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How to fit carpet gripper

How to fit carpet gripper

So, you’ve chosen to do-it-yourself and install your own carpet? That’s great! But do you know how to fit carpet grippers? These long pieces of plywood may not seem very important, but to create a smooth, professional finish, they’re an absolute essential to fit a carpet. Here we offer a step-by-step guide on how to lay them correctly, hopefully keeping mistakes (and frustration levels!) to a minimum.

A step-by-step guide to fitting carpet gripper rods

Do the maths

First things first, you need to work out how many carpet grippers you actually need. Strips are typically sold in 150cm  lengths or DIY 76cm lengths, but they can be easily cut down to size for corners, curves and obstructions. They will need to be fitted around the full perimeter of the room. So, get out your trusty tape measure, take accurate measurements, and do the calculations.

Prepare the subfloor

Before laying new carpet grippers, you should always prepare the area and clean the surface of the subfloor. Be sure to remove any dust, dirt and debris that is left behind from the previous flooring. It’s also a good idea to check for underfloor wires and pipes. If any are detected, you can mark out their exact position – and use gripper adhesive rather than nails to secure grippers in these areas.

Position the carpet gripper rods

You’re now ready to start the fitting process. It’s usually worth wearing a pair of thick leather gloves for this stage. The gripper pins are extremely sharp and you should take care not to cut yourself.

Position each carpet gripper approximately 10mm away from the skirting board, with the pins facing up and pointing towards the wall. This allows just enough space for the carpet to be tucked in around the edges. There are three main challenges that you may face during this process:

  1. Corners

To tackle the corners of the room, simply cut a carpet gripper down to size, so that it fits perfectly into the space. This can be done using a hack saw and vice.

  1. Obstructions

Obstructions can include vents, radiators, heaters or anything that makes it difficult to fit the carpet gripper near the wall. There’s no easy fix for this. The best option is to temporarily move the obstruction out of the way – allowing you to install the gripper as normal, before putting it back in place. If this isn’t possible, lay the strip as close as possible to the wall, without interfering with the obstruction’s function.

  1. Curves

Carpet gripper strips are straight and cannot be bent. Therefore, for any curves in the wall (e.g. bay windows, decorative features), you’ll need to cut the strip down into very short pieces. These can then be used to follow the curve of the wall and successfully grip the carpet into place.

Secure the carpet grippers


hammer and nails needed to fit carpet gripper


The best way to secure your new carpet grippers will depend on the type of subfloor. If it’s wooden, simply nail the strips down using the nails provides. Just be aware, the pins are very close together – and, as such, it’s usually a good idea to use a small-headed carpet-laying hammer.

For a concrete or asphalt subfloor, things are little more complex. Nails cannot be hammered into this type of floor surface; therefore, to secure the carpet gripper rods in place, you’ll need to use a wooden dowel rod. This rod acts as a rawlplug, giving the nails something to sink into.

Start by laying the strips onto the floor and marking out the position of the nails with a pencil. When you’re happy with their position, drill a hole into the concrete floor. Cut the wooden dowel rods to size, ensuring a snug fit into the hole, and then use a hammer to nail the gripper into place.

Tidy the area

Once all carpet gripper rods have been fitted, tidy the area and use a vacuum to remove any dust or debris. This will prepare the floor ready for the next stage: that is, fitting your carpet underlay.

Need to buy your carpet grippers?


Carpet gripper rods available at Carpet Underlay Shop


Here at the Carpet Underlay Shop, we stock a diverse range of high-quality carpet grippers, with something to suit all subfloor requirements. Wood grippers, concrete grippers, dual-purpose grippers, other-purpose grippers – we have it all.

Browse the collection today and, if you need further guidance on how to fit carpet gripper strips correctly, please feel free to get in touch. Our team are always on hand and happy to help. Either give us a call on 0203 887 0994 or send an email to

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  • Carl Smith