How to remove carpeting from concrete? (A Complete Guide)

In this article we will answer the question, how to remove carpeting from concrete? This article will include a guide on the step-by-step instruction of removing carpets from concrete, tools and material to use. Tips on how to effectively remove your carpet will be provided in this article as well and when it is actually the time to remove your carpet.

How to remove carpeting from concrete?

In removing carpeting from concrete, determine first the use if there is any for your carpet. Then carefully remove the carpet. Here is the step-by-step instruction and materials to be used to remove your carpet.

Tools and Materials:

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Determine the purpose of your carpet after removing.

Do you intend to salvage and use it again or you will just throw it away? If you intend to salvage it, it is necessary to carefully remove your carpet.

Step 2: Clear the concrete floor.

Clear the concrete floor and remove all furniture and any doors that swing into the room. These things will of course obstruct your project 

Step 3: Wear safety gears.

Slip on a pair of gloves to protect your hands and fingers from any sharp object in your carpet , knee pad to provide safeguard against impact and provide cushioning when kneeling. Also, strap in a dust mask in case you are sensitive to dust.

Step 4: Detach your carpet from tack strips.

Tack strips are narrow lengths of wood with nails and concrete screws that are placed in the perimeter of your concrete floor to hold your carpet wall to wall. Remove the concrete screw using a pry bar. Place a pry bar at the nail in the tack strip then hit the pry bar using a hammer knocking the tack strip and concrete screw.

Step 4: Cut the carpet into sections if you intend to just throw it away.

To cut the carpet easily, fold the carpet then slice it into narrow strips. Manageable strips can range from 12”-24” wide. If you intend to use it again, skip this step and focus on rolling your carpet

Step 6: Roll up the carpet strips and tape them.

Roll up the carpet strips and concrete padding then tape them. If you are working in a flat concrete slab, start working on one side of the wall. If you’re gonna remove carpet from the stairs or from concrete steps, start at the top. If there is a metal placed at the top of the stair, you can pry it up to detach it. If not, cut the carpet near the top of the top riser.

Grab the carpet with pliers and pull them. Again, if you intend to use your carpet again you have to roll up the entire carpet carefully. It is also better to tie the rolled-up carpet to make it easier to roll.

Step 7: Scrape the concrete glue.

Using a scraper with a sharp razor edge, scrape the concrete glue and remove glued down soft adhesives underneath your carpet. Scrap off all the concrete glue as possible, many times this is already enough to clean your concrete slab. However, if it is not enough, sweep away first chunks of glue then process to the next step.

Step 8: Apply hot water.

Mop four square feet of surface with hot water to remove glue residue. If a significant amount of glue is still left covering your concrete floor, simply pour boiling water and allow it to mix with the glue for 1-2 minutes. This will loosen up your dry glue from your concrete slab.

Step 9: Scrub the loosened glue.

Using a concrete floor scrubber or your scraper, scrub the moistened glue off your concrete. Apply more water if necessary, continue doing so until all your concrete glue is removed.

Step 10: Apply glue remover.

Depending on the specific glue used and its age, some glue cannot be easily removed using hot water. In this case, a heavy duty carpet glue remover is needed. Adhesive removers will chemically softener the glue. However, you should be careful in applying these adhesive removers because they can be hazardous. Make sure to read the products labels, directions, cautions and warnings. Also, work wearing your safety gear and work in a well-ventilated room.

Step 11: Sand the floor.

Sand the remaining areas with a floor sander or floor buffing machine with a sanding disk attached with rough grit sandpaper. This is to ensure that you removed glue even from the pores of the concrete. Make sure not to oversand your floor, going overboard with sanding can possibly expose the aggregate in your concrete and will make your concrete more porous soaking up more acid stain and sealer.

Step 12: Troubleshoot.

Check if all carpet sheets and carpet glue are removed.If some thin sheets were left remove them with hot water. If carpet glue was still on your concrete floor, you can use a heat gun to soften the glue or iron it in case you do not have a heat gun. Make sure to cover the area in your concrete with glue with a thin towel if ever you are going to use an iron.

When to remove and change your carpet?

Whether you are removing your indoor outdoor carpet inside your house or front porch. There are several indicators that will tell you if it is actually necessary to remove and replace your carpet already.

  • Wear and Tear

If there are already visible and lots of tears in your carpet, there is no amount of patching can save it. Carpet fibers often become matted and frayed within just 3-5 years. Areas where the most wear and tear are usually in places where people usually walk through such as the hallways, stairs, and living areas.

  • Water damage and mold

Water damage caused by leaking pipes in ceiling, kitchens, and bathroom can lead to mold and mildew stains. Mold is very dangerous to health because it can trigger asthma and allergies.

  • Stains

Stains in your carpet that are hard to remove are red wine, coffee, mustard. Small amount of this being spilled in your carpet is somehow tolerable but in case a major spill occurred, it’s time to change your carpet because this will make your carpet look dirty, and a dirty carpet is a devalued home.

  • Smell

Smell of your feet, food stains, allergens and dirt can cause foul odor after years of build up. Try to remove first the smell by using baking soda and vinegar then spray it with air freshener. If after everything you have done to deodorize, but still nothing happens it;s time to change your carpet.

  • Aesthetics

Style changes easily through time. If your carpet is a bit outdated and outworn change your carpet to create a fresher look in your home.

  • Old padding

Carpet padding underneath your carpet can degrade and age just like your carpet. A carpet padding only lasts for about 25 years throughout these years it can flatten, get dirt and grime ground around it. So in case, your carpet is still okay but your padding is not, you still have to remove your carpet to remove your old carpet padding.

  • Age

Carpetiny only lasts between 5-15 years and people don’t replace the carpet often. Replace your carpet if you suspect that your carpet, especially in rental apartments, is already old. The Areas where carpet show age are the hallways, walkways and entrances so check them out.


Removing and replacing your carpet can be a tough job especially if it is glued with heavy duty adhesives. That’s why it is necessary first to determine if changing your carpet is necessary and to take note of tips and to dos in order to remove your carpet effectively and easily.

For any questions and suggestions about this article, please feel free to submit your thoughts in the comment section below.

FAQ: How to remove carpeting from concrete?

Is it cheaper to remove carpet yourself?

Yes, it is cheaper to remove carpet yourself as long as you already have the tools needed to remove your carpet. Carpet removal costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot to remove carpet from a 12-by-12-foot room This includes the labor, cleanup and waste disposal. If you are going to remove it yourself you just have to pay a contractor to collect and dispose of the waste which costs $0.40 to $0.50 per square foot.

Do I have to remove carpet glue?

It is important to remove the carpet glue after removing your carpet. This is to even out your concrete floor and to remove dirt that accumulated underneath your carpet. Removing the glue used can be tough. If you suspect that the adhesive on your floor contains asbestos, contact an asbestos abatement professional and do not try to remove it yourself. Asbestos can cause serious health consequences once inhaled.

Will vinegar remove carpet glue?

Vinegar mixed with hot water can remove a carpet glue. Mix one part of white vinegar with one part of hot water. Pour the white vinegar solution to the old carpet adhesive and let it set for several minutes. This mixture will soften the solution then dissolve it.

Do you have to remove baseboards to remove carpet?

You have to remove first the baseboard underneath your carpet if your carpet does have one. Baseboards are decorative pieces that fill the gap between your floor and walls, turning sharp edges of your floor to ornamental edges.

How do you clean hardwood floors after removing carpet?

Cleaning hardwood floors after removing carpet is easy as long as you’ve completely gotten rid of the carpet, debris and residue. There are several cleaning methods you can do for finished floors, one way is by using vinegar solution. Mix 1 cup of vinegar per gallon of water then wash the floor using the solution with a mop. Apply the solution for several passes then dry it with a towel immediately.


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