Removal of old flooring is the beginning step to installing a new carpet. If you want to do this efficiently and correctly, some specific tools are needed. They include a carpet knife, hook knife, metal clamps, hammer, molding bar, channel locks or pliers, floor scraper, broom, and dustpan.
Carpet knives are commonly used to cut up old scraps of carpet so that they can easily be removed from the job site. There is a double-sided razor knife made for carpet use; the blades are sharper than standard utility knives, useful when cutting through the rough, hard carpet backing. The blades can also be replaced easily. You will probably go through a lot of blades, so be sure to stock up!
A hook knife, also called a “hawkbill,” can be used to pry the edges of the carpet up, removing pad staples, and scraping small debris from the floor.
There are clamps that are designed specifically to grab old carpet when pulling it up; these are particularly useful when removing glued-down carpet.
A hammer is used to knock down staples and remove the tack strip. I would recommend using a 22oz or larger hammer when installing the carpet.
A molding bar is used to remove molding on the edges of the carpet. These can also be used to pull staples out of the floor. Look for one that is about 8 inches that will fit well in a toolbox.
Channel locks or pliers
These are especially helpful when needing to remove staples from the old flooring. I like to keep a medium-sized pair of each (channel locks and pliers) with me on a job.
As the name implies, they are used to scrape old carpets, glue, and objects off of floors. A large scraper with a 6 to 8-inch blade and a long handle is good to have on hand.
A small one with a short handle can be kept in a toolbox for times when it’s not necessary to drag out the big one or when there are tight spaces.
Broom and Dustpan or shop vacuum
These are important to have at all job sites; they should be used to clean up the remaining bits and pieces on the floor after removal is completed.
These tools are important to have and even more helpful for a novice. Most of these tools you should already have in your garage; for the others, it might be worth it to buy, especially if you are planning on doing a large area or a whole house.
So gather your tools and get ready to do some carpet removal. For some advice on how to best remove the carpet or some helpful tips, please see this article.
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