How to Tuck a Carpet

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Tucking carpet is a great way to transition flooring.
Tucking carpet is a great way to transition flooring. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Flooring transitions can be tricky to negotiate. When a floor transitions at a threshold from wood or tile to carpeting, the carpeting may need to be tucked to provide a seamless transition from one type of flooring to another. This especially holds true when the carpet is preexisting and the solid-surface flooring is the latest addition. Tucking the carpet and making the transition a professional-looking one, however, is easily done with the assistance of a few basic tools and a little time.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpet tack strip
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Hacksaw
  • ¾-inch subfloor nails
  • Carpet blade
  • Carpet kicker
  • Hook knife

Measure the width of the door threshold. Cut the carpet tack strip to the measurement with a hacksaw. Fold the existing carpet and pad back approximately 1 inch from the threshold. Set the tack strip down approximately ½-inch away from the hard floor surface. Affix the tack strip to the floor using subfloor nails and a hammer.

Measure the carpet padding. Use a carpet blade to cut the padding back about ¼-inch from the tack strip. Be careful not to remove too much of the padding. Do not cut the carpet.

Fold the carpet over the tack strip. Place most of your weight on your hand over the tack strip area. Tap the carpet kicker to stretch the carpet in place over the padding and tack strip. Apply pressure downward on the carpet when stretching it so that it adheres to the tack strip. Work slowly, starting from the right of the entryway to the left, nudging the carpet into place every 4 or 5 inches. Once finished, run the blunt end of your hammer over the tack-stripped area to ensure the best grip.

Trim the carpet back before tucking it. The amount of carpet requiring trim will depend considerably on the thickness of the carpet and how far it was stretched over the tack strip. Make a point to leave about a quarter of an inch overlapping the hard-surface flooring before tucking it in place.

Tuck the carpet in between the tack strip and the hardwood with a hook knife using gentle pressure. Once you have covered the doorway, the project is completed.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can rent carpet installation tools from most hardware or home improvement stores.
  • Use extreme caution when cutting with carpet blades as they are extremely sharp.

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