How to Remove Carpet – without breaking your back

Just look at that carpet! It’s covered in drywall dust and probably makes you think I’ve been secretly busy on some mysterious project that I didn’t tell you about and about to reveal some AWESOME room…but I’m haven’t — and I didn’t — and I’m not.

How to remove carpet.

I’ve actually had some time ON my hands the last few days because a STINKIN’ sneeze herniated a disk and I’ve been living on ice, Biofreeze, a portable TENS unit and chiropractic visits. Well, I don’t know if herniated is actually what happened but I sneezed, something felt like it popped and I was in PAIN. So, no, I haven’t been doing any of this lately.

How to remove carpet.

I can’t even bend over that far right now. LOL It’s so stupid it’s funny!

Nope, not lifting, pushing or pulling

How to remove carpet.

… and trying my darnedest not to cough or sneeze!


But hey — it’s funny what you find when you have time on your hands and you click the button that says “Drafts”. Up pop 25 posts where you uploaded pictures and had intentions of writing some instructional information to go with them…at some point…when you weren’t knee deep in some project or another.


This is Madison’s bedroom. It was finished LOOOOng ago but I guess I haven’t had time to put the words in …until now. So here goes:

How to remove carpet. (Without breaking your back!)


First off, you’re going to want to prepare yourself with some essential safety gear and tools.

  • Dust mask in case your carpet is saturated with dust (like ours was)
  • gloves
  • safety glasses (mine are invisible in this picture — IT’S THE LATEST FAD!)
  • hearing protection.

How to remove carpet.

  • a SHARP one of these bad boys. (utility knife)

How to remove carpet.


There are some other tools you’ll need to but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. First, let’s get that ugly, filthy, disgusting carpet OUT of the house.

OK, so you have your tools, now how to remove the carpet.

Use your utility knife to cut the carpet into strips that are manageable sizes. Small enough for you to roll up and carry out of the house and THROW into the garbage pile.

How to remove carpet.

After you cut, roll and toss your carpet strips — do it all again with the carpet pad!

How to remove carpet.

Once all that crap is out of the house, you’ll need a couple other tools to pull that tack strip up.  Be careful.  There are nails on both sides of those creepers and it HURTS if you kneel down in the wrong place.

  • Hammer
  • Prybar (I call it a CRobar but am not sure if that’s spelled CroWbar or CroBar or CroeBar or what…so I go with PryBar because that is easy to spell.)

How to remove carpet.


Then you have to pull up the gazillion staples that secured the carpet pad to the subfloor.  I like these tools for that job:

  • Plyers
  • scrapers (5 in 1 painters tool works great for popping up staples)

How to remove carpet.

Last but not least, you’ll need a:

  • scraper with an angled handle is more comfortable for scraping up ALL the crap that was splattered and globbed, blobbed and gooped all over the floor while it was being built because they knew it was going to be carpeted so it REALLY didn’t matter WHAT was left on the subfloor. DID IT!??! @#@&*(#

How to remove carpet.

And that’s really all it takes to remove your old carpet and prep your floor for something a little nicer.  (AND I’m sure something that will be laid with a little more love and care.)


And speaking of love and care…Happy Valentine’s Day!

kisses, Sandra



  1. Linda S. in NE says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your recent back pain. I can certainly relate during the past six months. I think I messed mine up just bending over to take a leash off a dog’s collar. At least you are being “pro-active” about your problem, and trying to do all the right things to make it feel better. Me, not so much. Without health insurance, laying on the heating pad and hoping it will feel better is about all I can manage. Take care.

  2. Cathy Michels says:

    Sorry to hear you are having trouble with your back! Have you had a bone density test? I had a similar problem a year and a half ago and when I went to the doctor I found out that I had serious bone loss. I couldn’t believe it because I had none of the risk factors (heavy caffeine consumption, cigarette smoking, sedentary life style, etc.) and I have always been a lover of dairy products. The pain was actually from a broken rib and I later broke one in the front just from leaning over the back of the sofa to reach something that had fallen. I only mention this because broken ribs don’t show up on x-rays and the issue could become exacerbated by chiropractic adjustments. I used to laugh at my sister when she asked me if I’d had my bone density checked. After all, they say weight bearing exercise helps prevent bone loss and I had been doing heavy lifting all my life, as well as, lots of walking. Besides that only happens to old people – right!?! Guess I was wrong. :( Hope you heal soon, Take good care of yourself – we would miss you and your wonderful woodworking adventures if you didn’t! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Oh Cathy, that sounds painful. Broken ribs. I hope there is something you can do to help with that. Calcium and magnesium? I don’t know if I’ve had a bone density test. I’ll have to ask next time I go to the Dr.

  3. Yay. I didn’t realize it was this easy. Just in time for me to tackle the walk-in closet. I figure I would start small and I screw up, nobody will see the disaster but me and sweetie and if it goes well, then I can expand to other areas.

    • Well it’s pretty hard to screw up carpet removal. It can definitely be more or less difficult though, depending on how you tackle it. I think it’s a great idea to start small and gain confidence though. Go get it! :-)

  4. Oh, I feel your pain…literally! I have back issues, too and sneezing is a scary prospect! I hope you get some relief soon.

  5. So sorry to hear about your back. Your post made me think of our last house, in Houston. It was late in my fourth pregnancy and our roof took a hit in a hurricane and there was extensive water damage. We were trying to move back in as soon as possible (before the baby came!). After all the drywall went back in and painting and all that, I remember being over at our house, knowing the carpet was going in the next day, and I couldn’t handle it. Everything was such a disaster! I called the ladies in book club and we cleaned that night instead of discussing books. Drywall dust is such nasty stuff but we vacuumed and cleaned off everything, and cleaned the floors. There were gobs of joint compound, screws, nails, etc. It made me feel so much better knowing my pad and carpet went down on clean floors, and I think it is atrocious that me, soon to have a baby, and my excellent book club friends had to do it, and not the contractors, but, such is life I suppose.

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