I am pulling up carpet and putting down a floating, vinyl plank floor in a three-season room built on slap. The tack strips are nailed into the concrete. I see How to repair concrete damage from pulling up nail strips but am looking for advice on the easiest way to get the tack strips up to begin with. Any thoughts?


Jim and Taylor are correct.

Use a small pry par because it is not as thick and will get under the tack strip better. Hold the the long straight part or the pry bar and place the curved end so that the but is against the floor and the wedge part is up against the tack strip directly in front of the nail. Whack the the curved part of the pry bar with a hammer, it usually only takes one or two hits to pop up the nail.

It helps to hold the bar at an angle so the bar goes under the strip and to not hit to hard, sometimes you can drive the end of the bar into the wall or trim if you get to aggressive.

Do not pry up once the nail is free as this will splinter or break the strip at the next nail location, just continue whacking all the nails and when you get them all the whole tack strip will be free and easy to dispose of.

  • This was perfect! Very little elbow grease at all. All but a handful of nails popped right up. Those few had the heads pop off and I had to break off what remained. I'd up vote this twice if I could. Thanks! – Chris Nelson Apr 24 '18 at 23:08

Prybar, hammer, elbow grease. There are many prybar styles, but this is the one I would choose.



I use a prybar and hammer the end of the bar parallel to the floor. I removed a bunch of tack strip from a slab floor and experimented with various techniques. we were thinking about staining the concrete and hoped to get the tack strips up with minimal damage, but nothing would do it. I have read that driving the hardened nails into the concrete in the first place fractures the concrete and so there is no way to remove the nails and leave only a nail sized hole. Perhaps tack strips installed on barely set concrete could be coaxed out with only a nail sized hole.

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