Stair stretching

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highup

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It's awkward to try and stretch the stair across the width of the tread.
With stairs that are wrapped around the nose I've seen wrinkles that can't really be removed because doing so you have to rip the carpet from where it was stapled.
On narrow stairs I can wedge my knee between the kicker and the wall or skirt board for some leverage. This does a better job.
Introducing the 2xStretcher. Only $19.95 plus shipping.
 

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MSLI

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Nice High ! But howabout a possible improvement 💡…. Remove the kicker pad and increase the length of the 2x4, thereby removing the pad compression, see any hiccups with that change ?
 

highup

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Good idea. Can I patent that too or do I have to give you a cut? 😁
 

JPfloor

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Ingenious!

I remember an attachment for the electric gun. Two little teeth that attached to the front for trying to stretch over the nose. I never tried it, not sure how much it helped. I also remember a contraption not unlike yours that stretched over the nose with a lever like a mini power stretcher… Never tried that either. Who’s got the time…😎
 
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Don Monfils

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I still have one, it looks like brand new. Might have used it 3 times. I bought it for a church install we were doing wood stairs approximately 50 foot long .
 

highup

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Oh… They still make it…

That's the same one I've got I've had it since 1989. Could not live without it.
The first image showing my 2x4 stretcher to stretch sideways is simply because it's very typical to put stretch sideways on a 34 inch set of stairs. When stairs are waterfalled, they have less tendency overtime to form wrinkles in the center. If they do a stair can be pulled loose and stretched to the side to get rid of the wrinkle.
When it's stapled under the bullnose It's contained and when the wrinkle forms.......
.....well, it's going to be very ugly trying to fix it.
I have one of those coming up and the stairs are about 3 and 1/2 to 4 ft wide with a short nap Millican carpet. The wrinkles in the center are quite noticeable
There's only about four stairs but I may have to replace them if pulling the carpet loose gets ugly. The homeowner told me she has extra carpet. I thought it was kind of strange the carpet wrinkled because they did use a firm green rubber pad on those stairs.
Regardless of the padding or the carpet that I install I always try to put 32 or 40 oz felt pad on the stairs instead of rebond. To me it feels better on the stairs and also less chance of wrinkling over time.
 
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highup

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Always just used a kicker. Never got a complaint.hick or soft pad it's going to wrinkle.
Since 1987, I have never once gone back to repair one of my own stair jobs. If a person uses uses a 6 or 8 lb pad on stairs, that's an invitation waiting for you to return to.
I've seen carpet that I installed 25 years ago and it has no wrinkles on the main floor, and no wrinkles on the stairways.
I have restretched dozens and dozens of stairs with wrinkles and every single one, In almost every case, there was no tack trip on the sides of the steps.
99% of the time carpet wrinkles ru in one direction only. That's why I stretched the stairs in width, not just length. most of the carpet install is very high quality it's intended to last for 10 to 25 years. If I do stairs, I give it my all. Speed never has I never will mean anything to me as far as carpet installation or any of the type of work. My job is complete when I'm finished, not when someone tell me I'm finished.
 
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DarisMulkin

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The only time I ever put stick on the side of the steps was if they were stupid crooked. No problems but did rework many that did have the bubble in the center of the step. My take on the strip on the side was it didn't let the carpet move when stepped on causing the bubble being it was such a short expanse. Right or wrong who is to say. I don't think there is anything in the CRI that says to stip the sides.
 
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highup

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I have no reply other than I don't have wrinkles in my steps either so I guess it's a toss. If the steps ever do get wrinkles, having the strip already in place makes it easier to get a wrinkle out. You see, I'm just a nice guy, trying to help out someone else 10 years down the road when they come to remove a wrinkle. 😉
 

C.J.

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Looks like tack strip is optional.

Let’s take a basic set of stairs in a rental with a basic plush to ponder on cus I know a lot of guys won’t waste their time on stripping the sides of the stairs. So when you guys are kickin in stairs do you start in the middle of the step with your first boot then work the stair to the left then right. This kinda sorta but maybe not really puts some side tension on the stair thereby allowing the stair to not bubble. Suppose this doesn’t work if you’re a top down kinda installer that uses a stair jig. Or is there a work around for that that I haven’t heard of.

55AEF227-25ED-454E-AB63-2FC529292D9F.png
 

MSLI

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Let’s take a basic set of stairs in a rental with a basic plush to ponder on cus I know a lot of guys won’t waste their time on stripping the sides of the stairs. So when you guys are kickin in stairs do you start in the middle of the step with your first boot then work the stair to the left then right.
Stair installation, carpet, pad and tackless can be quite controversial. Remember TFP Site , it was always a well participated topic with a plethora of ways to complete the task.

Personally I have 19 years of rental experience ( plush over 5 lb rebound ) with random replacements going on between 1 and 19 year intervals. Never found side wrinkles 🙏 Luck, skill, ?

First 8 ish years I installed molded style ( wrap under nose) past 11 years installed waterfall style using Crain stair stretcher. I was taught ‘ top down’ but can go up when a pattern carpet requires to do so.

Typically 10 staples to start the top step, then Power with CSS. Now work the slack semi-tight with the nose of the gun and staple every 4” about 2” from crotch. Then crease into the crotch, rinse and repeat. PS> never had a loose step, and the removal is less difficult. As for the pad install, cut the width 1/2” short ( 1/4” gap on both sides) and the length appx 10” , duck tape the back of the pad and fasten with 5 staples through the duck tape. If your doing rental work, this method is fast and makes replacement easier. If you like to wrap the pad over and fasten to the riser, imho it’s a waisted step on the step 😜 and just adds more annoyance during replacement. But what about the dreaded ‘ pad curl’ Mikey ? I hear 👂 ya…..just simply lift the carpet up before each tread gets wrapped. Here’s one I just replaced this month, from 2014 , dirty but flat 😀
 

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highup

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CJ regardless of which method I use I start in the middle and work sideways and yes I do think it stretches the carpet sideways with that process. I learned to work from the top down and with a heavy leather glove on my stair tool I push it downward into the tack strip bearing down with a lot of my weight. That stretches the carpet downward similar to if you we're stepping on the stair. I keep my stair tool at a very sharp angle when doing this and make a lot of short downward stretches, maybe only hooking a few tacks at a time.
If you waterfall the steps and don't tack strip the sides, any looseness in theory can go left and right. When a stair is wrapped there is no movement. I'm thinking back and most of the wrinkles that I've seen are on steps that were tacked under the nose. I have a repair to do coming up with four stairs, I'll wrinkled in the middle and wrapped under the nose. They even use that slab rubber green pad so I'm kind of confused as to how it wrinkled in the middle.
I've always preferred synthetic felt bad for stairs just because it lessens the movement of the carpet and maybe prevents wrinkles from forming.
I'm just guessing we all have our theories and since whatever we're doing works for us that's what we do.
Side note. In the past years I probably haven't stepped foot in 10 rentals. Rentals are all about speed and owners are more concerned about cost not quality. It's just something I don't do.
I've done a couple individual rentals for my uncle and he's more concerned with quality. There's a realtor in town that has had me work on some of their rentals and they never asked me a price beforehand but they always request me. So yes I guess I do, do rentals, but not the kind that get flooring replaced every few years.
 
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DarisMulkin

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I was taught stair stretching from the top down turning the sides basically like Hi. But then I moved from Minnesota to Michigan and everything was totally different from start to finish. They went from bottom to top kicking in the steps and the rooms also, where I tubed the rooms and never put a kicker on the steps. I got into an argument with a designer once where she said I didn't match the pattern on the stairway. I told her they have to match as the upper hall and stairway are one piece because I worked from the top down. She won the argument as she wanted a certain pattern in the center of each step but didn't tell me that. Carpet stayed where it was.
 

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