How To Remove Wall To Wall Carpet From Concrete

It’s week 4 of my master bedroom update for the One Room Challenge, and this week is all about the floors.

Concrete floor with the baseboards removed

This is the last room in my house with wall-to-wall carpet and I am sooo looking forward to getting rid of it.

With 2 cats and a dog, it is just too hard to keep clean!

I think the hardest part of this job was moving out the furniture (especially my really big, and really heavy bed frame). And finding somewhere to store it.

Now I have no room in my bathroom or living room to do anything because there are pieces of furniture everywhere. I guess that will give me some incentive to get the floor done quickly!

Since I’ve taken up the carpets in the rest of the house already, I’m getting pretty good at removing carpet from concrete.

So here’s how…

1 | Take Out The Carpet

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In my house, the carpet was installed after the baseboards.

So I removed the carpet before taking down the baseboards.

I’m not sure if this is the standard way that carpet is installed or not. So if your baseboards are on top of the carpet, you may need to reverse the order of this step and the next one.

Anyhow, this step is fairly simple.

You just need to pull the carpet off the carpet strips that hold it in place. They are little pieces of wood with nails on them that are installed around the edge of the room.

Usually, if you pull the carpet towards the wall and then up, you’ll be able to get a piece of it loose. Then the rest comes up pretty easily.

Roll up the carpet and dispose of it.

2 | Remove The Baseboards

For most types of flooring, the baseboards get installed on top of the floor. Which means you need to take them off, put down your hardwood or tile (or whatever you are using), and then re-install the baseboards so they cover the edges of the floor and are installed at the right height.

Which means you need to remove them without breaking them (so they can be re-used).

To do this:

  • Run a utility knife along the top to cut through the caulking.
  • Working from one corner of the room, use a molding removal bar* to pull the baseboard out from the wall so the nails come straight out.
  • Finally, pull off the whole piece of molding, and go on to the next one.

You can find all the details of my molding removal process HERE.

2. Take Up the Under Pad

Next you’ll need to remove the underpad.

There are some times when it helps to live in a builder grade house.

Whoever installed the carpet in my room didn’t do a very good job of gluing down the under pad. So it came up much easier than I thought!

Don’t worry if some bits are stuck to the floor. We’ll take care of them later.

3. Remove The Carpet Strips

Now you need to take up the carpet strips that hold the carpet in place.

Use a hammer and a molding removal bar* to get under each of the nails that is holding down the carpet strips.

Push down on the handle until they pop right out of the concrete.

Sometimes the nail will pull through the wood rather than popping out.

In those cases, use the claw portion of either the hammer or the molding tool to pull them out.

4. Scrape Off The Remaining Glue

Scraping the glue that’s still stuck to the floor is the worst part of the job.

After trying to do it with a hand scraper (which was taking forever!), I decided I needed to look for a better tool.

And found exactly what I needed.

This scraper attachment* (from Amazon) and a reciprocating saw!

The blades aren’t too expensive and they work MUCH better than the hand scrapers.

Hold the saw at about a 45 degree angle to the floor and let it go to work.

The trick is not to push down too hard or you will break the blade.

And that’s all there is to it!

Stay tuned next week for my tutorial on how to install floating wood floors.

Now don’t forget to visit the makeovers from all of the talented One Room Challenge featured participants as well as the rest of the guest participants. So many beautiful rooms in progress!

Have comments or questions on how to remove wall-to-wall carpet from concrete? Tell us in the section below.

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