Removing old carpet is an easy job you can do yourself with a few simple tools. We show you how to cut your carpet and get in underneath to lift it off easily. You will also see how to remove the underlay and what tools you should use to do the job.
Why would you want to remove your carpet yourself? Well, this is a great time to inspect the subfloor for any damage or squeaks. Once the new carpet goes down you won’t be able to fix these problems. And I promise you that not every carpet installer is going to care about your home as much as you. There’s nothing worse than fantastic carpet that’s squeaky, trust me here!!!!
Talk with your installer to find out exactly how much you’ll save by doing the tear-out yourself. Your installer can also give you advice on handling any unusual situations in your home and what to do with the old carpet. Many trash haulers will accept short rolls of carpet along with the regular trash and some cities have carpet recycling programs.
Before you begin tearing up carpet, remove any doors that swing into the room, including bifold closet doors. Doors that swing into adjoining rooms can stay in place. Then clear the floor completely, removing all the furniture from the room. Slip on a pair of gloves to protect your knuckles from the abrasive carpet backing and the needle-sharp tack strip.
Wear a dust mask if the carpet is very old or got wet. Wear heavy work gloves, since you will be working around staples, tacks, and rough carpet edges. Also, wear sturdy, thick-soled, close-toed shoes that will protect your feet if you step on a tack strip or staple.
Pull up the edge of the carpet, near any wall. Use pliers to grip the fibers if you need to.
Use a utility knife or carpet knife to slice the carpet into manageable strips and roll the strips up as you go.
If you are trying to salvage the floor underneath, make sure you do not cut grooves in the floor with the knife. One way to do this is to lift the carpet away from the floor as you cut. Another way is to remove the carpet in larger pieces and cut it up somewhere else.
Know what a manageable strip is. The roll you produce must be something you can lift and move, and it must fit in whatever vehicle will be used to transport the old carpet away.
Remove the carpet padding underneath. In most cases, the carpet padding will also need to be replaced or removed. It should be replaced if it is old or stained or has gotten wet. Carpet padding is usually just stapled down. Pull it up, cut it into smaller strips if necessary for handling, and roll it as you did the carpet.
Remove Tack Strips
Loosen tack strips around room’s perimeter by tapping mini crowbar under strips with hammer until tack strips are knocked loose from subfloor (Image 1). Use the crowbar to pry the strips loose then throw them away (Image 2). Finally, use a shop vacuum to thoroughly clean subfloor.
Prepare for the new flooring. This is a golden opportunity to repair squeaks and repair damage.
Drive long wood screws into the sub-floor and through to floor joists anywhere the floor squeaks.
Apply a stain-blocking primer to prevent old stains from coming up through new carpet.
Level the sub-floor and replace any water-damaged wood, as needed.
Touch up paint on baseboards and around the bottom of door frames. Be sure to allow ample time for paint to dry before installing new carpet.