Carpet Removal

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Hey everybody.¬†Today’s post actually features my parent’s home instead of my own. They have two vacant rooms and more free time so they decided their flooring was due for an upgrade. They’ve had a very unpleasant brown carpet in each of the rooms since they bought the house; I’m quite glad to see it go. They decided to go with a bamboo wood flooring and of course we’ll be doing all of the work ourselves. This post is dedicated to the carpet removal, but I’ll provide an update once the new flooring has been installed.

For the removal portion the items used were:

Onto the Carpet Removal

For now we’ll cover the carpet removal in my sister’s room. Let’s take a look at what we’re working with.

carpet removal

Yikes. My sister still lives at home in the summers when she comes back from college. After taking everything out of her room we uncovered she keeps a very messy floor. I hope she treats the new wood flooring better than this.

Removing the Carpet

I recommend you wear a dust mask for this. As you pull the carpet apart it will release a bunch of dust so be prepared. Removing the carpet is not too difficult depending how firmly it’s attached to the floor. I managed to get it loose by using a simple flat head screwdriver along the edges of a corner to prop it upwards. If you have trouble I recommend using a box cutter to cut a square of carpet off of one of the corners.¬† Once you can grab it with your hands you really only have to pull at it to remove it.


Carpet is held down by tack strips, they’re on the edges of the room and are flat pieces of wood with nails sticking out from both sides. Watch out for these! Be careful to not poke your hand while lifting the pieces of carpet or accidentally stepping on them. Be sure to wear protective footwear just in case.

You’re going to want to peel about 1/3 or half of the carpet in the room and leave it laying flat over itself.

carpet removal

Once you have the carpet folded onto itself take your box cutter and cut the carpet. This will allow you to roll it up and set it aside while you remove the rest. I recommend using duct tape to keep the carpet bundled up, although on this occasion we used some spare wire we found in my sister’s room. We managed to bundle up all of the carpet and could move on to the next layer.

Removing the Padding

The stuff underneath the carpet is known as padding. It helps protect the flooring beneath it and apparently makes it easier to clean the carpet. Its appearance makes me think of a compressed pile of lint.

The padding is much lighter than the carpet and comes off rather easy. It’s held down by staples at the center and ends of the room. To remove it we just pulled and lifted it away from the floor. The padding was also attached in some parts to the tack strips, but its soft composition makes it easy to tug it away from them. Just like the carpet, roll this layer up and keep it together with duct tape.

While removing the padding we found a powdery sand-looking dirt spread out underneath. I’m assuming it’s a combination of fine dirt particles that passed through or the deteriorating latex backing of the carpet. Either way, my sister should have vacuumed more often.

carpet removal

Taking Off the Tack Strips

Since we aren’t replacing the carpet we needed to get rid of the tack strips. These were nailed pretty firmly into the foundation flooring and I’d recommend wearing protective eyewear while taking these off.

The best way to safely remove these is with a pry bar and a hammer. Lean the flat side of your pry bar in front of the tack strip trying to position it where the nail holding it down would be. While pressing the pry bar against the tack strip take your hammer and hit the other end of the pry bar. Try to strike with your hammer at an angle so that the pry bar moves horizontally and doesn’t damage your flooring.

Although not difficult, carpet removal can be an intimidating task. I hope this documentation was useful to you’re able to get it done yourself. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below. Cheers!

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