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. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    Cut & loop polyester (or any long yarn poly) is going to look very old very quickly on stairs. It has no memory or resilience to speak of. Pollies tend to ugly out. An olfin berber, which is what you currently have, is short and dense enough to withstand the beating steps will get. It's pack-down properties are the same as a longer yarn, but the original height of the carpet is so short that the difference is harder to perceive.

    I wouldn't put a rebond pad of less than 8# density under any carpet on steps. My policy, back when I was selling and installing, was to use 7/16" pad under longer piled carpets. Short, dense carpets, like berbers and loop piled carpets, or dense velvets, the pad thickness was 3/8".

    I would install the carpet and pad normally - stretched over tackless. It's easier to remove and repair. But it must be installed properly. A poor installer can make a very expensive carpet last half as long as a good installer and cheap carpet.

  2. amely

    amely Member

    More than one company has told me the 8 pound 1/4 pad I have now under the Berber is all they can put under it. They can't put a 7/16th or 1/2 under it, I guess because of the type of Berber or something. And the company I went with doesn't sell any other Berbers.

    And others have looked at the installation and say it appears to be installed properly, it's just the tack strips are taller than the pad + carpet.
  3. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    So, what happened when you tried the suggestion to bend the pins of the tackless over a bit? You are trying some of these suggestions, aren't you? We've been trying to help you with this for two and a half months. It's a bit frustrating for some of us.

  4. amely

    amely Member

    As I mentioned, it's not the nails sticking out that's the problem (I'm confident they can be nailed down), it's the fact that you can feel the tack strip itself, creating an uneven surface on the stairs. When you go down the stairs, you feel like you're being pitched forward, and it's not safe.

    Based on what you're saying, it sounds like the alternative carpet offered by the installer is not a good option, so it seems like the best solution is to take the tack strips out entirely and use the current carpet.
  5. Daris Mulkin

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

    Stapling is actually not a recommended procedure but done very often. I have done it But I don't like it. You could see the marks from the staple grabbing a yarn. I know I've heard installers say they spread the yarn on each staple. I know that is BS as that would take to much time.


  6. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain Owner/Founder Administrator

    If I remember correctly (this topic is way too long for me to go back and look), your treads are sub-standard depth of something like 8". You can't keep blaming everything on the carpet you have installed when part of the problem is that your steps are about 3" too short.

    You have been given a number of options here by some very good flooring professionals. We don't really know how professional the people are you are dealing with. Using 4# pad, leaving the tackless too far away from the riser, suggesting crappy carpet and some of those other "solutions" you keep asking us about doesn't sound professional to me. But then, you haven't provided us with any pictures of the problem you are experiencing.

    It might be near time to just close this topic and call it a wash.
  7. epoxyman

    epoxyman Pro Member

    I vote for staining and a clear sealer over the stairs. :)
  8. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    When descending a stair case, I usually step very close to the nose, so it's hard for me to relate to the problem of being pitched forward,
    however, that's me ! not you ! and I trust in what you are saying to
    be true. Ya know, I don't think anyone has ever recommended pulling the existing tri-tak (1.25'' wide tackless) and installing 3/4'' standard
    tackless. The 1/2'' difference may actually keep your foot away from the tackless, avoiding the pitch forward effect ?? Options, options ! :D

    Good Luck, we are almost there, workin it like a muscle, I understand

  9. amely

    amely Member


    So, yes, it took like 2 months for Empire to get off its butt. They said they'd give me a thicker Berber and they'd reinstall for free. I asked that they install the 3/4 inch tack strip and use binding tape. They said the smaller tack strip wasn't standard for the carpet, but that they'd make sure I couldn't feel the tack strip.

    The installers came and didn't even bring binding tape with them, so I said, just leave me the carpet, and I'll get someone else to install it. The new installer guy is from the East Coast. He pulled up the carpet and says there's 2-inch architectural tack strip on an 8-inch tread stair, so that's not gonna work. I tried to attach a picture, but if it's not clear, the thicker tack strip is on the tread, and the smaller one is on the side.

    We've elected to pull out the tack strip altogether and staple it.

    So mike sliwinski wins!

    Attached Files:

  10. Mike Sliwinski

    Mike Sliwinski The Doctor Is In I Support TFP Senior Member

    Hip Hip Hooray ! what did I win ? ...........Here's to Mikey, he's first class, here's to Mike he's a horses _____ :p :D

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then ;)

    Mike (AKA, ' The Winner ' ) :dance::dance:
  11. kwfloors

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

    The installers the first time must have run out of regular strip or stupid. I never use anything other than regular strip on steps so its far from being stepped on. I recommend that strip is placed on the sides of the steps as well.
  12. kylenelson

    kylenelson You'll find me on the floor I Support TFP Senior Member

    Yep, sometimes we can only help so much from behind a keyboard. I don't think anyone would have guessed that some genius used a wider (and more expensive!) tackstrip on these already teeny tiny steps. It sounds like you finally got the right guy for the job...even if he's from the east coast :p

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