Working With Tackless Strips


COPYRIGHT 1999 G.G. ALONZY

Dear NH,
I removed one piece of carpet from the last step on the staircase. I wanted to see if the wood underneath was any good. The wood is nice, but I don't want to ruin the floor by improperly removing the tackless strip. My second question is, "Why do they call it a 'tackless strip'?" On one step I must have received four or five pricks from the tacks on the tackless strip.
UP

Dear UP,
It is called tackless strip to give you a false sense of security! Naaa... it's called tackless because in most situations it eliminates the need for using carpet tacks to hold the carpet in place, giving you a "tackless" installation.

Removing tackless strips is a job requiring a certain amount of patience and care if you do not intend on refinishing the floor. The trick is to use a cat's paw prybar, and to remove all the nails holding each tackless strip. Instead of trying to pry out each nail from the top... which is difficult because of the tacks... use a hammer to tap the cat's paw into the thin side of the tackless next to each nail. This protects the floor by keeping the business end of the cat's paw above it, and will pull the nail while splitting the tackless strip in two.

If you must position the cat's paw over the floor, place it on a thin piece of wood, such as a scrap of 1/4" plywood. If you are sure that your floor is made from solid oak, maple, or another hardwood, you may use a piece of flashing or a wide putty knife instead. This is because these hard woods do not dent easily. Use special caution with wood veneers, wood parquet floors, and any man-made material.

I always get "stuck" a number of times when doing this chore. If you wear thin leather work gloves, you will get some degree of protection. Just don't be too aggressive by wantonly grabbing loose strips, or you will be sorry!

Last but not least, look back over your work and please keep your work area clean. Stray tacks can hurt bare feet, and nails left in the floor can also be painful... as well as damaging to throw rugs and furniture. I make it a practice to put loose strips right into a five gallon bucket, and to vacuum up all loose chips and tacks as I go. Use that wide putty knife to check the floor for missed nails as you work. It is amazing how a nail that wasn't there one minute ago suddenly appears from nowhere!
NH


Have a small home repair question for THE NATURAL HANDYMAN? Just click here www.naturalhandyman.com/aitikia
For more home repair information, visit NH's growing list of original home repair articles and quality links www.naturalhandyman.com
If this information has been valuable to you, please consider making a small donation to support NH's free service to the home repair community! For more information, please visit our "Friends" page www.naturalhandyman.com/friends
The Natural Handyman Site Directory

Stay Connected with TDS







Subscribe to TDS Newsletters

Join over 250,000 other subscribers!

Join Fido!

Discounted movie tickets
Sign up for Savvy Savings at TDS and get a free membership for discounted movie tickets!

Your Email:


Surviving Tough Times
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
The Dollar Stretcher (text-based)
Financial Independence
The Computer Lady
Computer Lady Lessons
Healthy Foods

Your Email:


View the TDS Privacy Policy.