The carpet that is improperly stretched when installed, is a continual problem for the customer. Not only is it poor in appearance, but it's wear life is greatly shortened. Today, unfortunately, most carpets are being installed with a knee kicker instead of a power stretcher. The reason for this is that most installers do not own or know how to properly use a power stretcher. Also, power stretching is more time consuming than knee kicking. As most installers are paid on a square yardage basis, speed is their motivating factor. With the appearance of man-made carpet backing on the market, the importance of power stretching is even greater than in years past. While the knee kicker is an excellent tool to aid in stretching, it cannot stretch the carpet adequately, as a power stretcher can. Learning to use a power stretcher takes a combination of getting the feel of how to stretch and using proper techniques . The direction to stretch the carpet is most important. Without using the correct angles of stretch, not all of the carpet will become tight and will therefore, create the original problem of improper installation. Often, there are instances where a small area can be successfully knee kicked, but generally power stretching is the best answer to correct installation. When using a power stretchers always use a 2 x 4 that is padded with carpet at the end of the stretcher that is propped against the wall. The head of the power stretcher usually has a adjustment for setting the depth of the teeth. It is important to use the correct depth of the teeth. It is important to use the correct depth because if the teeth are set to high it is possible to rip the carpet and damage the face fibers. If it is set to low, the teeth will grip the padg moving it with the carpet creating a lump under the carpet and separating the pad at the seam. When stretching carpet with man-made backings factory recommendation should be followed because under-stretching or over- stretching will create problems with the carpet. With man-made backs the general rule to follow iE;: stretch 1-14' percent of the length you are stretching. Go to www.cfi-installers.org to locate a certified installer in your area.