The DIY Guide to Removing your Carpet

So you are thinking of taking on the task of removing your carpet – we commend you for your bold decision! To the inexperienced, the prospect of encountering all of that dust, strenuous effort and revealing what lies underneath is up there with tax returns, root canal treatments and filling in passport application forms.

The aim of this blog is for us to help you through the process of disposing of your carpet, underlay, tack strips and staples. By following our three simple steps, you will find that removing your carpet doesn’t have to be hard – in fact, it’s quite easy when you know how (although the dust is inevitable…)

Step One: Preparation


The first crucial part of this task is to decide what you would like to do with the flooring underneath the carpet. If you intend to install a new carpet, you may need to leave the tack strip in place, depending on its condition:

  • Vacuum the carpet in advance to minimise dust
  • Consider the options of disposing of the carpet – whether that is via the local authority, the installers of your new flooring or through an independent disposal or recycling company.

Step Two: Removing the Carpet and Underlay


As we mentioned earlier, dust is inevitable, so we would advise that you prepare for this part of the job by wearing a dust mask, particularly if the carpet is old.

  • Use pliers to pull up the edges of the carpet near the walls
  • Use a utility or carpet knife to cut the carpet down the length of the room into strips you can manageably roll up, lift and move
  • If you intend to renovate the floor underneath, take care not to damage the floor with your knife by gently raising the carpet as you cut it
  • Pull the carpet away from the tack strip, using eye protection if available
  • Roll the carpet strips and secure the rolls with gaffer or duct tape
  • Cut the underlay into strips and roll in the same way as the carpet, leaving one strip available to wrap the tack strips in, for safe and easy disposal

Step Three: Removing the Tack Strips and Staples


For this part of the task, to avoid possible injury, it is a good idea to wear eye protection and gloves

  • Use a pry bar to very carefully wedge the tack strip up from the floor
  • Look for the larger nails attaching the tack strip to the floor and ease them up carefully
  • Break the tack strips up into smaller pieces
  • Use pliers or a flat bladed screwdriver to remove the staples
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor to get rid of any remaining debris
  • Place the tack strips and staples into the remaining strip of underlay and roll up for disposal



Once you have completed the removal of your carpet and arranged your chosen method of disposal, congratulate yourself for a job well done with a cup of tea, glass of wine or another tipple of your choice, while looking forward to a new lease of life for your flooring!