How to Remove Old Carpet

How to Remove Old Carpet

When you are purchasing new carpet or having hardwood floors installed, the first thing that needs to be done is removing the old carpet. You can either pay to have this professionally done or you could save the money and remove the old carpeting yourself.


The very first thing you need to do in order to remove your old carpet is to clear out any furnishings that may be in the room. You will also need to remove any baseboards so that you can get to the edge of the carpet. You may have to remove cupboards or closet doors if the carpeting is underneath of them. You may also want to remove any pictures or artwork that you have hanging on the wall. Removing these items now may prevent them for being broken when you have the new flooring installed.

Gather Your Tools

Once you have removed all of the items from the room, it is time to gather all the tools that may be needed to complete the job of removing your old carpet. You will want to have these tools ready and handy for when you need them. Required tools include a pair of work gloves, pliers, utility knife, hammer, pry bar, scraper, and safety glasses. You may also want to have a vacuum and broom handy to clean up any messes, dirt, or dust you may find under your existing carpet.

Getting Started

Most carpet is held down with a tack strip and staples, but it is not uncommon for carpet in to be glued down. To find out if your carpet is stapled or glued, you will have to pull a corner of it up. Once you have pulled the corner up, you will see either the tack strip or the glue. The best way to remove carpet from the tack strip is to remove a corner of it and gently shake it free from the rest of the strip that is attached to the floor. If it is a very large piece of carpet, you will want to use your utility knife and cut it into smaller sections, this will make it easier to remove. Once you have all sides of the carpeting removed from the tack strip, you will need to roll it up and remove it from the room. If your carpet is glued down, you may want to purchase a glue remover or use a steam cleaner to wet your carpet and help release the glue.

Finishing Up

Once you have the carpet removed, it is time to remove the padding. Many times the padding will be very easy to remove and can be removed the same way as the carpeting. Other times it may stick to the floor and need to be scrapped up. Use care if you have to scrap the floor, you don’t want to cause any damage. Once the padding has been removed, it is time to remove the tack strips. Be careful not to hurt your hands while doing this–always wear thick gloves. It is best to remove these strips using a pry bar, being careful not to cause any damage to the floor. Once you have removed the tack strips, look for any nails or staples that may still be in the floor. Remove these. If you have any stains that have soaked through to your floor, you will want to clean these areas very well. You may also want to use a sealer if the stains are large and from pets. Now your floors should be ready for your new carpet.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for Area Rugs, a retail site that sells brand name area rugs.

1 Comment

  1. one
    Comment by Ryan@Carpet Cleaners Woodland Hills: Jul 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Good job!…I’ve been doing flooring? like this most of my life and it never gets any cleaner, or easier… Your a brave soul, sticking your hand down that vent like that!.. Lol. One other little tip, using a sharp blade cut the carpet in half or quarters before you roll it up. It makes it much easier to handle and dispose of. Thanks:)

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