How To Patch Carpet In A Doorway (Step-by-Step Guide)

Michael Oconnor
by Michael Oconnor

One of the downsides of having carpet in your home is its tendency to get worn out. If there are areas of your house that commonly have a lot of traffic, like a doorway, this could be hard on the carpet. Luckily, there are ways to patch the carpet in a doorway.

To patch carpet in a doorway, you will have to first pull it away from the tack strip in the threshold. Then, stretch the undamaged carpet back over the strip. If it can not be stretched, add a piece of carpet with adhesive, and hammer it onto the strip with a mallet.

How easy or difficult this is will be depends on the damage to the seam in the carpet. Most normal wear and tear will be easy to repair. In this guide, we have laid out the steps to patching carpet in a doorway that should cover most situations.

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How Carpet Gets Damaged

Any homeowner will tell you that carpet can be damaged in a huge variety of ways. Pets, kids, guests, and other stressors all lead to wear on the carpet. This is, unfortunately, just one of the downsides of owning a home.

One of the ways that carpet is damaged most easily is by wearing shoes inside. By wearing shoes in the house, you are tracking dirt, debris, and not to mention, bacteria onto the carpet. This is a leading cause of damaged carpets.

Carpet tends to get damaged in high traffic areas like doorways and hallways. To mitigate this damage, you can install plastic runners in these parts of the house. These will work wonders to protect the carpet and keep the high traffic areas in good condition.

Tools You Will Need

Utility Knife

A utility knife is one of the most important tools for any carpet job. The retractable blade allows you to adjust the depth that you are cutting too. This is especially useful when patching small pieces and doing precision work.

Knee Kick Tool

A knee kick tool is an absolute necessity for working on carpet. This tool has a series of hooks that grab onto the carpet and allow you to stretch it relatively far. A 12-foot piece of carpet can be stretched almost 4 inches with a knee kick tool.


A wood or rubber mallet will help you seal the seams of the carpet in the doorway. These can be bought at any hardware store and are useful for many things around the house. They are especially good for working on things that you don’t want to damage.

Carpet Adhesive

Carpet adhesive is specially formulated to bind the mesh and fibers of the carpet. Because of this, it is important that you only use carpet adhesive when repairing a carpet. Other types of glues and adhesives will clump up and become dry over time.

Step 1: Pull it Back From the Tack Strip

The first thing you have to do to patch carpet in a doorway is find the seam where it attaches to the tack strip. The tack strip is a piece of wood with inverted carpet tacks on the top. The mesh of the carpet holds onto the tacks and holds it in place.

If your carpet is damaged in the doorway, odds are you will be able to find the seam easily. It will be pulled away from the tack strip already. Pull it all the way away from it and clear it of all the tacks.

Be careful not to pull it too far away from the floor. If you remove the carpet from too many of the tacks on the actual floor, it will be difficult to get it back on. Only remove it from the tack strip and then work from there.

Step 2: Trim the Carpet

After you have pulled the carpet all the way from the tack strip, you can trim away any of the pieces that are damaged. These will often be loose strands or fibers that have been pulled up. Use your utility knife to cut these damaged pieces away from the healthy carpet.

Only trim as much as you need to in order to remove the damaged carpet. Removing too much could make it difficult to stretch back over the tack strip and may then require a patch. This should be avoided if at all possible in order to keep the job simple.

Step 3: Stretch It

With your knee kick tool, stretch the carpet back all the way over the tack strip. If you have only removed the damaged portion, you should be able to stretch it over enough. If it is too damaged, you will have to patch it instead.

The knee kick tool is designed to stretch carpet to its limit. It can stretch the carpet much further than you think it can. Before you add patches, make sure you have used the knee kick tool to its furthest capacity.

If you have stretched the carpet as far as you can and it’s not enough to cover the tack strip, you will have to patch it instead. This is a less durable fix and not as desirable as stretching it. This is why it is recommended you try to stretch the carpet as much as you possibly can.

Step 4: Patch It

If you can not stretch the carpet over the tack strip, you can patch it using a spare piece of carpet. Clear the existing carpet of any damaged strands and cut a piece of the spare carpet to match the hole.

Attach the spare carpet to the existing carpet with carpet adhesive. It is important that you do not get carpet adhesive in the actual fibers of the carpet. This can become crunchy over time. Let the adhesive dry overnight then stretch it over the tack strip to be hammered down.

Step 5: Hammer It Back Onto the Tack Strip

With your mallet, hammer the carpet back down onto the tack strip. Do this just hard enough to have the tacks bite into the carpet mesh. Hammer it down back and forth across the threshold until it is secure.

After hammering down the carpet, agitate the fibers with your hands to cover the seam. It may not be perfect, but you should be able to hide the seam fairly well. If you have stretched the carpet enough, it will be secure.

Do You Need a Carpet Repaired, Refastened, or Stretched?

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Related Questions

Does Super Glue work on carpet?

Super Glue may work to adhere two pieces of carpet together, but it is not ideal. Super Glue tends to dry hard and will be visible in the fibers of the carpet. You will also be able to feel the dried super glue at the seam.

Do carpet seams go away?

Even the most experienced carpet layer will have a hard time completely hiding carpet seams. However, if you use your carpet stretcher to its fullest potential, you should give yourself enough slack to hide it. 

Can you fix melted carpet?

Melted carpet fibers cannot be fixed but they can be removed and patched. If a portion of your carpet has melted, you can either cut away the melted fibers or replace that area. Depending on how bad the burn is, you may be able to live with just cutting away the fibers.

Michael Oconnor
Michael Oconnor

I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.

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