to lay carpet without a Knee Kicker. Alternatively, read below to find out more information on how to use a cheap knee kicker to get even better results!

Plus… scroll to the bottom to find out how you can make your own DIY Knee Kicker!


Why do you need to stretch carpet?

When you buy carpet from a carpet warehouse and showroom, the carpet will usually come on a roll or will be from a carpet roll-end deal. These won’t usually be an exact fit to your room due to the different shapes and differences in your room. Leaving a carpet un-stretched can ruin the aesthetics of your room. This is because the carpet will not be flush with the edges and may buckle in places. It will also encourage dust and draughts to come up through your flooring. By stretching your carpet you can ensure a clean fit that will wear well.

However, there is a caveat to this. Felt-Backed Carpets often don’t require stretching when installing. They are instead installed by using an adhesive spray to fit the carpet around the room, running spare carpet up the walls and only spraying the carpet down roughly 40cm away from the wall. You can then use a trim-master tool or, if you are unable to access this tool, a stanley knife. This spray-installation can make it easier for first-time carpet installers. When cutting a felt-backed carpet around a door bar you may still need to stretch the carpet with a knee kicker to ensure a clean fit.


What is a Knee Kicker and how can you use one?

A Knee Kicker is a small tool that is used to refine the fit of a carpet. When using one, first prepare your floor by making sure all the boards and nails are flush. You may also need to clean the surface to ensure the carpet fits well and can stick to any adhesive spray you may use in the installation. After you have done this you can lay paper felt on top of your floorboards. This will stop dust and draughts from cycling through your room. This can be fixed in place by using either tape or again, adhesive spray. Leave a 4″gap around the edge of the room.

After you have installed tackless strips along the edges of your room and cut the carpet to fit the size of your room with a few inches of room on all sides, hook your carpet onto the tackles strips starting with the furthest edge of the room moving towards the door.

Now you will need to use a Knee Kicker to pull your carpet towards the edges of the room. Your knee kicker will work similar to a professional carpet stretcher. On your hands and knees, connect the prongged point of the tool to the carpet around the outside section of your carpet and sharpley “knee” the padded section to stretch your carpet. Hoot the carpet over tack strips at the ends of your room after the stretching and trim the carpet to perfectly fit the room.


How can you lay carpet without a knee kicker?

Although you can lay a carpet without a stretcher or a knee kicker it is not recommended. Improper installation can lead to buckling and creases in your carpet that can ruin how it lies flat in your room and how it looks in general. If you are adamant that you are not getting your carpet professionally installed, wear grippy shoes and make sure your carpet if tacked to the floor behind you. Jump towards the edge of your room using your shoes and your forward momentum to stretch the carpet.


Make your own Knee Kicker!

Again, if you don’t want to use professional carpet fitters, this video shows you how you can make your very own DIY knee kicker! Although results and quality of fitting will vary greatly with a DIY Knee Kicker, it is a preferable option to laying a carpet without a knee kicker.

If you want any information on our Clitheroe carpet installation services and our cheap carpet installation, you can contact us here.