Restoring Your Hardwoods – Carpet Removal

old-carpetCarpet has its place, but if you’re like a lot of people, you’d really rather have the hardwood flooring underneath. Taking out carpet can give your home a whole new look and feel, add a lot of aesthetic appeal and even increase its resale value – and in many cases, it’s a relatively quick and easy project which you can do yourself.

Assuming that your carpet isn’t attached with an adhesive, this is very simple. Start by cutting the carpet into strips using a utility knife (don’t go too deep or you’ll cut through the padding and damage the floor). This will make it easier to pull up and make getting it out much more manageable. Next, you’ll need to pull the carpet loose from the tack strip (start from a corner for this); pliers or a very thick pair of work gloves will make this easier. Keep pulling along the walls to remove each section of carpet.

Getting the padding out is easy enough. It’s usually attached with staples; just pull them out with pliers and remove the padding as you go. Once it’s out, you can take on the tack strips. With the right tools (pry bar, a hammer and pliers), this can be a very easy job. Slip the end of the pry bar under the tack strip, giving it a tap with the hammer if needed. Once you have enough leverage, pry the strip away from the floor and slide the pry bar along. If your tack strip is fairly new, this should go smoothly. Otherwise, you may have to pry out nails individually if the strip breaks into pieces.

After the tack strips are out, just go over the room carefully and pry up any remaining tacks or nails and clean up any residue from the padding. The next step will be to refinish the floors, but chances are that your home is starting to look better already – and all it took was a few hours work taking out the carpeting!