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How to Pull the Carpet Away From the Wall

Carpet removal is easier than it looks. The first step to complete or partial carpet removal is to pull it away from the wall. In most carpet installations, carpet is most secure along the edges of the room. Caret tack strips, glue or tape may be holding the carpet in place. Once you manage to pull the carpet away from the wall along the perimeter, the rest of the carpet-removal job will be a piece of cake.

Things You'll Need

  • Butter knife
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Pry bar
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    • 1

      Look around the perimeter of the carpet for carpet staples. You may have to dig through the nap a bit to spot the flat silver staples. Remove the ones you see along the edge of the wall. Wedge the edge of a butter knife or other long, thin metal object underneath the staple to pry it up. Then use a pair of needle-nose pliers to pull up the staple.

    • 2

      Feel along the edge of the wall for a tack strip. Tack strips are thin pieces of studded wood or metal that are nailed to the floor. If you feel a tack strip, run a utility knife along the "gulley" or space between the tack strip and the wall. This frees the carpet from its attachment to the edge of the floor. If you don't want to cut the carpet or there's no tack strip, skip this step.

    • 3

      Start at the corner of the room. Try to pull the carpet up and away from the wall with the help of a pry bar. Alternatively or in conjunction with the pry bar, use needle-nose pliers to grip the carpet by the nap or edge and pull. If you've scored the carpet along the tack strip, pull up the strip of carpet next to the wall with the help of your needle-nose pliers. Continue pulling the carpet in this manner all along the perimeter of the wall.

    • 4

      Pry the tack strip out of the subfloor with a pry bar. Place a sliver of wood between the pry bar and the floor to protect it from scuffing. Take care as you work. Sharp nails stick out of the tack strip.