How to uplift and remove carpet

How to uplift and remove carpet

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There are lots of reasons why you might need to lift up your carpet – from having an older carpet replaced, to checking your subfloor for any issues, and sometimes just needing to get to the lower levels of your house structure, taking up carpet can seem like a chore. However, lifting up a carpet and removing it can be quite simple.

This guide will take you through the different steps you need to take to remove a carpet, including the best way to take up glued and tacked-down carpets, as well as how to remove carpet from tricky spots like your stairs. Read on to dig into our top tips and tricks!

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When to remove your carpet

Removing your carpet could happen for a number of reasons, but some of the signs to look out for to know if your carpet needs to be replaced include:

  • Big stains that you cannot clean
  • Big rips or tears that you don’t think you can fix yourself
  • Discolouration or damp patches from a leaky subfloor or plumbing issue
  • The carpet has come away from its adhesion to the subfloor and needs to be re-laid
  • If you fancy a change of style and want to make a big change to a room without buying any new furniture – paint and flooring can make a huge difference!

So now you know when you might need to replace a carpet, it’s time to find out how you can uplift and remove it.

Step-by-step: how to remove carpet

What tools you’ll need:

  • Utility knife
  • Dust mask
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • Crowbar
  • Floor scraper


Step 1 – Use pliers to pull up the corner

Pop your gloves and mask on to keep you protected, and then go to one of the corners of the room and use your pliers to pull up the corner of the carpet. This works best with carpet that’s attached with carpet grippers, which should come away from the tacks easily. If your carpet is attached with glue, you will need to use the floor scraper to scrape the carpet away from the subfloor.

Step 2 – Work along the edges of the room

Continue pulling the carpet away from the carpet grippers all the way around the edges of the room and try to cut the carpet into manageable sections. Alternatively, if you’re working with glued carpet, continue in a way that you can pull up large strips of the carpet. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a big pile of carpet that will be too heavy to carry down to a skip (although you could use some of the excess and upcycle your offcuts to use around the home)! The best way to rip up a carpet is using a Stanley knife to cut it into large strips.

Step 3 – Remove the underlay

Most carpets will come with a layer of underlay beneath them, which keeps them cosy and soft under your feet. If you’re planning on replacing your carpet with a new one, then you may find that if your underlay is still in the condition, you can leave it where it is. However, this underlay will need to be removed if you’re planning on putting in a different kind of flooring, like engineered wood or LVT.

Your underlay is likely nailed or stapled to the subfloor, so you can use a hammer or pliers to remove the nails or staples safely and pull this up in a similar way to your carpet. Roll this up into manageable sections and remove it.

Step 4 – Remove the carpet grippers

If you’re replacing your carpet with a brand new carpet, then you may want to leave the gripper rods where they are, as they’ll fit right under the next carpet easily, and saves you the work of installing them again. However, you may need to replace your old gripper if your new carpet isn’t the same thickness as the old one. And if you’re working on your subfloor or replacing your carpet with new flooring, like laminate or vinyl, then you’ll need to remove them.

Slide your crowbar underneath the middle of the rod and push gently until the rod comes away from your subfloor. Make sure you have your gloves on, pick up the rods and collect them in a container you can use to carry them to your skip/bin.

Step 5 – Dispose of your old carpet

Finally, you can dispose of your carpet and all the materials that you used. The easiest way of disposing of your carpet is having it collected and taken away using your local rubbish collection or taking it to a local tip. However, if you want to make the process even easier, you can use Tapi’s uplift and removal service which can be included as part of the package when you buy your new flooring from us.

Our expert fitters will take on the whole process, take away your old carpet and even fit your new carpet, all as one service! Why not get in touch with us today to enquire about whether this solution would work best for you?

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Removing carpet from stairs

The stairs can seem like a trickier area to tackle when you’re removing flooring, but the process remains fairly similar. Go along the edges of your stairs using the pliers to pull up the edges of the carpet. Make sure to start at the bottom and work your way upwards, as you don’t want to pull too hard and cause yourself to take a tumble! Then remove any underlay and the carpet grippers using the same methods as before removing and disposing of everything.

Tapi can remove your old carpet

If, after reading this guide, you’ve decided that you’d like some professional help with taking up and disposing of your carpet, then reach out to our team here at Tapi to find out more about our services. You could pop down to your local Tapi store by booking a free store appointment, or one of our floorologists can even come out to your house to get a closer evaluation of the job if you book a free home appointment. Alternatively, if you're replacing your carpet with something new, then have a read of our guide on how to fit a carpet.

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Published: 30-11-2022