How to Remove Carpet

As a carpet repair expert I’m often asked what the best way to remove a carpet is. The answer really depends on what type of carpet is in the room, how it’s installed and what you want to do with it after it’s removed.

Most carpet that a homeowner wants to remove will be installed on top of padding with tack strip along the edges. There may also be some sort of transition metals between the different floor surfaces.

– Start by removing the carpet from the transitions

A few different types of transitions and how to remove carpet from them:

– Carpet to something flat like concrete, linoleum, asphalt tiles.

You will probably have a z-bar. You know you have a z-bar at the transition if the carpet is folded over and you can’t see any metal at all. When you are removing carpet from a z-bar simply pull it out. The z-bar isn’t all that strong. When you pull on the carpet the z-bar un-clamps and releases the carpet.

– You might have a clamp down metal instead of a z-bar. If you have a clamp down metal you can use a chisel or stair tool to gently pry it open. Only pry it open just enough to pull the carpet out or else you may break it.

– You may have a flat gold or silver metal nailed on top of the carpet. If so, pull the nails out and the metal will just lift away.

– Carpet to ceramic tile or stone type floor transitions:

If you have a transition where the carpet meets ceramic tile or something of that thickness, chances are that there is nothing holding it in place except the tack strip. Just like with the z-bar, give it a little pull and it should come right out.

– After you’ve removed the carpet from all of the transitions you’re ready to begin to remove the carpet. If you would like to save some or all of the carpet cut that out first. This can come in handy if you have any patching to do in the rest of the house or if you would like to replace a few stairs.

– The easiest way to cut carpet from the backing. Pull the carpet up from along the wall and flip it over.

– Use a slotted blade knife to cut the carpet into easy to handle strips. When I don’t feel like working too hard I cut it into 2′ x 10′ strips and roll it up. If I want to dispose of the carpet into the garbage can I cut it into even smaller strips.

– After the carpet is all cut up and removed you can do the same thing with the padding. Cut it into easy to handle strips using the slotted blade knife. I normally will stuff it right into heavy duty garbage bags and take it outside right away.

– When the pad it removed you may find staples in the wood floor. Remove the staples with a pair of pliers. If the padding was glued down to the concrete it probably didn’t come out very clean. Use a scraper to remove as much of the stuck pad as is necessary.

– If there’s animal urine on the floor, this is the time to deal with it. Buy the product from the pet store that contains enzymes and use it liberally.

– Now that you have removed all the carpet and padding from the room. If you need to remove the tack strip you will want to use a pry bar to dislodge it. Be very careful to not get stuck with one of millions of little nails.

I hope you enjoyed this short article. It was my pleasure to write it. Steve Gordon.