If you’re about to fit a carpet in your home, you’ll need a carpet kicker. An essential tool, the carpet kicker effectively allows you to stretch the carpet flush against the skirting and base board, ensuring a smooth and professional finish.
Although available for hire from most carpet manufacturers or tool hire outlets, there is an easier way: make your own. Although not as fancy as the high tech, expensive kickers on the market, this article aims to show you how to make a carpet kicker for use in your own home for a better fit.
Why do I need a Carpet Kicker
If you’ve ever hired a professional carpet fitter, or if you’ve read any DIY book, you’ll see that you need a carpet kicker. But what exactly does it do? A carpet kicker usually has a padded base to allow for pushing, usually with the knee, and a flat front with sharp teeth to grip the carpet.
When installing a carpet, even if it is cut to the correct size for a room, there will always be some excess in the centre. This is because it is almost impossible to fit a carpet tightly without the use of a kicker. Through using the kicker, you grip and stretch the carpet, pushing it in against the skirting to leave a tight and professional fit. So now we’ve established its purpose, it’s time to discuss how to make a carpet kicker.
What you will need
Making a carpet kicker can be done effectively in your own home with very few materials. A good starting point would be the internet, or a good DIY manual. From here, you can gauge more effectively the desired shape and functionality of the carpet kicker, which will allow you to focus on constructing the kicker correctly.
Firstly you should decide how you are going to construct your frame. For simplicity’s sake, a wooden frame is acceptable and can be created relatively quickly, although for strength and durability, it is much better to opt for a metal frame.
For the basis of this article we will discuss how to make a carpet kicker with a wooden frame, as this will be easier to create for most DIY enthusiasts. Additionally, regardless of your frame, you will need to purchase toothed metal plates to allow for gripping the carpet, and some form of padding to protect your knee and allow the kicking necessary to install the carpet.
Making the Kicker
To start with cut two squares of wood of the same size; approximately 200x200x150. It is important to ensure that both pieces are particularly thick in order to support the metal plates and the impact of the kicking.
Next, you will need to cut supports to act as the framework for your kicker.
I recommend cutting two elongated parts and running them parallel. Liberally apply some strong glue, and nail these to the first block vertically. This will form the area for the kicking motion. Towards the end of the supports, glue and nail the second block. This must be nailed underneath so it will run adjacent to the carpet when in use, and it is important to ensure it is as flat as possible.
After the glue has dried, attach the padding to the kicking block, and cover, preferably with leather for durability, although any fabric will do for the short term. Finally, you will need to nail the metal panels to the other block to allow the gripping, and your kicker should be complete and ready for use.
So now you know how to make a carpet kicker, there really is no excuse for a poorly fitted carpet! Although your carpet kicker may lack the strength of a professional tool, it will certainly work effectively to improve the fit of any carpet.