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What Do I Need to Know About Pulling Up Carpet?

Have you recently moved into a new home? Are you getting ready to sell? Do you simply crave a change? Carpets may give a home a lovely warm feel and provide a layer of insulation, but nobody likes dated, stained, and dusty carpets. Pulling old carpeting up may seem like a simple job — certainly easier than installing a new carpet — but it’s a lot more complicated than it sounds. Hold off on that DIY project and discover what ripping up old carpeting really entails before you start removing old carpets.

What Do I Need to Know About Pulling Up Carpet?

1. Carpet Removal Requires a Lot of Preparation

Pulling up old carpet requires a lot of prep work. If you’re planning to do it yourself, make sure to go through this checklist before you get started:

  • The entire room must be cleared ahead of time to facilitate carpet removal. That job entails removing furniture from the room and any smaller items as well.
  • If any of the entry doors, bathroom doors, or closet doors in the room swing inward, those have to be taken off their hinges and removed to pull the carpet up as well.
  • You’ll need the right tools to pull your old carpeting up.  To start, you will need pliers, a floor scraper, a utility knife, and a flat pry bar.
  • Personal protective gear is essential when you’re planning to rip your carpet up. Don’t underestimate how dusty that carpet is! Wear a dust mask (N95 respirator), protective glasses, gloves, and knee pads before you pull your carpet up.
  • Many people underestimate the size of their carpets. Strongly consider renting a dumpster before you start removing carpet from stairs and rooms.

Professionals can pull up the carpeting in one room in under an hour. If you don’t have experience with this job, it may take significantly longer.

2. How to Pull Your Carpet Up

Once you’ve prepared the room, the next steps entail:

  • Detaching the carpet from the tack strips that are used to keep the carpet firmly in place. This requires pliers (and patience). If you’re having trouble, you can also use a utility knife to cut the carpet into smaller sections. This will make it easier to pull the carpet up.
  • Cut your carpet into 4′ strips once you have removed the tack strips. Roll these sections up, tape them into place, and dispose of them.
  • Removing the carpet pad is the next step. This requires a flat pry bar and scraper. You may not know what’s under your carpet — plywood and concrete are both commonly encountered, but some carpeted homes hide a beautiful hardwood floor that you’ll want to keep intact.
  • If you’re planning to pull all your carpets up, working room-to-room ensures your whole home doesn’t turn into a construction site.

The process of removing a carpet is trickier than you might think. You’ll break out a sweat, handle large sections of heavy carpet, and wrestle with tools you may not be familiar with.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pull your carpet up yourself. With the right prep work and a hefty dose of determination, you can definitely do it. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into beforehand!

3. How Do You Plan to Replace the Carpeting?

Have you hated the carpeting in your home since you moved in? Your dislike may slowly build up to a point where you decide you can’t deal with it anymore, and you suddenly decide that today’s the right day to rip your carpet up.

That’s a bad idea! You may manage to complete the job in a single afternoon if you have the right tools and the carpet isn’t glued in place but, what are you going to do afterward?

Hire the Professionals

Installing new carpet is much harder than pulling it up, and hiring a team of carpet installation professionals usually turns out to be the most cost-effective choice. They’ll get the job done right, so you don’t waste costly materials.

Ripping your carpeting up to save some money is a perfectly valid choice. Just make sure you have a solid post-carpet-removal plan in place. Your options include restoring the flooring underneath the carpet, having a new carpet installed, or having tiles, laminate, or parquet installed.

Having a plan in place ensures you’ll be able to use your room again in no time — hopefully while enjoying a beautiful new floor.

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