Can feel tack strip as well as nails on stairs. What to do?

Discussion in 'Carpet Q&A' started by amely, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. amely

    amely Member

    Hi folks!
    I had carpet installed about two months ago, using the tack strips that were already there from my previous carpet. With my last carpet, a Berber, I didn't feel the nails or the tack strip -- so much so, I didn't even know tack strips existed. Now I can't forget.

    Every time I go up and down the stairs, I can sometimes feel the nails, but I can always feel the wooden tack strip itself, making the stairs uneven. I'm attaching the image of what it looks/feels like... hope that works.

    Now they say they'll install a thicker carpet, which might address some of the nail issue, but I feel like it won't make much difference if the pad isn't thick enough. Also, if I want them to use something like nylon strapping or some such instead of hammering down the nails, won't it make the tack strip even thicker?

    Thanks in advance!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Darren Ramey

    Darren Ramey Charter Member I Support TFP

    They must have used a very thin pad. Even 1/4" pad is roughly the same height as the tackstrip. As far as the pins go, tapping them down isn't a big deal, it is done all of the time, though not typically on steps. I dont think I've ever had a tackstrip complaint on steps. I don't think most people step that close to the risers (not blaming you).

    I agree that adding height to the strip is not a good idea. Personally when I run in to issues with the pins coming through, I tap them down about half way before installing the carpet.
     
  3. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Generally if someone is feeling the tack strip on the back of the stairway they are stepping step to far back on the step. Most people step in the center. Now pounding down the pins don't recommend because that is what hold the carpet into place, You could possibly have the carpet come loose as you come down the step and then go for a very bumpy ride. Pad thickness don't actually make a difference at the tacks strip as the pad is cut behind the strip.
    Thicker carpet may help or you can put binding tape or duct tape onto the tack strip to shorten the length of the pin.
    In 48 years I can't remember having a complaint on feeling the strip on steps.

    :old:

    Daris
     
  4. amely

    amely Member

    The tack strip is actually quite wide -- it takes up like half the stair, but I think the nails are only on the back part of the tack strip. It could be that my tack strip is also unusually thick.

    -Anne
     
  5. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Tack strip only comes one thickness 1/4 inch. Nails can be longer but not usually Most installers use "C" strip which is basically what is available to them, that is the longest pin I believe. Now you can get tackles with shorter pins but again they aren't readily available. For example if I wanted 1 box with shorter pins I'd have to order a pallet of it. So if I need shorter I use binding tape, duct tape, or the factory edge that sometimes comes on the carpet. One time I even used a piece of very cheap vinyl that I had on the van.
    If that tack strip is taking up like 1/2 of the step somebody put it down wrong. It I would think be no more that about 1 3/4 of an inch from the riser to the back of the strip and that would be using extra wide strip. And this would be in a residential setting.
    Have you contacted the seller about this?

    :old:

    Daris
     
  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    amely, can you tell how wide the tack strip is? Are you confusing thickness with width? Can you feel the front edge of the tack strip and tell us how far it is from the riser? Can you tell us about or share a picture of the carpet?
     
  7. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    Sounds like there is architectual strip on the steps. I've seen too many times the tackstrip is too far away from the riser that I rip them off and start over.
     
  8. Floored by Newman

    Floored by Newman Floored by Newman

    75% of my stair installations do require removal and replacement of strip for several reasons. I could foresee your problem w/ triple grip on a older home that has smaller stairs installed w/ a short nap carpet. Pictures please
     
  9. amely

    amely Member

    I can feel the edge of the tack strip 2 inches from the riser (the next step). I'd show you pictures, but it doesn't *look* uneven. It looks perfectly normal. The carpet is berber.

    So, question... if the thickest padding is a 1/4 inch, and most tack strips are a quarter inch, is there usually a dip, because under a person's weight, the padding would give a little, while the tack strip wouldn't...

    Is it possible to get double padding?
     
  10. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    No to the double pad? Do you know the thickness of the of the pad that is there now? The thickest padding can be up to approximately 1/2 inch, maybe 9/16 but 7/16 is the thickest recommended.
    No matter the thickness of the pad it still stops at the edge of the tackless.
    .
    :old:

    Daris
     
  11. amely

    amely Member

    I think what I'm going to do is have them pull up the carpet, measure the thickness of the tack strip, and then ascertain the thickness of the installed pad (they insisted it was the right size, but accidents happen). Then if the tack strip is somehow crazy thick, I will ask them to take it out and install a thinner strip or glue it or some such.
     
  12. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    That's way too far. If you just had this carpet installed, then tell the installer (or whoever is responsible for the installation) to pull the carpet up and do the job right. If the tackstrip was already down that way, then they should have at least told you it was wrong and it would cost a little extra to fix it. Lack communication is NOT an optional business practice.

    As far as the carpet pad is concerned, there are a variety of types, weights and thicknesses. Too thick is a problem, but most pads under half-inch should be suitable. It sounds like they may have used some hair & jute type pad - a commercial like quality - for its density and stability under stair carpet. But if the tackless was not installed properly, then you will have problems.

    Jim
     
  13. Daris Mulkin

    Daris Mulkin The One and Only Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    I'm still trying to figure out why you are stepping that far back on the step. Or are you just pushing down on it with your fingers?
    I have never seen the wood on the tackless more than 1/4' thick.
    :brick::brick: This is where I'm at on this now.


    :old:

    Daris
     
  14. amely

    amely Member

    The stair itself is about 8 inches, and my foot is about 8 /12 inches, so, yeah, if I want to tiptoe up or have my heel hanging off the edge, I can avoid the tack strip altogether. But if I want to avoid falling to my death ;) or put my weight on my heel, then I feel it.
     
  15. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Eight-inch tread? That's a long way from standard or even code minimum, which is somewhere around 11". That's a dangerous stairway.
     
  16. kwfloors

    kwfloors Fuzz on the brain Charter Member I Support TFP Senior Member

    That must be a steep staircase. Mine are 9" and ok for code here. They don't build steps that steep anymore.
     
  17. Roland Thompson

    Roland Thompson Charter Member Senior Member

    Standard code for step's in my area are 10 inch tread, from top of nose down riser 8 inches.
    I have had calls for the same reason. It was always a berber or low end plush.
    Easy fix, as some have said, tack strip standard size is C strip. Just pull carpet back, have them use something like binding, duct tape or even carpet backing, this will shorten the tack strip pins and concern will be taken care of.
    You could be close to 2 inchs from the riser with the back of the tack strip, 1/2 inch gully and a full inch for the width of the tack strip. If they used tri-tack it would make it a full 2 inches.
     
  18. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor Senior Member

    I agree with Roland, I don't necessarily see an installer error here. I'd like to see a picture before making that judgement. More than likely the pins can be pounded down and it will be fine.
     
  19. amely

    amely Member

    Do you guys know anyone in Los Angeles area who can take care of this? Everyone who's come in has either shrugged or just said "hammer it down" instead of using duct tape or binding tape to make the pins shorter. Still doesn't address the uneven surface issue, either.
     
  20. amely

    amely Member

    Pictures:
     

    Attached Files:

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