It’s been amazing going back through some five to six years worth of project photos and seeing improvements in our processes as well as our improvements in photography.

This sheet vinyl installation project was done in a 70+ year old lake cabin in Spiritwood Lake, just north of Jamestown, North Dakota in 2015. The brand was probably Congoleum. The pattern looked really neat next to the older cabinets and trim work.

A few things had to be done before the sheet vinyl could be installed. The old vinyl flooring had to be tore out, but under the sheet vinyl were old, narrow floor boards. We couldn’t install 1/4″ Plywood as it would have prevented the door from opening, which would have required a carpenter to raise the door, which would have been difficult given the age of the cabin, the budget, and deadlines.

For these reasons, we used ARDEX Feather Finish to fill in the gaps between the floor boards and gave it a second skim coat to give it the smooth finish it needed. Looking back, if we knew what we know now, we would have used our Design Audit to gauge the possibility for extra work such as checking the current clearing between the floor and door. We would also know that based on the age of the cabin, the subfloor would probably require extra prep work.

With this client, we didn’t measure for flooring as we didn’t sell flooring at this time. The customer had their own measurements. So given that none of us expected the door/ subfloor issues and because the client didn’t have any issues with his older sheet vinyl installation, they gave us the go ahead and we installed over the sheet vinyl with some cold resistant adhesive.

The client was happy and the installation has held up, which is what counts.

Carpet has remained one of the most popular flooring options in our part of the country due to it’s warmth and noise reducing properties. Most people would consider Fargo, North Dakota as a cold state six months out of the year, so carpet really does shine compared to other flooring options such as ceramic tile. Due to it’s popularity coupled with a skilled installer shortage, we’ve found that most carpets are not properly installed. One of the most skipped steps is properly power stretching the carpet.



     If your carpet is meant to be stretched but your installer says it’s not necessary, you may want to reconsider having them do your carpet installation. Power stretching carpet has been around almost as long as modern constructed carpets. Brands such as Shaw, Southwind, Mohawk, and Axminister actually require it per their installation instructions. A knee kicker does not apply the same amount of force as a power stretcher does, since the knee kicker can’t hold the wall to wall stretch that the power stretcher can. 

Man improperly installing carpet with no power stretcher
Man installing carpet properly with knee kicker and power stretcher

In the two photos above, you can see that two different individuals attempting to install carpet. Use of a knee kicker without assistance of the larger power stretcher will not only leave your carpet improperly stretched, but will also be much harder on the body and knees. This can potentially lead to injuries with a reduced ability to perform future carpet installations. 

 Power Stretching Helps A Carpet From Developing Wrinkles

A power stretcher helps keep a carpet from developing wrinkles, which means it stays looking and feeling newer for longer. Wrinkles or simply improper stretching can damage the bond between the primary and secondary backings in your carpet. Once your carpet starts to develop damage between it’s two backings, this can lead to what’s known as delamination which would make it next to impossible to stretch as the carpet can no longer attach properly to the tackstrip which holds it in place. 


Power Stretching is one of many steps required to properly install your carpet. There are other factors that help determine the longevity of your carpeting, such as carpet padding, fiber type, density, etc. We will cover that in future posts. If you have any questions, feel free to fill reach out to us via our contact us page! 


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