Why Are My Carpets Buckling and Getting Wrinkles?

There are many causes for carpets wrinkling over time.

It’s important that companies use the proper tools when installing your carpet. Using other devices or attachments as a substitute could penetrate through the carpet backing. These could cause injury, damage to the carpet, or inadequate stretch.

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, it is mandatory to use a Mechanical Stretching Device when a company installs a new carpet. You can find a Mechanical Stretching Device, also called a “power stretcher” or a “carpet stretcher”, in a number of styles. A good one, however, has these four basic capabilities:


A way to positively engage the carpet without slippage or damage. Usually, approved stretchers have a pin plate or a similar structure, referred to as the “stretcher head.”


A method of bridging between the “stretcher head” and the stationary structure (usually the opposite wall). Typically, the stretcher has a series of adjustable metal tubes that end in padding – this prevents damage to the wall.


A leverage, or similar device, that is capable of supplying force or multiplying the force applied by the installer. This force is required to allow the installer to elongate the carpet to the stretch necessary to install it properly.


A locking mechanism so the stretcher can lock into place safely while the installer sets the carpet into place.

CAUTION: Failure to Stretch a Carpet Mechanically May Result in…

  • Wrinkling and buckling over time

  • Localized damage to the carpet

  • Delamination

*Common causes of wrinkles and buckles include:

  • failure to stretch the carpet with a mechanical device
  • using inappropriate or improperly installed cushion
  • adverse temperature and humidity conditions
  • inadequate conditioning time

When we remove buckles and wrinkles from carpets, we often find the cause of the buckling and wrinkling to be one of two things. Either the installation wasn’t properly completed by a certified professional, or it was completed without the proper tools.

Many carpet installation companies get paid by the install – not the quality of it. Those same companies feel that the power stretcher is too slow and it costs them money. Forgoing a stretcher might save them money, but it costs you money. You’ll probably have to replace or repair the carpet within the next 2 years.

It’s important to ask questions when purchasing a new carpet. As the consumer, it’s a good idea to know which tools are used and to be present during the installation. If done incorrectly, an installation will cause your new carpet to wear unevenly or wrinkle. As a result, you’ll find yourself with a voided warranty and a damaged carpet.

For more tips or to schedule a service with Masterkleen, contact us or give us a call at (757) 487-0187.