Removing Glued down carpet

Old 10-06-13, 03:33 AM
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Removing Glued down carpet

My Husband and I just bought a house. The carpet was once white, its now dark brown in some areas and orangish in other areas and in need of ripping out and smells strongly of Animal business. There is carpet in every room except the kitchen, mudroom, and bathrooms, probably totaling 1200-1300 square feet.

We pulled up one of the bedrooms and it was tacked in, like you would expect from a house built in 2001; however, the rest of the carpeting is glued down. The carpet itself is rather thin, but there is a 1 inch padding that either came attached that way or was glued to the carpet. The carpet is easy to remove from the padding, but the padding that is glued to the subflooring is impossible to get up. There is two of us (one pulling and using a hair dryer to lossen the glue--which does seem to help--, and one scrapping under the padding) trying to pull this carpet up and we only got one 4ft x1ft section done in 30 minutes. This sucker refuses to come up. When we bought the house, we didnt think about the smell because I knew (or at least thought) that carpeting was easy to rip out.

Any advice? We dont have the money to hire someone to remove it and it has to come out quickly because of the strong smell. We are lucky that the one room we were able to rip the carpet out of came quickly, so we can live/sleep in there to prevent the smell from attaching to our clothes. We are bought a floating floor (laminate) to replace it, so the glue still remaining on the floor isnt so much of an issue (unless it obsorbed the animal business smell), its just trying to removed the padding from the glue.

Any advice anyone can offer will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Old 10-06-13, 04:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums! The padding is one inch thick??? That's thick. What are you scraping it with? Using a heavier scraper may help. Some glues are water soluble, so spraying with water may also make it easier. I would remove all the glue possible and paint over the subflooring with Zinser BIN primer to keep it from smelling. OdoBan is another good product to eliminate pet odors, and you may want to spray it around for now until you get all the carpet pulled up.
Old 10-06-13, 05:52 AM
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Is the carpet glued to a subfloor or to a slab? Your local rental store will have a machine that has a wide flat blade on the front that oscilates. You run it across the floor and it cuts/scrapes the pad off. Careful if on a subfloor as the blade will gouge the wood. It is perfect if on a slab.

Other than that, take a utility knife and slice the carpet into 1 foot wide strips. Pull on the strips while the others scrapes at the pad. The thin strip will allow you to exert more force on the portion you are pulling than trying to yank the whole carpet up at once. Not the easiest of tasks, but it will work.

You can also try another corner in case the animal business is the reason for the pad being difficult in the area you are working in.
Old 10-06-13, 02:20 PM
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Removing carpet or padding that has been glued down can be difficult and there is no real easy solution. Renting a power scraper is a good option especially on concrete. Low budget is to use a almost anything with a flat blade. A flat bladed hoe with a long handle works well. Have one person keep tension on the carpet while someone else slides the hoe along the floor jabbing it into where the carpet is glued.

Once the carpet has come up a bit you can poke a hole in it or get a rope or ratchet strap around it. Then one person can wrap the rope around their hips and lean back to keep a good pull on the carpet without wearing out your hands. Still, it's a bugger of a job any way you cut it.
Old 10-06-13, 08:59 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone; However, my husband and I are looking into hiring someone to do it and are consulting a family friend who is a carpenter/contractor to do the work. We did the math, at the rate we are going it will take 2.5 months to get the carpet up and we cant wait that long. We have too many other things that need to get done, that has to get done after the carpet is pulled up. We're hoping a professional will be able to do it in a day or two with better tools than we have.


My husband and I already plan on using BIN Primer and have successfully used it in the room we're sleeping in. I'll look into OdoBan. I may be wrong about it being 1 inch, but it is quite thick for carpet padding. I know its thicker than the stapled down padding we pulled up from our bedroom.


Its glued down to particle board. And its not really glue, we discovered its more of adhesive paper. We're trying to pull the adhesive paper up, but its being impossible. The animal business is part of the problem, its causing the padding to disintigrate as we pull it away from glue. You'd think that would be a good thing, but all it does is leave a level of fuzz on the glue and make it impossible to apply tension and pull up the rest of the carpet, add to the fact that the animal business is everywhere, its not just a few really bad spots. The carpet has a few really good/clean spots where furniture prevented the animal from going, and everywhere else is horrid.

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