While every Purchase Green customer has unique goals for their artificial grass installation project, pretty much every customer shares at least one thing in common – they want their grass to be wrinkle-free. Often, simply letting the grass rest for a few hours in the warm sun will take care of any wrinkles, but sometimes artificial grass may need an extra kick to really smooth things out. That’s where the carpet kicker comes in.
The carpet kicker, as you may have deduced, originated in the carpet installation business. In many respects, artificial grass is essentially an outdoor carpet and the rationale for using a carpet kicker is the same…namely, to make the finished installation look great. So, how do you use a carpet kicker and how does it work?
Well, the first thing to know is that you don’t actually kick a carpet kicker, at least not with your foot. Rather, you use your knee to “kick” the padded end of the device. This is why they’re also referred to as a “knee kicker” or “carpet stretcher”. At the opposite end from the pad is a square-ish plate with little metal teeth facing down. These teeth grip the artificial grass, and while holding the carpet kicker shaft, a user then performs a knee kick into the pad. The result of this action stretches the grass in the direction of the kick.
Stretching in this fashion is useful for smoothing out smaller wrinkles and for expertly lining up pieces of grass that are to be seamed together. Typically, when a piece of artificial grass that is going to be seamed needs to be stretched, the installer (or you) will crawl along the length of the grass while using the kicker every “step” to stretch the grass and bring it closer to the other piece to which it is to be seamed. After each kick, the grass is nailed to the sub-base to ensure the wrinkle(s) don’t return. Stretching the grass to butt up closely to a finished edge, such as a driveway or patio, is very similar. While crawling along the edge that is coming up short, use the kicker to inch it a bit closer and add nails to keep it in place.
Keep in mind a carpet kicker can’t correct poorly measured or inaccurately cut grass. Rather, it is a tool intended to make very small changes that, left unattended, would otherwise impact the overall appearance of the finished installation.