DIY Tips for Changing Old Flooring and Carpets

10 April 2012 | Helpful tips and hints

Changing the look of your home can be easily done by changing old flooring with new designs. But while the options for new flooring are endless, removing old carpets is rather a tedious task. Don’t despair though… flooring removal can actually be accomplished DIY with the right information and tools!

Foremost, keep in mind that removing a carpet in a dwelling built before 1978 can pose serious health risks to you and to the other residents of the house. Lead dust present in the carpet can be toxic so you will have to check with the local authorities first to determine the local rules for disposing a lead contaminated object. If all is well, it’s time to get the work done. Equip yourself with the right tools including:

  • Vacuum cleaner or broom,
  • Utility knife,
  • Needle nose pliers,
  • Hammer,
  • Safety glasses,
  • Pry bar
  • Mineral Spirits
  • Floor Scraper
  • Heavy work gloves

Clean the carpet from any debris using a vacuum cleaner or a broom. Remove any molding that holds the carpet in place by jiggling a utility knife under the trim until you can readily insert a pry bar between the surfaces of the wall and the baseboards. Continue until the baseboards have been completely removed – If you intend to re-use it later, make sure to label or mark each piece so you can put it back to its original position.

Always wear gloves when working as carpet tacks and the pinheads are extremely sharp. If carpet padding is attached to the subfloor with small staples, use the needle nose pliers to remove the staples. If the carpet padding is glued on wood flooring, use mineral spirits to soften the adhesive. If it’s glued on concrete, use a floor scraper instead. Always wear safety glasses to safeguard your eyes from harmful debris.

You should now be standing on bare subfloor and should be ready to install your new carpet, hardwood floors, tiles, laminate or vinyl floors!

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