If you plan to install wall-to-wall carpeting in your home, don't skip adding carpet tack strips before installation. Carpet tack strips are wood pieces about ¼ inch thick with several sharp tacks that keep the carpet stretched, which saves you from having to nail the carpet directly to the floor. Follow these easy steps to install carpet tack strips on wood floors.
Prepare the Floor
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- safety glasses
- tape measure
- heavy cardboard
- one-inch nails
- carpet layer's hammer
- miter saw
- threshold strip (optional)
- carpet tack strips
Move furniture out of the way. Measure the length of the wall at the bottom, and omit doorways, because the strips cannot be bent to fit them. Tack strips are typically sold in three feet lengths.
Add the measurements of the four walls together, divide this figure by 3 to get the amount of strips you need, and include two additional strips to allow for waste. When you install the carpet, don't lay the carpet with your hands, since the tacks strips are extremely sharp.
Place the Strips
Start laying the tack strips in the corner between two walls. Leave ¼ inch space between the strip and wall, plus a ¼ inch gap between the joining wall and end of the strip. Measure ¼ inch with your fingernails.
To prevent scratches on baseboards, place a piece of heavy cardboard against them. Ensure the arrows on the strips point to the wall. If you don't see arrows, the tacks will commonly angle a bit toward the wall. When you reach a vent, or other obstruction, trim the strip to fit with the miter saw.
For curves, cut the strip in short sections to follow the curve. Add a threshold strip to doorways, or if you prefer, stop the strip at the door way, and continue on the opposite side.
Nail the Tack Strips
Carpet tack strips commonly have several nails installed on the opposite side of the tacks. A three-feet long it should have three nails. Nail the strips with a carpet layer's hammer to prevent hitting pins.
If there are nails missing from the strip, add two nails per strip. Once you have completed the tack strip installation, bend the tips of the tack slightly, so you won't cut bare feet as you walk on the carpet.
Carpet tack strips will help maintain the shape of your carpet, and prevent fraying.You are now ready to install your carpeting. If laying tack strips or carpeting doesn't sound like a job for you, or you have a concrete floor, hire a carpet installer, such as Olden Paint & Fresh Look Flooring.