How to Remove Glued Down Carpet

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If you think it's finally time to remove your carpet and give your house a new look, then you’re in luck!

After trial and error on my glued carpet, I decided to share with everyone all the methods I tried and what are some of the things to have in mind.

If you are doing it all by yourself, it may be a little challenging at first, especially if the carpet is put in place by proper professionals.

That's why I put together this ultimate guide, to show you the easiest and the fastest way to remove glued down carpet off your floor. This guide will help you learn everything you need to know and how to remove your carpet safely and without damaging anything.


Why is it Difficult to Remove Glued Down Carpet

Before I jump into the best removing method, I decided to give you a little more info why is it difficult to remove glued carpet by yourself.

Most professional carpet installers usually use strong mastic to glue down carpets on the floor. The mastic used does not deteriorate, and this makes it difficult to remove the carpet when the need arises. When you want to remove your glued down carpet at home, to do the job faster, more efficiently, you should look for an expert to help you out.

Hiring an expert to help you is important because the entire process involved is tedious work not to add you can easily damage your carpet if you don’t know what you’re doing.

However, if you are looking for DIY method, then scroll down or use the navigation table below to quickly jump to a few methods & tips which will help you remove your glued down carpet at home.

How to Remove Glued Down Carpet at Home

Most people usually choose to glue down their carpets to keep them in place. Though this method works extremely well for those who want to fasten their carpets to the floor, when the time comes to remove the glued down carpet, it is a little bit complicated.

However, with the right tools and equipment, you will accomplish the task quickly and efficiently, and more importantly, without damaging your carpet.

Tools and Equipment Needed to Safely Remove Glued Down Carpet at Home

  • Power puller
  • Waterproof work boots
  • Scrapping tool
  • Work gloves
  • Knee pads
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Rug pulling claw
  • Utility knife or carpet knife
  • Carpet peeler

Though you will be required to purchase most of these tools and materials, there are some such as a rug pulling claw and a power puller that you should consider renting to reduce the cost involved in the entire job.

As for the methods used, there are several methods you can try, such as the low-tech/affordable approach, the turbo method and other methods you can consider. All the methods below are commonly used to remove glued down carpet at home safely and without damaging anything.

The Simple & Low Tech Method

Removing Glued Down Carpet off Home Floor

The first method, and probably the simpliest one is the "Low Tech Approach". The main tools required for this method are a rug pulling claw and a carpet peeler. This is because the latter has a semicircular base with a long handle attached firmly to it and the former has a spike that pokes properly through the carpet, both of which play a crucial role during the process of removing glued down carpet.

Removing Glued Carpet using Simple Tools at Home

Step 1. Expose all the edges of your carpet by prying off the baseboards using a pry bar and hammer. Before you stack the baseboards, it is important to de-nail them, and in case you want to use them again, use a felt-tip marker to number them.

Step 2. Use a utility knife or carpet knife to cut your carpet into two-foot strips. This helps reduce the amount of effort you have to apply to get your carpet up. It will also make your carpet easy to move from one place to another.

Step 3. Using a carpet claw, grip the carpet at one of the corners close to the wall and pull it off the floor. Immediately you lift the strip close to the wall, have someone with a floor scraper to cut quickly through the adhesive while you keep on pulling.

Step 4. Just as in Step 3, pull off the other strips, and bag them carefully for disposal.

The Advanced/High-Tech Method

This method is more advanced one and a power puller is required to remove the carpet from the floor. The power puller tool plugs well into any wall outlet, and it’s very helpful when it comes to doing all the hard work involved in removing your glued down carpet at a faster pace.

Removing Carpet using a Power Puller

Power Tool to Remove Carpet off Floor

Step 1. Start by using pliers or claw puller to remove the baseboards, and then pull up one of the corners of your carpet. Set your power puller carefully at the end of the floor, which is at the opposite side of the room from the entry door. Plug the puller in and then pull out its cable and extend it to that corner you have freed your carpet.

Step 2. On the freed part of the carpet, use a knife to cut a slit and put the pulley plate (the bottom half of it) underneath the carpet while ensuring the hook is extended through the slit. Attach the hook to the pulley plate (the top part of it) and then tighten them firmly by screwing on the nut to secure your carpet properly in between the plates.

Step 3. Start the power puller machine to enable the winch to pull the plate towards the opposite side of the room. This will make the carpet and the floor to separate from one another. Once you are done, remove the plate and connect it to the opposite side of the carpet. Use the same trick you have used on the opposite side of the room to pull off the other strips.

Other Alternative Methods

Even though I recommend you to use one of the two upper mentioned methods, there are several other alternative methods and supplies you can try which may give you better results.

Carpet & Adhesive Cleaner

Using Murphy's Soap

You can try and apply a mixture of Murphy's Soap with some water and wipe it on with a rag. Wait for around 15 minutes and try to scrape the carpet. This method is not very efficient however a few people have reported it as effective.

Using Citristrip & Mineral Spirits

Apply the Citristip and Mineral Spirits on the carpet and wait for around 15-20 minutes before you start scraping.

These solution will help the adhesive to be scraped off but will still require a lot of effort and elbow grease.

Using Sentinel 24/7

This is actually a adhesive remover found at HomeDepot for around 18-20$. A lot of people have reported impresive results with this chemical as it seems to loosen up the adhesive and make the scraping process much faster and easier.

Using Boiling Water

This is probably the cheapest and maybe the most effective way for many.

Get some boiling water and pour it on a towel on the floor for the best results. Let it soak for about an hour and then start scraping.

Using boiling water is actually safer as it involves no harmful bacteria or chemical.

Also, you can get similar results with steam. You can use an iron on the steam setting to loosen the adhesive before you start scraping. You should have in mind that using steam is very slow and it may take some time for a larger room. 

Removing Leftover Adhesive from Floor

After you have successfully removed the glued down carpet, it is also important to get rid of the adhesive on the subfloor. Most of the adhesives are often water-soluble. When this is the case, use water to drench the floor to make the adhesive easy and safe to scrape off. Take a floor scraper and use it to scrape off the adhesive from the floor.

You can also use chemical paint strippers to remove the adhesive. Wear protective clothing, goggles, and gloves when using chemical paint strippers to get rid of the adhesive. Another trick you can use to remove the adhesive is using a power scraper. However, the power scraper you use to scrape off should have a floor buffer attached to a rotary blade scraper.

One successful trait you can use is: First scrape the carpet and the foam backing. Then, pour some boiling water or your prefered adhesive remover on a small area and spread it around with an old mop. Wait 15-20 minutes and scrub it slightly with a wire brush or a scraper. Repeat the process on areas where the adhesive didn't come off easily.

DIY vs Hiring a Carpet Remover - Which is the Better Option?

Carpet Remover

Though following the DIY option when removing glued down carpet will help in significantly reducing the entire cost involved in the process, several benefits come with hiring an expert.

An expert carpet remover is experienced and will come equipped with all the relevant tools to ensure a quick and safe removal process. Therefore, if you find the aforesaid DIY tips on how to remove glued down carpet not easy to utilize, do not hesitate to hire an expert to help you out. Nothing is ever simple in do-it-yourself. That’s for sure.

3 thoughts on “How to Remove Glued Down Carpet”

  1. It’s sentinel formula 747 Plus. Excited to give it a try, mine is super glued down, can’t get anything up.

    • I am a carpet installer 42 yrs try cutting it in 3-4 in strips an pulling with a pull up tool or vise grip


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