How to Remove Old Carpet Foam Rubber From Wood Floors

Updated February 21, 2017

You know your older home has hardwood flooring beneath the carpet and you've finally decided to take the big step and rip it out. To your dismay, you find that the foam rubber pad beneath the carpet has adhered to the wood and there seems to be no way to remove it! Caused by a combination of pad deterioration, humidity and the natural shrinking and swelling of the wood itself, removing old carpet foam rubber from wood floors is tedious but not impossible.

Remove all loose padding material by first sweeping and then vacuuming the entire area.

Pry up any remaining staples that once fastened the pad, using a flat headed screwdriver and pliers. Be careful not to gouge the floor.

Heat a 2 square foot area with the hair dryer for two minutes, holding the dryer close to but not touching the pad.

Scrape up the area of heated pad immediately, using the putty knife and taking care not to mar the flooring beneath. Your floor will need to be sanded and resealed once the padding is removed so the less damage you incur, the less time the sanding process will take.

Work your way across the room until you have covered the entire area. Sweep and vacuum as before. The padding will be gone, leaving a small amount of residue.

Apply a generous amount of adhesive remover to the scrubbing head of the mop and vigorously scrub a 2-foot section of flooring until the residue has lifted. Continue until the floor is finished. Your hardwood floor is now ready to be sanded and resealed.


Commercial cleaners such as "Goo Gone" will work well on removing the residue.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Hair dryer
  • Putty knife
  • Adhesive remover
  • Mop with scrub head
  • Knee pads
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About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.