I have hardwood under the carpet in my new home. I would like to pull up the carpet but want to know the best way to remove the tacking strips that have been nailed to the floor without ruining the finish on the hardwood, which is in good shape.
I use a Lee Valley’s restorer’s cat’s paw at www.leevalley.com (prod. #A060K21.06). It will get under most of the strips and with its large surface prying against the wood, with care it shouldn’t harm the wood.
But you can also hammer the paw end into the nails of the strip, pry them up, then the strips will release. And for left over nails I use the nail puller, Prod. # 64K02.01.
And if some nails snap some off, simply use a fine nail set to set the errant nail below the surface (prod. #A023K17.01).
You can then fill all the little holes with a colored latex putty (#80K86.01), but be sure to wipe it off BEFORE it dries with a wet rag. Else the putty will dry in a smear.
Oh, and be sure to read my floor maintenance article available in the search box at the top of this web page.