How Much Does it Cost to Stretch Carpet?
$550 to $800 is the average cost to stretch 1000 sq/ft of carpet
Carpet stretching cost is $.55 to $.80 per square foot (55 to 80 cents) depending on the amount of carpet, its condition and what tool is needed for the job. To put it another way, the cost of carpet stretching is $550 to $800 for 1,000 square feet of carpet.
We look at the cost for professional carpet stretching, different cost factors, what the process involves and the possibility for DIY carpet stretching
The point of this carpeting cost report is to give you a clear idea of what is and what isn’t a fair estimate when you ask for, as your should, carpet stretching quotes from local professional installers. This is no straightforward task as estimates are often presented and defined using different metrics. Let’s break it all down for you here.
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HOW MUCH DOES CARPET STRETCHING REALLY COST?
The internet breeds copycats. If you search online for “cost to stretch carpet” or “stretch carpet cost,” you’ll find one price showing up over and over – 30 cents per square foot. That was probably accurate at some point, maybe a decade or more ago. But the $.30 per square foot cost to stretch carpet became the “rule” that everyone else copied – especially people that don’t actually stretch carpet for a living.
The problem, though, is that the price is way out of date. If you get estimates for the cost of carpet stretching in 2022, prices start at about 55 cents and can rise to 80 cents per square foot or $5.00 to $7.25 per square yard.
There are other ways to estimate the cost to stretch carpet too:
Pricing by the yard: A lot of carpet stretching and repair services charge by the square yard – and there are 9 square feet per square yard. So, how much how much does carpet stretching cost per square yard? Using the numbers above, the cost to stretch carpet is about $5.00 to $7.25 per square yard.
Pricing by the room: While few services charge by the room, you might still be interested in knowing average costs for common room sizes.
- 12’x15’ – $100 to $150
- 15’x20’ – $150 to $215
- 16’x25’ – $225 to $325
- 20’x30’ – $335 to $485
CARPET STRETCHING COST FACTORS
When a carpet stretcher checks out a job, these are the factors considered in their written estimate of the cost to stretch carpet.
Minimum Charge – Most services want $100 to $200 just to show up, even if only a few square yards of carpet need stretching – like in a hallway or small bedroom.
Amount of Carpet – For larger jobs, the more carpet there is, the more the cost, obviously. But cost per square foot/yard might go down slightly as the amount of carpet to be stretched increases.
Condition of the Carpet – Carpet in poor condition, meaning that it is stretched out of shape in all directions, takes longer to stretch, so the price is higher.
Carpet Quality – Thin (cheap) carpet is easier to stretch than thicker, higher-quality carpet, so the price is lower. But if you’re considering new carpet, keep in mind that better and best quality carpet has a firmer weave and is less likely to get stretched out of shape and need stretching in the future.
Hallways – When the carpet is stretched in a room, a bedroom for example, the carpet in the adjoining hallway often needs adjusting/stretching too.
Redoing Seams – Stretching carpet often means that seams need to be cut and re-glued once the stretching is complete. Carpet repair services price seams at $3-$5 per linear foot with a minimum charge of about $20 for a doorway.
Tools Required – There are two basic carpet stretching tools, a small knee kicker stretcher and what’s called a power stretcher. For minor stretching, the knee kicker is sufficient, and cost is lower. As one pro said, “If I have to pull the power stretcher out the price goes up.” By how much? Using a power stretcher takes 35% to 50% more time, so the cost will rise accordingly.
Moving Furniture – This is usually a separate cost. You can save $40 to $75 per room by removing the furniture before the carpet service arrives.
How the Carpet is Secured – It’s relatively easy to pull carpet off of tack strips. If the carpet is stapled to the subfloor, which isn’t as common, the staples might have to be removed one at a time, and the cost estimate will be higher.
Whole Room or Just the Wrinkled Carpet – While you might think that just the wrinkles need to be stretched out, amounting to just a few square yards, a pro carpet stretcher might recommend stretching the whole room. Stretching all the carpet in a room makes it much tighter and less likely that it will ever need to be stretched again.
Terminology tip: Carpet stretching is sometimes called carpet restretching or re-stretching. Why? Because when carpet is first installed, it is cut a little short and then stretched onto the tack strip. This initial stretching makes the carpet lay down better and delays the time when the carpet will begin to relax and stretch and require stretching again.
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HOW IS CARPET STRETCHED?
It’s a pretty simple process, though the techniques take experience to perfect. You’re paying for that knowledge plus the time and physical effort required to get the job done.
Carpet weaves tend to loosen up and wrinkle in one direction. So, if the wrinkles in a room are running across the floor east to west, then you want to stretch the carpet north and south. Very loose carpet might need stretching in all directions, which will increase the cost.
Here’s the basic flow of work when all the carpet in the room is stretched.
1). Remove the carpeting from the tack strip, or remove staples holding it down, around the entire perimeter of the room. Cut carpet tape at the seams where the carpet joins a hallway or another room.
2). Choose your tool. Use a knee kicker carpet stretcher for minor stretching or a power stretcher for major jobs.
3). Start in the middle of the room, and stretch the carpet towards one end. Then, turn around, start in the middle of the room, and push it toward the other end.
4). Re-secure the carpet to the tack strip or with staples through the carpet into the wood subfloor. You’ll have excess carpet at each end, which is the natural result of stretching the flooring.
5). Use a carpet knife to cut off excess carpet at each end of the room.
6). Re-seam where needed.
DIY CARPET STRETCHING
What is the cost to stretch carpet if you do it yourself, and what does it involve?
Let’s start with the cost – and what you can save on carpet stretching cost by DIY.
What is at stake is 55 to 80 cents per square foot. Consider the cost for the entire room where carpet needs to be stretched, not just the wrinkled/loose area, since most pros recommend stretching the whole room as the best long-term solution.
Now, what about costs? Here’s what you’ll need along with prices:
Knee kicker tool: $25 to $160 to purchase. For one-time or limited use, there’s no reason to spend more than $50 for the tool. Just keep in mind that a knee kicker is best only for minor carpet stretching.
Power stretcher tool: $75 to $400+ to purchase, $20 to $40 for daily rent. Again, the cheaper tools are sufficient for limited-use DIY. Currently, home improvement and rental stores rent power stretchers for about $20 per half day/4 hours. From there, cost is minimal per extra hour. Renting is the way to go if you decide to use a power stretcher.
Seam tape: $8.00 to $12.00 for a 100-foot roll. You can heat the seam tape with a clothes iron. They cost $25 to $40. In our experience, if you’re careful, you won’t get the goopy carpet glue on the iron. If you do, it can be scraped off pretty effectively when still hot.
So, the question is whether DIY is worth doing. Here are things to consider.
1). The quality of the work – An experienced pro will do the best work, of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the job done. Watch a few video tutorials about using knee kickers and power stretchers, and decide if you want to give it a go.
2). The cost of tool purchase or rental – The more carpet you have that needs stretching, the more it makes sense to rent or buy tools and do the work.
3). How long you want the carpet to last – If the carpet is in good condition generally but needs stretching, then it makes sense to invest in a professional service to maximize the carpet’s usefulness and longevity.
How old is your carpeting? If the flooring was installed in the last 5 years and is already stretching, then it probably wasn’t properly stretched at installation.
If that’s the case, call the installer and let them know what’s going on. They should come out to stretch the carpet for free. If they are reluctant to fix their mistake at no charge, you can let them know that negative online reviews of their work will follow.
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About the Author:
Rob joined the Home Flooring Pros team in 2014 and is a freelance writer, specializing in flooring, remodeling and HVAC systems.
“I’m the son of an interior designer and picked up an eye for design as a result. I started hanging wallpaper and painting at 14 and learned enough on the job to be the general contractor on two homes we built for our family and did much of the finish plumbing, electrical, painting, and trim work myself.”