Frayed carpet edges are when the edges of your carpet thin out, and it looks like cats or dogs have been having fun using the carpet edges as a scratching post. You can usually see problems like this in high-traffic areas of your home, particularly as you transition from one room to another. How do you keep this annoying issue from happening to your carpets?
The best approach to controlling carpet fraying is to prevent it in the first place. Once the carpet edges start fraying, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to stop it. To prevent carpet fraying around the edges, you should make sure they are sealed with glue or heat.
Of course, prevention is a great way to keep carpet edges from fraying in a perfect world. However, most of us tend to disregard our fraying carpets until it is too late, and the damage to the carpet is almost beyond repair. Therefore, here are some other more practical ways to deal with carpet fraying for those of us who don’t address the issue proactively.
Install Transition Strips
One of the best ways to get carpet fraying under control is to install carpet transition strips. These strips are typically made of metal, vinyl, wood, or rubber. You can purchase them at flooring companies or hardware stores. When buying transition strips, you will have to make sure that you get the correct type of transition strip because many of them have several uses.
For instance, if you want to minimize fraying between the carpet and hardwood, there is a transition strip for that purpose. Likewise, if you want to minimize fraying between carpet and tile, there is another type of strip for this. A Z-bar transition strip is typically used between carpet and tile. It is shaped like a Z and is used to tuck the edge of the carpet under the tile.
You Can Cut the Frayed Edges Off
Another way to fix frayed carpet edges is to cut them off. Typically, you do this when frayed edges look terrible. For instance, the carpet may have lots of loose strands hanging from the edge. These can be cut off with scissors or with a carpet knife. Once you trim the strands, you can proceed with installing a transition strip, tacking the carpet down to the floor, or using an adhesive to keep the edges intact.
If the frayed edges are severe, you may have to cut the carpet pad, too, to even out the carpet fibers with the pad. The knife or scissors that you use must be very sharp. Otherwise, you may cause more damage to the carpet. You also have to make sure that the cut is precise. Using a ruler edge along with a chalk marker can help prevent a choppy, uneven cut.
Use Carpet Tape
Once you have removed the strands from the carpet, another option to keep the carpet in place at the edges other than using transition strips is to use carpet tape. You can purchase this tape from a hardware store. The best type of tape to use is double-sided carpet tape so that it sticks to the carpet and the floor. You will need to lift the carpet edge and stick the tape onto the floor under the carpet and then onto the bottom of the carpet. Ensure that you pull the carpet tight and press down on it to make sure you get a nice bind from the carpet bottom to the tape.
Replace the Badly Damaged Area of the Carpet
Fraying doesn’t always take place at the edges of the carpet. Sometimes it may occur in an odd place on the carpet, like in the middle. This may be because you have pets, and they have clawed at the area for awhile. Or perhaps the foot traffic in that particular area of the carpet is continuous. When this happens, you will have to cut out the carpet area and replace it with another piece.
In most cases, you may have stray pieces of carpet lying around your house from when installers first laid your carpet. If you ever wondered why those random pieces were lying in your closets, it may be safe to assume that your carpet installers are guardian angels who sensed that one day you would need these small strips that they left behind. If you don’t have any spare strips lying around, or you tossed the excess strips years ago because you had no idea what they were for, you will have to try your best to match your carpet with carpet from the store.
Once you can match up the carpet style and texture perfectly, you can begin repairs. Make sure that you cut a perfect shape in the damaged carpet and the new piece. Size it up to make sure that the two pieces fit together seamlessly.
When the two pieces of carpet are perfectly aligned, use your carpet tape to fit them together. You can stick with the double-sided carpet tape or opt for the carpet tape whose adhesive is stimulated by heat. Once you’re done, use a carpet seam roller to make the two pieces look like one.
Other Important Considerations
In worst-case scenarios, you may have to have your carpet replaced. However, to keep the fraying from happening again, here are a couple of things you should do to avoid this problem:
Make sure the carpet is installed correctly.
One of the biggest reasons your carpet may be fraying is that someone didn’t install it properly. To make sure that it doesn’t happen again, be sure that you or the professional carpet installers seal the carpet edges well, particularly near the threshold.
Minimize walking around in shoes in the home.
One of the biggest causes of fraying, especially in areas near the front door, is foot traffic. The moisture, dirt, and grit on the bottom of your shoes slowly degrade the carpet fibers every time you walk on it.
Keep your pets from chewing or clawing your carpets.
We all love our pets. However, they do some naughty things to our furniture and carpet when we’re not looking. If gentle encouragement isn’t stopping them from destroying your carpet, the next best option is to use a pet deterrent spray to keep them from committing the same “crimes.”