How Far Should A Carpet Tack Strip Be From The Wall?

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When installing your carpet, some sections will need you to use tack strips. Carpet installation techniques differ depending on the carpet designs and space available. Home improvement projects like carpet installation can be expensive, and finding a way to do them yourself can save you a great deal of money.

While at it, do you know how far a carpet tack strip should be from the wall? 

During installation, the edge of the carpet tack strip should be placed about an inch and a half from the wall. This is dependent on the size of the carpet and the space available. Secure the strips in place using tacks that point in the direction of the wall. 

As long as you consider all measurements, the installation process should be easy. Using carpet tack strips is a traditional carpet installation method since most modern carpets don’t need them.

Do you know how to install carpet tack strips correctly? Read on to find out how and more.

Measuring Carpet Tack Strips from the Baseboard


Walls with baseboards look elegant, and you don’t need to hide the bases with a carpet. A good alternative is having your carpet run over as close to the baseboard as possible but not cover it.

To do this properly, cut your carpet, leaving at least 2 inches from the edge of the baseboard and the edge of the carpet.

You can use tack strips to stretch your carpet and tuck it under the baseboard. The easiest way to do this is by using an ordinary kitchen knife. Ensure that your laying is smooth and even all through the space. 

How to Place Carpet Tack Strips Away From the Wall

The most important thing to pay attention to when installing your carpet is to know how far the strips will be from the wall and where they will face. Note that there are different techniques of tack stripping, and each style will determine the carpet installation outcome. 

Installing carpet tack strips is not a complicated task. First, ensure that your install the strips at least half an inch from the wall. They are installed along the wall perimeter. While at it, ensure that all the angled pins on the strips are bent and face the wall.

This is because when you fix the carpet over these pins, the bend angle on the pin prevents the carpet from coming off and slipping off the tracks. 

Types of Tack Strips

To properly place tack strips, you need to understand the different types of strips available. To start with, the standard tack strip is approximately 7/8 of an inch wide and comes with two whole rows of pins.

Such strips are generally used for both residential and commercial carpet installation. They are cheaper compared to other tack strip types. 

The other type of tack strips are the extra-wide ones which are about an inch wide with two rows of pins as well. These come in handy when you need more holding strength. They work well with stiff carpets and heavier or thick cushions. 

The next type of tack strip is the tri-tack strip, which is wider by about one-quarter inches. It also comes with three rows of pins. The most suitable type of carpeting to use with such a strip is the Berber carpeting. This is a commercial use tack strip and is typically used for large, thick carpet installation.

You have the option of using an aluminum tack strip if you dint fancy wood strips. Such strips (Aluminum strips) have 240 pins running across 4 feet in length.

How to Safely Secure Carpet Tack Strips from the Wall

For a smooth and seamless carpet installation, you need to secure the carpet tack strips properly. This will ensure that the carpet is evenly laid across the room. If you are doing the installation yourself, you may want to consider wooden carpet tacking strips.

This is because such strips come attached with tiny carpet tacks and usually look like tackles strips. They also don’t need individual tacks. 

Additionally, the type of floor you have will also determine just how flawless your carpet sits. Carpet tack strips go well with wood or plywood subfloors. It is pretty simple to secure your tack strips, and here is how. 

What you will need: 

  • Wood carpet tack strips
  • Measuring Tape
  • Circular saw
  • Staple gun
  • Strong hammer
  • ¾ inch staples
  • Knee-kicker
  • Utility Knife
  • Power stretcher

Steps to follow:

  1. Get the exact measurements of each wall in your room. 
  2. Using a circular saw or a table saw, carefully cut the tack strips making sure they fit the length of your space. You can use a tape measure to get accurate measurements while cutting. Note that tackless strips typically come in standard 3-foot measurements. 
  3. Avoid putting strips on the doorways. Instead, cut a strip just up to the edge of the door. 
  4. Lay your first tack strip in a corner at the joint of two wells. 
  5. Put the carpet strip about an inch from the wall. This distance should be 2/3 of the carpet thickness. The arrows on the tack strips should always point to the wall. If you are using individual tacks, make sure the slant facing the wall as well. 
  6. Using a hammer, nail your carpet tacking trip securely to the floor across the entire floor space. Most tackless strips come with three nails on opposite sides of each tack. 
  7. Nail all the strips in place, making sure to press the ends firmly to the floor. 
  8. Precut your carpet to fit your floor space if it hasn’t been cut yet. Pay attention to the doorways and corners. Use a knee-kicker to fix your carpet in corners. Ensure the knee-kicker is padded for easier bumping on a corner. 
  9. Stretch and firmly secure your carpet from one corner to another using a power stretcher. You can rent this stretcher from local hardware near you. Stretch the carpet across the room, ensuring it is evenly laid. Fasten it securely to the strips already laid out in the room 

When installing your carpet, always remember the gully (distance between the vertical abutment and the tack-strips) should be less than the carpet thickness. However, this distance should not exceed 3/8 of an inch. 

In addition to this, the distance between the wall and tack strips usually ranges from 3/6 to 3/8 of an inch, depending on your carpet. 

Can You Have A Carpet Strip On Your Doorway?

Your doorways also need to look elegant, but this doesn’t mean that you install carpet tack strips there. Well, avoid tacking this area, even if the doorway leads to a closet. When placing your carpet tack strips, fix them up to the entryway and skip to the other side. 

This also applies to the actual carpet installation. Precut your carpet with your door area in mind. Use thresholds to prevent your carpet from wrinkling or bunching up at the doorway.

There are several reasons why you don’t need to put tack strips on the doorways. For one, it is safe not to have carpet tack strips on the doorways.

You don’t want to be tripping all the time when you get to into your house. Your carpet will also wear out faster at the doorways since there is usually a lot of traffic in this area. 

Another reason why tack strips are a no-no on the doorways is to avoid bunching. Carpet strips are usually placed facing the wall.

These strips will be facing up at the doorway, and since the foot traffic will be mainly in one direction, the carpeting will start to shift off the tacking points. This will make the carpet slowly start wrinkling and bunching. 

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