How Much Does it Cost to Remove Carpet?

Typical Range:

$144 - $216

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated June 11, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Carpet Removal Cost

Carpet removal costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot including labor, cleanup and waste disposal. This equals $48 to $72 per hour because it usually takes 3 hours to remove carpet from a 12 by 12-foot room (including extracting the tack strips and staples). The average hourly rate is $60 per hour, so expect to pay $180 in total for a contractor to remove and dispose of 12 by 12-foot carpet.

If you need someone to move large furniture it is $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot of furniture. If you are experienced and have the available tools, you can remove the carpet yourself and pay for a contractor to collect and dispose of the waste which costs $0.40 to $0.50 per square foot.

Carpet Removal Prices

A contractor charges $1 to $1.50 per square foot to remove carpet from a 12 by 12-foot room and haul it away.

If you want to remove the carpet yourself and then pay for someone to collect it the price lowers to $0.40 to $0.50 per square foot! This includesthe driver, vehicle rental and gas. Be sure you cut it up into manageable bundles for loading into the vehicle otherwise you may be charged extra.

A note about recycling: Most carpet fibers can be recycled to create new products, but minimal infrastructure exists to do this. Nonprofit organization CARE (Carpet America Recovery Effort) 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.

Cost to Remove Carpet and Pad

Carpet and pad removal costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot which includes labor and waste removal.

Cost to Remove Carpet from Stairs

Many contractors bundle the cost of removing carpet from stairs into the overall price of $1 to $1.50 per square foot. You can request a per-step price if required. Removing 2 square feet will cost $2 to $3 per step.

The Building Officials and Code Administration (BOCA) specify a minimum tread depth of 9 inches and width of 2 feet and 8 inches for steps – which equals 2 square feet in total for a BOCA compliant step.

Cost to Rip Up Wall to Wall Carpet

A contractor charges $1 to $1.50 per square foot to remove wall-to-wall carpet, dispose of it and clean up. Removing this fitted flooring from from a 12 by 12-foot room takes 2 to 4 hours.

Tearing Up Basement Carpeting

Removing basement carpeting costs $1 to $1.50 per square foot. If you live in a wet climate, consider removing your it to avoid mold growth.

Carpet Disposal Cost

Carpet disposal on its own costs $0.40 to $0.50 per square foot. This includes the vehicle and gas to transport the waste to the dumpsite. Pulling it up is an additional $0.50 - $1.00 per square foot for labor.

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Average Cost to Remove and Replace a Carpet

The average cost to install a new carpet is $685 for a 12 by 12-foot room. This includes costs for removing the old, all materials and installation of the replacement.

Replace a Carpet with Hardwood Flooring

Labor rates total $4.25 to $9.25 per square foot to remove the old carpet and replace it with hardwood flooring. Adding on to your cost to install hardwood flooring is another $3 to $14 per square foot for the wood too. Find out which flooring material wins the battle of carpet vs. hardwood.

Laminate Flooring Replacement

The cost to install laminate flooring is $2 to $8 per square foot for labor time only. Removing it costs $1.20 to $2.40 per square foot, including labor time for detaching the flooring, clean up and waste removal.

Adding Vinyl, Linoleum, Tiles or Other Flooring Types

You can replace all types of carpet, laminate, and hardwood flooring. Alternative options for flooring costs$4.65 to $28.25 per square foot. This includes the cost of removing the old, installing the new and all materials:

  • Vinyl: $5-$6 per square foot, hard-wearing and soft underfoot.

  • Linoleum: $5-$7 per square foot, eco-friendly and recyclable. Limited color options.

  • Cork: $6-$9 per square foot, naturally repels insects and can be lacquered.

  • Concrete: $9-$11 per square foot, durable and low maintenance.

  • Tile: $12-$18 per square foot, wear and stain resilient, suited to high humidity.

  • Marble: $18-$28 per square foot, chic looking, easy to clean, but difficult to install.

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DIY Costs vs. Hiring a Carpet Removal Company

A carpet removal company charges $1 to $1.50 per square foot including labor, waste removal and clean up. DIY enables you to work to your own schedule and it is free; unless you have to purchase essential tools such as pliers or vise grips, hammer and a pry bar which costs $5 to $10 per item. The downside is it's time consuming, strenuous and you need a large vehicle to transport the waste. We recommend hiring a contractor if you haven't removed carpet before.

Carpet Removal Tools

To remove your own carpet you will require the following tools:

  • Pliers or vise grips: $5 to $10 per item.

  • Knife: $5 to $10 per item.

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

  • Vacuum: $50 to $1000.

  • Heavy duty trash bags: $5 per roll.

  • Hammer and pry bar: $5 to $10 per item.

Removing Carpet Tack Strips and Staples

Ensure you wear gloves and eye protection when removing staples and tack strips:

  1. Hammer a pry bar beneath a tack strip to release it. This works on hardwood or concrete floors. No pry bar? Use a screwdriver.

  2. Jiggle out the nail securing the tack strip. You do not need to apply leverage to it.

  3. 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 are not comfortable with this as a DIY task, you can find carpet removal and repair services near you using our directory. To save money we recommend you ask for an itemized quote outlining the individual price for the following:

  • Pulling up the carpet

  • Price per step

  • Moving furniture

  • Transporting the waste from your home

  • Clean up

Once you receive the quote you can pick and choose the services you require and negotiate a discount.

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How much does rug removal cost?

Removing a rug costs $0.35 to $0.45 per square foot based on a contractor coming in, rolling up the rug and hauling it away by vehicle for disposal or recycling. If furniture needs to be moved then they could 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?

Ten years is the lifespan of a carpet according to most manufacturers. You should consider cleaning or repairing if it has the following:

  • Stubborn stains.

  • Flattened fibers or padding.

  • Small rips or tears.

  • Strong odors

  • Increase in allergies.

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.

How much do carpet removers charge to move furniture?

Expect to pay $0.20 to $0.25 per square foot of furniture that needs to be shifted between rooms. A few small and light items might be done for free. We do not recommend moving furniture yourself due to the risk of injury and damage to your furniture.

How much is carpet removal in NYC?

It costs $1.10 to $2.10 per square foot to remove carpet in New York City, including the labor costs, waste disposal and cleaning up the site.

How much to pull up commercial carpet?

Including labor time and haul away costs, it is a minimum of $1 per square foot to remove commercial carpet. But the price can drop to $0.85 per square foot if you’re removing more than 1000 square feet of carpeting.

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