How To Fix Tack Strip Holes In Hardwood Floors

When carpet is installed in your home, it's held in place by tack strips. Tack strips are thin, long pieces of wood nailed along the perimeter of a floor before installing the carpet. These strips have nails that will make holes in the underlying wood floor. If you ever decide you want to remove the carpet to have an exposed hardwood floor again, you'll be faced with the fact that these nail holes will be blatantly obvious. Fortunately, fixing this problem is not too difficult, although getting the right color to match your current surface is the tricky part. The following tutorial will show you how to fix this problem.

What You Will Need

  • Sandpaper (60 and 200 Grit)

  • Belt Sander

  • Putty Knife

  • Paintbrush

  • Tack Cloth

  • Can of Wood Putty

  • Wood Stain

  • Clear Polyurethane

Step 1. Use sandpaper (60 grit) to sand down the part of your wooden floor that has the holes. When doing this, you're trying to remove splinters and smooth down the edges of the holes. Keep in mind that you have to sand the whole board, not just the individual holes. This is because you're going to be re-staining the boards. While you can do this sanding by hand, a belt sander will make things go faster.

Step 2. Open a can of wood putty that matches the color of your floor. It should be pre-stained. Use a putty knife to scoop out about 1/2 teaspoon. Apply the wood putty to one of the holes with the knife. Scrape the putty knife across the whole to remove any excess.

Step 3. Now repeat step 2 to apply wood putty to all of the other holes produced by the tack strips along the edge of the room.

Step 4. Once the putty has dried (it should feel hard when you touch it), use 200 grit sandpaper to sand along the surface until you can no longer detect the holes with your fingers. Use a tack cloth to wipe off the surface of the boards to remove all the dust you produced.

Step 5. Open some wood stain that matches the color originally used for your floor. Use a paint brush to apply it to the sanded boards (you don't want to get any on the already stained boards). Use long single strokes as you're working.

Step 6. Let the stain completely dry before applying a coat of clear polyurethane to protect the surface.

For more information, contact Desert Earth and Wood, LLC.