A carpet tack is a small, sharp nail or pin used to affix carpets to a floor. It has a flat head, a shaft and a pointed end.
Carpet tacks are typically hammered into and around the edges of a carpet to secure it in place.
An upholstery tack is a similar sharp nail, pin or stud used to affix upholstery material to a piece of furniture.
Upholstery tacks are typically used to secure upholstery material to a piece of furniture, though they may also be used for decorative purposes.
A brief history of carpet and upholstery tacks
Carpet tacks were used primarily on carpets and furniture made or installed before the 1950s when staples were introduced. The transition from tacks to staples was gradual with virtually all upholsterers employing staples entirely by the 1980s.
It is also worth mentioning that many carpet fitters use gripper rods and staples instead of nailing tacks directly into the carpet.
What is a gripper rod?
A gripper rod is a thin piece of wood, typically between 1-2 metres (3.3-6.6 feet) in length and 3cm (1 1/2 inches) wide, that has been studded with carpet tacks and is used to secure carpets in place.