How Much Does Carpet Removal Cost?

Carpet removal cost can range from $100 to $300, with many homeowners spending around $190.

By Katie Flannery | Updated Jun 30, 2022 1:12 PM

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  • Typical Range: $100 to $300
  • National Average: $190

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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Factors in Calculating Carpet Removal Cost

5 Things to Know Before Removing Carpet Yourself

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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.

Room Size and Shape

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.

Carpet Location

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.

Labor

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.

Carpet Disposal

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

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.

Additional Costs and Considerations

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.

Preparation

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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Glue Removal

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.

Repairs

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.

New Flooring

Homeowners can choose to replace the carpet or install a new flooring material, such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, linoleum, and more.

  • Remove and replace carpet. Many homeowners spend between $5 and $14 per square foot to remove and install new carpet.
  • Remove carpet and install hardwood. The labor cost to remove carpet and install hardwood ranges from $4.25 to $9.25 per square foot. The cost of the wood flooring runs from $3 to $14 or more per square foot, depending on thickness and wood type. Pine is the most budget-friendly wood flooring, with the priciest being teak and walnut.
  • Remove carpet and install laminate. The labor cost to remove carpet and install laminate flooring runs from $2 to $8 per square foot. The flooring can cost from $0.70 to $2 per square foot, depending on the wood type. Maple is typically the least expensive, and hickory is the most expensive laminate option.
  • Remove carpet and install other flooring types.
    • Vinyl. Removing the carpet and installing vinyl flooring runs from $5 to $6 per square foot.
    • Linoleum. This eco-friendly flooring option costs between $5 and $7 per square foot.
    • Cork. Cork costs from $6 to $9 per square foot and it can be lacquered.
    • Concrete. Durable and low-maintenance concrete costs from $9 to $11 per square foot.
    • Tile. The cost of replacing carpet with tile ranges from $12 to $18 per square foot.
    • Marble. This classic stone is beautiful and easy to clean, but difficult to install. The price ranges from $18 to $28 per square foot.
5 Things to Know Before Removing Carpet Yourself

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Cost to Remove Different Types of Carpet

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

Carpet and pad removal costs range from $1 to $1.50 per square foot. This price generally includes disposal costs and labor fees.

Stair Carpet

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.

Basement Carpet

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

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.

Glued Carpet

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.

Do I Need Carpet 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.

Wear and Tear

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 Smells

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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Damaged Padding

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.

Age

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.

Worsening Allergy Symptoms

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 or Mold

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.

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Carpet Removal: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

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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How to Save Money on Carpet Removal Cost

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.

  • Get multiple quotes. Get at least three quotes from reputable carpet professionals in your area.
  • Clear the rooms yourself. Moving the furniture and personal items out of the rooms on your own can eliminate additional costs for professional movers.
  • Use the same company. Using the same company to remove the old carpet and install the new flooring can reduce costs.
  • Be up front. Explaining the condition of the carpet, padding, flooring, and subfloor can help a carpet professional provide an accurate estimate.
  • Ask about discounts. Some carpet companies will offer discounts and deals during their slower months.

Questions to Ask About Carpet Removal

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.

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you have workers’ compensation coverage?
  • Will you provide references?
  • How do you charge for carpet removal?
  • How much to remove carpet and install hardwood flooring?
  • How much to remove carpet and install laminate flooring?
  • How much do you charge per step?
  • What is your furniture-moving fee?
  • Do you offer recycling for the old carpet?
  • Do you charge extra for cleanup?
  • What guarantees do you offer?
  • Where can I leave a review?

FAQs

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.

Q. How much does rug removal cost?

Carpet removal costs range from $100 to $300, with many homeowners spending about $190.

Q. How do I know if I should repair, clean, or remove and replace my carpeting?

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.

Q. How can I find cheap carpet removal companies or services?

Many homeowners search online to find reviews and recommendations for carpet removal companies in their area.

Q. How much do carpet removers charge to move furniture?

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.

Q. How much is carpet removal in NYC?

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.

Q. How much does it cost to pull up commercial carpet?

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.

Q. Is it worth removing a carpet myself?

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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