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Carpet pads sometimes stick to hardwood floors

By Angie Hicks
www.angieslist.com

Q. How can I remove carpet pads that have adhered to the hardwood floors?

A. The good news is that you’re not stuck. (Bad pun, I know.) Our consumer-services researchers found there are several ways to approach this situation, depending on what you plan to do with the wood floor.

Do you want to re-cover it with padding and carpet? Or do you intend to leave it uncovered, possibly restoring it to like-new condition?

If you plan to put down new carpet, simply use a razor tool to scrape off any stuck padding. Clean the floor well and make sure it’s completely dry before installing new padding. That should be all there is to it.

It gets a bit more complicated if you plan to keep the wood floor uncovered and refinish it. In that case, the best method for removal will depend on why the pad stuck to the floor in the first place.

Flooring experts informed our team of several common causes:

The padding may have been glued or stapled to the floor.

Over several years, it may have bonded to the polyurethane.

Pet urine or another substance may have made it sticky.

You may want to remove the padding yourself, but if you’re hiring a professional to work on your wood floor, it may be better to have that person remove the padding.

Flooring pros told our team about several methods they use to remove stuck padding before refinishing a wood floor:

Dissolve the padding with chemical cleaning solvents, such as an odorless mineral spirit that works like a paint thinner.

Scrape with a metal tool, but with care not to scratch the wood.

Use soapy water to loosen the padding enough that it can be sanded or scraped off in the floor-finishing process.

Keep in mind that the use of too much water or harsh chemicals can damage the flooring. Before using chemicals, try using a sander or a hand scraper to do the job. If you do the work yourself, wear a dust mask, as the padding may contain harmful particles.

If you decide to hire a carpet or wood-floor professional, ask friends, family and neighbors for recommendations and check reviews on a trusted online review site. Get bids from several companies, and be sure to check not only references, but any applicable licensing requirements, as well as proof of insurance.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

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