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The folks who owned this house before us were the cheapest people around. They glued carpet to our concrete floor with a very thin layer of glue. Now, I'm having a terrible time scraping it off. I tried using some adhesive remover we got from Lowe's, but it doesn't really seem to be having any effect other than making it wet :(

My local hardware stores include: Locke & Lowe's. There's also a local store that rents tools, but I'm not sure the extent of their selection, I was able to rent an auger there once for digging fence poles, just as an example.

Any suggestions on solvents? Tools?

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Any idea what kind of adhesive? Test small spots with different solvents. Acetone, mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, etc. Be cautious as many have hazardous vapors or even flammable/ explosive in confined areas. –  shirlock homes Mar 18 '12 at 12:15
    
Some of these glues can be softened with a wallpaper steamer and scraped off with a lot less mess than a concrete grinder and quicker than you think. –  Matt Jul 23 '13 at 0:29
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Tool rental places probably rent concrete grinders for big jobs like refinishing concrete floors and then you can use a sander that get get into corners.

Floor Grinder

Floor Grinder

Concrete Sander

Concrete Sander

You can probably rent one or both of these, depending on the amount of glue. If it's just spotty you can probably use the hand sander.

Like I said, these are for professionally prepare floors for concrete finishing. If it is thin you might try belt sander or palm sander, and buy a sampling of sand papers and see which works best.

Belt Sander

Belt Sander

Palm Sander

Palm Sander

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lqlarry, thanks for your answer. My wife & I have been talking more about the sanders & the large cement grinder tonight. I'm going by the tool rental place tomorrow to see what they have available. –  joshmax Mar 18 '12 at 5:29
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If you chose to grind the floor, be sure to get lots of abrasive pads. Adhesives will foul them quickly. –  shirlock homes Mar 18 '12 at 12:16
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We ended up using Krud Kutter Adhesive Remover, several pots of boiling water combined with a sturdy long handled floor scraper (& elbo grease) followed by a large orbital sander with 60 grit sanding screens.

This still didn't get all of the adhesive off :( but we have enough off and it's smooth enough for us to paint the floor, based on what I've been told & read online.

Hopefully, this will be helpful for someone else later on :)

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If the glue is still a bit tacky then first get a bag of flour and throw handfuls of it on the floor, sweep it around on the whole floor. That will make it much less messy to get up. Then get a 4-inch floor scraper with plenty of blades and go to town. Here is a picture of the scraper from Lowes. Although I would try to find one with a little longer handle.

4-inch scraper

It takes awhile, but its really the easiest and cheapest method. You will spend a small fortune on sanding pads and tool rentals. You might be tempted to get the 8-inch floor scraper with the long handle. Don't, they are more work than they are worth for this particular job. Stick with the 4-inch scraper with around an 18-inch handle length, and don't try to scrape the full 4-inch width do about 2-inch sections at a time. Should come up with relative ease. The problem with sanding pads and grinders is that the glue gums them up too quickly and they become useless.

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The flour method mentioned above worked quickly and cheaply for a small strip of carpet glue we had ringing the entire basement from previous owners carpet. –  user14327 Aug 2 '13 at 20:46
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