Installing Flooring Over Residual Glue
LESLIE: Bob in New Jersey, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
BOB: Hi. I had a question about removing some kind of glue that’s underneath the floor in the basement. I had a water problem and when I tore up the plywood floor that they had down, they had firring strips on the floor, glued to the floor and nailed to the floor, and I’m having a problem getting the glue off. I could scrape it somewhat but I’m not totally getting it off. I just wanted to know if you have some kind of solvent or something and the second part is what I can put down on the floor after I get it cleaned up.
TOM: So you had plywood – you had firring strips and then plywood on top of the floor?
TOM: On top of the concrete floor?
TOM: Man, that’s a mold problem waiting to happen right there.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Yeah.
TOM: Yeah, you know, I have not found any kind of miracle product that will melt glue away. Generally, it’s a real hard job of using a cold chisel to chip it off and frequently sharpening it so you get it as smooth as you can. But what I would suggest you think about doing is using a floating floor, rather…
LESLIE: Like a laminate.
TOM: Yeah, like a laminate or if you really want wood, it’d have to be engineered hardwood. But a laminate would work really well here because you’d put an underlaminate down, which is very soft and a bit spongy.
LESLIE: So it’ll sort of even itself out over these chunks of adhesive.
TOM: Exactly. As long as you can get it reasonably flat and you put the underlaminate down first, you’ll find that you’ll be able to put the laminate floor then right down on top of the underlaminate and that unevenness will just disappear, because the floor locks together and becomes sort of one continuous plane, Bob, and you won’t have to worry about it after that.