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Question DetailsAsked on 11/11/2015

How to remove a carpet

I want to remove a carpet and padding from a wooden floor. Can I do it myself? Would it be hard to do?

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2 Answers


Removing carpet is easy to do - if you're strong and ok getting dirty. Carpet doesn't look like it takes up much space, but once you start getting it up it does. Rolled carpet gets heavy quickly. Make sure you have a container large enough to put the waste in. Carpet itself is usually just tucked into the edges of your room and secured with tack strips. Start in a corner and pry it up. Using a sharp utility knife cut the carpet into manageable widths, roll it up and throw it away.

The pad can be stapled or glued to floor. Carpet on plywood is mostly stapled so peel it up, then remove the leftovers and staples.

If glued (usually on concrete), peel up as much as you can by hand, then use a wide floor scraper (long handle best) for the rest. You'll have some glue residue left, which can be removed with chemicals, but usually is fine just staying there.

Tip for less dust: Vacuum the carpet thoroughly before you do anything, this will help keep the dirt/dust down. If you're sensitive to allergies, wear a mask.

Answered 4 years ago by DriverNerd


In addition to Driver Nerd's excellent comments:

1) be careful to wear knee pads, preferably thick rubber, otherwise you WILL get some very nasty knee damage from staples and/or nail strips and slivers, and maybe even pieces of glass and splinters imbedded in the carpet or padding.

2) if the underlying flooring is to be saved (hardwood or plank flooring), best to have the person who is going to refinish it do the removal too - or at least the padding and nail strips, to minimize damage. If underlying flooring is being saved, you need to use pry blocks with diagonal cutters or pliers when removing staples to avoid creasing or denting the flooring. With the nail strips you need to use nail pullers or diagonal cutters to pull the nail THROUGH the nail strip so the nail strip is pushing down on the flooring around the nail under the nail strip, not pull the whole thing up all at once, otherwise you will get splintering and pullouts in the flooring as the nails come up. Some flooring pros cut the heads off and use a small center-recessed drift punch to drive the nails all the way down into the flooring rather than risk the splintering.

3) with glued padding or carpet, obviously makes a diff if the underlying material if going to be refinished or not, as to what measures you use to remove the glue

Here are links to a couple of prior questions with responses about taking up glued flooring/padding -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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