How to Install Metal Carpet Strips

Updated February 21, 2017

Also known as a transition or Z-bar, metal strips are used to fasten carpeting down and provide a smooth transition from one surface to another. These metal carpet strips also protect the edges of the carpet from fraying and other damage. You can find metal carpet strips available at any local hardware or department store as well as the larger home improvement stores. Made from a soft metal such as aluminium, carpet strips are easy to work with and install.

Measure the length of the area in which you need to apply the metal carpet strip. Clean the flooring where you need to lay the carpet strip to remove any dust or debris that could get under the metal strip.

Lay out a guide line by taking a piece of string and securing it to both ends of the flooring with tack or finish nails. Roll out the carpet and line up the string with the edge of the carpeting. Once the string is secured, roll the carpeting back out of the way.

Lay out the metal carpet strip along the edge of the guide string and use a hacksaw to trim any excess carpet strips. Use tack nails and a hammer to secure the metal carpet strips to the flooring. If you are nailing into concrete, use concrete nails to secure the strips.

Lay out the carpet padding and carpeting so that the edge of the carpet is lying against the metal carpet strips. Stretch the carpeting with a carpet puller and fasten the bottom of the carpeting to the tacks on the metal strip.

Secure the carpeting to the metal carpet strips, folding the top of the strip over the carpet by tapping it down with a hammer until the carpet is firmly held between the metal pieces.


Do not use a metal carpet strip across exterior doorways. Instead, use a wooden or metal threshold plate. Metal carpet strips have many sharp tacks on them. Be careful that you do not cut yourself with them.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Tack or finish nails
  • Hacksaw
  • Tack nails or concrete nails
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Carl Pruit has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in service journalism and travel. His work has appeared on various websites. Born and raised in California, Pruit attended Contra Costa Community College in San Pablo, Calif. and received an associate degree in the administration of justice.