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Home improvement

Tips for your Carpet Removal Project


After years of use and many ambitious deep cleanings, you might be ready to part ways with your carpet flooring because it's too high maintenance. Carpets are available in many colors, textures, and styles; but they're also prone to attracting dirt, debris, and various allergens. Learn how to remove old, worn-out carpet from your home before installing brand new floors with this step-by-step guide.

The Disadvantages of Carpet

For homeowners who live in colder parts of the country, carpet can add comfort by keeping their feet warm during the winter. However, it might be easier to have a different type of flooring, such as hardwood, tile, or laminate, if you have multiple pets or a member of your family has severe allergies. Depending on the size of your home and your lifestyle, maintaining carpet can be a full-time job, and you may have to deal with the following:

  • Excessive pet hair
  • Unwanted moisture and mold growth
  • Trapped odors
  • Debris buildup

If you're planning on switching to a new type of flooring, you can remove carpet yourself before having professionals install your new floors. Use the following guide and DIY checklist to safely dispose of old carpeting.

Getting Started: The Supplies Needed for Carpet Removal

You'll get the most value out of this DIY project by doing it right the first time. Ensure that you have everything you need to safely and completely remove your old carpet. Since you've already cut out the cost of hiring a contractor, you should budget for the needed supplies, which shouldn't cost more than $150:

  • Tools: Pry bar, utility knife, hammer, duct tape, and locking pliers
  • Protective Equipment: Dust masks, knee pads, safety glasses, and work boots

Do not attempt to remove your carpet without the appropriate protective equipment. Carpets sit on top of sharp tack strips and have abrasive backings that can cause injuries.

Step-By-Step Carpet Removal

  1. Start the removal project by pulling on the corner of a room's carpet. It's important to do this with gloves on because of the staples in the subfloor and the tack strips, which are lined with tacks or nails. If your carpet is relatively new and can't be pulled easily, use the utility knife to rip up a corner and pull an edge free. Cut larger sections as you go to pull the carpet up faster.
  2. Use the utility knife to slice the carpet up into strips to make the sections easier to roll up and neatly stack.
  3. Beneath your carpet is a layer of padding that is usually stapled to the subfloor in sections. You should be able to grab the padding at the seams easily. Then, roll it up and secure it with duct tape to create a stack next to the rolled-up carpet. If you notice hardwood flooring beneath your carpet, you can refinish this layer and use it as your new flooring, depending on its thickness and integrity.
  4. Inspect your subfloor for any damage or issues that may be difficult to address after installing a new floor. Watch out for squeaky or sinking panels, rusty nails, and leftover staples.
  5. Unless you plan on installing a new carpet, you'll need the pry bar to remove the tack strips. Find the nails and place the pry bar next to them to lift the strip. With your hammer, you can wedge the pry bar further in to lift the tack strip more easily.

Removing Carpet From Stairs

Removing carpet from a staircase is a similar process, but there will be a bit more repetition:

  • While wearing gloves, cut the carpet with the utility knife near the risers, which are the vertical planks between each step. Remove and collect the staples and tacks used to secure the carpet as you progress.
  • If there's metal nosing at the head of the stairs, use the pry bar to remove it before pulling up the carpet. As you work your way down, cut the carpet into strips so that you can roll up each section and put it aside.

How to Dispose of Your Old Carpet

Getting rid of the old materials will be easier and faster if you roll up and duct tape the discarded strips of carpet and padding. If you don't know whether your local garbage collection service will dispose of these materials, consider renting a dumpster to ensure a speedy cleanup. Bin There Dump That offers an array of residential-friendly dumpsters that can be conveniently scheduled for pick-up and drop-off at your convenience. We offer affordable pricing for rentals used for full-home carpet removals, as well as excellent customer service. We've worked with homeowners across the United States to help them complete a wide variety of renovation projects. To schedule a roll off dumpster rental, find a Bin There Dump That location near you.