How To Remove Linoleum

When getting that new floor installed removal of the old one yourself can save money but could present an enormous challenge. Depending on the age of the  linoleum  and the type of adhesive used it could be extremely difficult to remove. Sometimes  linoleum  was installed and only glued around the edges and around heat ducts in the floor. If this is the case with your floor, it won’t be easier but will at least be less time consuming.

Most flooring was laid onto the substrate and the entire floor was covered with glue. These types of  linoleum  floors are the toughest to remove. Either way edge glued or completely you will follow pretty much the same steps. Cut the  linoleum  into strips with a razor knife. This will make it easier to start scraping if your floor is completely glued and will make your old  linoleum  easier to handle if it is edge glued.

Once you have cut the strips now it is time to start scraping. Many people use the paint scrapers to scrape but I have found that the scrapers with the razor blades are the best to use. The glue is going to be real hard and will more than likely have to be cut through. Hence , easier with the blade. Once you have scraped all you can you will probably still have some trouble spots on the floor. At these locations you can try heating the glue with a heat gun and scraping. I have even used little electric heaters to sit around the floor and heat the glue. Another trick, if you are on a concrete substrate is to use hot water. This can get very messy not to mention painful if you aren’t careful.

However you choose to heat the floor, be sure to scrape the glue while the floor is still warm. If it cools off it is defeating your purpose in heating. There is another way to try and get those pieces loose. I used a solvent remover once called Krud Kutter. It was easy to use. There are other adhesive removers that are easy to use. As with any chemicals follow the manufacturers guidelines and wear gloves and eye protection.

After you have gotten all up that you can with scraping it may be time to get the sandpaper out. I don’t suggest sanding by hand as that is to time consuming. Get an electric sander or pneumatic one and sand those trouble spots away. You will want to use a very coarse paper on your sander. Nothing finer than 80 grit is acceptable really. Ideally you want to use a 40 grit or coarser.

After you have removed all the vinyl you are ready for your new floor covering. You may need to smooth out any imperfections depending on what type of covering you will use.