How To Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete Floor

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

Carpet flooring is one of the most popular home options because it is so comfortable and suitable for families with kids and pets. However, when it’s time for a change, removing the carpet and its adhesive can be a challenging task.

However, no carpet lasts forever, and once your carpet floor has served its time, you will need to remove it from your floor.

This is also the moment you will realize that you need a lot of effort to remove carpet glue, and adhesive removers will be your best friend.

If you are wondering what the easiest way to remove carpet glue from the concrete floor in your house is, then we have the best solution.

methods of removing carpet glue from concrete floors

“Always test a small, hidden area first when dealing with stubborn adhesives, and remember, patience is key. Never try to force the process as it can damage the concrete. Use a specialized adhesive remover and allow it time to penetrate and break down the carpet glue.”

Barrington Faulkner, Renovation Specialist

How To Remove Carpet Glue From A Floor?

Removing carpet glue residue from concrete is relatively easy, and all you need to do is follow all of these steps carefully.

  • Manually scrapping off excess glue
  • Soften adhesive using boiling water
  • Applying glue remover
  • Using an iron to remove left over glue

Remove Glue Mechanically

The first step is not using a carpet glue remover but rather removing all the glue with a sharp razor and making sure to scrape off as much as you can mechanically.

This way, you will make sure all the carpet glue that is extremely strong will get removed from the concrete floor, and only the stubborn glue will stay.

However, most of the glue will get removed, and now you can proceed to use some other removers.

Use Boiling Water

The easiest way to remove the most stubborn carpet glue from concrete is by getting it dissolved with extremely hot water.

Boil water in a large pot and then pour it over the places where the glue has stayed – once you do this, make sure the water stays on these places for at least 2 minutes so they can start dissolving.

The adhesive should soften, and once a few minutes have passed, you should get a scrubber to try to get rid of those remains.

Most of the glue should disappear after it has spent enough time in hot water, but in case this doesn’t seem to be working for some parts of it, there are some other steps you will need to take.

Even if it doesn’t disappear completely, it should loosen the glue and make the floor surface easier to scrape. This method can be particularly useful when removing paint or other stubborn substances from floors as well.

Get A Glue Remover

In case you weren’t able to get rid of all the glue with boiling water, I would recommend you to find a heavy duty glue remover and bring on the work.

Some people will choose commercial glue removers, while others will stick with mastic removers, but you should choose what works best for you.

You can even create a glue remover by mixing some liquid detergent with ammonia solution, which is used to remove extra stubborn stains.

It will turn into a soapy liquid, and you will be able to use it even on the concrete subfloor, but make sure you always use rubber gloves because you don’t want to damage your hands.

This should work on most stains, but in case even ammonia can’t help you get rid of a sticky residue, you will definitely need to invest in some commercial glue removers.

There are plenty of options made specifically to help you remove carpet adhesive, and you won’t even need to use a razor scraper. Some of these products can even help remove oil-based paint from hardwood floors, making them versatile tools for floor restoration.

Always wear rubber gloves when dealing with old carpet glue, especially if you are using a commercial glue remover because it can cause burns on your hands, and I am sure that is not the result you want.

Try With An Iron

Even though you may be surprised why someone would recommend ironing concrete glue, the truth is this is also one of the options to get rid of residual glue easily.

You will need to place a regular paper on the glue patch on your concrete floor and make sure it doesn’t have any wrinkles, just like you would do when ironing clothes.

Make sure the iron is very hot and glide it in a straight way over the whole paper and repeat this move several times.

After you have ironed the patch several times, you can remove the paper and try to get rid of the scraper blade because it should have softened.

In case the glue is a bit softer but persisting, I recommend you do this a few more times.

If you combine this process with a scraping tool, I believe you can eliminate residue glue quickly, but if you need to remove glue from concrete floors in plenty of different places, then it can take you a long time and energy, so it may not be the best choice.

Floor Sanding

Last but not least, one option for removing glue is floor sanding which can only be used on clean concrete floors. This method can be particularly effective for hardwood surfaces as well.

This is the most efficient way to do it, especially if there are several concrete overlays of dry glue on your floors.

It will help you get rid of both the top overlay and the hardcore glue that tends to stay in the pores, so the sanding disk can help you get rid of several problems at once.

However, you need to be quite careful with this one because if you go overboard with sanding floors, the process may get quite tough, and the odor will be horrifying, so you want to keep it slow and eliminate potentially dangerous fumes.

Is This Everything?

These are pretty much all the options you have to remove glue from concrete floors and not destroy it so much that you need new flooring.

As you can see, there are several options to get rid of all the residue glue, and no matter how stubborn it may be, these floor scraper and commercial glue removers should do their job. These techniques can also be useful when you need to remove parquet flooring or other types of adhesive-based floor coverings.

In case none of these options have helped you get rid of the glue, and you have no idea how to solve the problem, then the only solution for you is to find a professional with a heat glue remover and hope that they will be able to solve your problem once and for all. You also may want to consider using professional machines for cleaning the house, as there will likely be plenty of residue laying around after the job is complete. However, this will depend on what fits your budget.

7 thoughts on “How To Remove Carpet Glue From Concrete Floor”

  1. I recently switched from carpet flooring to concrete and, of course, removing the adhesive was a challenge! I found that using a steamer to heat up the glue and then scraping it off was quite effective. However, it took quite a bit of time and patience, so don’t underestimate the task.

  2. Just read Felicity’s trick of steaming to remove carpet glue, and I have to say it’s not a bad idea, but maybe we can reduce the time it takes. In my years as a flooring specialist, I’ve tried a number of techniques. An angle grinder with a diamond cup wheel attachment or a heavy-duty floor scraper, particularly for larger spaces, can make the process a breeze and surprisingly speedy.

  3. I appreciate your insights, Lenny. As a newbie in home renovation currently knee-deep in carpet glue removal myself, I tried the grinder approach you mentioned at first. However, I somehow found the slower pace of steaming somewhat meditative, plus it’s significantly quieter which my neighbors seemed to appreciate!

  4. Oh Kip, I can totally identify with you; the quieter methods are sometimes the more satisfying ones. When I removed the carpet glue from my old basement, I also preferred to use steam over grinding – it’s gentler on the concrete and gave me some much-needed thinking time! It’s a slow process but so fulfilling when you see your progress unfold gradually.

  5. I second your sentiments Victoria, using steam helps you appreciate every step of the process more. I always say it’s not just about getting the job done, but also the journey there!

  6. Avatar
    Jeremie Fairfax

    In the late ’70s I once used just a hand scraper and pure elbow grease to remove stubborn carpet glue off a concrete floor for a client once – took me three full days but the satisfaction was immense at the end.

  7. Avatar
    Theocritus Finnegan

    You’re right on track, Jeremie! Back in my day, it was more about perseverance than fancy adhesive removers; got me through many a carpet glue nightmare.

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