LESLIE: Sarah in Iowa needs some help with a carpeting project. Tell us what you’re working on.
SARAH: I have a house built in 1975. And when it was built, they installed this carpet in the breakfast, kitchen and unfortunately, bathroom areas. And it’s glued down. It’s really low pile, almost like linoleum.
TOM: Is it on a wood floor or is it concrete?
SARAH: It’s on – just on the wood subfloor. And I did try to scrape it out of the little bathroom area that we had and it took hours and hours of hand-scraping. And I probably did some damage to the subfloor in doing it.
TOM: Well, the subfloor is not a finished floor, right? It’s a 1974 house. It’s probably plywood. Is that correct?
SARAH: Yes, it’s plywood.
TOM: So, can you pull up the carpet part itself with – obviously, leaving the glue behind? But will the carpet part peel off?
SARAH: If I pull up the carpet part itself, what gets left behind is this black, spongy gunk that I can kind of scrape off. And then the bottom part of the black is glued onto the floor.
TOM: What I want you to do is to pull the carpet up and then I want you to put a new piece of subfloor down on top of that using ¼-inch luan plywood. It’s very inexpensive and it’s the easiest way to get back to a surface that you can work with.
I would not try to remove the glue from the subfloor. It’s just not worth it; it’s a rather impossible job. So, I would just opt for a smooth surface by adding another layer of subfloor on top of that. And then whatever you want to put on top of that, you can, whether it’s more carpet or whether it’s laminate or tile or whatever.
But just pull up the carpet so – because you don’t want to sandwich carpet in between this. Pull the carpet up, then you’ll just be sandwiching the old glue and that’ll be fine, OK?
SARAH: OK. Fantastic.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.