How to Remove Carpet for Wood Subfloors

7 November 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Removing carpet is a very exhausting job. If you don't have the right tools, it can be very time consuming. Also, if you aren't wearing the right clothes and protective gear, this job can be hard on your body. This article explains the best techniques for properly removing carpet from a wooden floor in preparation for a fresh carpet installation.

Getting Tools You Need

The most important tools for this job are a utility knife, a couple of chisels, hammers, pliers, and some flat-head screwdrivers. You also need to make sure you are wearing the proper clothing and safety gear. Wearing kneepads will reduce the stress on your back and knees. You should also wear thick, protective gloves. The edges of the carpet can be very sharp, and you can definitely get blisters from all the prying you will be doing with the tools. You could also wear clear, protective glasses so you don't get any splinters or debris in your eye.

Pulling Up the Carpet

Finding an edge to start pulling up the carpet is simple. You can use a chisel to pull out an edge underneath the baseboard or near the threshold of the door. Once you start to pull up the carpet, you can use the claw and a hammer to get a good grip and lift up. It is a good idea to cut the carpet into smaller strips that are easier to carry out of the house. Once all the carpet is out of the house, you will need to also pull up the carpet pads. Most likely, the pads will be stapled to the wood with small staples. As you pull the carpet pad up, most of the staples will probably stay in the wood. Afterward, use a small flat-head screwdriver to pop the staples out.

Removing the Tack Strips

The final step is to remove the tack strips. This can often be the most difficult and time-consuming part of the job. It really depends on how long the nails are that attach the strips to the wood. Some carpet installers will reinforce the strips by stapling them. These long, skinny staples can be much harder to pull out. You just need to be patient and try to hammer the chisels underneath the tack strips and then pry them up. If there any nails or staples still stuck in the wooden subfloor, you will need to pull them out later with the pliers.


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