How to Remove Carpet


Old, out-of-style carpeting has a habit of aging the aesthetics of a home, but the right update can make a world of difference. Want sleeker, contemporary floors? Wood and tile have quickly become the materials of choice for home flooring. Or perhaps you prefer the look and feel of carpet and simply want to update to a more modern style.

There are plenty of reasons homeowners would want remove old carpeting, but this relatively simple process can be back-breaking work if you don’t know the right tricks. Take a look at our step-by-step instructions  on how to remove carpet. It’s sire to make your carpet removal faster, safer and hassle-free.


1. Make a plan

Removing carpet can be a simple job with the right preparation. Have a plan ready that covers the cutting, removal and ultimate disposal of the old carpeting and padding. Depending on the size of the job, this could mean having a trash container delivered or having a truck ready to take the old carpeting away.

2. Collect the Necessary Tools

Fortunately, all of the tools needed for removing carpet are extremely common and may not require additional purchases. Before starting to remove the carpet, make sure you have:

  • Carpet knife or utility knife
  • Pry bar or flat-blade shovel
  • Pliers
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Dust mask
  • Safety goggles

Carpet removal might seem like an injury-free process, however, removal of tack strips, the heavy lifting and vigorous labor should be approached with caution. A dust mask and safety goggles can protect you from dust, but they can’t prevent back injuries.

3. Vacuum

This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s a great tip for keeping the job as clean as possible. Vacuuming the old carpet prior to removal prevents any excess dust and dirt from spreading while you are working.

4. Begin the Removal

First, pull up the carpet edges along all of the walls. Use large pliers to clamp and pull the carpet’s edge in order to separate it from the tack boards. If base molding was applied after the carpeting was initially installed, you will have to remove all of the molding first.

5. Determine the Width
It’s important to know your limits. Homeowners tend to try and remove the entire carpet in one piece, which can cause injuries. Determine the width of carpeting that you can easily carry and use a utility knife to cut the old carpeting into smaller strips – three to four-foot widths are normal. Roll up the cut carpeting as you go. Use masking or duct tape to keep the carpet from unrolling.

Warning: Again, DO NOT try to remove carpeting in large 9 or 12 foot wide rolls. Carpeting is heavy and this could lead to severe back problems.

6. Repeat and Remove

Repeat this procedure for the under lying carpet pad if it is also going to be removed. Try to remove the carpet rolls from the room as you go to keep the area clear and organized.

If you’re not installing new carpeting, remove the remaining tack strips. You can use a simple pry bar for this job, or a use a flat blade shovel to avoid working on your hands and knees. Wedge the pry bar or shovel blade in the middle of the tack strip and pry up gently. Be sure to wear gloves and eye goggles for protection.

7. Sweep, Vacuum and Mop

Once the carpeting and padding have been removed, sweep, vacuum and mop the concrete floor. Carpeting and padding materials are very porous – any liquids spilled on them over the course of the carpet’s life-span will go straight through onto the concrete slab. This also helps to remove dust and sand that may have accumulated under the carpet over time.
If you’re thinking about updating your home’s floors as a DIY project, you need to be certain you can remove the old one first. For many, this means ditching that outdated, lackluster carpeting to opt for something fresh. At Doug Ashy, our experts will help match you with all of the quality flooring materials you need for the perfect room makeover!

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