08 March 2006


This week I'm trying to wrap up the apartment project.
I've been doing my first ever carpet installation. Overall carpet is pretty easy (especially when compared to some of the other stuff I've done).
I don't have any pix yet...will take some and do up another post.

Once I got the right size carpets (bought a remnant to try the first room...it wasn't as long as it said on the label so it didn't fit...took it back) the first major step is getting them up to the 3rd floor by myself. Turning the corner on the landing between the staircases is A PAIN! And then maneuvering the roll into the right room at the top of the stairs is nearly impossible (by myself) but I got the smallest of the 3 carpets (for the smallest room) upstairs yesterday.
Once the carpet was in the room it was fairly simple to un-roll it and lay it out on the floor.

Unfortunately this is where I ran into my next problem. I bought an 'economy carpet kicker' at Harbor Freight tools...and then did some research on kickers and realized that the one I got isn't meant for the type of carpet I'm installing. So I drove pretty far to another Harbor Freight that had their better model in-stock, returned the other one and got the good one. So yesterday when I started to 'kick' the carpet in place...the nail adjustment dial (you set the length of the nails depending on the type of carpet) popped off. I kept using it for a while with the nails all the way in but it wasn't gripping the carpet well enough to do what it's supposed to do (hook the carpet onto the tackless strip). And then this morning when I looked at the kicker loading it back in the box to return it...I noticed the metal plate behind the knee pad actually cracked in half! What a piece of crap!
So today I'm going to HF to return their piece of crap and going to Lowe's to buy the carpet kicker they sell for more than 4 times what I paid for the one at HF. I was looking at kickers online last night...the one at Lowe's is still the bottom end of the pro-kickers...but it should be WAY better than the one I broke.

The other thing I learned by looking up a bunch of websites describing carpet installation...is that I need to rent myself a "Carpet Stretcher" to finish the job.
Basically when you get the carpet hooked on in one corner with the kicker, you then place the butt end of the stretcher in that corner and pull (stretch) the carpet in the opposite direction and then use the kicker to attach that side to the nailer strip. using the stretch and kick technique you work the rest of the way around the room until the carpet is all stretched and attached to the tackless.

So today I'll be returning the bad kicker and buying the better one.
I'll be on vacation for the next week...so I'll have to wait until I get back for the day I rent a stretcher and get the carpets done. I'll get them in today though so they will have time to settle and acclimate...Will make for better stretching when I get back.


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