How to Remove Carpet the Right Way

Posted on: July 20, 2020

Carpeting can be a great addition to different living spaces as it provides comfort and warmth, absorbs noises, and it can even help complement a room’s design scheme. Still, there may come a time when you will need to remove carpet.

If that time comes, are you prepared to take on the task of removing the carpet yourself?

Instinctively, you may answer “yes” to that question, thinking the process itself should prove simple enough. There’s a chance you may be underestimating that task, however.

Removing the carpet tends to be a labor-intensive process. You must also have the right tools and the proper knowledge to undertake this task, or else you could damage your home’s subfloor.

This article will tell you more about the correct way to remove carpet. Please check it out before moving forward with the removal process.

Why You Should Consider Removing an Old Carpet

Before we discuss anything else, let’s first take the time to talk about why removing carpet is important.

Once a carpet has been in your home for an extended period, getting rid of it can seem unnecessary. You may think that cleaning it regularly should suffice.

It’s true that regularly cleaning your carpet can do wonders for its longevity, but it still won’t be enough. Cleaning your carpet can do wonders for its longevity, but it still won’t be enough. It will not last a lifetime.

The longer carpets stay inside your home, the more chances they get to house allergens that can have adverse effects on the health of your family. Cleaning will get rid of most of those allergens, but it’s difficult to remove every single problematic particle.

Carpets may also develop a distinct odor due to their surroundings. Constant exposure to cigarette smoke can affect how a carpet smells. Pet urine, food spills, and cleaning chemicals may also impart strong odors that stick to the carpet.

Do you want to risk having someone walk through your front door and smell the foul odor produced by the carpet?

You should also consider replacing a carpet if there’s a noticeable stain on it that cleaning cannot remove.

Carpets can also become too old to remain in your home, so removing it is something you will think about sooner or later.

Lastly, carpet removal may become necessary if you have plans to remodel your home. Whether it’s because you’re installing new flooring or trying out a different design scheme, removing the old carpet is something you’ll need to do.

remove carpet

Factors to Consider Before Removing a Carpet

After realizing that your old carpet no longer adds anything of value to your home, you may conclude that removing it as soon as possible is a must. It’s good that you’ve decided on the fate of your old carpet, but you may want to hold off on the removal process a bit.

Consider the following factors first before you decide.

The Difficulty of the Task

The type of carpet we’re talking about in this article is the wall-to-wall carpet that usually covers a home’s subfloor 24/7. This is not the kind of carpet that you can pick up and put down.

The process of removing wall-to-wall carpet is not easy. Dave Lincon, Sears Home Services Director of Product Management and Business Development, told BobVila.com that handling the weight of the carpeting can prove to be a real challenge.

On top of that, Lincon reminds homeowners that they will also deal with tack strips and possibly staples or glue. You may also have to do a lot of scraping to clean the subfloor properly.

Homeowners will need to do all these tasks without damaging their subfloor. We’re highlighting this not to discourage you but inform you this is a serious job. Take it lightly, and you could end up with a ruined floor.

The Tools Needed

Properly removing the carpet means using the right tools for the job. The good news is that most of the tools for this project are common.

You’ll need a utility knife or a cutter, some pliers, and a pry bar for removing the carpet itself while you need a floor scraper for cleaning up once you remove the covering. It’s also a good idea to pick up some protective items such as heavy-duty gloves and a pair of safety goggles.

Make sure you have these tools before you start removing the carpet to save yourself from unnecessary headaches.

The Design of Your Home

Your home design could play a role in how easy or difficult removing the carpet will be.

As noted earlier, you can attach the carpet to the floor using either glue or staples. Find out which method it is and continue accordingly.

The task of taking out the carpet can also be harder by the layout of your home. The carpet installed in those hard-to-reach corners will prove more difficult to remove. You must be careful when using those tools or you could easily damage the wall and the floor.

The Free Time You Have

Most of us like to take on DIY projects during the weekends. That’s probably what you have in mind for the carpet removal project as well.

If you are planning to remove your indoor carpeting during the weekend, make sure that you clear your entire schedule. Removing the carpet is going to take a lot out of you, and there’s a good chance you won’t have the energy to do anything else.

It will also probably be a two-day affair as detaching the carpet from the floor can take a whole day, and you’ll need to clean up after that.

The Budget at Your Disposal

One more factor to consider before proceeding with the carpet removal is your budget.

Doing this yourself can save you some money but you could wind up spending more if you damage your floor.

Having the professionals step in and handle this job is the preferred option if you have the money for it. You can still move ahead with your original weekend plans if you decide to seek assistance from the professionals, and you can also rest assured that your floors will remain in good condition after they remove the carpet.

Detailing the Carpet Removal Process

Now that you’ve carefully considered the factors that play a role in determining how smoothly the carpet removal process goes, you can now decide whether you want to take on the project yourself.

If you are planning to tackle this job on your own, please check out the detailed tips below. They will help you get the job done with minimal stress and mess.

Contact Your Previous Carpet Installer

We’ve already mentioned a couple of times in this article that you can attach carpeting to floors in different ways.

You can try to cut out a sample of your carpet and learn how it’s attached by examining that. Alternatively, you can contact your previous carpet installer and ask how they did it. They may even give you additional tips for removing the carpet and navigating the quirks of your home.

Prepare Your Tools and Protective Equipment

Station your tools nearby so that you can access them easily. Go ahead and put on your protective gear as well. The gloves and the goggles are the items you will need the most, but you can also wear a mask to protect yourself from the foul odors that will likely emerge after removing portions of the carpet.

Clear the Room

Next, you should remove everything in the room. Take out all the furniture and make sure the room is empty. You don’t want any particles that spring forth from removing the carpet to cover your furniture.

Pull the Portions of the Carpet along the Wall

Grab your pliers and make your way to one of the carpeted corners. Start picking up the carpet with your pliers. Try to get a big chunk of the carpet and pinch it with the pliers.

With some carpet now in the pliers, start to pull. Use enough force to separate the carpet from the flooring along the wall.

You will now have some exposed portions of the carpet. Grab a portion of the exposed carpet with your hand and start pulling and folding it back.

Cut the Carpet into Small Strips

Take out your utility knife or cutter next and proceed to cut the exposed carpet into smaller strips. Pulling out large chunks of the carpet with your hands could damage your floor and drain your energy quickly. It’s smarter to cut the carpet into strips first.

Continue working along the walls and cutting the carpet into small strips.

Dealing with the Tack Strip and Transitions

Over the course of removing the carpet, you will likely encounter a tack strip. The tack strip is responsible for keeping the carpet in place. According to The Spruce, using a tack strip is also the standard method of attaching a wall-to-wall carpet.

After uncovering the tack strip, take a close look at it and see what kind of condition it’s in. If the tack strip appears badly damaged, you should remove it. Removing the tack strip is also necessary if it’s too close to the baseboard.

You can remove the tack strip with the help of a pry bar.

As for the transitions, you can leave them in place and allow the carpet installer to deal with them.

Removing Carpeting from Stairs

The process of removing carpeting from stairs is slightly different.

You need to start at the top and cut the portion of the carpet there. Use your pliers to pull the carpet up. You can then grab on to the carpet and start pulling out carefully.

Depending on what kind of carpet it is, it may pull out in sections, or you’ll need to cut it into smaller strips like you did with the floor.

Cleaning Up the Floor

Regardless of how the carpet was installed over the subfloor, the tool you should use for cleaning is the scraper.

You can use pliers to pull out staples if those were attaching the carpet but going that route can take a long time. Your entire afternoon may be gone, and some staples may still be present.

The more efficient way to handle the cleaning process is to use the floor scraper. Move the scraper quickly to remove any chunks of carpet that stick to the floor or any leftover staples.

To prevent damaging the floor with the scraper, you can flip it over as you use it. Continue scraping until the subfloor is clean of debris.

removing carpet

How to Properly Dispose of Your Old Carpet

With the carpet removal process completed, you’re probably itching to get the renovation started. Before doing that, though, take the time to properly dispose of your carpet.

Old carpets usually cannot be put in your regular garbage because of how bulky they are. Instead, you need to seek out alternative disposal methods.

One method involves renting a roll-off dumpster. Toss the carpet strips inside the roll-off dumpster and have the company take care of your waste.

The other method you can try involves getting in touch with CARE, otherwise known as the Carpet America Recovery Effort. CARE will work to recycle your old carpet so they can put the materials that went into making it to good use.

Removing carpet is an undertaking, and you must prepare before taking on that kind of project. Hopefully, the tips included in this article will make the carpet removal task easier for you.

For other home-related concerns, please feel free to contact Eco Minded Solutions. Partner with us and make your dream home a reality.

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