How to Remove Carpet Padding from a Wood Floor
LESLIE: Darren in Delaware is on the line with a carpet-removal question. Tell us what’s going on.
DARREN: We have wool rugs down. They’re, oh, about 40 years old and they’ve wore like iron. And the situation being now, you can see – start wear patterns in them. Well, we picked some up – we’re going to replace the rugs – and the padding underneath, going back 40 years, was like a rubber-type padding.
DARREN: And it was taped in place and it’s all stuck to the oak hardwood floors.
TOM: Oh, boy.
DARREN: And we can pull some of it up but most of it is stuck down. Do you have a remedy for removing that without damaging the floor and getting it ready for new padding and carpeting?
TOM: Well, there’s no way you’re going to be able to do it without damaging at least the floor finish. But if you’ve got beautiful oak floors, why are you going to recarpet?
DARREN: Well, unfortunately, they had area rugs in this home all that time. I don’t know. Easy maintenance. And it was beautiful around the perimeters and the rugs, they did their job.
TOM: Well, I mean easy maintenance, you get that with a hardwood floor, too. I’ve got to tell you, if you want to do something that’s really going to add some value to your house, I would show off those beautiful hardwood floors and not put carpet back down.
But if we can’t talk you out of that, you’re going to have to scrape that padding off. There’s no easy way to do this. You can get a big floor scraper. It looks like the same tool they use to scrape roof shingles off houses; it’s like a long, metal pole with a flat blade at the bottom. And just get as much off as you can.
But if you did want to refinish those floors, you get as much off as you can and then you hire a floor-refinishing company. You don’t do this yourself, because they’re going to need a real big belt sander that does this job. And it’s the kind of thing that you can rent but unless you use it every day, you’ll ruin your floor. And you can sand the floors down and bring them all down to the original wood and then stain them and finish them and they’ll be beautiful.
DARREN: I see. Now, let me ask you: if you leave it bare floors, there’s no carpeting or rugs or – how about area rugs?
TOM: Yeah, you put area rugs on it. And you – it could be a beautiful décor element, right, Leslie?
LESLIE: Yeah. And I feel like nothing makes a room feel larger, more elegant, more well-put together than a beautiful wood floor. And then add on top of that a fantastic area rug, then you’ve really created and complimented the look of the space.
And Tom’s right: when it comes to value, people love wood floors.
DARREN: OK. Sounds good. We’ll give it a try. Looks like we have a lot of work ahead of us.
TOM: But it’ll be worth it. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.