Installing tackstrip to concrete or wood subfloors correctly is an important part of the carpet installation. If tackstrip is installed incorrectly the carpet project often fails to perform to its potential or the installer is called back to attempt a correction.

The following is what the Carpet Rug Institute notes as the industry’s standard on tackstrip installation.

It is required that tack-strips be a minimum of 1 inch (25 mm) wide and 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick.
Additional tack-strip installation specifications include:

  • Securely fasten tack-strips to maintain the tension provided by power stretching.
    Nailed or stapled tack-strips are required to have a minimum of 2 fasteners per piece.
  • Place tack-strips with the pins angled toward the vertical abutment.
  • The gully, or distance between the tack-strips and vertical abutments, is required to be slightly less than the thickness of the carpet but not exceed 3/8 inch (9 mm). 


In general a good rule to follow is to make the “Gully” (the space between the wall and the tack strip) about 2/3 the thickness of the carpet being installed. This Gully could range from 3/16″ to 3/8″ depending on the carpet being installed. For example a 3/4″ tall carpet should have a gully of 3/8″ the maximum size. Even though 2/3 of 3/4″ is a 1/2″ you never go over the max of 3/8″.

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