Transforming your house with new floor coverings is always exciting to see. Less exciting is the work required to get your floors from ‘Before’ to ‘After’. Removing old flooring can be a hard slog, but with the right tools, you can eliminate some of the frustration. We take a look at the basics of removing one of the most popular flooring options, carpet.
First and foremost, remember that carpet installed in or before the 1970s can contain asbestos in the underlay. (Old vinyl, linoleum, and tiles can also have backing or glue that contains asbestos.) Asbestos poses serious health risks to humans when fibres of a certain size become airborne and are inhaled. If you’re suspicious of your old carpet, you can contact a professional to have a sample tested at an asbestos-testing laboratory. If your old carpet is contaminated, contracting licensed asbestos removers to remove it is the safest option.
If you’re sure that your old carpet is asbestos-free, you can proceed to line your toolbox with these essentials to get started on your flooring reno.
Utility/Stanley knife: To remove carpet molding, you’ll need this to jiggle beneath the trim. You can also use the knife to cut up the carpet and underlay into more manageable strips to reduce the risk of injury during removal.
Pry bar: Use with the utility knife to remove any old damaged smoothedge carpet grippers that may need replacing.
Needle nose pliers: If the carpet is attached to the subfloor with staples, use this to remove them. Pliers are also handy for pulling up carpet from the corners.
Floor scraper: If the underlay is glued onto concrete, use this to scrape off any remaining chunks of underlay.
Mineral spirits: If the underlay is glued onto wood flooring, use this to soften the adhesive.
Hammer & chisel: Use together to remove tack strips and staples.
Protective gear: Safety glasses, dust masks, work gloves, and knee pads will protect you from pins and tacks and debris.
Vacuum cleaner or broom: Reno work is dirty work. Vacuum up the mess as you go along and after you’re done for a clean subfloor to work on. Vacuuming the old carpet prior to removal prevents excess dust and dirt from spreading as you work.
With these tools, you can now begin to tear away that nasty old carpet make way for new floor coverings!
Still sounding like too much hard work? If you purchase your new floor coverings from Andersens, we’ll be happy to discuss removal options with you. Contact us to see how we can help you.