How To Remove Carpet Tack Strips – 2 Easy Ways!

5 Materials
30 Minutes

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After you remove carpet from a room, you’re left with carpet tack strips that need to be removed before installing new flooring. Here are the two easiest ways for how to remove carpet tack strips.

A. Start by removing the carpet and the carpet pad with a utility knife. You may notice that some parts of the padding are glued to the subfloor around the edges, so try to get it as clean as you can.

B. Method 1: Removing Carpet Tack Strips with a Pry Bar

Your first option to remove the tack strips is by using a pry bar (also known as a wonder bar) and a hammer. This is the most popular way as many DIY’ers already have these tools in their toolbox.

While this way is definitely the cheaper route, it’s much harder on your body as there is a lot of bending over, crouching down, and hammering along the tack strips.

For this method, align the short edge of the pry bar where the nails are. Then, use the hammer to wedge the pry bar underneath the tack strip and then force the strip up and out with the pry bar.

C. Method 2: Removing Carpet Tack Strips with a Floor Scraper

Using a floor scraper is definitely the easier option! We use a Floor Bully with a long handle that gives your back and knees a break from bending and crouching.


  • When it comes time to dispose of your carpet tack strips, the safest way to dispose of the tack strips is to slide them into the center of the old carpet rolls. This prevents them from poking through plastic garbage bags or ending up under someone’s foot.

Which method will you use for your next flooring project?

Let me know in the comments below!!

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Suggested materials:
  • Wonder Bar (or pry bar)
  • Floor Scraper (Floor Bully)
  • Knee pads
See all materials
Chelsea @ Making Manzanita
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Jinxx Jinxx on Jun 16, 2023

    If you don’t want to harm the hardwood floor underneath (yes, someone hammered tack strips into a hardwood floor) is there any method you would recommend? Many thanks!

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 1 comment
  • William William on Jan 11, 2022

    Nice tip. I have use a flat spade shovel to remove tack strips. Only problem with the floor scraper and spade shovel is they don't get under the nails and they can shred the wood leaving the nails. Another option is a pitch fork so that the tines can get in between the nails. I prefer a mini flat pry bar or stiff putty knife that can fit between the nails. Knee pads of course.