How to Install a Carpet Gripper

Updated November 22, 2016

Carpet grippers, also called tackless strips, are thin strips of wood with attached metal teeth. The purpose of these teeth is to hold the carpeting in place and prevent it from shifting. Carpet grippers are not difficult to install, but you must do it properly in order to ensure the gripper will hold the tension of the carpeting without breaking or coming loose from the subfloor.

Measure the carpet gripper placement. Measuring out from the wall, mark a line on the subfloor that is two-thirds the thickness of the carpeting. Continue making these measurement marks around the perimeter of the room.

Snap a chalk line. Go around the perimeter of the room snapping a chalk line on your marked measurements.

Lay down the gripper strip. Put on work gloves to protect your hands from the metal teeth and lay down the first strip with the metal teeth pointing toward the wall.

Hammer the nail down. Using a claw hammer, hammer down the nails preattached to the carpet gripper strip.

Cut the strips. Using a handsaw, cut the carpet gripper strips to fit as necessary.

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until carpet gripper strips cover the perimeter of the room.


Always buy extra nails. Have a box of spare nails ready in the event you should break one of the pre-attached nails.


Never handle strips without work gloves. The teeth in the strips are sharp and easily cut hands and fingers. Never install gripper strips in front of doorways. The teeth will poke through the carpeting and potentially into someone's foot.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpet gripper strips
  • Work gloves
  • Claw hammer
  • Chalk snap line
  • Measuring tape
  • Hand saw


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About the Author

Sue-Lynn Carty has over five years experience as both a freelance writer and editor, and her work has appeared on the websites and LoveToKnow. Carty holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an emphasis on financial management, from Davenport University.