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How to Remove Carpet

2021 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Beyond the aesthetics of a carpeting upgrade in your living space, carpet removal can offer a myriad of unexpected health benefits for you and your family. Considering the average carpet has a serviceable lifespan of approximately ten years, it stands to reason that a great amount of bacteria and other organisms can get trapped within the fibers over time and play havoc on your health. So if you’re planning on tackling the project yourself, it’s important to learn how to safely and efficiently remove carpet from your home. Follow our three step process to ensure your carpet removal plans go off without a hitch.

Health Risks of a Dirty Carpet

A dirty carpet can be a breeding ground for irritants that pose a number of risks to your health. While regular washing will keep your carpets looking great, over time, the buildup of stains, dirt, dust and airborne particles can negatively affect your home’s air quality and lead to conditions such as:

  • Allergies

  • Respiratory Illnesses

  • Skin Irritations

  • Weakened Immune Systems

  • Stomach Illnesses

  • And More

So if you’ve been on the fence about replacing the dated carpet in your guest room or family room, it’s best to take the leap! Try tackling the carpet removal yourself to free up more room in the budget so you can get the job done the way you want.

How to Remove a Carpet


First, you’ll need to properly prep the space by removing all furniture, doors, baseboards and anything else that might impede on ripping the carpet and padding out cleanly. It’s recommended to vacuum the floor as well, to keep extra dust from stirring up in the process. Once the room is cleared, make arrangements to dispose of the old carpeting by either scheduling a large trash pickup with your local municipality or locating a proper drop-off site that you can bring it to. After all, there is little point in ripping out a dirty carpet, if you’re just going to store the remnants on your front porch for the next six months. Lastly, arm yourself with the right tools to get the job done!

Here’s a list of tools that you’ll need prior to getting started:

  • Utility knife

  • Duct tape

  • Gloves

  • Dust mask

  • Safety goggles

  • Pliers

  • Pry bar

  • Hammer

  • Knee pads

  • Old towels

The Easiest Method for Removing Old Carpet

  1. Begin the job in one corner of the room and try pulling up the corner of the carpet with your hands first. If that doesn’t work, take your utility knife and cut and remove a 6-inch by 6-inch square. If you are still having trouble removing it with your hands, pliers can provide a tighter grip for grabbing and pulling it away from the floor. Just remember to use extra force in areas where the tack strips are located.

  2. Work your way towards the center of the room starting from the walls in. You’ll have an easier time pulling up the carpeting this way. If you pull the carpeting up in sections while cutting from the back of the carpet and folding the torn up sections over themselves as you move across the room, it will require less effort on your part to make a clean cut with your utility knife. This is especially important because carpeting can be extremely heavy, so cutting it into smaller pieces will make for quicker removal. Once you have pulled up all of the carpeting, roll it up and secure the rolls with tape before removing it from the room.

  3. If you’re going to install new carpet in its place, you’ll want to leave the tack strips where they are at (thin strips of wood with small nails that secure your carpeting to the floor). Just make sure to replace any rusted tack strips where needed. For all other flooring installations, you’ll need to remove them completely. For this task, use a pry bar to lift the strips off the subfloor.

  4. Remove the pad. Work in the same direction as you did with the carpet by starting near the walls. After cutting the pad into pieces and rolling it up, you may need to remove staples or glue that may have affixed the pad to the floor. Use pliers or a scraper to accomplish this task with ease.


Once the carpeting and padding have been removed, sweep, vacuum and mop the concrete floor. Carpeting and padding materials are very porous – any liquids spilled on them over the course of the carpet’s life-span will go straight through onto the concrete slab. This also helps to remove dust and sand that may have accumulated under the carpet over time.

Professional Flooring Installation

As you can imagine, removing a carpet is easier to accomplish than installing a new one. Once you have removed the old carpet and have prepared the room for its replacement, contact the experts at Doug Ashy’s flooring department to ensure a successful and professionally done flooring installation. We offer a large selection of high quality flooring materials that are built to last at a competitive price!


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