How To Remove Your Old Carpeting

Prepping your floors for new carpeting to come in may help save you a little bit of money, as some installation companies charge extra to remove old carpeting. You can remove your old carpeting yourself in no time at all and with just a handful of tools. You may need a little help on this project, so it's time to recruit a couple of friends or family members. See below for instructions on how to tear out old carpeting.

Materials Needed For The Job:

  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape
  • Pliers
  • Floor scraper
  • Pry bar / hammer


  1. You'll first need to get rid of any and all furniture that is on the carpeted area. You'll also need to remove any doors that swing into the room where you are tearing out carpeting. Removing the door isn't necessary, but it makes the process a little easier for you.
  2. Begin in one corner of the room and pull back on the carpeting. You don't want to roll out too much old carpeting at one time, as it will be too heavy to lift. Roll it out in three feet sections and then cut it using your utility knife. To cut the carpeting, cut it along the underside of the carpet - it's easier this way.
  3. When you have a smaller section rolled out and cut, use your duct tape to secure it. This will make it easier to get out the door and into the garbage.
  4. You may end up with a lot of carpet rolls, so you will most likely fill a few garbage cans.
  5. When you have the carpeting out, you can take out the carpet padding if you have any. Take it out the same way you took out the carpeting.
  6. Use the floor scraper to remove any padding or anything else that is stuck to the floor.
  7. Beneath the padding and around the perimeter of the room you should have tack strips. These strips hold the carpet and padding in place. You'll want to remove these old strips. Use a hammer or a pry bar to remove these strips.
  8. Next, go around the room and look for any leftover staples left in the floor. To remove these staples, you can use your pliers and pull them out.

Taking out the old carpeting yourself will save you a little bit of money on installation costs, but if you don't have the time to do the work, have the carpet installation company do the work for you. They'll haul out the old carpeting and take it away for you.