Are you planning on taking on a DIY carpet removal project before the holidays are here? Here are some important things you must know before you proceed.


Check what’s underneath

If your carpeted stairs are flanked by pieces of hardwood, chances are that the hardwood flooring does not extend beyond the edges that you can see. Builders commonly recreate the high-end look of more expensive full-length steps by installing pieces on the edges instead of complete hardwood risers. This means you’ll either need to replace the risers entirely or install new carpet and padding back into the sections after you’ve removed the old carpet.

Once you’ve figured out what is beneath the carpeting, you’ll need to break the seam on the edges at some point along the stairs. Source: ThisOldHouse

Use the right equipment

Removing carpet from the stairs requires more tools and safety equipment than you might expect. Safety equipment should include safety goggles/glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris, gloves to keep your hands safe from sharp tacks, and a face mask to protect your lungs from dust and air particles.

These are the tools you’ll need:

  • Knee-kick to help remove carpeting from the treads
  • Locking pliers to remove carpeting from the risers
  • Utility knife to cut carpeting into manageable pieces
  • Pry bar and hammer to pry tack strips away from the treads
  • 3-inch putty knife to place under the pry bar when removing the tack strip to protect the stair. You can also use a putty knife to remove stuck on glue if the carpet padding was glued to the stair
  • Needle-nose pliers to remove any remaining fasteners
  • Contractor-grade garbage bags and duct tape for disposing of tack strips, carpeting, fasteners, and carpet pad Source: BobVila

Follow these simple steps

  1. Start at the top of the stairs. Position yourself below the top stair with the pry bar, hammer and utility knife. Having the tools you’ll need right at hand helps the process go smoothly.
  2. Pry up one corner of the carpeting with the pry bar. Pull the carpet over to the opposite corner.
  3. Cut carpeting along the stair edge. Pull up any padding. If you’ve positioned a garbage bag one or two steps lower than the one you’re working on, you can easily slip old materials into it.
  4. Lever up any staples, using a staple remover or needle nose pliers. Wrestle up any carpeting tack strip, using a hammer and pry bar.
  5. Apply a flat-nosed screwdriver, pry bar, pliers or whatever tools work best for you to remove carpet and padding from around staircase spindles.
  6. Remove any staples or carpet tack strips from the spindle area, including the outside of the staircase.
  7. Repeat these steps for each stair tread. Cutting the carpet and removing staples and tack strips as you go ensure a simple clean-up and safe progress. Source: HomeGuides.SFGate

Too many things on your holiday to-do list? Leave the carpet to us! Call us to book an appointment.