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Carpet Tack Strip Installation on Concrete

By Rachel Turner ; Updated September 21, 2017
Install carpet tack strips on concrete before installing new carpet.

Carpet tack strips are necessary when you're installing carpet on top of a subfloor such as wood or concrete. These carpet tack strips are thin, long pieces of wood with sharp metal protrusions on the top that resemble shark teeth. These metal teeth hold the carpet in place to prevent the stretched carpet from slipping backward and exposing the subfloor and carpet padding. Installing carpet tack strips into a hard surface such as concrete may take a little bit more time, but is unavoidable when laying down new carpet.

Wear a dust mask and eye goggles to protect yourself from flying dust and debris. Sweep the concrete clean of debris, dirt and dust with a broom.

Measure 1/4-inch outward from the wall where you will begin the tack strip installation, using a tape measure. Mark the floor every 2 feet with a black marker, keeping the 1/4-inch space from the wall.

Lay the carpet tack strip on the floor, making sure the tack strips line up with the marked locations to keep the 1/4-inch space along the wall. Make sure that the bottom of the carpet tack strip is flat on the concrete.

Hold the tack strip in place and outline the entire strip with a pencil, using your free hand. Remove the carpet tack strip from its placement and set it aside so you are left with the pencil outline of the tack strip.

Mark inside the tack strip outline --- in the center --- every 5 to 6 inches, using the pencil. Attach a 1/4-inch diamond drill bit to a power drill. Place the tip of the drill bit on the first mark within the tack strip outline, and drill a 1-inch hole. Continue to drill 1-inch holes on each marked location within the outline, using the power drill.

Remove as much concrete dust from the holes as you can by gently blowing into each hole.

Insert plastic masonry anchors into the 1-inch holes. Tap the plastic anchors gently with a hammer until the tops of the anchors are level with the concrete.

Place the tack strip back over the outline with the teeth facing the wall. Hammer a nail into each anchor location, using force to drive the nails into each anchor.

Repeat this entire process around the perimeter of the space for each additional carpet tack strip you will need.


Things You Will Need

  • Dust mask
  • Eye goggles
  • Broom
  • Tape measure
  • Black marker
  • Carpet tack strips
  • Pencil
  • 1/4-inch diamond drill bit
  • Hammer
  • Power drill
  • Plastic masonry anchors
  • Cement nails


  • Always wear eye protection when drilling into concrete.

About the Author


Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.