Before you decide to remove carpet, check whether it is broadloom, fastened just at the walls and seams or if it is carpet tile, with each separate section glued down. Broadloom detaches easily from floors, while carpet tile will take substantially more work. Study the cost-saving tips below to remove carpet from your home.
Broadloom carpet is laid in large wide rolls and is fastened only at the seams and at the room edges, with carpet tacks. The most cost-effective way to remove it is to empty the room completely, then use a small claw hammer to pull up the carpet tacks, or needle-nose pliers to remove carpet staples around the edge of the room. To preserve the floor surface below, slide a putty knife under the claw hammer or plier jaws. With a utility knife, cut the carpet into narrow sections, about 24 inches wide, and roll it up as you lift it off the floor. The carpet underpad will probably be glued down to keep it from shifting. If you are going to re-carpet the room and the underpad is in good shape, don't remove it. If however, you want to refinish a hardwood floor below the underpad, all of the underpad and glue will have to come off. Steam the underpad first with a steamer rug cleaner to soften and loosen as much of the glue as you can, then apply a good quality adhesive remover to get the rest.
Removing Carpet Tiles
Carpet tiles are generally glued to an underpad, so you can remove both the tiles and underpad at the same time. Find the main seams of the carpet tiles and cut through them right to the floor with a utility knife. Pull up both the tiles and underpad and discard them as you go into extra-large plastic trash bags. Use the same type of adhesive remover as with broadloom underpad to loosen and remove any remaining carpet glue. If the underpad was stapled to the floor around the room's perimeter, use pliers to pull the staples loose.
Removing Carpeting from a Concrete Floor
When carpet is attached to concrete, the underpad is glued down and the carpet is secured with tack strips and nails driven into the concrete. When you remove these nails, you will make holes in the concrete. Minimize the damage by sliding a putty knife under your claw hammer as you pry out the carpet tack nails. You will need to repair holes in the concrete with epoxy before you can lay a new floor surface.
Budget for Removing Carpet
You will need to rent a carpet steamer, purchase adhesive remover and several large trash bags. To refinish a concrete floor you will also need concrete epoxy. To save time, ask a group of your friends to help you move your furniture, roll up carpet or strip off the carpet tiles, and put the furnishings back. Treat them to a take-out meal to say thanks. The costs of these items combined is far less than hiring a professional restoration company to remove your carpet.