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How To Remove Old Carpet


With the economy the way it has been, many people want to do as much as they can to save money. For some people, that means trying to do as many of the repairs and renovations around the house as possible. When it comes to complicated renovations that require expensive specialized equipment, it can quickly become a nightmare for the do-it-yourselfer.

Carpet Removal

Thankfully there is one stage of a hardwood floor renovation a handy homeowner can do to save some money – removing and disposing of the carpet, underlay, tack-strip and staples. This isn’t a difficult process at all, it just takes time and is about as much fun as removing your own teeth.

Below are the 3 steps needed to complete this dusty project…


  1. Cut the old carpet down the length of the room into strips you can easily handle
  2. If you have hardwood floors underneath, lift the carpet so the hardwood floor doesn’t get scored
  3. After cutting it, pull it up to remove it from the tack-strips
  4. Roll it up and wrap tape around it so you can dispose of it easily


  1. Pretty much the same procedure as the carpet, cut it into strips and roll it up for disposal
  2. Leave a section of underlay out and unrolled so you can wrap the tack-strip up in it. Believe us you’ll be glad you did!


  1. Take out your pry-bar, or an old chisel and hammer and VERY carefully remove the tack-strip. (If you have plywood under your carpet you don’t have to be as careful.)
  2. If you look closely you’ll see there are bigger nails every few inches that have been used to attach the tack-strip to the floor, you need to get the pry-bar under these and carefully lift them up so the pieces come out in big strips.
  3. Once all the tack-strip is removed, break it up into smaller pieces and roll it all up in the remaining section of underlay. Tape it up well. This step will save you from hundreds of little gashes you’ll receive otherwise.
  4. Now the super fun part… take out your pry-bar or pliers and start removing the hundreds of staples left over in the floor
  5. When you think they’re all gone, sweep the floor, double check for any stray staples and remove the remaining ones that got away
  6. Lastly, load up your car, van or trailer with the trash and enjoy the drive to the dump!

Yes it’s not glorious work, but with a bit of effort you’ll be able to save a good chunk of money and be able to boast that you had a huge part in renovating your hardwood floors – and what could be better than that!

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Great information! Thank you for posting!

You’re welcome Chris

This helped me out a lot today, thanks for the videos. Very helpful website you have here.

Happy to help out Kim.


I agree. I bought a 70 year old home and the carpet was new but stunk like an old home with cats.
It took me 3 days to get the old carpet, tack strips, and padding out. It definitely broke my back. The crowbar is great for the tack strips. I just flung that thing under them and pushed down.
Make sure you use eyewear as well because a few times I was hit in the face with small pieces of junk.

Glad it worked out and good tips.


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