Install Tile or Linoleum Flooring Over Carpet
LESLIE: Scott in Wisconsin’s got a messy problem on his hands. What happened?
SCOTT: Hi, I’ve got an old farmhouse. I’ve got a carpet that’s been glued down to tile. And I’m trying to find something that will loosen up that glue so I can get it off and start all over again.
TOM: Well, there are adhesive solvents that are designed for this. And I’ve got to tell you though, Scott, it’s a big, messy, sticky job. Now what kind of a floor covering do you want to put down?
SCOTT: I’m probably going to put a subfloor down and then either linoleum or tile on top of that. So I don’t really care about flooring … anything underneath the carpet. It’s just that I can’t budge that carpet up even a little bit.
TOM: Is it like an indoor/outdoor carpet?
SCOTT: It’s more of a … it’s an indoor carpet. It’s a real tight nap; a real thin carpet.
TOM: And you just can’t …
SCOTT: (overlapping voices) But the glue must have been cheap.
TOM: You just can’t get any of that carpet off the floor?
SCOTT: No, I’ve tried everything and …
SCOTT: … I’ve tried even cutting it with an exacto knife and I … still it … glue must have been cheap in those days.
TOM: Mmm. (laughing) Well, if the carpet’s very thin …
SCOTT: Yes, sir.
TOM: … why don’t you just put the plywood on top of it?
SCOTT: That will work?
TOM: Sure. I mean, you know, it’s not the best thing to do but I don’t see any reason it won’t work.
SCOTT: I guess I never thought of that.
TOM: Yeah. If it’s thin carpet, you know, very often, floors are built up of multiple layers. We don’t … generally, don’t like to suggest that. But if the carpet is that tight, you might as well just go with it. Put a thin layer of half-inch plywood on top of it or quarter-inch ply … as long as you can get a flat surface, then you can go ahead and put new carpet over that or whatever you want to do.
SCOTT: Great. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.