What is tackless carpet installation?

These are strips of wood with angled pins that catch the back of the carpet and hold it in place. They are laid against the walls around the room.

Most residential and some commercial carpet is installed over a cushion (or pad), and is fastened to the floor by stretching the carpet onto pins protruding from wood strips around the perimeter of the installation area. The wooden strip with projecting tacks or pins is known as a ‘tackless strip,’ so named because it contrasts with the now obsolete installation method of tacking the carpet directly to the floor.

Stretch in carpet installation is the most popular installation methods in homes. In this installation, strips of wood (called tackless strip) are nailed (or sometimes glued) to the floor around the edges of the room. These strips have hundreds of nails that are angled in towards the wall. Padding is secured to the floor in the middle of the room. The carpet is then attached to the pins around the room. The installer then stretches the carpet tight across the room. Advantages of stretch in carpet installation:

  • A quick, efficient installation method.
  • Pad is more comfortable.
  • Pad is more insulating.
  • The pad extends the life of the carpet.
  • Easier to remove than glued down carpet.
  • The only installation method that allows the installer to effectively work with patterned carpets, especially when the pattern has minor problems such as bow or skew (which they always do).

Disadvantages are:

  • Not suitable for very large spaces due to concerns of buckling or rippling.
  • Not suitable for heavy rolling traffic, or extensive light duty rolling traffic.