I have a 12x15' sun room that currently has carpet over concrete. I pulled a 3' section of carpet and the entire floor has adhesive.

Can I remove this using a liquid chemical or do I need a machine?

The house was build in '96 so I'm assuming there's no harmful chemicals existing on the floor to worry about.

I plan to tile over the concrete when finished.

  • I've used (believe it or not) saw dust to remove glue! Spreading an inch over the floor and than moistening it for a couple of days allows the glue to be easily scraped up.
    – ojait
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 21:54
  • 1
    Someone mentioned using flour as well. I might have to try it.
    – homeguy77
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:11
  • I've had good luck removing tile mastic from concrete using this: franmar.com/consumer-products/product/BEANMastic It's made from soy and non-toxic. (No affiliation with the company, I just thought it was a great product that worked as advertised)
    – DA01
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 16:45
  • Oh, I should say, I have no idea if it'd work with carpet adhesive. But you can order sample sizes from the company to do a test spot.
    – DA01
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 16:46
  • Related: How to remove construction adhesive from concrete?
    – Mazura
    Commented Apr 28, 2016 at 3:23

3 Answers 3


The glue used by the floor covering industry to adhere carpet to a floor is one of the most tenacious, and laborious bonds to break. If you want to burn some calories grab some knee pads and a 6 inch floor scraper (and some extra blades). Use a sweeping arch to slice the residual adhesive from the floor. Or, if possible, rent a 17 inch floor scrubber/buffer machine and ask for a couple of 36 grit sanding disc's. The sanding discs will eventually clog with glue. I've found that some handfuls of silica sand broadcast on the floor speeds the glue removal and lessens the amount of glue clogging the disc. Wear a respirator if using silica. Breathing it can cause silicosis to the lungs.

  • Awesome! Any other suggestions? I've read solvents are a no go. What about laying moisture barrier and then laying plywood or concrete board over it and screwing it down?
    – homeguy77
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 21:55
  • Yea, I started to answer with the cement board suggestion , but thought against it seeing how you already have a concrete floor. The problem is how to secure to the slab? Screwing cement board to a concrete floor will be tedious. It requires drilling holes for a TapCon screw. I suggest glue removal. A bit more effort , but a clean slate and no cement board to come loose down the line.
    – ojait
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:09
  • Good point. I guess its time to bust out the hand tools haha
    – homeguy77
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:11
  • It shouldn't be so bad. Enlist a friend or call in a debt! Once you get in the "zone' it's done. I'd bit the bullet and remove the glue. Try the scraper first. A sharp blade slices easily through carpet glue.
    – ojait
    Commented Aug 30, 2015 at 22:12
  • 1
    I would try a floor scraping tool. They are pretty inexpensive. Also I would try a wallpaper scraper. Its a "razor blade on a stick". Be careful it doesn't hit you. Always push away from you.
    – BrianK
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 20:14

Knee pads + Cordless Oscillating tool with scraper blade.

Provided it's hardened glue, and not gooey sticky stuff.

  • This works well but is very very slow. It took me about 5 minutes to remove one square foot of adhesive with this method. For a kitchen, we're talking 15-20 hours. Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 17:55

this process is dangerous, because like most organic solvents, MEK is flammable, so take fire precautions.

open all the windows, put fans blowing out the windows (and open a door or window somewhere for fresh air to refill the room from), wear gloves, a full face respirator rated for VOC's and isocyurans, then go at it with MEK. just pour the MEK along the edge of the carpet, wait a minute, then pull. the carpet will just lift up. pull until it stops, and repeat. dispose of carpet immediately outdoors, and allow room to air out for 24 hours.

grind surface with a diamond cup wheel. just knock off the high stuff, you don't need to take it down to virgin concrete. just make it smooth.

use a mortar like flextile 52 or ceraflex 610 and install your tiles.


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