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How To Remove Carpet Tacks And Staples From Hardwood Floor

Having a carpet fitted over hardwood flooring is quite common and something that you might stumble across more often than you would think.

If you want to remove a carpet that is over hardwood floor, you’ll be faced with removing any remaining tacks or staples that were used to fit the carpet. Although this isn’t a particularly difficult task, it does require the right tools to make your life a lot easier.

Luckily we’ve created a step by step guide to removing carpet tacks and staples from hardwood flooring with ease.

Before we jump into the guide you’ll need to make sure you have the following equipment, noting that gloves are essential to prevent any blisters you might get during the process:

  • Gloves
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Hammer

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary equipment let’s take a look at each step you need to follow to make the process as easy as possible.

1. Tackle The Staples First

A good set of pliers will make short work of any staples that are in the flooring, in fact, you could even use them for nails if there are any of those present as well!

Simply get a good grip of the staples and rip them out of the floor – they should come out easily with very little pressure applied. This is where gloves will be very handy so make sure you keep them on at all times.

2. Move On To The Tack Strips

Once you’ve got all the staples out, which will probably take quite some time, it’s time to remove the tack strips.

Removing tack strips is actually really satisfying and is done by using a flathead screwdriver alongside a hammer. Start by sliding the screwdriver head behind the tack strip and then gently tap the other end with a hammer to push it further behind the strip.

This will cause the strip to become dislodged and you can keep using the hammer to eventually prise the strip from the wall.

It works best if you do this gently in a couple of areas along the length of the strip until you will eventually reach a point where the whole strip becomes dislodged.

When the entire strip starts to lift from the wall take your time so that it doesn’t drop down abruptly and cause any damage to the floor – you could even place a section of carpet to cover the landing area for added safety.

3. Check For Any Scratches Or Marks

Once you’ve successfully removed all of the strips and staples then you need to check for any damage to the flooring that you may have accidentally caused.

Have a thorough inspection of the flooring and especially in the areas where you’ve been working to remove the staples and strips. Any light scratches shouldn’t matter too much as you will likely need to refinish the floor regardless.

4. Refinish The Floor If Needed

As we’ve said a refinish will be almost 100% necessary after you’ve removed a carpet as the condition of it is likely to be very poor after being underneath a carpet for so long. Structurally the wood should be okay but the surface will appear dull and need a touch-up.

While finishing a floor is a whole topic in itself, we’ve included a handy video you can watch if you decide to do this yourself.


Why Do People Put Carpet Over Hardwood Flooring?

When the prices of carpet dropped in towards the end of the 20th century, as well as advancements in the quality and durability of carpet, it started to become a lot more popular. This is why there were quite a lot of people who decided to carpet over their wooden floors.

Although wood flooring is very popular nowadays a lot of people still chose to put carpet over it because it was seen as less hassle to maintain and was also cheaper than replacing the wooden floor.

Final Thoughts

Removing staples and carpet tacks from hardwood flooring is actually quite a lot easier than you would expect at first.

Just make sure you follow the guidelines above and take care with each step and you’ll get there in no time!