A Guide on How To Unflatten Carpet

Learning how to unflatten carpet is important since, over time, your carpet can develop lumps, bumps and wrinkles that are unattractive and potential tripping hazards. Improper installation is what causes carpets to wrinkle. The carpet has to acclimate to your home’s temperature before it goes down, and it should always be installed with a stretcher. Sometimes carpets refuse to lie flat or have some unsightly creases from being rolled up or stored in an odd shape. Even wall-to-wall carpet gets wrinkly over time. Regardless of the reason for your bumps, you can find out how to unflatten carpet with this guide.

Carpet can last for many years, however, they lose their elasticity as time goes by. When you first moved in, and after a few years there will be a few changes in your carpet floors. This is the same case for area rugs. They tend to get wrinkles and can appear to look old. Ripples may occur in your carpet flooring when the carpet and the tack strip separate or when you move along heavy furniture.

How to unflatten carpet will depend on if you have a wall-to-wall carpet or an area rug. They do share a few similar steps to attempt. Try the following methods:

  • For wall-to-wall carpet specifically: restretch and re-tack the carpet
  • Allow the carpet to settle naturally
  • Use a steam iron
  • Roll the area rug in reverse of the wrinkle or crease
  • Place large, heavy furniture on the wrinkles

How To Unflatten Carpet


If you don’t have a steamer at home you can try using an iron to unflatten the carpet. Again, it’s important to test this method on a small corner of the carpet. Place a damp towel over the bump in the rug. Turn your iron to the Steam setting. Quickly iron over the bump in short bursts. Keep the iron moving to avoid burning the fibers.


Stretchers look a little like large sponge mops, but the head is covered with sharp teeth to grip the carpet; a lever moves the teeth to stretch it.

To to unflatten carpet, you can rent a carpet stretcher and a knee-kicker for around 40 bucks and adjust its tooth depth to the depth of the pile of your carpet. Pull the carpet up from the tack strip at the baseboard, then sink the teeth of the power stretcher into the carpet where you need to pull it taut. Use the lever to stretch out the wrinkle. Then, use the knee-kicker on either side of the stretcher to fasten the carpet back onto the tack strip. Curl the excess carpet at the baseboard toward you and trim it from the back with a carpet knife.

Professionals can also to show you how to unflatten carpet by smoothing the fibers and helping them return to the desired shape.


If it’s an area rug gently turn the rug face down and reverse roll it. Leave the rug rolled up for a day or two. When you unroll the rug it should lay much flatter. If you hear any cracking sound when you’re rolling the rug, STOP to avoid damaging the rug. This means the back of the rug is dry and may be rotting.


Place heavy items such as books or plants on the curled or bumpy parts of your rug. The weight will help the bent fibers to relax.


Turn the rug upside down and place it in the sun for a few hours. The heat and light will help the yarns to soften so they are more pliable.


Another tip on how to unflatten carpet is to use a steam cleaner. It pushes steam into the fibers of the rug. The fibers will absorb the moisture, helping them to return to their normal shape. A professional steam cleaner can do the trick. If you have a steam cleaner at home, carefully test a corner of the rug to make sure the colors don’t run. Then run the steamer over the rippled part of the carpet several times until the fibers loosen up and lie down flat.



Once you’ve removed bumps, curls, and wrinkles you can help prevent them from reforming by using double sided carpet tape. Apply the tape to the back of the rug, especially in places where there were bumps. This tape is made to work on carpet, tile and hardwood floors.


To unflatten carpet and rugs, place an ice cube on the dent overnight. As the ice cube melts, the fibers will slowly absorb the moisture, helping them to return to their original form. In the morning, remove the excess water and fluff the fibers with the edge of a spoon.


To prevent bumps, wrinkles, dents, and curling use a To prevent bumps, wrinkles, dents, and curling using a high-quality rug pad under your rug. Rug pads help to avoid stretching and folding by keeping the rug in place.

How To Unflatten Carpet without a Stretcher

Here’s a quick way on how to get wrinkles out of carpet without a carpet stretcher.

  1. Get all furniture out of the room
  2. Pull up the carpet using a plier, do this for all corners
  3. Continue pulling until the carpet is pulled off from the tack strips
  4. Replace tack strips if any gets damaged while pulling
  5. Starting from one end of the room, stand a foot away from the wall and jump forward with both feet, this slides a few inches of the carpet to the wall.
  6. After jumping, have someone tack the end of the carpet.
  7. Repeat the process until you’ve tacked the carpet to the whole wall
  8. Trim off the excess carpet from the edges.

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