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What is Carpet Peaking?

What Is Carpet Peaking?

Carpet peaking: you may have noticed this irritating issue with your own carpet. So what is it? Simply put, carpet peaking occurs when a carpet seam that has been joined together with hot melted tape, and then when stretched, rises up off the ground. Why does it do this?

The Science of Carpet Peaking

If you stretch a string, what happens? The tension on the string creates a natural line-up, which causes the string to straighten. The same line-up occurs during the stretching process of carpet. The back of the carpet absorbs the tension until it reaches the seam. At that point the tension transfers down to the tape. What happens then is a natural line-up. The tape forces upward – to get in line with the approximate center of the carpet backing, and that causes the seam to peak.

How to Avoid Carpet Peaking

To what degree this problem occurs depends on the type of carpet. The stiff material, with a thick back, is more of a problem than soft, flexible carpet. There are a few ways to help minimize peaking:

  • Trim both seam edges straight
  • Roll seam edges before seaming
  • Do not overheat synthetic backings; heat can cause edges to shrink and curl
  • Don’t force seam together, undue pressure can cause seam edges to curl
  • Seal seam edges
  • Seam layout; if possible, run seams toward the light – this will minimize shadows highlighting the seam.
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