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Carpet Grippers and Fitting Plates

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 3 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
Carpet Grippers Fitting Plates Doorways

In our article on Laying Carpet we talked about the basics of lifting and relaying carpet if you had a need to do some sort of DIY repair job. We steered clear of trying to teach readers of DIY Basics the whole A-Z of laying carpet as it's really a job for a professional carpet fitter.

Carpet Grippers and Fitting Plates

But in our discussions about DIY jobs that involved lifting carpet we talked about carpet grippers. Now these and their similar cousins, fitting plates, are used to hold carpet in place, and there are literally thousands of different ones on the market.

If you need to lift carpet and relay it, perhaps because you need to repair the floor underneath it, or perhaps you are laying sheet vinyl or laminate flooring which will butt up against carpet, you may need to understand what carpet grippers and fitting plates do and how to select and use them. That's good then, because that's what this article will tell you.

Differences Between Carpet Grippers and Fitting PlatesAlthough there's a fair bit of cross-over with these two terms and products, carpet grippers are usually used around the edge of a room to hold a fitted carpet down. Fitting plates are those metal strips you see at doorways which hold the carpet down but also act as a cover so you step on them rather than the edge of the carpet. Fitting plates have a number of different names too, like threshold strips.

If you have a problems with a fitting plate or threshold strip that's come loose from the floor, fixing it back down again will depend on the type of floor you have. If it's floorboards you can use nails, but make sure you use a small-headed hammer or you will damage the teeth. If you don't have something like that, use a suitably-sized metal rod, perhaps a big old nail, and hammer that.

There's no reason why you shouldn't screw into floorboards either but make sure the screw heads will sit flush when screwed down or they will make life difficult when you try and secure the carpet. With concrete floors you can either drill a hole, put a wallplug in and screw down, or use glue. To be honest even the professionals will use glue these days as they are so string now.

How Carpet Grippers Work

Carpet grippers hold the carpet with rows of metal teeth that face up and lean slightly in one direction. For them to work properly, if you're replacing one, the points need to lean back towards the wall. Then the carpet is stretched over them and placed down. As the carpet pulls back into shape the angle of the teeth causes them to dig up into the carpet backing and hold it in place.

If you are doing this on carpet that's been down for a while there's not likely to be much give in it. So you may have to tamp it down gently with a large mallet, or perhaps a short off-cut of softwood and a hammer. Don't hit it too hard as you don't want the points to break through to the surface of the carpet.

Selecting the Correct Fitting Plate

The fitting plate or threshold strip to use at a doorway where there's carpet on both sides will have two rows of teeth, one for each side, and a metal (sometimes plastic) cover where people tread. Where it gets tricky is if you have a solid floor one side and carpet the other.

But all you need to do is buy the right fitting plate, one with one smooth side. There is a huge number of different threshold strips to cater for all eventualities, including height difference. This is often the case if you lay laminate flooring. That side will then be up to half an inch above the original height if it replaced carpet or vinyl.

Take a look around your local DIY store and you will find all those different fitting plates and carpet grippers. The selection can be bewildering but eventually you should find the right one for the job you are doing.

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[Add a Comment]
I want to replace my hall carpetbag, the carpet plates between rooms have no nails or screws. The other rooms are carpeted too. The floors are concrete, can I remove and reuse these plates?
June Moore - 3-Oct-19 @ 12:34 PM
Would it not be easier to fill in the gaps with filler or lengths of wood and glue? If you start laying hardboard, then you will be raising the height of the floor have doors and skirting heights to deal with also. I'd talk to the carpet fitter first.
Paul - 18-Aug-15 @ 10:35 AM
Hi, I need to lay hardboard onto existing floorboards (old with some gaps)before a new carpet is fitted. A: Can I butt the hardboard against the existing gripper rods or B: Do I have to lift the gripper rods put the hardboard to the skirting and refit the gripper rods Of course answer A would would be the easier but I don't want the carpet fitter to turn up and be unable to lay the carpet.
trekrider - 17-Aug-15 @ 11:15 AM
I need to fit a coir mat, 30mm in height, to partially cover a solid wood floor. Can you advise what kind of fitting plate I require. The mat is to be fitted on top of the existing wood floor.
Nicky - 13-Sep-13 @ 1:35 AM
Can you tell me where to buy Angle grippers for stair carpet. I cannot buy them anywhere. Please help me if you can.
ace - 24-May-12 @ 9:25 PM
@bob - really you are going to have to take up the carpet and replace or repair the floorboard.You can rent a carpet kicker from any decent hire shop to re-tension your carpet.Depending upon the state of the board when you lift the carpet you may be able to repair it or failing that replace a small section in between the joists.This is kind of difficult to advise on without seeing the job.I have been called out to a few jobs like this and all have been fairly easy.There is no way without lifting the carpet (unless you take the ceiling down below!!).Good luck....
ThurskJoinery - 21-May-12 @ 5:28 PM
This is ok but i want to know how I can fix a broken floorboard that is under a fitted carpet.
bob - 9-May-12 @ 3:27 PM
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