Floors Old carpet padding

Published on April 18th, 2016 | by Henri

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Removing old carpet padding

Q.  Our house is about 35 years old. The living areas have wall-to-wall carpeting. The last time we replaced the carpet we left the old padding underneath – a bad move in retrospect because the old foam padding has compressed with age and is embedded in the particle-board floor.

We want to put hardwood floors down, so we need to get the padding up. The areas that are loose we have scraped, but there is an awful lot of solid compacted foam.

The rental place suggested a belt sander –what do you think? Any help will be appreciated – we have already bought the flooring and are eager to get it installed.

A.   The easiest way to remove stuck padding is with boiling water. Pour boiling water on an area approximately two feet square, let the water dissolve the adhesive, and scrape the padding off with a broad-blade putty knife, a spatula or any type of scraper you have handy. Wear heavy-duty rubber gloves and be careful not to get scalded.

Once you have removed the padding and adhesive, wipe excess water from the particle board immediately and allow the subfloor to dry thoroughly before laying the wood flooring.

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