How to Remove Carpet Glue From Ceramic Tiles

Updated March 23, 2017

Many prefer both the look and ease of cleaning ceramic tiles. Those suffering from allergies often find relief when removing old, dusty carpeting from their homes. Unfortunately, residual carpet glue is a tough and ugly reminder of what went before, and removing it from ceramic tiles can be a hassle. Although not an impossible task, plan to be at it for awhile as it does require a good dose of scraping and scrubbing to return the tiles to their once pristine, pre-carpet condition.

Test a small inconspicuous area on a ceramic tile with the adhesive remover before applying to larger surfaces, making sure it does not damage or discolour the tile. Wear plastic gloves, a face mask and goggles, and make sure the room is well-ventilated.

Apply the adhesive remover to the tiles with a sponge according to the directions on the packaging. Allow adhesive to sit until the old glue becomes soft enough to scrape off, usually within a few minutes.

Scrap off the old glue using a plastic scraper in small forward motions, moving further along on the tile to gain momentum under the glue. Wipe off excess with a shop rag, and continue scraping until the majority of the glue is removed.

Apply another thin layer of adhesive remover to the remaining glue residue, wiping up with a rag and scrubbing difficult areas with a soft kitchen scrubber. Be careful not to scrub tiles with abrasive pads that might damage the surface of it.

Wash the tile flooring with a warm solution of mild detergent and water to remove any remaining residue, and rinse with clean, warm water only. Let dry completely, and apply a surface floor sealant that is appropriate for the type of tile you will be sealing (i.e., do not use a high-gloss sealer on unglazed tiles such as Mexican Saltillo or mosaic.) Look for the proper sealant that is recommended by the manufacturer for your ceramic tiles.


Never smoke, eat or handle drinks when working with adhesive removers; they are highly flammable and poisonous.

Things You'll Need

  • Adhesive remover
  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Sponge
  • Plastic scraper
  • Rags
  • Soft kitchen scrubber
  • Recommended sealant for your tile
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About the Author

Abaigeal Quinn works as an international entertainment broker in the United States. She is a former news editor and insurance agent who began writing for a daily newspaper in 1995.