Before you start installing the tack strip in a room prior to carpet installation, you need to know how far the strip should be from the wall and the direction of the pins. Besides the distance from the wall, you need to know the different types of tack stripping and how to secure the strips to the subfloor.
Tack strips are installed along the perimeter of the wall 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the wall. The angled pins on the tack strip must bend towards the wall. When the carpet is fitted over the bent pins, the angle of the bend on the pin prevents the carpet from slipping off the pins.
The regular tack strip is about 7/8 inch wide and has two rows of pins. These strips are used for commercial and residential carpet installation when you need a cheaper strip. The extra wide strip is 1 inch wide with two rows of pins. It is commonly used in commercial and residential settings, when you need more holding power or when you are using carpets with thick cushions or stiff carpets.
The tri-tack strip is 1 1/4 inch wide and has three rows of pins. This tack strip is ideal for use with Berber carpeting. The commercial strip is 1 3/4 inch wide with three rows of pins. The commercial tack strip is used for large carpet installation jobs when you need more holding power. Aluminum tack strips are used when you can't use a wood tack strip. The strip has about 240 pins in a 4-foot section.
Contact cement is one way to secure tack strips to the subfloor, generally used on concrete when you can't use nails to secure the strip. When installing the strip on wood floors, you can use a regular ring-wood nail 3/4 inch long. If you need more holding power, you can use a 1-inch wood ring nail. Concrete anchor nails 11/16 inch long are used on concrete, or you can use the heavy duty concrete 5/8 inch long shank nails on older or denser concrete floors.
Tack strip pin height varies. Strips with 1/4 inch pins are for carpets with thick or rough backing, and strips with 7/32 inch pins are the most common height. The 3/16 inch tack strip pin height is used for carpets with dense, short piles and the strip with pin heights of 5/32 inch is for carpet with a thinner backing or thin carpets.
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