My Carpet Won't Hook to a Tack Strip

My Carpet Won't Hook to a Tack Strip. New carpet is a home improvement that can make a big impact in your home's overall appeal. To ensure proper installation, you must secure the edge of your carpet to tack strips that outline the perimeter of your room. A tack strip is a thin piece of wood, studded with sharp tacks, that anchors a piece of carpet to the floor. There are several reasons why you might have trouble hooking new carpet to a tack strip.

Remove excess padding that blocks a tack strip.

Angle the Tacks

Readjust the tacks on your tack strip to fasten your carpet to the floor. Carpet can pull away and slide off tacks that are pointed upward at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Hammer your tacks at a slight angle, toward the wall, so they are not pointing straight up. Secure the edge of your carpet over the slightly bent tacks and tug lightly to ensure a firm hold.

Trim Carpet Fringe and Foam Padding

Use scissors or a box cutter to remove frayed edges around the perimeter of your carpet before installation. Frayed edges can unravel and pull away from tack strips. Trim the fringe so you have a tightly woven piece of carpet to attach to the small nails on your tack strip. Cut and remove any excess foam padding beneath your carpet that blocks the tacks on your tack strip. Woven carpet fibers fasten securely to a tack strip, but foam padding stretches and tears.

Secure the Tack Strip to the Floor

Refasten tack strips to the floor if they pull away from the floor when you try to hook your carpet over the strips. Over time, nails that hold a tack strip in place can break and separate from the subfloor. According to Carpet Flooring Empire, each tack strip should be secured with at least two nails, one at each end. If your tack strip is secured by glue, check to make sure the adhesives are holding and reapply glue if necessary. Carpet will not hook to a loose tack strip that bends or lifts away from the floor.

Install New Tack Strips

Install new tack strips if your current tack strips are less than an inch wide. Carpet Flooring Empire states that it is difficult to attach carpet to a narrow tack strip, especially carpet that has a heavy latex backing or thick padding. Tack strips that are less than 1 inch in width are much weaker than wider tack strips and often break, bend or warp. Carpet can slip off narrow tack strips or bend them sideways during installation.


  • Carpet
  • World Floor Covering Association: Carpet Installation Guide
  • Carpet Flooring Empire: How to Install Tackless Strip