We're far from experts, but we did do this. We'd never ripped up carpet until a couple of weeks ago, but we're proud to say that the icky old wall-to-wall in our bedroom is now gone and we have (mostly) hardwood floors. Here's how we did it...Tools:
• Dust Mask
• Work Gloves
• Box Cutter
• Needle-Nose Pliers
We moved all the furniture out of the room, put on some dust masks, and removed one small section of baseboard that covered the carpet. My husband took the claw of a hammer and used it to pull up a small section of carpet. Once the carpet was loose, he used a box cutter to cut it into a strip as he began to pull it up. He peeled the carpet from the floor, rolling it up as he worked.
Once the wall-to-wall carpet had been cut and removed, we were able to easily pull up the padding underneath. Below the carpet padding, we found small staples that had been used to hold the carpet in place. We pulled out the staples one by one with needle-nose pliers.
The hardwood floors underneath were in very good shape, with the exception of a small 4x6 area of ugly subfloor hiding in an alcove. Because we're renters and didn't want to spend the time or money installing hardwood floors, we chose to cover the alcove in Flor carpet tiles.
I cleaned the subfloor, then laid out the tiles in the space (we used the Thick & Thin pattern in Cocoa/Cream). I measured the carpet tiles to fit the space and trimmed the edges with the box cutter. I used double-stick carpet tape to secure the tiles. Voila...a new floor (for a grand total of $132)!