Removing carpeting which was glued to wood stairs

Q imported from our old site, Face Lift Floors: We are attempting to remove carpeting which was glued to wooden steps about 30 years ago and we are having no success. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

A: This sounds like a really tough job. I wish I had a quick and easy solution for you, but I don’t. If the adhesive was water based, possibly applying a bit of water would soften the glue. But, 30 years ago?

I doubt it is anything but solvent based. I would try a sharp 1/2″ chisel and an Exacto knife with a good blade. If you can get that sharp chisel between the carpet backing and the tread, you may be able to cut your way through the adhesive to free the carpet.

You will have to be careful not to cause too much damage to the surface of the tread. There are going to be a lot of blisters after this one is finished.

Are these oak treads? Why would anyone glue carpet to them? I wish I had a better answer, and if you find one, I would appreciate you letting me know. If I come up with anything else, I will let you know.

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