Our home had carpet on the first floor, which is concrete slab, that we ripped up to hopefully restore to its former glory. However, about half of the floor has old laminate vinyl that's sealed down with tar, and the other half seems to be topped with some sort of white textured paint-looking stuff. It's also a bit discolored in places, but we can't tell if that's from the carpet padding that was laid down, or maybe an additional layer of something that's underneath the white paint-looking stuff.

First image

Second image

Third image

As additional info, all that was between this material and the carpet was a layer of carpet padding and tack strip looked like this. The last image was where we tried to put some paint thinner (which we mistakenly got instead of paint remover) and scrubbed it for a bit.

  • Carpet (padding) glue, perchance?
    – Ecnerwal
    May 15, 2021 at 18:46
  • maybe self-leveling concrete.
    – dandavis
    May 15, 2021 at 19:51
  • I don't think it's carpet glue because the carpet padding came right up without a struggle; it wasn't stuck at all to floor. @dandavis does self-leveling concrete usually look such a uniform white? May 15, 2021 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


Your first picture looks like the concrete floor just had carpet installed on it. The white paint around the edges is where the builders sprayed primer on the walls and baseboard and spilled a few globs in the process. The dirt just looks like construction /drywall dirt along with dirt that fell in the cracks over the years.

Your second picture looks like that part of the floor was definitely covered with vinyl or sheet linoleum and was glued down with a mastic adhesive.

  • And so the white stuff on the floor you're thinking is mastic adhesive? Do you think at some point someone ripped up the vinyl or sheet linoleum but left the mastic adhesive in place? Keep in mind the second picture is just a zoomed in version of the first. May 15, 2021 at 20:57
  • 1
    @JoeKennedy I see a swirl pattern that looks like the mastic was applied with a trowel. I've seen many instances where mastic was left and just carpeted over. it's a very layer after the flooring's been removed and you won't "feel" it with padding and carpet over it.
    – JACK
    May 16, 2021 at 12:28
  • Huh, so strange. Thanks for all your help here @JACK. So in theory it should be removable with mastic remover of some kind? May 17, 2021 at 15:12
  • 1
    @JoeKennedy There are all kinds of mastic removers available, just google it. I have removed it by pouring hot water on it and then scraping it off with a chisel or long handled edger/ paint scraper.
    – JACK
    May 17, 2021 at 21:03

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