How to Remove Rubber-Backed Carpet

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Rubber-backed carpet is typically installed with glue. When removing this type of carpet, the most common problem is the separation of the rubber backing from the carpet fiber, which leaves a layer of rubber adhered to the floor. Because rubber-backed carpet is oftentimes installed on concrete, removal involves scraping of the flooring substrate. Although extensive time and energy are involved to remove the carpet, the project is not impossible for a homeowner to undertake.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Floor scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Dust mask
  • Razor scraper
  • Pull the carpet from the floor. Begin in a corner and pull back about 5 feet of carpeting. Not all of the rubber backing will come up with the carpet.

  • Scrape the rubber backing and adhesive residue from the floor using a floor scraper held at a 45-degree angle. For corners and other hard-to-reach areas, use a putty knife.

  • Sweep and vacuum the entire floor. Note any remaining pieces of rubber and scrape them up with a razor scraper. Your floor is now ready to be washed and recovered.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some rental centers offer an electric floor scraper, which will help if the rubber backing is tightly adhered to the floor. When removing the carpet, work your way along the first wall, cutting the carpet into 4-foot strips. Roll the strips and secure them with tape or twine to make their removal more manageable.

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