By Katie Flannery | Updated Jun 30, 2022 1:12 PM
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Is your carpet old, stained, worn, and dingy? If so, it’s time to get rid of it and install new flooring. Some homeowners decide on replacing it with new carpeting, while others may choose to install hardwood or laminate flooring. The first step is to remove the old carpet. According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, carpet removal cost can range from $100 to $300, with the national average at $190. A contractor typically charges between $1 and $1.50 per square foot for carpet removal service for a 12-by-12-foot room. This price range usually includes labor costs, cleanup, and carpet disposal cost. The pricing can differ from the national average due to the location of the carpeting, whether the carpeting has been glued down, and if the contractor charges by the step for carpet removal from stairs.
Carpet removal involves clearing the rooms of furniture, personal items, and area rugs. For those that can’t move heavy items on their own, hiring movers to help can cost between $0.20 and $0.25 per square foot. The cost to dispose of carpet that’s been ripped up can cost approximately $0.04 to $0.05 per square foot, or $0.50 to $1 per square foot, including labor. Here, we’ll examine factors that influence carpet removal cost, the telltale signs when carpet needs to be replaced, and important questions to ask a carpet professional regarding carpet removal.
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How much does it cost to remove carpet? That depends on a few factors. Prices can fluctuate from the national average due to room size and shape, carpet location, labor costs, carpet disposal, and geographic location.
The larger the room, the more expensive the carpet removal cost will be. For rooms that are rectangular or square, the removal costs will be less expensive than for a room that is asymmetrical. If there are bay windows, built-ins, or odd corners, expect to pay more for the complex job.
Since every area that has carpet is a different shape, it will take different amounts of time, effort, and care to remove the carpet. Depending on the location, it can cost from $1 to $3.10 on average to remove carpet, and some carpet professionals can charge up to $20 per stair for carpet removal. The most common areas where carpet is removed are bedrooms, the basement, and stairs. Removing carpet from a bedroom usually costs from $1 to $1.50 per square foot. All the furniture will need to be removed, and the contractor will start in a corner and work toward the center of the room. If the room is oddly shaped, it will cost extra.
The average price of $1 to $1.50 per square foot for carpet removal typically includes the cost of labor. Some contractors will charge a separate labor fee, so homeowners should double-check the estimate or talk to their contractor regarding how labor is calculated.
Many contractors will include a disposal fee in their carpet removal estimate. Some will have the option to recycle the carpet instead of dropping it off at a landfill. If the contractor you use doesn’t have a recycling option, the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is a nonprofit organization that can help you find a recycling center near you. The cost to recycle carpeting ranges from $0.05 to $0.25 per pound, with the average carpet weighing approximately 4 to 5 pounds per square yard. Most carpeting can be recycled to create new products, such as auto supplies, roof shingles, composite lumber, and more.
Geographic location affects labor prices for carpet removal. Densely populated urban areas typically have higher labor costs than suburban or rural areas. Some areas have more expensive disposal fees, and those can be added onto the estimate.
When budgeting for carpet removal costs, it’s beneficial to know about any additional costs and considerations that may affect the overall price. These can include preparation, glue removal, any needed repairs, and new flooring costs.
Before carpets can be removed, all furniture and personal items need to be taken out of the room. In some instances, doors may need to be taken off their frames and baseboards may need to be removed. If professional movers are hired to remove furniture and other heavy items, it can cost $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot, although some carpet contractors can charge up to $2 per square foot for furniture-moving services.
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Removing a carpet that was glued down is more expensive than removing a carpet that was secured with staples or tack strips. Contractors can charge between $3 and $5 per square yard, or $0.33 to $0.56 per square foot to remove glued-down carpet. After cutting the carpet to remove it, a professional will use various techniques to remove the glue from the floor. These can include scraping, using hot water to soften the glue, using a chemical glue remover, and sanding. It’s common for glue to be used when installing a carpet over a concrete floor, but it will affect the cost to rip up carpet when the time comes to remove it.
Once the old carpet is removed, the contractor can get a good look at the floor. If repairs need to be made, they will make them at that time. Costs for repairing the subfloor can range from $500 to $700 for a single room. Replacing a subfloor for a 300-square-foot room will cost significantly more, averaging between $1,500 and $1,650. Replacing and installing floor trim can cost from $0.60 to $10 per linear foot, depending on the thickness of the trim and materials.
Homeowners can choose to replace the carpet or install a new flooring material, such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, and more.
The cost to rip up carpet depends heavily on the type of carpet and its location. A basic carpet in a regular-shaped room will generally cost less to remove than a carpet that’s been glued down or one that’s been laid in a less accessible place such as on a set of stairs or in a basement.
Carpet and pad removal costs range from $1 to $1.50 per square foot. This price generally includes disposal costs and labor fees.
The cost to remove carpet from stairs can range from $1 per square foot on the low end to $20 per step on the high end. Carpet removal from stairs is more time-consuming since each step needs to be completed one at a time. Some steps can be oddly shaped and have more corners, which will result in additional labor costs.
The cost to remove carpet from a basement is $1 to $1.50 per square foot. Many homeowners prefer not to have carpet in the basement due to the damp nature of the area. If a home has issues with mold and mildew, carpeting is not recommended for the basement.
Wall-to-wall carpet removal costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot. It can take between 2 and 4 hours to remove wall-to-wall carpet from a 12-by-12-foot room.
It’s common for carpet to be glued down when staples and tack strips cannot be used, such as on a concrete floor. Contractors will charge extra to remove a glued carpet since it takes more time and effort for removal.
Regular vacuuming and cleaning maintenance can extend the life of carpeting, but eventually the moment comes when it’s time to replace it. If the carpet has worn spots, rips, tears, and stains that professional carpet cleaning just can’t eliminate, it’s time for a replacement. Here are a few telltale signs that it’s time to remove that old carpet and replace it.
Matted fibers, tears, rips, worn spots, and carpet shedding are all signs that the carpet needs to be removed and replaced. On average, carpets last between 5 and 15 years, depending on foot traffic and frequency of vacuuming and cleaning.
Stains and discoloration from spilled food, drinks, pet accidents, and more can get ground into carpet fibers. The older the stains are, the more set in they become, and they are immune to even the best carpet cleaners for the home. If the carpet has an offensive odor, it may be eliminated by a professional cleaning, but if the smell has penetrated deep into the padding and subfloor material, the only solution would be to remove the carpet and replace it.
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The layer of carpet padding supports the carpet and cushions the floor to make it comfortable to walk on. When it breaks down and compresses, it can make the carpet uneven and cause wrinkles. A well-padded carpet acts as a sound buffer and can improve the insulation of the room.
Most carpets last between 5 and 10 years, depending on frequency of care, the amount of foot traffic, and the amount of humidity in the air. If the carpet is shedding, faded, worn, matted, wrinkled, or has compressed padding, these are all signs of an old carpet.
Carpets trap dirt, debris, bacteria, mold, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. These can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms when they’re allowed to stay in the carpet fibers. Regular vacuuming, cleaning, and disinfectant use can eliminate some of these triggers, but if someone keeps having allergy or asthma attacks when in a room with a carpet, the carpet may be to blame.
Water damage can cause dangerous mold and mildew growth in the carpet fibers and in the padding underneath. If clean water from a burst pipe or sink malfunction soaks a carpet, using a water extractor to remove the water and fans to dry the area may stave off carpet replacement. If gray water from a dishwasher or washing machine has damaged a carpet, it’s recommended to replace the padding and, if possible, extract the water from the carpet and lay it back down. For black-water damage, or water that is unsanitary, such as from a clogged toilet or a broken sewer line, both the padding and carpet will need to be replaced as soon as possible.
While carpet removal doesn’t require specialized skills, it is a difficult DIY job. DIYers who wish to remove their own carpeting should keep in mind that it is a labor-intensive and time-consuming project. There are also some tools required to remove carpeting successfully. These can include a pry bar, utility knife, pliers, vice grips, respirator mask, safety goggles, gloves, heavy-duty trash bags, claw hammer, and a large vehicle for transporting the carpet to a disposal site. If the carpet has been glued down, a scraper, chemical glue remover, and a floor sander will be needed. The strenuous job doesn’t end when the carpet is ripped up from the floor—the carpeting will need to be removed from the house and transported to a disposal or recycling site. Homeowners who have previous experience with carpet removal will sometimes opt to tackle the job on their own, but many think the $1 to $1.50 per-square-foot price for removal and disposal is worth it.
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Budgeting for carpet removal costs can be tough, and the additional fees associated with the project can quickly add up. Here are a few ways to save without compromising on quality.
Asking the right questions about carpet removal can minimize miscommunication and help homeowners find the right professional for the job. Here are some questions to ask a carpet professional about carpet removal costs.
Many questions can arise when planning for carpet removal. Here are a few frequently asked questions about carpet removal to help homeowners find the best professional for the job.
Carpet removal costs range from $100 to $300, with many homeowners spending about $190.
If the carpet is more than 10 years old or has stains that won’t budge, or if it has offensive odors that won’t go away or has rips, tears, and worn spots, it’s time for a replacement. Some carpets that have small holes may be able to be repaired, but if the carpet has numerous signs of aging, water damage, or mold growth, those are signs that point to carpet removal.
Many homeowners search online to find reviews and recommendations for carpet removal companies in their area.
The average price for furniture removal is between $0.20 and $0.25 per square foot. Many times carpet removers might move a small item or two for free, but moving furniture and other items back and forth while removing the carpet will result in additional costs.
Carpet removal in New York City can range from $1.10 to $2.10 per square foot. This price typically includes labor, cleanup, and waste disposal fees.
For areas larger than 1,000 square feet, the price to remove commercial carpet can be $0.85 per square foot. Including labor, haul away, and disposal costs, commercial carpet removal usually averages about $1 per square foot.
If you have the experience and the tools to remove carpet on your own, it could be a DIY project. It’s recommended to leave carpet removal to the pros to avoid the strenuous, labor-intensive, and time-consuming project.
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