Easy Steps on How to Remove Carpet Tack Strips

If you don’t like tack stripes left on the edges of your room, then you must know how to remove carpet tack strips. The strips of metal tacks under your rug and rug padding are referred to as tack strips.

Discarding old rugs may be essential to save labor expenses if you are having your carpet replaced. You may also want to remove your mat if you have hardwood floorings under your carpet that you would like to apply a new coating on.

If you want to install a new carpet, you do not have to discard the tack strips; you can use them again to hold the new carpet. If you want to refinish the hardwood floors underneath your carpet or intend to tile the surface, you have to remove the tack strips.

After removing your rug, you will most probably have tack strips left around the edge of the room. Extracting these tack strips that once gripped your rug is the most tiresome aspect of rug removal.

To remove carpet tack strips, slip a wide putty knife between the tack strip and the floor beside the nail head, then put in a pry bar under the putty knife. Slam the other end of the pry bar softly with a hammer as this pulls out the nail from the floor.

How to Remove Carpet Tack Strips

Items Needed

  • Work gloves
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer
  • Boots
  • Painter’s tool
  • Pry bar
  • Carpet staple remover
  • Gloves (optional)
  • Broom or vacuum
  • Trash bag
  • Sturdy clothes


Put on eye protection, thick work clothes, gloves, and boots before you start removing tack strips. Find a nail head on top of the tack strip.

If the old rug was installed over a hardwood floor that you now want to renew, slip a wide putty knife between the tack strip and the floor beside the nail head, then put in a pry bar under the putty knife.

Suppose a floor is under the old rug that you intend to cover again with a new carpet set in the pry bar directly under the tack strip.

You can use the utility knife to cut the rug into easy strips, which you will later roll up and remove. Rug textures are pretty hard, so you will possibly have to make two or three passes to cut all the way through.

There is no necessity for a cautious touch unless there is a good hardwood floor underneath that you attempt to rescue it from being damaged.

Slam the other end of the pry bar softly with a hammer. This should bring the nail out of the floor. If the floor is authentic, you might have to hit the pry bar with more pressure.

Many pry bars are too hard on their prying end to effortlessly set in between the tack strip and the floor. Using the painter’s tool, you can create a space, and the pry bar will fit right in.

Remove the pry bar and pull out the putty knife if you are using it. Put them in again beside the following nail on the tack strip, and pop that nail out a similar way. Start like this again until you have loosened the entire strip.

You have to be careful when removing carpet tack strips; those tacks are very sharp.

Related: How to get wrinkles out of carpet without a carpet stretcher

Dispose of the old tack strip in a large trash bag. Repeat the method with the other tack strips in the room. Observe the floor for stray tacks that did not pull free with the tack strips. Pull them out with the claw edge of the hammer and discard them.

Vacuum or sweep the floor to discard any dust. Discarding tack strips can leave sharp bits of metal or wood behind; you can pull them and ensure that the floor is neat.

Read: Best Vacuum Cleaner Review


On knowing how to remove carpet tack strips, you shouldn’t have any worries when changing your carpet. Keep in mind that these strips are very sharp, ensure to have your boots on to avoid accidents.

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