Saturday, January 10, 2009

Begone, foul carpet strip!!

Many old house bloggers probably already know and use some iteration of this method, but I figured I'd post it for all my non-home-improvement-fanatic peeps.

My house is now blissfully, gloriously carpet-free. However, I was faced with tack strip that appeared to have been laid by someone who went a little crazy with the nail gun. Pulling the strip up the old-fashioned way (with thin crowbar) was tearing my floor up in a big way. To compound the pain, my tack strip is old and totally dried out, so in many areas it would splinter rather than pull up. Ugh. I needed a better method, so I experimented until I came up with one!

I filed one of my metal scrapers so it would be nice and thin. Then I grabbed it, my trusty flathead screwdriver, and my hammer. Wham bam thank you ma'am the carpet strip gave up the ghost SO easily!

Here's how I do mine. The tools of war:

I carefully drive the scraper underneath the tack strip using the hammer. Try to do this near a nail so you will get the full effect.
After the scraper is fully under the tack strip (I drive it under until I can see it peeking out the other side), I piggyback the flathead screwdriver onto the scraper and drive it under, too. You can see that this basically just pops the nail right out of the floor. Success! I keep doing this until I've got a clean piece of tack strip that has just been pulled right out of my beautiful floor. Then I sweep up and I'm d-o-n-e!!


Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I wish I'd read this post a couple weeks ago. I'm definitely going to file it away for when I have to pull the carpet in the other rooms of the house.

Jayne said...

I use a dull chisel on top of a dull chisel. My tack strip is like yours--lots & lots of nails, and so brittle that it splinters rather than pulling up in one big piece. If I get a 4-inch section up in one piece I consider it a victory.

Annette said...

Why not just use a wonder bar?
We de-tack-strip a whole house in a matter of hours with a wonder bar and a hammer, and you can use it to pull up the nails too...

G said...

Wonder bar does nothing--it's too thick. This tack strip is put down so hard that it's practically embedded into the wood. I needed something wafer-thin so I could drive it under.

Anonymous said...

you know what, those hardwood floors add more value to your home than the old dingy carpets. I did the same thing to my floors and it turned out beautifully. Not to mention my allergies singing a sigh of relief. I didnt even hire a professional to clean the wood floor, i used this restorer and it costs 20 bucks!