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This article will teach you how to remove a basic wall to wall carpet, pad and tack strip. Be careful when working with the tools, especially the slotted blade knife and the tack strip. We don’t want you loosing any much needed body parts.
Chances are that if you are a homeowner you will have a wall carpet installed over padding. Along the edges of the room you will have a row of tack strip and where the carpet meets the floor you will have some sort of transition
1) Begin by taking the carpet away from the transitions
There are a few different types of transitions. Here are a few and what you will need to do to remove your carpet.
If you have linoleum or a flat tile you will probably have a -bar as the transition. Z-bars are hidden under the carpet. The Z-bar is nailed under the tack strip with a piece of metal sticking out in front of it. The carpet is wrapped around the Z-bar and hammered down. The edge of a carpet with a -bar looks like the carpet is folded at the transition. To remove the carpet from a -bar transition you simply pull the carpet away. It will willingly let go.
You may have a clamp-down type metal. If you do have a clamp-down metal as the transition you can use a chisel or a stair tool to gently pry it open. When prying it open take care to only pry it as far as you just barely need to so that you don’t split the metal where it bends. In most cases you can re-use the clamp-down metal or the -bar.
If you have a flat metal that’s nailed down to the wood floor beneath the carpet, just remove the nails. I suggest you just throw it away. Don’t bother re-using it.
If you have a carpet to tile transition then you probably don’t have any type of metal under the carpet at all. It’s held in place by the tack strip. After it’s tacked down it’s tucked in between the tack strip and the tile. To remove the carpet from a carpet to tile transition just pull it out. Nothing could be easier.
2) Now it’s time to begin removing the carpet. I normally cut the carpet into 2′ – 3′ strips so that it’s easy to take out of the house. The easiest way to cut carpet if from the back so flip it over, use a slotted blade knife and be careful.
3) The next thing to do is to remove the carpet padding. In most cases I cut it into strips also. Then I stuff it into heavy duty plastic bags. The contractors bags are the best.
4) Once the padding is removed it’s time to scrap up or pull out the staples. Using a pair of pliers is probably easiest for the beginner. If the padding was glued down you may want to scrap the floor.
5) If the floor smells like animal urine this would be a good time to use enzymes. Go to the pet store and buy 3x more than you think you’ll need and pour it on. Be generous.
6) Finally the floor is clean and the only thing left is tack strip. If you need to remove the tack strip be careful. Use a pry bar and a hammer to remove the tack strip. The tiny nails on tack-strip like to bite so it’s a good idea to wear gloves.
So there you have it. You’ve removed your carpet, padding, cleaned the floor and removed the tack strip.
I’m Steve Gordon,
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