Redecorating our room is a fun project, but more often than not, we’ll have to deal with plenty of things we didn’t even know were there in the first place. Some of those things are the tack strips, which will require our special attention to remove them completely.
With our next guide, we’ll help you work your way through the tack strips, assisting you every step of the way. We’ve created a list of tools you need, and how to use them properly for this task.
Continue reading if you want to find out more.
What Tools Will You Need?
Naturally, we’ll need several tools for this task. Some of them, like the putty knife, are optional. However, having them all ensures you’ll remove the tack strip leaving no damage behind.
- Work Gloves
You can’t work on anything if you injure your hands. Considering you’ll be using hammers, pry bars, and other tools, protective gloves do reduce the risk of hurting your fingers due to an unexpected accident.
- A Putty Knife
This tool works as a protective measure between the floor and the pry bar. During the removing process, you’ll have to apply force over the pry bar, which could end up ruining the hardwood floor should anything go wrong.
- A Pry Bar
Through the pry bar, you’ll be able to apply enough pressure to get the nails out, which leads to removing the tack strips all together.
- Claw Hammer
The claw hammer is the tool you’ll need to get the nails out, whether it is hitting the pry bar or using the claw end to pull stray nails. This tool is essential. Also, it is one of the reasons why you want to use protective gloves.
Cleaning Supplies: Heavy-Duty Bags & Broom or Vacuum
Finally, when you finish the job, you’ll have to pick up the mess. To do it, you can use the supplies mentioned above; bags, brooms or vacuums will help you clean the room to prevent any loose item from hurting you or anyone walking around.
Do you have your tools ready? Then let’s begin!
Step 1: Locating the Nailhead
We’ll start by locating the nailhead, which is over the tack strip. If your purpose is to restore a hardwood floor, and the tack strip is blocking it, grab a wide putty knife and slide it through the space between the tack strip and the ground, right beside the nail head.
Then, you’ll be inserting one pry bar right below the knife slid before.
On the other hand, if your purpose is to cover a subfloor with a carpet, you must insert the pry bar below the tack strip.
As you can see, handling the tack strip depends on what kind of project you wish to do.
Step 2: Pulling Out the Nails
Now, grab your hammer and use it to hit the other side of the pry bar. You want to do it gently. Putting too much energy on the impact may lead to unexpected damage that will ruin not only the tack strip but the flooring too.
If you do it correctly, you should be able to pop the nail directly from the floor in a couple of more tries, which is what we intend. Nonetheless, if the room has a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use more strength as you hit on the pry bar.
Step 3: Removing the Remaining Nails
Follow up by pulling your pry bar free. If you’re using the putty knife, get it out too. Then, proceed to insert both tools once again, this time in the next nail over the tack strip. Here, you want to do the same process you did before.
As you’ve probably guessed, that’s the process you’ll be following to remove all the nails, which will eventually allow you to remove the whole strip. Repeat the steps as many times as necessary until you’ve gotten every nail out.
Step 4: Cleaning the Working Area
Once you get the tack strip out, put it in a safe container. If you’re using a bag, make sure splinters and sharp edges won’t breakthrough. Heavy-duty trash bags are probably the most suitable for this task, as they’re capable of enduring plenty of pressure without ripping.
Proceed to pick up any residue left behind during every one of the steps. Pick up the loose nails, pieces of wood, and any other residue that could be dangerous.
Step 5: Removing the Stray Nails
Next, check the places where you removed the tack strip. That area may still have some stray nails that didn’t come off completely, and you’re going to need them out of there too.
The best method to get these nails out is to use the hammer’s claw end. Use it to pull all of them out, and finish off by putting them at a safe location.
Step 6: The Final Cleaning
Stand back, and appreciate your handiwork. If you’re happy with the results, you can finish the project by performing a thorough maintenance task around the room. Using a sweeper or a vacuum cleaner, clean the dust as well as small objects that might’ve escaped your sight before.
Keep in mind that, when you remove tack strips, there are plenty of sharp, tiny objects left behind. If your purpose is to redecorate the room, you’ll need it as clean as possible to make your tasks easy.
Even if it seems like too much trouble, removing carpet tack strips is a task that shouldn’t be complicated for anybody. Nonetheless, if you still don’t feel up to the task, perhaps getting assistance from a professional would be your best choice.
After all, keep in mind that it is not about removing tack strips, but rather about doing it in a secure way that won’t damage your walls, carpets, or the floor.
Regardless of how you decide to do it, removing carpet tack strips is necessary for every redecoration, so you’ll definitely want them out of the room.
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