Removing indoor/outdoor carpet from stairs

by Laura

We have indoor/outdoor carpeting on our stairs that is falling apart. I believe it is attached with glue and has linoleum underneath. We really don't want to put more carpet on. They lead to our garage and walkout basement so they are used a lot. Would love information on how to rip up carpet and refinish the stairs. The wallpaper will be gone. Thank you!

From the basement looking up towards our kitchen.
  7 answers
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 25, 2015
    @Laura when we pulled ours up - glued down as well - we had to pull what would come up and then scrape, scrape, scrape. If you don't want the linoleum underneath you can pull that up too. You will have to sand the stairs down for smooth surface when you get it all up. My daughter did her unfinished basement stairs with brown paper (see @Ashley @ Domestic Imperfection post for brown paper bag floors). She painted the risers and finished the sides in the same colour. Several coats of floor polyurethane to finish. She had to do every other step - when on the second stage to complete the unfinished stairs she marked the safe ones to step on with yellow stickies. Over all look is amazing.
  • Moxie Moxie on Mar 25, 2015
    I agree with @Gail Salminen good news it looks like you have an easy starting point at the edge of each tread : ) I would recommend using what they call a 5 n 1 scraper ever. You could just cut the carpet at the bottom overhang edge of each tread and the replace them with new boards to save some work and have nice wood to refinish. You may want to consider adding a tread nosing piece to keep from slipping. Finished stairs will be different than the old carpet.
  • Maureen Millgard Maureen Millgard on Mar 25, 2015
    Learned this from a contractor......Do you have an old WORKING condition iron that you no longer use for laundry? Put the iron on dry heat....warm NOT hot .....and start moving it back and forth over the carpet. As it warms the will give enough to make it a little easier to remove the carpet. Good luck.
    • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 25, 2015
      @Maureen Millgard great tip - I have two such irons hanging around will have to hold on to them.
  • These will be gorgeous when refinished and done. You might consider staining the riser board in a complimenting color of your walls to add great rich color and interest - easy finishing kiss!
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Mar 29, 2015
    Feel your pain! Had carpet glued down over many layers of paint. Ripped off the carpet.. Scraping was not working. Bought a Dremel. Wonderful. Has a little notched blade that worked like a little shovel taking glue and layers of paint off. Got gummy from the heat reacting with the glue and paint but could wipe most off. Then let it cool and used a chisel to remove the build-up.
  • Deb Savin Deb Savin on Mar 29, 2015
    Years ago my mother took the carpet off the basement stairs only to discover the noise of children running up and down those stairs made her crazy. So she went to the carpet store and bought carpet samples. Back then she got them for about 75 cents a piece. and she tacked them in a pattern of sorts to the steps. It was actually quite unique and looked great. She chose patterns and colors that complimented the finished basement and when one got dirty or worn she pulled it up and replaced it with another. It was quiet and always looked good and was very economical.
  • Jill Drake Jill Drake on Mar 29, 2015
    Remove it all, hard graft I know, then paint the treads a colour that yu like, and paint the risers a different colour that compliments the treads and wall paper...good luck