A deep cigarette burn or indelible-ink stain in your carpeting doesn't have to be permanent — a carpet-patch repair tool can quickly remove and replace the damage. The tool looks like a cookie cutter designed by Stephen King: It's about 3 inches in diameter, with two sharp razor blades protruding from its rim. You'll find the tool ($7) at a carpet shop that caters to pro installers. Also buy a peel-and-stick adhesive disk ($2) as well as a tube of carpet glue ($5). To begin the repair, place the cutting tool over the damaged area, press down, and twist until you've cut through the carpet but not the padding. Remove and discard the plug of damaged carpet. Then cut a replacement patch from a leftover carpet swatch or from an inconspicuous place, such as inside a closet. Next, remove the protective backing from the adhesive disk and slip it into the hole with the adhesive side facing up. Apply a bead of carpet glue around the hole edge and firmly press the patch into place. Let the adhesive cure overnight, then vacuum the area to help blend the carpet fibers over the repair. |
The four professional tools used to patch carpeting -- a carpet iron, carpet tractor, knee kicker and trimmer
Step 1: Remove the Baseboards, if Necessary If the patch is to be applied against a wall and the room has baseboard molding, your two options are: a) remove the baseboard and reinstall it after laying down the carpet patch, or b) leave the baseboard in place and install the tack strip 1/4" away from the baseboard as described in the next step.
Step 2: Attach the Tack Strip If the area you're patching is up against a wall, you'll need to put down a tack strip which has "teeth" that hold the carpet in place. Nail the tack strip along the wall 1/4" away from the edge of the wall or baseboard.
Step 3: Cut the Carpet Pad Cut a piece of the foam carpet pad to fit the area to be patched. The pad should be cut to fit inside the tack strip, not on top of it.
Step 4: Determine the Nap Direction Next, check the carpet nap to make sure it follows the direction of the existing carpet. Run your hand back and forth over both pieces to check.
Step 5: Cut Out the Patch Once you have determined the nap direction for the scrap, use a utility knife to cut a piece to size and fit it into the area.
Step 6: Apply the Seam Tape If one of the edges of your patch is against a wall, attach the other three edges first using the process described in this step. The last edge will be attached to the tack strip in the next step of the project. Lay down the seam tape just under the seam and use the carpet iron (Image 1) to activate the seam tape and bond the edges together. Then, use a carpet tractor (Image 2) to press the carpet down onto the seam tape to reinforce the bond. Afterward, position something heavy over the area to help set the seam. Continue around the other edges of the patch in the same manner, except in the case where an edge meets a wall as mentioned above.
Step 7: Stretch the Carpet Over the Tack Strip When all the seams are secure, use a knee kicker to stretch the carpet onto the tack strip. Always work down the length the wall to the innermost corner. Use a hammer to push the carpet down onto the teeth of the tack strip.
Step 8: Trim Away the Excess Trim the excess with the carpet trimming tool, then press the edge of the carpet underneath or against the drywall. Reinstall any baseboard molding that was removed.
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