How to Remove Foam Backed Carpet

Written by suzie faloon
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How to Remove Foam Backed Carpet
Roll foam-backed carpet strips for ease of removal. (Gary Houlder/Lifesize/Getty Images)

If it is time to replace that worn out carpet and rejuvenate one of the rooms in your home or business, you will deal with one of several kinds of carpet backings. Foam padding, best used in low-traffic areas, is a soft underlayment for carpeting. Friction from foot traffic, vacuuming and furniture movement can break down the soft padding, according to Home Furnish. Change into your work clothes because this may be a workout.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Pliers
  • Utility knife
  • Cording
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Safety goggles
  • White spirit
  • Flooring scraper

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  1. 1

    Put on a pair of protective gloves and pull back on one corner of the carpeting with a pair of pliers. The pliers will help get a firm grip on the carpeting.

  2. 2

    Inspect the area under the carpet to see if the foam padding is glued or stapled in place. The installer may have chosen either method.

  3. 3

    Cut down through the carpet with a utility knife while holding it up off the floor. Cut it into 3- to 4-foot-wide strips. If the carpeting is attached to the flooring with a tack strip wiggle it free by pulling on it.

  4. 4

    Place a putty knife under the edge of staples that hold the foam padding in place. Pull the staples free with needle-nose pliers using a twist of your hand. Yanking the heavy duty staples straight out may cause damage to the floor.

  5. 5

    Remove glue from the floor by sprinkling white spirit directly onto the area where the padded foam is stuck to the flooring.

  6. 6

    Scrape the glued area with a 4- to 6-inch-wide floor scraper to lift the foam and old adhesive from the floor.

  7. 7

    Roll the carpeting strips and foam into manageable bundles and remove it from the house.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear a protective face mask when working with old carpeting to prevent health risks.

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