How To Remove Carpet

Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
how to remove carpet
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Depending on the size of the room, you should be able to remove the carpet, underlay, staples and gripper rods in less than an hour. To give you an idea of what’s involved in the removal of carpet, below is our step by step guide.

What You’ll Need

  • Dust mask (optional)
  • Utility knife
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Crowbar or chisel
  • Strong bags (for the carpet grippers)

How To Remove Carpets

1. Make Space

If there is still furniture in the room where carpet is being removed, you’ll want to take it out because it’ll be difficult to pull up carpet if there is weight on top. Therefore, ideally you’ll want to completely clear the room and take off any internal doors if the carpet to be removed passes through the doorway.

2. Cut The Carpet Into Strips

To begin the removal of carpet, you first want to use a utility knife to cut the carpet into manageable strips.

It’s important that you don’t cut the strips too wide because the carpet can be very heavy and awkward to carry out the room.

Ideally, you’ll want to cut the carpet into 2 to 3 foot wide strips but depending upon the shape of the room, you may want to cut the carpet into smaller sections.

A top tip that we would recommend is that you install new blades in your utility knife. We recommend you do this because certain carpets can be quite tricky to cut.

how to rip carpet up
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

3. Pull Up The Carpet

Once you’ve cut the carpet into manageable strips, you can then begin to pull up the carpet. Apart from pulling up the carpet near the edges where the gripper rods are holding it down, you shouldn’t need to use too much force.

It’s worth pointing out that depending upon the condition of the carpet, as you pull it up, it may be very dusty. Therefore, you may want to put on a face mask and gloves for peace of mind.

4. Roll It Up & Duct Tape It Together

After you’ve successfully pulled up the carpet, you’ll want to roll each strip up and then duct tape it together. By doing this, it ensures the carpet doesn’t fall apart when you take it out of the room or dispose of it at the tip.

5. Remove The Underlay

Removing the underlay is often much easier than the carpet and if it’s stapled in place, you should be able to pull it up with ease. However, if the underlay was installed with glue, you may need more force to pull it up. Worst case, you may need to use a scraper tool if the underlay is only pulling up in small pieces. Once you have pulled up the underlay, you’ll want to roll it up and use duct tape to keep it together (as shown in step 3).

how to take up a carpet
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

6. Locate & Remove Staples In The Floor

If the underlay was stapled to the floor, you’ll want to use a crowbar or chisel to pull the staples out. Although they aren’t difficult to remove, there is usually quite a lot of them, which can make this task quite time-consuming.

How To Remove Carpet Grippers

After removing the carpet and underlay, it’s good practice to also remove the existing carpet grippers. Although you can possibly reuse them, it’s advised that you replace them if they show signs of rust or water damage. Therefore, the best way to remove carpet grippers is to slide a crowbar or chisel underneath and begin to lift it up.

As you can see in the photo below, they should begin to lift with ease up but if you are struggling to slide a crowbar or chisel underneath, you can use a hammer to force it under.

how to remove carpet gripper
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

After you’ve successfully removed the carpet grippers, put on some heavy duty gloves and place them into a strong/rubble bag because they’ll pierce through standard black bags.

Before & After Carpet Removal

We recently pulled up carpet in an Airbnb property and as you can in the photo, the carpet that was removed was very 1980’s and definitely couldn’t be used in a modern Airbnb.

remove carpets
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
removal of carpet
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

The Disposal of Carpet

After you’ve successfully removed the carpet, you’ll want to appropriately dispose of it. Therefore, if you want to get rid of it yourself, you’ll want to take it to a recycling centre where they have dedicated containers for carpet.

Alternatively, you can hire a skip if there is a lot of carpet to get rid off or contact your local council in order to use their bulky waste collection service. However, it’s worth pointing out that both of these methods do come at a cost.


Removing carpet is a DIY task that anyone can achieve with basic tools and there is really no need to hire a professional to do it for you. Hopefully our guide on how to rip up your carpets and dispose of them correctly has given you the confidence to do it yourself. However, if you have any questions regarding the removal of carpet, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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