This story shows how to stretch carpet in a room where a seam is not necessary.
Carpet comes in rolls that are 12, 13-1/2, and 15 feet wide. If possible choose a width that will enable you to carpet the entire area without a seam. Carpet is sold by either the square foot (a square area in which each side is 1 foot long) or the square yard (a square area in which each side is 3 feet long). To compare prices multiply the price per square foot by 9 to determine the price per square yard, or divide the price per square yard by 9 to determine the price per square foot. To determine how much carpet you need, sketch the shape of the room, including entryways, on paper. Measure the length and the width of the room in feet and inches, then round up to the nearest foot. Round up the width to one that the carpet comes in -- 12, 13-1/2, or 15 feet. If you are carpeting a room that is 14 feet 1 inch by 17 feet 6 inches, you'll need a piece of carpet that is 15 feet wide and at least 18 feet long.
15 minutes per square yard, not including subfloor preparation
Tape measure, carpet knife, straightedge, knee kicker, power stretcher, wall trimmer, hammer, chalk line
Measuring, lifting, laying, cutting, and stretching carpet
Repair and level subfloor.
Carpet, pad, tack strips, binder bar, transition moldings
If there are doors that open into the room you are carpeting, take them off the hinges so they won't get in your way. Removing the doors will also make it easier for you to cut the doorjambs if necessary. If laying doors on top of each other, place a towel between them so they won't get scratched.
Install tack strip around the perimeter of the room, making sure to maintain a 3/8-inch distance between the tackless strip and baseboard. Cut the strips to fit with a strip cutter or heavy snips. Align the strips so that the manufacturer-printed arrows point toward the wall. Nail tackless strips around air vents and other floor openings, with the exception of thresholds and doorways as the tacks on the strips are sharp and may poke through the carpet.
Measure the longest portion of the room. Add 6 inches to this measurement to allow for error and any areas where the walls may not be plumb. Roll out the carpet, backside up, and snap chalk lines across the back of the carpet to this measurement. Put a piece of scrap wood under the marked carpet and, using a straightedge and carpet knife, cut the carpet along the chalk lines.
Near a corner of a long wall, put the toothed end of a knee kicker in the carpet about 3 inches from the wall. Strike the padded end to stretch the carpet over the tack strips. Trim excess carpet with a wall trimmer, which rests against the wall and provides a straight cut at the correct spot.
Use a stair tool to tuck the carpet between the tackless strip and the wall. Repeat this procedure to tuck the carpet along 3 feet of the wall. Repeat the anchoring procedure on the short wall of the same corner: Push the carpet over the tackless strips with the knee kicker, trim, and tuck the carpet. Once you have the carpet attached to the short wall, use the power stretcher to stretch the carpet between the two remaining walls.
To use the power stretcher, lay a 4-foot-long 2x4 against the short wall of the starting corner. The 2x4 protects the wall from damage. For more protection, pad the 2x4 with a piece of scrap carpet. Run the stretcher at about a 15-degree angle toward the opposite corner. Set the head of the stretcher 6 inches from the wall. Push on the handle to stretch the carpet about 1 percent. This translates to around 1-1/4 inches over a 10-foot span.
Power-stretch the other long wall. Use the power stretcher to stretch the carpet from the long wall of the starting corner, running the stretcher at about a 15-degree angle. Hook and anchor the carpet over the tackless strips near the head of the stretcher. Moving the stretcher along the wall, stretch, hook, and anchor the carpet section by section.