Multiple layers of plywood, or was the plywood applied over the real
floor? Carpet directly over plywood subfloor is uncommon, and not
considered good workmanlike practice. Back in stone age, if the owner
knew they didn't want the then-standard hardwood, we put down a layer of
5/8 particle board, to give the floor some mass. Or is your floor one of
those extra-thick T&G all-in-one deck products?
I could cry when I think about all the thousands of acres of good
hardwood floors that got hidden under W/W carpet before anybody ever got
to see it or walk on it. Only rich people can afford real hardwood in
every room but bath/kitchen/entryways these days, and it used to be
standard in everything except absolutely bottom-level cookie cutters.
Carpet used to be for rich people. When did the world turn upside down
But having said all that- I assume this is self-padded carpet? Unless
installed by a first-timer, it is probably only spot-glued. Heat gun may
help, depending on type of glue used, but it is a lot of manual effort
even with a stripping machine. Carpet will come up, but the black foam
crap won't, and the created dust is almost as nasty as a copier toner
accident. (Idiot previous owner of this place glued down that crap in
furnace room of all places, and scraping up the last of the residue has
been on my to-do list for several years.)
I put one of these down on a vinyl tile floor and foam pad glued
itself to floor after several years.
Took me a lot of scraping to get up. I seem to recall reading that
freezing with dry ice would make it more brittle and easier to scrape,
but I did not try it.
I had some carpet replaced that was glued down. The installers had
something about the size of a small lawn mower. It was powered by an
electric motor and had a scraper blade. Similar to an electric powered
puddy knife. It was around 18 inches to 2 feet wide.
What that did not get up, they used some sanding machines.
Usually carpet glue is not too aggressive, after all, where's the carpet
gonna go? Moreover, the carpet probably won't be glued over its entire
extent; just the walls and a few splashes in the middle.
So, then, try first a couple of strong backs while chanting "Yo ho, heave
If that's not totally successfuly, then a tile scraper (long handle, 6" flat
blade) may get up the residual.
If THAT fails, then a pneumatic tile scraper - the proverbial "bigger
I would try one of the so-called multitools with a non-toothed
scraper blade. Much of it might just pull off ... as someone
posted, carpeting eventually needs to be replace. BTW, you can get
the multitool knockoffs for $30 (Harbor Freight).
Back in the early 80's I removed glued down kitchen carpet over plywood sub
floor to install tile. After the carpet was pulled up there was a
significant residue of carpet padding/backing stuck to the floor plus ridges
of adhesive left from the trowling process. Then I used a wire cup brush
on an electric angle grinder to remove what was left. It was slow but not
too difficult or labor intensive, and everything came up. However, we found
crumbs of carpet padding in the lower kitchen cabinets for years.
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