Going to tear up the carpet/pad and put in hardwood. Carpet comes up easy. The pad however has been glued down and it isn't your normal pad. It's the same thickness (give or take) but more like moderately dense foam. Trying to pull it up just results in ripping off a little bit, leaving some of it glued to the floor. I've done a little bit of it with various chisel/spatulas and it's a nightmare process.

Doing it the way I have been would take weeks and right now I'm seriously tempted to just tear up the sub floor and replace it too.

The DIYer in me thinks there must be some sort of solvent I can pour over the whole floor or some sort of hard-wire-brush-on-a-floor-sander attachment that can just tear it off.

Wondering if anyone has any suggestions? There has to be something...

UPDATE: I ended up buying a Spyder Scraper for my sawsall on the off chance it would work and it worked amazingly well. Like shearing a sheep easy. Kept the sawsall angle low to the floor and it removed the padding quick and easy. Occasionally I'd hit a nail or edge and ruin a blade, but only went through 3. Totally worth it. Removed 4-500 sq ft in about 30 minutes.


  • Tell us about the subfloor -- thickness, composition, is it a layer on top of something? Aug 14, 2015 at 1:45
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate I believe it's OSB and it sits on top of T&G 2x6. It's definitely not normal plywood, nor any sort of press/mdf/etc. Aug 14, 2015 at 15:30
  • Have you considered acetone, on the possibility that it's contact cement? (Nail polish remover is frequently acetone based, so you might have a bit to try.) Douse it in an innocuous place and wait about an hour. If it loosens the glue and doesn't buckle the OSB, you're good to go. However, I'd be very concerned about buckling the OSB, which might bring you back to the "replace the subfloor" woes. Aug 15, 2015 at 0:27

2 Answers 2


I've worked in the floor covering business for several years and here is a good quick way to remove glued carpet padding: after slicing the padding in half length-wise with a utility knife pull up as much as possible. Padding usually is made into 5 foot rolls. Halving it makes it slightly easier to pull up. The installer will normally apply the glue from a gallon can directly to the concrete floor in a continuos serpentine manner so that when the pad is rolled onto the glue it makes contact to just shy of its outer-most edges. I've found a 4"-6" floor scraper helps alot ,too. Also to remove any of the stubborn residual pieces 'kick/ scrape' them with your shoe bottom. It quickly pulls up any remaining pieces. This shoe kicking action also works for padding that is stapled to wooden floors.


I just finished a job where we had to remove 5000sq ft of glued down foam pad. We used a turbo floor scraper. It rents for 250 per day.

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