How Much Does Carpet Removal Cost?

Typical Range:

$750 - $1,676

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated August 25, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Carpet removal costs anywhere from $1 to $1.50 per square foot for the average project, which includes labor, cleanup, and the carpet disposal cost. The typical 12-by-12-foot room takes about three hours for total carpet removal, including extracting the tack strips and staples, for a typical cost range of $140 to $220, or an average of $180.

If your carpet removal professional charges an hourly rate instead of per square foot, expect to pay an average of $60 per hour. Some carpet removal companies may charge extra if they have to move large furniture, anywhere from $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot of furniture on top of the base carpet removal cost. You can save money by moving the furniture yourself.

Carpet Removal Costs by Type

In general, carpet companies will charge between $1 and $1.50 per square foot to remove carpet from your home. The type of carpet—and where and how it’s installed—can impact overall carpet removal prices.

Carpet and Pad

A carpet pad costs around $1 to $1.50 per square foot to remove, but more if you need to move furniture. This price includes the labor to remove the carpet and the carpet disposal cost.

Carpeted Stairs

Carpeted stairs can be more challenging to work with. Quotes for stair carpet removal may fall between $2 to $3 per step. This is generally in line with the per-square-foot cost to remove carpet since the average step is 2 square feet per Building Officials and Code Administration (BOCA) compliance. Oddly shaped steps, however, may fetch a higher per-step price.

Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Wall-to-wall carpet removal costs around $1 to $1.50 per square foot. For a 12-by-12-foot room, that’s approximately $140 to $220. It’ll take most contractors roughly two to four hours for a job of this size.

Basement Carpeting

Basement carpet removal prices align with other carpet removal costs, about $1 to $1.50 per square foot. However, because basements can be more prone to mold, you may also need to budget for the cost of mold removal before you install the new carpet.

Glued Carpet

The price of removing glued carpet is typically higher than that of regular carpet removal. The cost to rip up carpet is around $1.30 to $2.10 per square foot.

Glued-down carpet requires more labor than carpet held down with tacks and staples. The contractor will need to cut it to remove it, then use a scraping tool to remove the glue residue.

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Carpet Disposal Cost

When calculating how much it is to remove carpet, remember an important distinction: removal versus disposal. The cost to remove the carpet includes both the removal and the disposal.

But if you're confident you can remove the carpet yourself and have the necessary tools to do it, you can instead budget for the carpet disposal cost, typically around $0.40 to $0.50 per square foot. A 12-by-12-foot room costs about $60 to $70 rather than the full $140 to $220 cost to rip up carpet and dispose of it. 

A note about recycling: You can recycle most carpet fibers to create new products, but minimal infrastructures exist to handle this process. The nonprofit organization Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) has a database of carpet recyclers. Price varies based on your location. We recommend asking your removal company about their waste processing policy; some may reuse or resell your old flooring.

Average Cost to Remove and Replace a Carpet

If you're installing a new carpet or another flooring type, the price may already include the removal of your existing carpet. Ask your contractor if this labor is included in your quote.

Replace a Carpet With Hardwood Flooring

If you’re installing hardwood flooring where you currently have carpet, most pros will include the cost of carpet removal with the price of hardwood flooring installation. Expect to spend about $6 to $12 per square foot, including labor and materials.

Laminate Flooring Replacement

The cost to install laminate flooring runs from $2.70 to $10 per square foot, including material and labor. Most pros will include the cost of carpet removal in their quote.

New Carpeting

The average cost to install a new carpet is about $1,780, with new carpet installation prices ranging between $3.50 and $11 per square foot. Often, the price of new carpet installation includes the removal of old carpet, but expect your prices to be on the higher end of this range.

Adding Vinyl, Linoleum, Tiles, or Other Flooring Types

Carpet, hardwood, and laminate flooring scratch the surface of what you can have installed. Floor installation companies may charge anywhere from $1 to $15 per square foot for installation alone, while materials can go from $0.50 to $14 or more per square foot.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for various types of flooring, fully installed:

Carpet Removal Cost Factors

Additional factors can affect the overall cost to remove carpet, including the room size and shape, the carpet location, any necessary repair work, and the furniture on top of the carpet.

Room Size and Shape

If you're having the carpet removed from multiple rooms, you may be able to get a lower rate because of the volume of work. On the other hand, an oddly shaped room or staircase may complicate the carpet removal process, increasing overall project costs.

Location

While carpet removal prices are pretty standard throughout your home, you may pay a little more for carpeted stairs, carpet in the basement, or carpet in hard-to-reach locations. For example, an attic without AC may justify a higher labor rate from the carpet removal company.

Geographic location can also impact the overall carpet removal cost. Larger cities typically fetch higher labor rates and have more expensive carpet disposal fees. The carpet removal cost generally fluctuates with the local cost of living.

Repairs

Whenever you replace flooring, you should inspect the subfloor for damage. The cost to replace subflooring ranges from $1.30 to $12 per square foot, on top of other flooring installation costs.

You may not need to remove the carpet at all. Before installing new carpet, work with a contractor to determine if your existing carpet is salvageable. Repairing carpet costs about $1.85 per square foot.

Moving Furniture

Expect to pay around $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot of furniture that needs to be shifted between rooms when having your carpet removed. A pro might move a few small, light items for free. You can save on your overall carpet removal cost by moving the furniture ahead of time yourself.

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DIY Costs vs. Hiring a Carpet Removal Company

A carpet removal company charges around $1 to $1.50 per square foot, including labor, waste removal, and cleanup. DIY work enables you to work at your own schedule and only includes the cost of carpet disposal—unless you have to purchase essential tools such as pliers or vise grips, a hammer, and pry bar, which cost around $5 to $10 per item

The downside to DIY carpet removal is that it's time-consuming and strenuous, and you'll need a large vehicle to transport the waste. We recommend hiring a flooring contractor if you haven't removed carpet before.

Carpet Removal Tools

To remove your own carpet, you’ll need the following tools:

  • Pliers or vise grips: $5–$10 per item

  • Knife: $5–$10 per item

  • Gloves, eye protection, and dust mask: $1–$2 per item

  • Vacuum: $50–$1,000

  • Heavy-duty trash bags: $5 per roll

  • Hammer: $5–$10 per item

  • Pry bar: $5–$10 per item

Removing Carpet Tack Strips and Staples

Follow these general steps to remove carpet tack strips and staples:

  • Get the proper safety gear. Always wear gloves and eye protection when removing staples and tack strips. 

  • Hammer a pry bar beneath a tack strip to release it. This works on hardwood or concrete floors. 

  • Jiggle out the nail securing the tack strip. You don’t need to apply leverage to it.

  • Look for and pull out staples. Use pliers, vise grips, or a dedicated heavy-duty staple remover. Hammer flat staples that refuse to budge.

Finding Carpet Removal Services Near You

If you aren’t comfortable with removing carpet as a DIY project, find a local flooring pro. Always ask for an itemized quote that outlines individual pricing for the following services:

  • General carpet removal prices

  • Cost per step

  • Price of moving furniture

  • Carpet disposal rate

  • Cleanup costs

Compare quotes from at least three different companies before moving forward

FAQs

How much does rug removal cost?

Removing a rug costs around $0.35 to $0.45 per square foot. This includes the fee for a contractor to roll up the rug and haul it away in a vehicle for disposal or recycling. If they need to move furniture, they might charge an additional $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot of furniture.

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

If your carpet has minor damage—like a single area that requires stretching, patching, or cleaning—it might be less expensive to pay for carpet repair than remove and replace it. 

The cost of carpet cleaning is about $180 for a three-bedroom home, so it’s a good idea to have your carpet cleaned at least once a year. But most carpeting only lasts 10 years. If your carpet is nearing the end of its life span, it might be more cost-effective to remove and replace your carpet than to clean and repair it.

How can I find cheap carpet removal companies or services?

Search our directory of carpet removal companies and services to find an affordable, screened contractor near you. All HomeAdvisor listings are vetted, reviewed, and rated by homeowners, so you can be sure to find a local pro qualified for your project. Get at least three quotes to compare prices and the timeline for your project.

How much does it cost to pull up commercial carpet?

Commercial carpet removal usually costs on the lower end of the carpet removal price range, around $1 per square foot or even less. Carpet installation contractors often offer discounted rates for larger projects, like commercial carpet removal and installation. Similarly, you might be able to negotiate a lower residential carpet removal cost if you’re having carpet pulled up throughout your entire home.

Can I put carpeting out with my regular trash?

If you remove just a small portion of the carpet, you can likely put it in your garbage with other waste. However, if you have a large quantity of old carpet, you'll need to arrange a bulk-trash pickup if your community offers this service or transport it to a waste drop-off facility. You can also look for local carpet recyclers in your area.

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