How to Lay Tile Over a Concrete Floor That Has Glue Residue From Carpet

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Replacing carpet with tile can give your home an exciting new look. But now that you have ripped up the old carpet, you’ve got a sticky situation: leftover carpet adhesive. Don’t worry—it looks a lot worse than it is. You can’t tile over old carpet glue, but it’s not hard to remove carpet adhesive before tiling.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-handled scraper
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Soy-based adhesive remover
  • Hot water
  • Dish soap
  • Bucket
  • Sponge mop
  • Clean shop cloths or towels
  • Optional:
  • Palm sander
  • Coarse-grit sandpaper

Use a long-handled scraper—like the kind made to remove ice—to get as much of the old adhesive off the floor as you can.

Sweep up any debris caused by the scraping. Be thorough.

Apply a soy-based adhesive remover to any glue that is still clinging to the concrete. Let it soak according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not skimp on the soaking time—if the label says two hours, wait the full two hours.

Put very hot water and four or five squirts of dish soap into a bucket. Wash the floor thoroughly with a sponge mop, concentrating on the areas where the soy-based adhesive remover was soaking.

Dry the floor completely with shop cloths or towels. Do not start laying the new tile until the floor is 100 percent dry. If the floor isn't dry, the adhesive may not stick.

Optional: Use a palm sander and coarse-grit sandpaper on really stubborn adhesive residue.

Lay your tile exactly as you would if you were starting out with fresh, new concrete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Boiling water is even better than hot water for removing adhesive.
  • Handle boiling water with care.
  • Keep long-handled scrapers away from children. The blades are very sharp.

References

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