How Do You Fix Nails That Come Through Carpet?

Fixing Nails That Come Through Carpet

Have you ever been casually walking through your house, minding your own business, when suddenly you step on a nail sticking out of the carpet? It’s an unexpected and painful situation and one that can leave your carpet looking a little worse for wear if it isn’t fixed soon enough. Rather than buying a new carpet or hiring a professional to fix the problem, however, you should be able to fix it yourself in just a few short steps.

How do you fix nails that some through carpet? These nails are usually part of the tack strip holding the carpet in place and can sometimes poke through the carpet if the carpet is very thin or has a short pile. Not to worry, though! These pesky carpet tacks can be fixed pretty easily with just a few tools you can find around your house, such as pliers, a hammer, wooden boards, and even felt material.

There are a few different methods you can use to fix the nails coming through your carpet, and we will go over each one so you can choose which method works best for you and the supplies you have on hand.

Hammering Carpet Nails Down

If you just have a few nails poking through your carpet and they aren’t too large, one of the easiest ways to fix this problem is by simply hammering them down.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a hammer, duct tape, sticky felt pads, and some wooden boards to cover the nail as you hammer it down. You can use any scrap pieces of wood you have lying around rather than buying new wood for this project.
  2. Lift the carpet to expose the nails.
  3. Place the boards on either side of the nail’s location and tape them into place with duct tape so they do not move while you are working with them.
  4. Grab a hammer and hammer the nail flat against the boards beneath it.
  5. After you’ve successfully hammered down your nail, remove the boards and place a sticky felt pad over the flattened nail. This will keep people from stepping on them again and causing them to go through the carpet once more. If you don’t have any leftover felt pads lying around, you can easily buy some at most home improvement stores or hardware stores for very cheap.
  6. Replace the carpet over the nails.

Alternatively, you can just place the wooden board on top of the exposed nail and hammer the wood so that you don’t damage your floor. This should flatten out or slightly break off the pointy part so it no longer comes through your carpet.

This method works well if you only have a few nails coming through and they aren’t too long and large. The downside to this method is that it can be quite time-consuming if there are a lot of nails poking through, as you will need to hammer down each nail.

Cutting The Nail Head Off

Another method for fixing nails in your carpet is by cutting off their heads with pliers or wire cutters.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need pliers, a hammer, and some sticky felt pads.
  2. Grab hold of the head of the nail with some pliers and bend it back and forth until it snaps off, taking the rest of the nail with it.
  3. Place a small piece of sticky felt over your hammer and then carefully hammer on top of that to flatten out and spread out the felt so that it is covering the pointy tip of the nail.
  4. Replace the carpet over the nails.

This method also works well for larger nails but will take longer than just using a hammer, as you need to cut off each head individually rather than just pounding them down or cutting them off all at once. You will want to use this second method if there are only a few nails poking through since these bigger pieces can easily be seen.

Covering The Nails With Felt Pads

The final method for fixing nails in your carpet is by simply placing sticky felt pads over the nails so they are no longer exposed.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need sticky felt pads, a hammer, and some wooden boards to cover the nail as you hammer it down.
  2. Lift the carpet where the nails are coming out and place sticky felt pads over the nails. If you need to cover the entire tack strip, you can buy a large swath of felt from your local craft store for only a few dollars and cut it into strips to cover the tack strip.
  3. After you have finished placing all felt pads, firmly press them into place with a hammer or other heavy object so that the tacks poke through the felt. You can even walk on it with shoes on to get the felt to stick.
  4. By adding a layer of felt, you reduce the length of the nail that can poke through your carpet. If your carpet is especially thin, you may want to add more than one layer of felt. You want to leave enough of the nail exposed that it can still do its job and grab onto your carpet to keep it in place.
  5. Once you have finished, put your carpet back down and walk over the area with shoes on to get the nails to stick to the carpet.

This method is quick and best used for larger areas that need to be covered, rather than fixing a few exposed nails.

Why Would Nails Start Coming Through The Carpet?

Carpet nails might start to come through any number of reasons, such as:

  • Your tack strips were not attached correctly and began to slip out, which made your carpet loose enough that nails could begin coming through.
  • You’ve been walking over the same area of carpet for a long period without realizing there was a nail down there. This caused the fibers in the area around it to become compacted and therefore incapable of preventing a nail from poking through.
  • Heavy furniture has been sitting on top of a tack strip for too long, making them press up against the underside of your carpet until they puncture through.
  • Your carpet is thin or has a very low pile and the nails in the tack strip are too long, causing them to poke through the carpet.

What Are Carpet Nails?

Carpet nails are metal tacks with large, flat tops that are used to hold down carpeting. They are usually covered by carpet pads so they cannot be seen. Once you have laid your carpeting down, however, it is important to go back over the tack strips now and then to make sure they haven’t slipped out of place or begun coming through the carpet. If this has happened, simply re-align them correctly and replace the carpet.

What Is A Tack Strip?

A tack strip is a type of hardwood or metal base that runs all along the perimeter where your wall meets your flooring (or even just over part of it), which serves as a surface to attach tacks used for holding down carpets. These have a small protrusion at the top which is used for this purpose.

Tack strips can be made of materials ranging from plastic to iron, with some being designed specifically to hold down different types of carpets more securely than others. For example, some are longer while others are shorter, etc. When placing tack strips down, it is important to drive nails through them or glue them to the floor before laying your carpeting on top so that they stay in place correctly!

Can Exposed Carpet Nails Be Dangerous?

Carpet nails that have not been affixed by a tack strip can be dangerous for several reasons, such as:

  • Since they aren’t secured down properly, they could start coming through the carpeting and injure anyone who steps on them. This would be very painful and could lead to tracking blood all over your carpet, which would not be fun to clean up.
  • If you end up installing your carpets over top of exposed nails without knowing, then there is a big risk that they will puncture through your new flooring and damage it. This means it’s important to go back over the tack strips once in a while and ensure everything is still firmly attached.

Do I Need To Go To A Doctor If I Step On A Carpet Nail?

There is no need to go see a doctor if you inadvertently step on a nail that has come through your carpet. Simply use tweezers to pluck it out if any of it broke off in your foot and then apply antiseptic and a bandage as needed. Of course, if the wound starts to look infected you should see a doctor at that point to avoid further problems. It is important to fix the nail quickly after discovering it so that you don’t re-injure yourself or someone else.


Usually, you only discover nails poking through your carpet by stepping on them, which hurts and immediately puts you in a bad mood. Luckily, fixing this problem is fairly simple and most of the time won’t even require you to buy anything that you don’t already have at home.

Whether you decide to hammer the nails flat, cut the nail heads off, or add some layers of felt to your tack strips, you’ll be back to enjoying walking on your carpet in bare feet in no time!

Matt McWilliams

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for Expert Home Report. I enjoy writing about everything related to home improvement, home tips and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.