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Common Carpet Seam Mistakes and How to Fix Them

June 17, 2020
Carpeting brings comfort, aesthetic value, and value to your home. It is available in many styles and colors and it can look from functional to elegant. One thing that sometimes happens is that carpet seams present a problem. Whether it’s open seams, visible seams, or frayed seams – there is a fix for everything. Here are some of the common carpet seam mistakes and how to fix them.

Why People Love Carpet

There are many reasons why people love carpet. The reasons may surprise you or maybe you can relate.

Here are just a few of the main components of carpeting’s popularity and longevity:


Carpeting is ideal for holding warmth during those cold winter nights. Not only that but it may even lower your power bill and that’s always a good thing. Imagine waking up and stepping on a nice, warm carpet that is soft under your feet rather than cold flooring that gives you a chill.

Elegance and Luxury

Whether you want a bold statement or a subtle sense of luxury – carpet does it all. The choices in colors, styles, patterns, and prints ensure that if you can envision it, there is a carpet that matches. There is a reason you’ll see wall-to-wall carpet in luxury hotels – it looks great and can take a lot of foot traffic.

It’s Safer

When is the last time you slipped and fell on the carpet? Sure, it’s possible but carpet is much safer than other types of flooring. Especially slippery ones. It’s perfect for kids, older adults, and even your pets.

It’s Quieter

Carpeting reduces sound quite a bit. If you’re looking for flooring that is ideal for children and pets then carpeting is your best friend. In fact, with a quality pad underneath, carpeting absorbs a variety of sounds. From stereos to big screen televisions – it works as a barrier.

It’s Durable

When properly maintained, carpet holds its durability for many years. Yet, it’s still soft on your feet. Which brings us to easy maintenance.

It’s Easy to Maintain

Carpeting is easy to keep clean by vacuuming and occasional cleaning. Even stains are easy to remove if taken care of immediately. And with today’s technology, there are things like Scotchguard that help prevent permanent staining.

It’s Versatile

As we mentioned, people love carpet due to its versatility. There are many colors, all types of patterns, different weaves, and a plethora of looks. From contemporary to traditional, there’s something for every aesthetic.


The Cost

On average, carpeting is always going to be cheaper than hardwood floors. It is also cheaper than some of the other flooring options. Even installation is less expensive because hardwood flooring is more labor-intensive.

Common Mistakes in Carpet Seams

Installing carpet can be tricky. If not done exactly right, there are mistakes made in the carpet seams and other areas. In fact, laying a carpet seam is one of the more difficult areas of carpet installation.

Here are a few common mistakes:

Seam Peaking

One of the most common mistakes is when the seam peaks. This is caused by stretching the carpet perpendicular or across the carpet seam. Instead, make sure the carpet is stretched parallel to the seam to avoid pressure and peaking.

Seam Shadows

Another area that can show up as a problem is with seam shadows. This is when there is light from a window that casts a shadow by striking the seam. These shadows intensify the seam, making it look more prevalent. Avoid strong lighting or open windows where the seams are.

Seam Splitting

According to Do It Yourself: To avoid splitting of your carpet seam, keep the seam away from areas of higher foot traffic. Use a pad with a higher density cushion that is less likely to split from constant foot traffic.

In addition, when creating seams, use a seam roller to create pressure against the seams and force the carpet backing into the melted adhesive. Finally, create a more firm, flat base for the backing by placing a piece of plywood under the seam when you press the seam into the glue.

Unraveling Seams

To avoid seam unraveling, cut between the tuft rows when cutting carpet instead of through the tuft. Another issue that causes unraveling seams is by not sealing the seam edges. Make sure to press the sealing iron into the seam edge firmly.

Discolored Seams

Speaking of your sealing iron, do not use one that is too hot. Use a heat shield and have your setting no higher than a 3 or 4 to avoid this issue. Make sure to never go against the direction of the carpet nap.

Seam weights may also be a culprit in discolored seams. This happens when seams weights don’t allow moisture and heat to escape. Do not use seam weights made out of glass, plastic, marble, or metal. Along with discoloration, it can cause pile reversal and tuft swelling.

Unattractive Seams

Seams with indentions and wrinkles look unsightly and ugly. To avoid this, do not cut across a tuft row. Use a sharp blade and change it often when cutting carpet. When choosing the right roller to use, if you are using hot adhesive do not use a star roller. This can cause indentions. An easy way to remember is smooth (rollers) equals heat and star (rollers) equal cold. So when you are using hot adhesive, use the smooth roller instead of the star roller.

How to Hide Carpet Seams

Carpets sold in standard widths sometimes mean that carpet seams are inevitable. This is especially true in larger areas where there is more carpeting per square foot.

Here are some ways to hide the carpet seams:
  • As mentioned earlier, make sure not to install seams where windows or strong light will make them show up easier. Instead, of installing carpet perpendicular to the windows, install them towards the window.
  • Another way to minimize seams is to choose the same type of carpeting. With the same style and color, it is less visible in large spaces because of everything blending together.
According to Hunker, here is another way to hide carpet seams:
  • Position seams so they fall in low-traffic areas. Less foot traffic reduces the likelihood of carpet seams becoming caught on shoes and of fibers wearing down around seams.
  • Last but not least, make sure to keep the carpet vacuumed regularly. This plumps and fluffs the carpet fibers and covers gaps between the strips of carpet.

Tools Used in the Carpet Seam Process

Here are the tools and materials you need for the carpet seaming process. Some may vary according to how you want to install your carpet. For instance, tape or a carpet seaming iron. The first thing you need is the carpet you have chosen.


  • Tackless strip
  • Tape


  • Tack strip cutter
  • Carpet seam cutter
  • Hand stapler
  • Wall trimmer
  • Carpet seaming iron
  • Carpet roller

How to Fix a Fraying Carpet Seam

One of the things that can happen to your carpet is that the seam starts to fray. There are a couple of ways to fix this and both work well.

Seam Sealer

A carpet seam sealer is an option for fixing a fraying carpet seam. This device is meant to ensure that the seams stay sealed for a long time and works well at doing so. Simply apply the sealer to the gap and allow it to dry fully. In order to make sure that the seam is sealed properly, apply gentle, constant pressure.

Glue Gun

A glue gun is a more common method of fixing a fraying carpet seam. One of the first things to do is to snip any of the frayed edges. After that, apply the hot glue to the gap. Hold the two pieces of carpet together but do not get the glue onto the fibers. Instead, make sure it’s only on the backing of the carpet. When you apply the glue, put something strong on top of the carpet to hold it into place. This can be books, blocks, or anything heavy.

How to Repair a Split Carpet Seam

Split carpet seams happen for a number of reasons. It can be due to poor installation, heavy foot traffic, or poor quality carpet. Fixing the problem is easy.

1. Take a measurement of the split seam. Choose the carpet tape (found at your local hardware store) and cut it to fit the area. To make room for the tape, pull back the edges of the carpet. From both sides of the carpet tape, take off the sticky tack paper.

2. Center the tape over the pencil line, then lay the tape on the floor. This part works much better if you have a helper to hold up the carpet edges for you. Now roll the carpet down onto the tape and be certain that the edges come together or meet.

3. Walk over this fixed area then place something heavy on it to weight it down.

How to Hide Pesky Carpet Seams

Due to old age, high traffic, direct lighting, or poor installation – your carpet seams may start to show. If you’re looking to do it yourself, here are the steps and tools you’ll need.
  • Carpet seam tape
  • Seaming iron
  • Glue gun and carpet glue sticks
  • Knife
  • Weights
The next step is important. Figure out which type of seams problem you are having – either splitting or peaking. Peaking is simply that – the carpet has a slope or peak due to two seams coming loose and bending upwards. If it is splitting, there is where you will see a gap in the carpet where the seams have split.

Split seams and peaking are both minor repairs. The easiest way to fix these problems is to tape or re-glue the area affected. If you plan to glue the areas, put a good amount under the carpet edges, press it into the glue, then place something heavy on top. This weighs down the area until it is dry. Use books, blocks, or anything with weight.

For a seam tape fix according to Home Advisor:
  • For a seam tape fix, pull back the two loose pieces of carpet and remove the old seam tape. Place the new seam tape between the two pieces of carpet and heat the tape with your steaming iron. Press the seams together onto the hot tape and run the iron over the carpet and seam tape below. Place books or weights on the repaired seam and wait for several hours.

Let Us Install Your Carpet

A lot of the issues with carpeting comes from poor installation. This doesn’t mean that you cannot do a good job but when it comes to professional and guaranteed work, our carpet installation gives you peace of mind.


Not only do we bring the store to you, but we can also often provide next-day installation if your carpet is in stock. We even move your furniture. Contact us for an in-home consultation and choose the carpet that fits your family perfectly.

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