Carpet tacks are like rabbits. They multiply the minute you turn your back.
The sellers for our future home thought it wise to remove the carpet prior to selling to demonstrate that there are hardwood floors through a chunk of the house. They ripped the carpet up, but they left the tacks and staples. Hundreds of tacks. Thousands of tacks. Millions and billions and trillions of tacks.
So I’m exaggerating (slightly).
At any rate, that means the living room and hall are something of a death trap at the moment, because the tacks, staples and screws (yes, they used screws!) are scattered all over the floor, and since we and the contractor are working in there, we thought we’d fix that.
Michael and I spent 3 hours there on Thursday night, pulling up tacks, staples and tack strips. We got the hall done, all 10 feet of it. Only 3 bedrooms, the living room and dining room to go!
Pulling carpet tacks out of previously buried hardwood floors is not hard, it’s just tedious.
- To remove carpet tacks you will need -
Small pry bar
Mask if there are carpet remnants and if it seems dusty
The patience of a saint
It’s a pretty simple process. Use the vise grips to rip staples and nails out of the floor. Use the hammer to lightly tap the pry bar or flathead screwdriver under the tack strips, then lift them and pry them off with either the pry bar or hammer. Do this gently so you keep the damage to the floor to a minimum. Don’t be too afraid of light scratches unless the floor is pristine - you will be sanding those out when you refinish the floor. If some of the pieces of staple won’t come out completely, tap those even with the floor so they don’t catch on bare feet.
And that’s it! After doing this job myself, I strongly recommend two things:
1. Do this with friends. Play music, order pizza, make a party out of it.
2. Do not try this without the vise grips. They will be your best friend and you might just kiss them when the job is done!