removing carpet glue

Old 09-13-03, 05:46 AM
edsjr's Avatar
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removing carpet glue

a friend of mine is getting ready to open a business in an old school house with nice hardwood floors. somebody had glued carpet to the top of the hardwood and now the carpet is shot so he is going to pull the carpet and refinish the hardwood.

when he pulled up a corner of the carpet the glue seemed to be a bit tacky so sanding doesnt sound like such a great idea. is there a chemical way to remove the glue and then sand the floor to get the old finish up? if so what is the procedure and cost?

thank you

Old 09-13-03, 08:39 AM
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Boy do I hate carpet glue!! I have dealt with taking off sooooo much carpet glue in my home that the words said together get me angry . Anyway, unfortunately you should avoid any solvents made to take up carpet glue. Solvents may remain on the floor or soak in the wood making poly adhesion very difficult when you refinish. The best thing to do is get some razor scrapers, work with the grain of the wood, and gently yet vigorously scrape the glue off. We had a glued down rubber back carpet on all the wood floors and so both the glue and the rubber backing stayed when pulling it up, what a nightmare!! The other thing you can do and it worked very well for us is to get what looks like a very abrasive thick disk attachment for a drill used to remove peeling paint. It is made of this black hard material and you get them at any Walmart. We used the edge of it and pressed down pretty hard. Although it took a long time it did not require nearly the amount of elbow grease that scraping did. Once the majority of the glue is off go ahead and sand. A little residue left on will be fine, just try to get the bulk of it off. Best of luck to you.
Old 09-22-03, 12:37 PM
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Speaking of carpet glue, I just pulled the carpet off my slab and they glued the pad at the edges. What's the best way to get this glue off of the slab?

Also, I have removed tack strips from plywood subfloors but never from slabs. I suspect this will be a major pain. I didn't try to pull any yet but should I just use a prybar? I don't know how tight these nails hold but will I end up grinding some these off?

Old 09-22-03, 04:37 PM
Glenn Griffin
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Hi Alex

This is the most fun part of the job!

Actually this shows that the carpeters did a good job with the underlayment. Usually it comes off pretty easy by using a scraper (I use an old chisel).

As for the tack strips on concrete - they usually come off very easy. I use my trusty big, old, blunt chisel and a hammer. Some like to use a small prybar. If you pry it up near the nails, you will be able to get them up in bigger pieces and with less frustration. If there are any nails left in the floor, use the claw end of the hammer to pry them out. Sometimes a little chunk of concrete will come out with it but this won't be a big problem.

Good luck and watch out - those tack strips can bite! Up here in Canada they call it smooth edge - try to figure that one out

Hope this helps.

Glenn Griffin.

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