How to stretch a carpet – to extend its lifespan and remove uneven areas

Knowing how to stretch a carpet can impact the appearance of your overall scheme – these are the simplest steps to success

How to stretch a carpet
(Image credit: fibre)

The question of how to stretch a carpet is one that can initially feel daunting – but you don’t need to be a home improvement guru to stretch successfully. 

Interior experts have revealed a simple method that will discourage dust from settling and smooth out any wrinkles appearing on your floor. And whether you're looking for a way to accentuate your entryway, bedroom, or living room carpet ideas, the process remains the same. 

Knowing how to stretch a carpet doesn’t need to feel like a chore with the right tips and tools. To follow this method, you will need:

Shopping List

A carpet stretcher: Such as this one from Amazon

Utility knife: Similar to this one – if you don't own the tool already 

Steam iron: This one should remove all wrinkles effortlessly

How to stretch a carpet – simple steps to a wrinkle-free carpet

Carpet trend striped rug

(Image credit: Future)

The secret to seamless decorating ideas begins from the bottom, upwards. Here's what you need to know for a wrinkle-free scheme. 

1. Score the carpet

Interiors expert and CEO of Inyouths David Lee suggests that the process begins by scoring your glued-down carpet with a utility knife along the perimeter of your room. 'This will help you create a clean edge when trimming later on in the process,' he says.

2. Stretch your carpet edges

Next, is the most important step in the process. The expert suggests using your carpet stretcher [available on Amazon or sometimes for rent at most hardware stores] to stretch the edges of the carpet outwards. 'Start in one corner and work your way around the room until you have reached all four corners,' David says. 

Living room with grey carpet and blue and yellow cushions

(Image credit: Brent Darby / Future)

3. Trim the excess

After you have repeated the stretching process for all four corners, the expert recommends using your utility knife to trim off any excess carpet. In this step, it is important to stay parallel with the floor to avoid your carpet looking misbalanced or unprofessionally cut.  

4. Reduce any creases with a steam iron 

Knowing how to stretch a carpet should minimize most wrinkles, but you can reduce any remaining creases with your steam iron. 

'If you want to get rid of wrinkles or creases on your carpet, you'll need to use a steam iron. Set the iron to its lowest setting and slowly run it over the affected area until the wrinkle disappears,' David says. After finishing ironing, the process of stretching a glued-down carpet is complete.

A hallway carpet idea with yellow walls, woven natural carpet and rattan baskets on the entry table

(Image credit: Tom Leighton)

Whichever room you are decorating, it’s worth making a fuss of the floor. And, while wooden flooring isn't going anywhere, carpet is making a comeback in a big – and very stylish – way.

'Carpet is a fantastic way of introducing color or pattern into the home,' says creative designer at Brintons, Jodie Hatton. 'The floor is no longer an afterthought. The entire room can be styled working from the floor up.' 

Not only will a carpet ground the room but it can serve as the starting point from which to build the scheme. It’s a worthwhile investment to keep it looking its best, and your feet will thank you come winter. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.