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The tools and techniques to remove carpet glue from all floors

The floors and carpets in your home do so much more than provide a pathway to walk from room to room. They are a statement of your personal style. They provide guests with an immediate impression of who you are. Hardwearing carpet tells them you lead a non-stop family life. Hardwood and laminate flooring shouts out luxurious quality and pride in appearance (and hardwood floors can be extremely good value for money). Well-maintained and clean flooring indicate your integrity and emphasis on hygiene and health.

Have you tried removing your carpets and revealing what’s underneath? You might find beautiful flooring that a previous occupant unwittingly covered. Restoring this to its original state could transform your home. Unfortunately, if the carpet was glued you could have a crust of unsightly sludge remaining. With the right tools and a little elbow grease, carpet glue can be removed from almost any flooring.

Which tools do you need to remove carpet?

There are some tools and equipment you’ll need to gather before you start the process of glue removal. You’ll need:

  • Adhesive remover (available from all good hardware stores)
  • Paintbrush or sponge
  • Plastic putty knife
  • Old towels or rags
  • Rubber gloves

In addition, you should use a fan to ventilate the area where you are working. Depending on the type of flooring, you may need one or two other pieces of equipment to remove all the carpet glue without causing any damage.

How to remove carpet glue from stone flooring

When cleaning carpet glue from stone flooring (and this includes granite, marble, tile and concrete), you’ll also need plastic dish scrubbers and the right sealant for your flooring. Here’s what you do:

  1. Test the adhesive remover on a small area of the floor, to make certain it won’t damage the stone.
  2. When you’re happy that you won’t damage the flooring with the adhesive remover, set the fan to circulate the air and open a window.
  3. Use a paintbrush or sponge to dampen the carpet glue with the adhesive remover.
  4. Allow the adhesive remover to sit for a few minutes. This will soften the glue and make it easier to lift.
  5. Scrape away the carpet glue with the putty knife, taking care not to dig into the stone underneath. A tip here is to always use a blunt blade.
  6. Reapply the adhesive remover and wipe away glue residue using old towels or the plastic dish scrubber.
  7. Repeat the process until all the glue has been removed.
  8. Clean the floor thoroughly.
  9. Apply the sealant following the instructions supplied by the manufacturer.

How to remove carpet glue from wood flooring

In addition to the basic equipment listed above, you may also need mineral spirits and sealant. Mineral spirits work best on tar-based glues. You can tell if the glue previously used is tar-based because it will be brown in coloring (between tan and dark brown). A yellow-colored carpet glue can usually be removed with adhesive remover.

  1. Set the fan to circulate the air and open a window.
  2. Carefully chip away any large lumps of carpet glue.
  3. Use a paintbrush or sponge to dampen the carpet glue with the adhesive remover or mineral spirits.
  4. Allow the solution to sit for a few minutes. This will soften the glue and make it easier to lift.
  5. Scrape away the carpet glue with the putty knife, taking care not to dig into the stone underneath. A tip here is to always use a blunt blade.
  6. Reapply the adhesive remover and wipe away glue residue using old towels or the plastic dish scrubber.
  7. Repeat the process until all the glue has been removed.
  8. Mop the floor thoroughly, and allow to dry naturally for 24 hours.
  9. Sand to a smooth finish.
  10. Apply the sealant (or wood varnish) following the instructions supplied by the manufacturer.

And finally…

Many of the carpet glue manufacturers also make adhesive removers. You will probably have the best results by using an adhesive remover from the manufacturer of the carpet glue used. 

You should take care when using adhesive removers. They are highly flammable, with toxic fumes. Thus, it is important to keep the area well ventilated.

If you have lifted a carpet and found an incredible floor underneath, the look and feel or your home could be transformed. However, you will need the time, tools and techniques to make a good floor perfect. If the job of removing carpet glue and preparing your flooring is too unnerving, contact Porter's. We pride ourselves on our ability to make your home both unique and inviting.

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