How to use carpet tack strips

How to use carpet tack strips

Homeowners who enjoy the challenge of doing some of their own remodeling tasks will save money by lending a hand to the contractors, when able. Save hundreds of dollars, for instance, just by laying your own carpeting rather than paying a professional. When you’re remodeling and doing the job yourself, you not only want to save money, but you also want to do the best job possible. Laying your own carpeting is one way to save on a large remodeling job.

After removing the old carpet and padding, make sure the floor is swept well and that all tacks or other obstructions are removed from around the perimeter of the floor. Remove staples or hammer them down flat.

Staple the new carpet padding down, all the way up against the walls, but go easy on the staples around the border, using one every three to four inches. After the padding is down, spread the carpet out as flat as possible. Trim the carpet to only a couple of inches longer than it needs to be, on each side.

Lay the carpet strip down, up against the wall, as far as it will go. Lay the strip so that the points of the tacks are facing upward. If several strips are needed, but the sections together. Check to see that the tack strip is lying flat, all the way around. If one area seems to be raised more than another, look to see if there is grit or something preventing the strip from lying flat. Begin on one end and push the carpet down onto the tack strip.

It’s a good idea to wear gloves while you’re doing this – the tacks are very sharp. Some people push the carpet between each individual set of tacks, others simply spread four fingers apart, lay them between five of the tacks, and push down, then moving on to the next set of five tacks. After the carpet is secured to the tacking strip, turn the tack strip upside down, then starting on one end and going to the other, hammer down the tacks.

When one end is secured, stretch the carpeting and attach the carpet to the tack strip at the opposite end of the room. After stretching, it may be necessary to trim some of the excess carpets from the end. The carpet should be no more than two inches longer than the measurement of the room. This will prevent a large bulge around the edge of the room, from excessive carpet around the tack strip.

After the two ends are down, the sides are done in a similar manner. The corners are the tricky part, since they’ve already been tack-stripped. Scoot the tack strip between the layers of the fold at the corner, then start pushing the carpeting down, onto the tacks.

Flip over and hammer down.
To do the remaining side, pull taught, scoot the tack strip between the layers of the previous end folds, and begin pushing the carpeting down, onto the tacks. Fold and hammer down, as with the other sides.

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