How to remove carpet
Planning to ask your carpet fitter to remove the old stuff?
That’ll cost you extra.
On average, you’ll be charged £10-15 for them to clear the room of furniture and approximately £60-80 to remove the carpet. Potentially more if the subfloor needs to be repaired.
Why waste your money, when you could do the job yourself?
Removing carpet is a pretty easy job, even for a DIY amateur. Just put an afternoon aside and, before you know it, you can have that musty old loop pile ripped up and on its way to the tip. All you need is the right set of tools and this handy step-by-step guide.
What carpet removal tools will I need?
To take up your carpet quickly and efficiently, there are a few things you’ll need.
Double-check that you have a:
- pry bar
- utility knife
- roll of duct tape
- vacuum cleaner
- dust mask
- pair of heavy gloves
Most of these items you’re likely to already have at home or in your DIY toolbox. But if not, we have a range of carpet fitting tools available to buy in our store for an affordable price.
Before you begin, it’s also worth investing in some replacement materials.
The chances are, you won’t just be taking up an old carpet, but the old underlay and gripper rods too. So if you’re planning to re-install carpet, remember to purchase new carpet underlay.
Which new underlay do we recommend?
Our current recommendation is Plushwalk 12mm.
5 steps to remove carpet like a pro
Step 1: Clear the area
Preparation is always the key to success.
If possible, start by removing all furniture and belongings and putting them temporarily in a different room. This may seem like a lot of effort, but overall, it’ll make the job much easier – allowing you to access the entire floor, without having to continuously relocate sofas, tables, wardrobes, etc.
In addition, ensure there’s a clear path from the carpeted room to your outdoor space.
Step 2: Remove the skirting board
Skirting boards and other types of decorative moulding typically cover the edges of the carpet, making it much trickier to pull up. So it’s worth removing these beforehand.
Run the utility knife along the seal between the skirting and the wall, then gently pry each piece away. They’re usually only attached with a few pins or glue. But take care not to damage the boards (or your décor!). And sequentially number each trim, so you remember where they go.
Top Tip: Removing carpet can kick up a lot of dust. So at this stage, we advise putting on your dust mask. And to minimise airborne dust particles, consider giving the carpet a vacuum.
Step 3: Pull back the carpet
Use the hook end of the pry bar (or pliers) to grab a corner of the carpet.
There’s likely to be carpet grippers holding it in place, so you may need to use a bit of force. Once you have a good grip, set aside the bar and pull the carpet back by approximately 2-3ft.
Step 4: Cut the carpet into manageable strips
With the utility knife, cut off the 2-3ft strip that you’ve just pulled back.
Cut it on the reverse side of the carpet, as this will be a much easier surface to work with than the front. And try to keep the line as straight as possible. There’s no need to use a tape measure and it doesn’t need to be perfect – but keeping things tidy will make the overall process much easier.
Roll up the strip and secure it using duct tape if necessary. Then, repeat this process – cutting, rolling and removing the 2-3ft strips – until all of the old carpet surface has been taken up.
Step 5: Remove the old underlay and grippers
Technically, carpet underlay and carpet grippers can last for many years – but the older they get, the less effective they become. And as tempting as it can be to re-use these (and save yourself a bit of money), ideally, both should be replaced every time you update the flooring.
In other words, it’s time to rip them up!
Start by removing the gripper rods. Force the flat end of the pry bar under the strip, then either hit the end with the hammer to loosen the strip – or simply pull it up with a bit of force.
To remove the underlay, use the same method as before – but pull back about 3-4ft each time instead. It’s much lighter than carpet, so you should be able to handle more at once. Cut off each strip, roll it up, move it out of the way. And if there’s any leftover adhesive, use the knife to chip this away – before cleaning the subfloor and ensuring it’s as level as possible.
Ready to have a go at DIY carpet removal?
Stock up on the essentials – carpet removal tools, fresh carpet underlay, new carpet grippers, a brew and biscuit for your ‘half way’ break. And start tearing up that ancient shagpile (circa 1970).
As DIY jobs go, some people actually find it quite therapeutic!
But if you still aren’t sure what you need to buy or find yourself struggling, our in-house specialists are always on hand and happy to help. Whether you’d like further advice on how to remove carpet, or have a question about any of the products in our store, you’re welcome to get in touch.
- Alex Illidge