How to Rip Out Flooring in Your Home

As promised (warned?) this is the first of a few home remodel posts.

IMG_4783I wasted no time ripping out the old flooring downstairs. The kitchen and den had an old light colored laminate wood, while the living room and dining area had a berber style white carpet. White is never going to work with kids. And laminate flooring in a kitchen is a bad idea. There were several places that had water damage. So we are replacing it with a wooden-look tile. The tile will be water proof and can be installed everywhere we want downstairs. It should be able to withstand wear and tear from kids and pets for years.

We shopped around, and found a good deal. But the best way to save money on a flooring install is to do the removal of your old flooring yourself. We saved over a thousand dollars by doing that ourselves.

I made a short video about how to remove laminate. It’s very easy to do, just takes work.

You need a pry bar and hammer. First take off the “toe’ boards from your floor molding. Then find an edge and start pulling the boards up. Then pull up the underlayment (If you have any). One thing to note, most trash services will not take laminate flooring. So plan to make a trip to the local landfill or make her arrangements for the old flooring.



Because you never know what you will find when you start ripping out old parts of your house, be prepared for surprises. Turns out my house already has tile. Old 1970s tile.


I was warned to check the size and make up of the tile. Some homes might have 9″ asbestos tiles. This was a 12″ linoleum tile. It’s ugly.

After the laminate I tackled the carpet.


Find an edge, and start pulling. Most carpet is secured by small hooks on tack strips at the edge of the room. Be careful and wear gloves. The tack strips may be lodged in the carpet, and you can easily cut your hand.

Carpet is heavy. Make sure you cut it into strips light enough for you to move without injuring yourself. You’ll need a sharp utility knife.


Taking up the carpet pad, you may find the glue doesn’t readily pull up. Rip it out, and then go back over the floor with a basic scraper. Then take a pry bar and remove the tack strips. OONLY do this if you are not putting new carpet back down. Leave the tack strips if you are installing new carpet.)

Check with your trash service. Mine would pick up carpet and pad as a bulk its at no extra charge.

Sweep and clean your floors. make sure all the nails are out of the base boards, and get ready for your new floor!

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  1. Pingback: Remodeling, Unexpected Costs and Customer Service. | Scott Link Blog

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