How to Remove Carpet Like a Pro

Removing carpet can be a bit of a task, but with the right tools and approach, it can be done effectively. In this post, we will show you how to remove carpet like a pro!

To view our YouTube video describing how to remove carpet, click HERE.

Background

We have renovated many houses, including our current house. In doing so, we have removed a lot of carpet. It is not glamorous but a necessary part of the renovation process. The good news is that once you get past this laborious task, you will soon get to enjoy your new flooring. In this post, we removed the carpet in our closet and previously removed the carpet in our loft as part of Suz’s craft room renovation. Below is our closet before we removed the carpet.

Tools

  • flat bar
  • hammer
  • vice grips or pliers
  • utility knife
  • flathead screwdriver
  • putty knife if need to scrap adhesive
  • work gloves (optional)
  • Dust mask (optional to protect against dust and debris)
  • Knee pads (optional but recommended for comfort)

Prepare the Area

Clear out the room as much as possible. Remove any furniture, decorations, or obstacles that might get in the way.

Removing Carpet

Start in a corner. The first thing you want to do is try to get the flat bard under the edge of the carpet. This can be a little challenging because the carpet is typically tucked under the baseboard. Sometimes (but not always) you can pull the corner up with your hands. Keep pushing the flat bar and sort of dig under the corner of the carpet. Once you get the flat bar inserted under the carpet, start pulling. Once the corner comes up, you can then just start pulling with your hands.

Depending on the size of the room (how much space you have) and the size of the carpet, use a utility knife to cut the carpet into manageable sections. You can cut the carpet into strips or sections (maybe in quarters), making it easier to handle. Roll up each strip or section as you go along and remove these rolls from the room to give yourself more space.

Removing Padding

Start in the corner again and start pulling the padding up. It will come up much easier than the carpet. It’s usually stapled or glued to the floor. Use the vice-grips or pliers to pull up any staples and scrape away any glue residue using a putty knife.

Unfortunately, you will likely have many staples to remove. As you go, roll each section of padding and remove it from the room to give yourself more space.

Removing Tack Strips

After removing the carpet and padding, you’ll likely find tack strips along the perimeter of the room. These are thin strips of wood with small nails sticking out of them, used to hold the carpet in place. Use the hammer to tap the flat bar under the tack strip. You can also use a flathead screwdriver.

Once the flat bar or screwdriver is under the tack strip, carefully pry up each section of the tack strip. Try to start on one end of the tack strip, start prying it up and when it comes loose, keep the flat bar under the tack strip but move it a few inches down to continue prying up the strip. It is easier it each tack strip stays in one piece. However, if one breaks, no big deal. Just pull it up in pieces.

If needed, use pliers or vice grips to pry up the tack strips and remove them. Be careful as the nails can be sharp.

Clean Up:

Roll up the carpet and padding neatly for disposal. Depending on your location and the size of the carpet, you may need to schedule a special pickup or take it to a recycling center.

After removing the carpet and padding, vacuum the room thoroughly to remove any remaining dust or debris so you will be ready for the installation of your new flooring.

Summary

Remember to take breaks as needed, especially if it’s a large area you’re working on. Always prioritize safety by wearing gloves and a dust mask, especially if you have allergies or respiratory issues.

Removing carpet is labor intensive but worth the time and effort because this is the first step in a room or home renovation project. Below is a picture showing our new flooring. Click HERE to learn how to install vinyl plank flooring.

The picture below shows the same flooring we installed in our loft when we renovated Suz’s craft room.

Final picture of craft table and craft room

To view our YouTube video describing how to remove carpet, click HERE.

Let us know if you have any questions or what you think about how to remove the carpet by commenting below.

You got this!

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