Tips to Remove Old Carpet

carpet removal project

During a home remodel or build, owners often want to replace carpet with hardwood floor or laminate especially if the carpet is not salvageable with a professional carpet cleaning appointment.

Hardwood has become the most popular choice for home flooring in recent years so this is a very common trend today.

The good news about removing old carpet is that it doesn’t require hiring a professional. You can pay for the installation service to remove the carpet but with just a little elbow grease it is actually a very easy DIY project you can complete in just a few hours.

Below we have outlined the necessary steps and some helpful tips to remove old carpet from your home in order to install or refinish hardwood flooring.


The first step in carpet removal is to go to one of the corners of the room and use a razor blade and cut the corner of the carpet from its adhesive on the wall or floorboard. Run the blade along the seam until you have the entire corner pulled up from the floor.

Now use some muscle and pull the corner until you reach a seam somewhere in the middle of the floor. Use your razorblade again and cut out a rectangular portion from the corner to the seam. Then roll the portion you cut out and store it elsewhere for removal at a later date. Continue this for the entire wall-to-wall carpet.


The carpet pad beneath the carpet should be very easy to remove. You can either use the razorblade to cut out segments of the pad and then pull them from the floor or just pull the pad material directly from the floor itself. Have a garbage bag handy and as you pull off each piece of pad just throw it right in the trash for disposal.


The floor should now be clear of the carpet and the pad. Now you will notice there are several staples in the floor. This is the hardest part of removing old carpet and the most tedious. You can buy tools specifically designed for removing carpet staples or just use a hammer or your fingers. You want to remove all of the staples before attempting to lay new hardwood floor or refinish the floor beneath.


Once you have removed all of the staples from the floor, you will want to sweep and clean the area of all debris for a clean working space for the hardwood installers or in order to begin the process of refinishing your hardwood floor.


You should place all of the rolls of carpet as well as the garbage bags containing the carpet pad out in your front yard or near your driveway for garbage pickup. If your garbage service will not take the remnants you should transport them to a nearby landfill.

The entire project should be free unless you decide to purchase the tools to remove the floor staples and it shouldn’t require more than a weekend to complete. In the end, you will save a couple hundred dollars if you do not have a professional remove old carpet for you.