Carpet Tacks Sticking Through Carpet—What To Do?

Carpet tacks that stick through the carpet can be dangerous and unsightly. Now you’re wondering what you can do about these imperfections. We researched and consulted with experts regarding this concern, and here's what we found.

Different methods are available for you to use when you’re dealing with carpet tacks that are sticking out of carpets. Some of these possible solutions are:

  1. Flatten the tacks with a hammer
  2. Use a nail punch
  3. Remove the tacks
  4. Use felt pads

Take note that some of these techniques may not be ideal for your specific scenario. So continue reading as we talk about these procedures in greater detail. We’ll also discuss the details regarding the appropriate instances to use each method.

Small black nails lie in large numbers, Carpet Tacks Sticking Through Carpet—What To Do?

How Do You Fix Carpet Tacks That Poke Up?

Take note that different solutions exist to take care of tacks sticking through carpets. But take the time in assessing your specific situation first before attempting to use any of the following techniques. That way, you can use the method that can bring you the best results.

Method #1: Flatten The Tacks With A Hammer

Flatten The Tacks With A Hammer - punching nails with hammer and puncher to prepare floors for sanding

If the tacks’ heads are sticking out of the carpet, and their fasteners are still straight, giving them a few whacks with a hammer should flatten them.

To complete this task, hold each tack’s shaft using the thumb and index finger of your non-dominant hand. Then, hold the hammer with your dominant hand. Give light taps to the tack’s head to start flattening it.

Release the tack’s shaft if the fastener can support its weight without you holding it. Continue tapping or whacking the tack’s head until it’s flush with the carpet.

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Method #2: Use A Nail Punch

If you’re having trouble flattening the carpet tack with the hammer, you can use a nail punch to assist it. Place this tool on top of the tack’s head. Whack it with the hammer to flatten the tack onto the carpet.

Like the previous technique, this method is only doable if the carpet tack’s shaft is still straight. Use other methods if these two methods won’t give you ideal results.

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You can also watch the video below for additional insight into the first and second techniques. Bear in mind that the clip shows how to flatten nails or tacks into hardwood floors. Nonetheless, the procedures should still be the same for tacks sticking out of carpets.

Method #3: Remove The Tacks

Remove The Tacks - Pulling Out a Nail with Hammer from Wood

If you’re dealing with a bent carpet tack, it might be a better idea to remove it than flatten it. You can also use this technique for straight tacks that are jutting out of your carpet.

As with the other techniques, you only need your hammer for this job. Use the tool and whack the carpet tacks from their sides. Doing so should allow the shaft to break free from its fastened location.

If you can’t use the hammer immediately, pull the tack with a pair of pliers first. Then, proceed by whacking the sides of the fastener as needed.

Warning: Removing tacks attached to your carpet means reducing the flooring’s hold on its subfloor. That means that the carpet might be prone to slipping and sliding unless you replace the removed tack with another fastener.

Also, make sure to wear eye protection when attempting this method. Some of the tacks might fly from their fastened location and they may head in your general direction.

Watch the video below to see this process in action:

You might also be wondering if you can reuse the removed tack strips. If so, check out our post about that topic to know the answer.

Method #4: Use Felt Pads

Use Felt Pads - Man sticking floor care pad at sofa leg

Generally, you use felt pads to prevent furniture legs from scraping against the floor. But you can also use these products to help prevent injuries from tacks that stick through carpets.

Complete this process by following these fairly straightforward steps:

Step-by-Step Felt Pad Application Guide

  1. Lift the carpet slightly.
  2. Place the felt pad next to the carpet tack.
  3. Apply sufficient force to the felt pad so the tack goes into it.
  4. Whack the felt pad with a hammer if you need the extra force.

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Take note that this technique will leave a bulge in your carpet. However, you can reduce the risks of falls and other accidents because the pads will act as cushions.

How Do You Attach Carpet To Tack?

How Do You Attach Carpet To Tack - Worker using hammer while installing new carpet flooring in room

Attaching a carpet to tack typically goes along with the rest of the flooring installation process. So here are the general steps for a carpet installation procedure that also notes carpet tack application:

Step-by-Step Carpet Tacking Guide

  1. Ensure that the subfloor is clean by mopping and sweeping it. Use a vacuum cleaner if you want.
  2. Attach the tack strips while paying attention to their orientations.
  3. Cut the tack strips to size.
  4. Secure the tack strips with nails.
  5. Lay the carpet over the subfloor and position it according to your preferences.
  6. Apply carpet tacks to the flooring material’s edges.

Take note that the carpet tacks need to be flush. You can avoid issues with these fasteners by ensuring that they go down into the carpet as straight as possible. If you notice that a carpet tack is going down at an angle, remove it and reposition it before reattempting the application.

You can also watch this video if you need help with the carpet tack strip installation:

Can You Lay Carpet Without Tacks?

Can You Lay Carpet Without Tacks - Man rolling out new carpet flooring indoors, closeup. Space for text

You may not need tacks to help secure carpets. An alternative to using those fasteners is to apply carpet glue adhesive. Follow these general steps if you want to use this product:

What You’ll Need

  • Carpet glue adhesive
  • Trowel

Step-by-Step Carpet Adhesion Guide

  1. Pour a healthy amount of the adhesive onto a bare subfloor.
  2. Scoop a small amount of adhesive with the trowel.
  3. Apply the product to the edges of your room.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you cover the subfloor with the adhesive.

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Warning: You only need a thin layer of adhesive for it to work. Applying more of the product than needed could result in bumps and bulges when you lay the carpet.

Watch the video below if you need a visual representation of the steps mentioned above:

Do You Need Carpet Tacks?

It’s a good idea to rely on carpet tacks to prevent the carpet from moving while you’re walking on it. Laying the carpet without securing it with tacks increases the risks of accidents and other hazards.

If you’re experiencing difficulties in installing a carpet, you might want to choose other flooring materials like an area rug.

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Perhaps you’re questioning the need for carpet tacks because the flooring material isn’t sticking to the tack strip. You can check out our post on what to do if your carpet isn’t sticking to the tack strip as it explains possible solutions you can use.

Final Words

Remember, take a few minutes to look at the tacks sticking out of your carpet. Then, use the right solution to handle the situation. Don’t forget to wear protective gear if needed. You don’t want to put yourself at risk of getting injured while dealing with these imperfections.