How Much Does it Cost to Remove Carpet?

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cost to remove carpet

Removing your carpet can be a difficult job if it is old or damaged. However, if you want to put in new flooring, it must be done. 

You can choose the DIY route if you like, but if not, a contractor can also do it. Finding out how much it will cost can help you decide which is the best way for you. 

In this article, we have laid out how much it costs to remove carpet. 

While this number will vary depending on your area and the contractor, it is a good start. You can figure out if you can afford to have someone come in and do the dirty work for you. 

Removing Carpet: Basic Idea

Removing carpet is relatively simple, but it can be physically difficult. 

There are several steps involved and each will have its own cost. These steps are: 

  • Labor cost
  • Materials
  • Hauling
  • Potential Repairs
  • DIY 

Why Remove Your Carpet?

why remove your carpet

Many times, people want to remove their carpet so they can put in new floors. 

While carpeting is always more or less in style, it comes and goes in popularity. It can also get very dirty if it is old and has a tendency to hold in bacteria and grime. 

If you have recently experienced a flood or your carpet has gotten wet, it may need to be replaced. 

This is especially true if the moisture was allowed to stay in the carpet for a long period of time. Mold and mildew can quickly grow under carpeting and in that case, it will need to be replaced. 


A contractor will generally charge around $1.26 per square foot in labor for a carpet removal. This is going to be your biggest expense in your project, by far. 

The reason this is the most expensive part of the process is that carpet removal is labor intensive. 

Pulling up carpet requires the removal of several small tacks and nails. Carpet is held down by rows of carpet tacks and these will all need to be removed. 

This can take several hours and is usually very tough on the laborers’ backs and knees. 

To offset this difficulty, contractors will charge the most for this step. 


Materials for a carpet removal job are going to be around $0.41 per square foot. 

The materials needed for carpet removal are generally things that laborers need for the job. 

If your carpet is moldy or particularly old, the contractors will need masks or suits. These cost money and will need to be disposed of after the job is done. 

They may also need tools in order to properly pull up the carpet. These tool costs are always built into the final cost of a contractor’s job.

Waste and Haul-Away 

waste and haul-away

After your carpet is pulled from the home, it will need to be hauled away. Generally, contractors have deals with waste management companies for large hauling jobs like this. 

A hauling job for a 300 square foot room will be about $85-$100 depending on the contractor. 

This is a much better option than just throwing the old carpet in your own trash. 

Some removal companies will not take cans that are overfilled. If this is the case with yours, you could end up with a lot of old carpet on your hands. 


If your subfloor is damaged, you will need to have repairs done on it. These repairs must be done before the new flooring is put in. 

Depending on the severity of the damage, the price will go up or down. 

If all you need is a few gouges repaired, it will not be much money. However, if you need structural repairs done, you could find yourself with a rather large bill. 

The only way to know for sure is to have a contractor come look at your floor. 

They will be able to give you an accurate quote based on your needs. 

DIY Option 

If you want to save money on your carpet removal, you could do it yourself. 

Removing carpet is not very complicated. All you need is a utility knife to cut it and the time to pull it up. 

You will also have to pull up the carpet padding underneath to get to the wood subfloor. 

If you are going to do this job yourself, make sure you wear a mask or respirator. You never know what fibers or mold could potentially be under your carpeting. 

Frequently Asked Questions

faq cost to remove carpet

  • Can I put carpet in my recycle bin?

Carpet is made up of many different materials. Because of this, it is usually not recyclable and shouldn’t be put in your bin. 

If you have a large amount of carpet, have a hauling service take it away. 

  • What is the fastest way to remove carpet tack strips?

Carpet tack strips can be removed quickly using a snow shovel. Simply push the snow shovel across the subfloor and get underneath the tacks to remove them. 

Be careful when using this technique to not gouge the wooden subfloor with the shovel. 

  • How do you remove old glued down carpet?

Pull up the carpet as best as you can by hand and there will be glue left on the subfloor. Use a scraper to pry up the dried glue that won’t come up with the old carpet. 

If it is especially stuck, you can use boiling water to soften it up and remove it. 


Removing old carpet is one of the least expensive jobs you can have a contractor do. If you want to save money, have the same person remove the old carpet and put in the new floor. 

If you decide to do it yourself, be careful to not damage the subfloor and you should be just fine. 

Photo of author


Michael J. O’Connor is a writer and marketing specialist from the Bay Area of California. A graduate of Sonoma State’s Creative Writing program, he spent many years as a contractor and carpet layer, learning the ins and outs of flooring and general contracting. When he’s not typing away at his desk, he enjoys hiking with his dogs, woodworking and collecting rare books. See full biography here.

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