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How To Remove Adhesive From Concrete Floors (6 Ways To Remove Glue)

Oh guys, I just finished removing the toughest, gummiest, thickest glue I’ve ever seen on a concrete floor. And, it was rough, really rough!

In fact, I tried a bunch of different ways to figure out the fastest way to remove adhesive from concrete floors. But different types and thicknesses of adhesive will be easier or harder to remove.

So, you might be able to remove hardwood floor glue from concrete floors in your room with just one of these tools. You can also use these options to remove carpet adhesive and vinyl floor adhesive.

Image showing how to remove glue from concrete. For a post about the best adhesive remover for concrete, removing glue from concrete floors.
Don’t forget to save this list of options for removing glue from concrete.

If you need it, I have another post with the steps to Remove Glued Wood Flooring. Be sure to watch the video on that post to see my favorite way to pull up glued down hardwood and engineered flooring.

After you’ve removed your glued down floors, it’s time to remove the flooring adhesive that’s left behind. Here’s 6 options for removing glue from concrete.

Removing Adhesive from Concrete Floors

In this video, you can see me removing glue from concrete using most of the options described below. Keep scrolling for the written list.

How to Remove Adhesive From Concrete Floors - 5 DIY Ways to Get Glue Off Concrete

How To Remove Glue From Concrete Floors

Here’s the 6 options. Pick the way you want to remove flooring adhesive based on how big your space is, how much physical effort you can do, how much money you can spend, time available, and how much glue is left on your floors.

Flooring Chisel

A flooring chisel with a hand guard is a great tool for scraping light amounts or small areas of adhesive off concrete floors.

The end is sharp enough that you can push the chisel across the concrete and light strips of adhesive will easily scrape off.

DIY tips and video showing How to Remove Glued Wood Flooring or Engineered Wood Flooring and Flooring Adhesive on Concrete.
Use a flooring chisel with a hand guard and a hammer for a quick way to remove glue from concrete floors in small amounts.

And, a flooring chisel is perfect for using with a hammer to pop up broken scraps of hardwood flooring too.

Flooring Scraper

You can also find a stand up version of a flooring scraper at most hardware stores. These flooring scrapers are great because you can use them without bending over.

It helps save your back if your concrete glue is coming up easily enough for a scraper alone.

Image of a floor scraper for a post about How to Remove Adhesive On Concrete Floors
I didn’t use a floor scraper like this in my video. BUT, I’m pretty sure I have one in my garage. I just can’t find it. That’s what happens when you collect 20 years worth of remodeling tools. 🙂

If you need to use the hammer with the chisel or if your adhesive is too strong to work with a stand up chisel, you’ll have to move on to one of the other options.

Oscillating Tool

If you have hard to remove adhesive or bigger spots of adhesive to remove from concrete floors, you can try scraping it off with an oscillating tool using a scraper attachment.

It looks easy, but it’s still hard work. You have to apply pressure to get the scraper beneath the glue. And the vibration from the oscillating tool can get annoying after a while.

Using an oscillating tool with a scraping attachment to remove adhesive from a concrete floor.

For me, it was easier to use the oscillating tool to remove adhesive where the adhesive was actually on the concrete slab.

If the adhesive was on the poured floor leveler (lighter grey areas) then that adhesive was really fighting me and much harder to scrape up.

Adhesive Remover For Concrete

If you have a lot of adhesive to remove from concrete floors, or multiple rooms, you might want to use flooring adhesive stripper. Pour it on nice and thick and spread it around.

The adhesive remover for concrete I used has very low odor and is easy to use inside a home your still living it. I got absolutely no headache from this chemical.

I do recommend pouring the stripper on in reachable sections, so that you don’t have to stand on gummy, tacky areas after you’ve scraped that spot.

Pouring on Klean Strip adhesive remover for concrete. I used a putty knife to spread it around. You can see how in the video above. Be sure to leave it thick enough to work properly.

AND remember, using a liquid adhesive stripper doesn’t mean that it will be suddenly super easy to remove the adhesive, just EASIER.

You’ll still have to put in effort while scraping. And, you will need a second layer of stripper in some spots.

Using the flooring chisel to scrape up the gummy concrete flooring adhesive after the adhesive remover for concrete was left overnight to work.

Multi-Purpose Floor Scraper

The next option for removing adhesive from concrete that I want to tell you about is with a plug-in, big multi-purpose floor scraper that you can rent from your local tool rental company.

Some of these things are about 4′ high and around 130 pounds. Some of them are smaller and closer to 35 pounds, like this one.

Image of an Eddy Multi-purpose floor scraper for a post about removing adhesive on concrete floors.
This smaller Eddy Floor Scraper is available for rent at my local Lowe’s. Check your local tool rental for which options they have available and pricing.

So, plan ahead for how you will lift and transport it if your tool rental place only has the big guys!

They also can be pricey too, depending on how long you need it. Home Depot rents one for about $65 for 4 hours. And, you probably have to buy a new scraper attachment when you rent it.

BUT, those big, electric floor scrapers can save your back and time, when you have multiple rooms to scrape.

Dry Ice

So, I haven’t tried this option to remove adhesive from concrete floors, BUT I have had a few people recommend using dry ice on flooring adhesive before scraping it off.

With the super gummy adhesive I had on my concrete floors, dry ice probably would have worked great. It could have hardened that adhesive, making it easier to chip the glue off concrete floors.

That’s it, guys! Think about the pros and cons of all of those options when you decide which way you’ll pick to scrape adhesive off of concrete floors.

Check out the video above to see the three ways to remove glue from concrete floors I went with and the three I didn’t.

Image shows an oscillating tool removing glue on concrete floors for a post about 6 ways to remove adhesive on concrete floors.
Don’t forget to save how to remove glue from concrete floors.

That’s it for removing adhesive from concrete. Here’s a look at this room after I finished the full remodel on it. You can see the full Before and After Family Room Makeover in another post.

After Remodeling This Room

I am LOVING this Before and After Family Room Makeover Transformation! Check out the amazing pictures and budget friendly DIY projects.
Look at all of that beautiful storage. These built ins are perfect for this room.

Or, check out 16 Great Ways to Repurpose an Unused Formal Living Room for ways to use an unused space.

Our kitten loves this extra large tile as much as I do. 😉 Check out the 17 Best Area Rugs On A Budget in a previous post. I bought that big 8×10 rug for under $150.

Here’s a look at this floor AFTER removing the glue. I was about halfway through installing new tile in here. It was easier to install the tile than it was to get glue off concrete floors.

Check out this post about Are Large Tiles Harder To Install to see more about this flooring.

More DIY Tiling & Flooring Posts You Might Like

Looking for more of my Home Remodeling Videos? Check out this DIY Home Improvement playlist on YouTube.

You might also like this DIY for How to Whiten Tile Grout. It’s a Game Changer!

How to Whiten Grout with a quick and easy DIY Grout Renew.

And, if it is time to Stain your Front Door, check out these steps for how I restain a front door without stripping it or removing it. 🙂

Here’s how to make a sun-damaged, dry wood door look great again without sanding.

My poor front door takes a serious beating from the hot Texas sun. This 1-step fix moisturizes my Dry Wood Front Door, gets rid of heat haze, brings back the shine, and protects the door from sun-damage.

And, here’s how to clean car seats at home. I love this before and after guys. It’s amazing!

Written steps and a how to video showing how to Clean Car Seats at Home, the Easy Way with a portable Bissell SpotClean Pro. This even worked on my gross chocolate milk covered seats!

Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.

Feeling inspired? Now that you’ve read these tips for How to Remove Adhesive From Concrete, you can do it too. Good luck with your project!