Removing Carpet on Stairs?

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Topic by CartersWhittling posted 11-03-2012 03:08 PM 11744 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CartersWhittling's profile


2 posts in 2418 days

11-03-2012 03:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question carpet stairs


I have removed the carpet from our upstairs rooms and stairs. The carpet in the rooms came up no problem but on the stairs the carpet had a vinyl pad that was glued to the stairs with some fuzz in between. A large amount of the fuzz can be scrapped off, but the thick adhesive is stubborn. I am thinking the quickest why to remove it would be some sort of chemical stripper perhaps, but I would rather not use something like that in the house. Has anyone encountered something like this and has any advice???

I want the fuzz and adhesive removed so I can glue oak slab veneers on the stairs to match the hardwood in the upstairs rooms.

The adhesive is visible as the dark spots.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


447 posts in 2555 days

11-04-2012 01:52 AM

I use Mineral spirits indoors all the time. As a solvent, It’s pretty weak. I Think you wold be working at it for a month. I suppose I would look at the “Goof-Off” product to see if that could help.

I can’t think of any other option that would not create a bunch of noxious fumes.

In the Noxious fumes category:
Naptha – Still pretty week.
Paint Thinner – Weak
Brush cleaner – IT is coming OFF. Very noxious. Work small sections at a time.

It looks like a nightmare to me. I would probably rebuild them. Best of Luck!

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

View dalaminator's profile


1 post in 2416 days

11-05-2012 03:23 AM

Yikes, what a crappy job. Been there, done that. Solvents on that old adhesive is probably not the way to go.
It should be pretty brittle by now if you can get rid of the old horse hide underlay. Put on a dust mask, sharpen your scraper and have at er. Finish up with a coarse belt sander .

View J's profile


70 posts in 2529 days

11-06-2012 04:05 PM

I would personally demo the stairs down to the stringers, a couple of sawzall blades and some new wood for treads and risers will probably cost the same amount as any chemicals you would use to get those stair treads clean. Demo and replace will probably take a fraction of the time on your labor as well.
good luck!

-- I found the board stretcher... finally!

View CartersWhittling's profile


2 posts in 2418 days

11-06-2012 10:34 PM

I decided on just scraping off the majority of the fuzz chunks with the scraper (which wasn’t too difficult) and then nailing the oak slab veneers to the stairs. There is no need for the oak to be glued so there is no need to completely remove the adhesive.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


447 posts in 2555 days

11-11-2012 05:11 AM

Glad you found a solution that works. Congrats! When you get a chance, share a pic of the finished job.

-- Working on my home for 2 years and counting.

View 1RAW's profile


3 posts in 2462 days

02-17-2013 02:50 PM

I Agree With J Just get some new Wood and sawzall blades and work your way up . it’ll be much easier than all the hard work trying to scrap off all of that fuzz. With new sub- treads and risers in place the Oak veneer treads will go down so nice with out any surprises.

-- Ron Yeakley

View DAN 's profile


44 posts in 4093 days

02-18-2013 01:52 AM

Well done on the nails. Sometimes easiest and fastest is the best.

-- [email protected]

View Melvin Powell's profile

Melvin Powell

6 posts in 2290 days

03-15-2013 06:24 AM

You might have to remove the floor trim boards to get the carpet out from the edge. Be careful in this step and you can reuse this trim. If you want to re-carpet the stairs then just clean with some floor cleaner and water. If you want to leave the wood surface as your new tread face then you will want to replace them. The builders generally use 2x lumber to make these treads and risers. A glue is applied to hold the foam matting and tack strips are nailed in to help hold down the carpet. Even if you get the glue off there will be holes left from the strips. There are treads and risers that you can buy at the big hardware stores. You can stain or paint them to whatever color you desire. The treads that are sold are strips of wood that are glued together and have a Bull Nose edge. This laminating of strips resists warping and cupping.

-- Melvin, San Diego, http://www.xpress-restoration.com

View paxtoneaton's profile


1 post in 2022 days

12-04-2013 11:52 AM

You shouldn’t have removed the carpet in the first place, if it had became dirty then you should have called some professional cleaner who had done [edited by moderators]

View Charlottergreenberg's profile


19 posts in 1973 days

01-22-2014 06:37 AM

Our home originally had beautiful wood stairs, unfortunately the second owners covered them with ugly carpet that looks like kitty litter.

View Charlottergreenberg's profile


19 posts in 1973 days

01-24-2014 06:42 AM

You will think it will be insanely hard to pull the carpet, but it’s so easy, ... and were a HUGE, massive, HUGE, big pain in the booty to remove.

View Charlottergreenberg's profile


19 posts in 1973 days

01-25-2014 09:31 AM

Smart Girls DIY has moved to SmartGirlsDIY.com and this post can now be found here ยท curved stairs. how not to remove carpet from stairs.

View lynnChris's profile


1 post in 1441 days

07-08-2015 05:13 PM

I would also suggesting putting some Steam & blowing hot air once it gets removed.

-- http://www.bestsawhq.com

View John's profile


31 posts in 3259 days

11-30-2015 03:30 PM

I removed adhesive left from peeling up linoleum by using a scraper and heat gun. Just be careful not to heat it too much; just enough to soften it. Or, like others said, take out the risers and steps and start over.

-- I got out of the rat race. The rats kept winning.

View Stephen Giderson's profile

Stephen Giderson

7 posts in 84 days

04-26-2019 05:14 AM

The layers do look rather extreme now with the adhesive strongly stuck to the fuzz. I doubt any amount of solvents would do the trick in this condition. I would recommend sanding the whole layout to achieve a smoother finish that you can still salvage.

-- Stephen Giderson: http://supercheapselfstorage.com.au/facilities/melbourne/melbourne-central/

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58 posts in 38 days

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