Carpet Removal Made Easy
Removing the old carpet from any room in your home doesn’t have to be hard. If you have all the correct tools and you know exactly the steps to follow, this is a home improvement project that any handyperson should be able to complete.
If you do the job yourself, it also gives you the opportunity to inspect the subfloor. If there are issues with the subfloor, you can remedy these before the new flooring is installed. Plus, you’ll definitely save some money if you do this project yourself.
Following is a list of tools that you’re going to need to complete the job. We’ve also included step-by-step instructions so that you can learn how to remove carpet yourself and save some money.
What Tools Do I Need to Remove Carpet?
Here’s a list of carpet removal tools you should have on hand to remove carpet in any room of your home.
- Heavy-duty safety gloves
- A dust mask
- Knee pads
- A hammer
- A utility knife
- Some duct tape
- A flat pry bar
- Heavy-duty trash bags
Carpet Removal in 5 Easy Steps
Once you’ve gathered your carpet removal tools, follow these steps and tips on how to remove carpet from anywhere in your home. It’s an easy DIY project that you can complete in a day.
Step 1: Remove the Furniture From the Room
The first step is to clear the room of everything, including all the furniture. This will give you a clear space to work in.
It’s also a good idea to remove any doors that open into the room. You should also remove any closet doors to make ripping up the carpet much easier.
Ensure that you put on some safety gear to protect yourself while removing the carpet. You should wear protective gloves to protect your hands. These will also give you a better grip once you’re ready to pull up the carpet strips.
A pair of knee pads are essential as you’ll be spending plenty of time on your knees. Lastly, consider wearing a dust mask to protect yourself from the dust that’ll come up out of the carpet and padding.
You may also need to use the pry bar to remove any baseboards from each wall in the room. Do this carefully so you don’t damage them or the walls.
Step 2: Loosen the Carpet From Each Tack Strip
You’ll find wood tack strips right around the perimeter of the entire carpet area along each wall. These are used to hold the carpeting firmly in place. Be careful because the tack strips will have small sharp nails or tacks all along the top of them. That’s why you should wear gloves to protect your fingers from these sharp nails.
To remove the carpet from a tack strip, grab a corner of the carpet with a pair of pliers and pull up. Keep pulling the carpeting off the tack strips until it’s fully loosened.
If you have trouble pulling the carpet off the tack strip, cut a square in one corner of the carpet with your utility knife. This should allow you to grab and pull the carpeting off the tack strips right around the walls.
Step 3: Cut the Carpet into Easily Removable Strips
Start at one end of the room, pull up around 3 feet of the carpet, and fold it over. Then, take your utility knife and cut the carpet along the fold. Cutting the carpet into strips makes it easier to pull up.
Once you’ve cut off the first roll of carpet, roll it up and use a strip of duct tape to secure the roll. Continue removing all the old carpet from the floor in 3 foot wide strips and roll each one up until you come to the end.
You can also cut the carpet into strips while it’s still on the floor. You just have to be careful not to cut into the subfloor underneath the carpet.
If there’s a closet in the room, it’s a good idea to remove this piece of carpet separately. Just cut the carpet at the edge of the entry and then pull up the carpet inside in the same way.
Step 4: Take Out the Carpet Padding
Once you’ve removed the old carpet, it’s time to pull up the carpet padding. This should generally be laid in smaller pieces than the old carpet itself. Follow the procedure in step 3 to pull up the carpet pad.
As you pull it up, you can roll the pad up just the same way as the carpet. Secure each roll with some duct tape to hold it securely.
If your subfloor is made from concrete, the carpet pad might be glued down. In this case, you might find that large pieces of padding will remain and be stuck to the floor. The best way to remove these is to use a floor scraper that has a sharp blade. Use this to scrape off all the pieces of padding.
If the subfloor is made from particleboard, plywood, or hardwood, the padding will be held down with staples. In fact, you might find there are a lot of staples you need to remove, which could be the most time-consuming part of the whole process. Some of them may come loose when you pull up the padding.
To avoid damaging the subfloor’s surface, especially if you want to polish the hardwood, you can use pliers or another suitable tool to prise the staples out of the wood. You can also use a special carpet staple removing tool to pry out the staples.
Tip: Another way to remove these staples is to use a long-handled floor scraper. Just move this along the floor in a sweeping motion, and it should get rid of most of the staples – or at least make them loose enough to pull out.
Step 5: Remove Tack Strips
The final step in removing your old carpet is to inspect the tack strips around the room. If you find that the strips are undamaged, you can leave them there to secure the new flooring, especially if you’re replacing the old carpet with a new one. However, if one tack strip is damaged or rusted, you should remove it so you can replace it with a new tack strip.
For this purpose, you need to use the pry bar to pop the strip up from the flooring. You might first need to use a chisel and hammer to create enough space to get the pry bar under the strip. You could also use the claw end of the hammer to get underneath the tack strip.
On the other hand, if you’re installing another type of flooring, such as tiles, laminate, vinyl, plywood, or hardwood, you should remove all the tack strips with the pry bar.
Tip: If you’re disposing of the tack strips in the trash, you should make sure that you put them into a heavy-duty plastic bag that’s also puncture-proof.
Now you know how to remove carpet from any room in your house, you can easily take this on as a DIY project. Removing carpet is not difficult if you have the right tools.
Our simple step-by-step guide will teach you exactly how to remove carpet quickly and easily. Just remember that removing carpet is a dusty job, and you might need a dust mask to avoid breathing it all in.
At the end of the day, removing your carpet yourself will save you some money, and it’s not a difficult job. Once you’ve removed the old carpet and rolled it up, you can either take it to a carpet recycling center, or you may have to take it to your local tip.
You then have the opportunity to inspect the subfloor and remedy any issues before the new flooring is installed. But when it comes to installing a new carpet, it’s better to leave the entire installation process to a professional.