woman rolling carpet uplift guide

Carpet Uplift & Removal – the Ultimate Guide

12 July 2021

If you're having a new carpet fitted, the chances are you'll need to lift up and dispose of the old one first. This bit of work is call a 'Carpet Uplift'.  Doing the carpet uplift yourself is pretty straightforward and can be a great way to save some money.  Read this handy guide on carpet uplift and you should be able to start ripping up your carpet in no time.


  1. What are the best options for carpet uplift?
  2. Tools for removing a carpet
  3. How to uplift carpet
  4. How to remove underlay
  5. How to remove gripper rods
  6. How can I dispose of my old carpet?


1. What are the best options for carpet uplift?

The main options for carpet uplift are 1) pulling up the carpet yourself, 2) getting your carpet fitter to do it for you, 3) paying the retailer you bought your new carpet from to do the uplift; or 4) using a waste contractor to pull it up rather than just collect and dispose of it.

If you want to uplift the carpet yourself, see below for a step-by-step guide.


2. Tools for carpet uplift

There are a few tools you’ll need to uplift your old carpet:

  • Utility knife
  • Dust mask
  • Pliers
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Crowbar
  • Floor scraper (you only need this if your underlay has been glued down)


3. How to uplift a carpet

Pulling up carpet is relatively simple - usually, if you grab a pair of pliers and go to the corner of the carpet, it should pull away quite easily.  Then you’ll need to use your utility knife to cut a small square so you have an area you can easily grab hold off to pull up.  It's a good idea to wear gloves when you're doing this but if you don't have any, be extra careful.

As you’re pulling up the carpet, the best practice is to fold and use your utility knife to cut the carpet into strips sections to make it easier to then roll up and duct tape in place.  This will make the carpet much easier to carry.

And that’s it - once it’s rolled up and duct-taped, it’s ready for disposal. 


man uplifting carpet


4. How to remove underlay

Underlay is simple to uplift -  usually, it is just laid down on the floor but sometimes it is stapled or glued down.  If it is stapled, you just need to pull it up and the staples should come away from the floor.  If they don’t, you can use a crowbar or pliers to remove them.  If your carpet has been glued down, we recommend using a floor scraper to lift it.

Once removed, to make it easy to dispose of, cut it into strips, roll it up and tghen use duct tape to keep it together.


5. How to remove gripper rods

If you’re having a new carpet installed, most of the time you can leave your gripper rods ready for the next carpet.  But if they’re in bad shape or you’re having vinyl flooring installed, you will want to remove them and so this job needs to be added to the uplift.

Gripper rods are bits of wood that are studded with tacks around the perimeter of the room.  To remove them, use a crowbar.  Slide the crowbar under the gripper rods and lift up the strip and they should come up.  Make sure you're wearing gloves as the tacks can be quite sharp.


caret underlay and gripper rods ready for disposal

6. How can I dispose of my old carpet?

There are a few ways to dispose of your carpet.  You could ask your carpet fitter if it's a service they offer, but make sure that they have a waste carriers license verified by the Environment Agency otherwise it's illegal for them to take away your waste.  Some carpet retailers also offer a disposal service for an additional fee when you buy a new carpet through them. Another way to dispose of your carpet is to use the council's services.  Councils offer a bulky waste collection service and they also have Household Waste Recycling Centres which usually accept carpet. Finally, if you're looking to get rid of your carpet quickly and don't mind paying for the service - including if you wish lifting up the old flooring at the same time, then use a Man and Van Waste company.  To find the cheapest one in your area click here.


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