How to Remove Linoleum Flooring
Removing Linoleum Flooring Can be
Difficult without the Right Tools and Know-how
By Mark J. Donovan
If you have kitchen or bathroom remodeling plans
and need to know how to remove linoleum flooring
read on. The process of removing linoleum flooring
is relatively simple as long as you have the right
tools and follow the basic guidelines described
However removing linoleum flooring can be
painfully slow depending upon how the linoleum was
glued down to the subfloor. As a matter of fact,
In some cases if the linoleum flooring is fully
glued down then it may make more sense to simply
apply the new flooring directly over it. I have
done so many times when tiling floors.
All I do is apply decking screws on 6 inch centers across the entire linoleum
covered floor prior to tiling the floor. This said, I only do this when the
linoleum has no signs of cupping or curling at the edges and there are no bulges
or cracks in the floor.
For most re-flooring projects, however, it is best to remove old linoleum
flooring prior to installing the new flooring material. So be prepared for some
tedious work ahead!
The tool of the trade when removing linoleum flooring is a pole ice scraper. This is a long handle tool that has a metal scraper at the end
of it. You'll also need a small hand scraper with a rugged quality razor blade
at the end of it. Make sure you buy plenty of replacement blades and a pair of
work gloves to protect your hands when using the scrapers.
When removing linoleum from a concrete slab you can be more aggressive with
the scrapers. On your first pass with the pole scraper you can dig in hard with
the scraper to remove as much of it as possible. Then you can use your hand
scraper to get the difficult pieces and the areas near wall and cabinet edges.
If on the other hand you're removing linoleum flooring from a wood subfloor you
need to be more careful as you don't want to knick up the subfloor too
much. If you have a hardwood floor underneath the linoleum flooring you'll also
want to make sure you scrape with the grain of the wood. This way you can touch
up the would if you accidentally shave or scrape it a little.
Often after slicing the linoleum flooring with a utility knife you can peel
up large sections of the linoleum flooring if the adhesive is only applied
around seams and the peripheral edges of the linoleum floor.
When removing linoleum flooring its also best to work in small areas at a
time. This way you can at least see some clear results after a short period of
time, thus mitigating frustration and doubt about your ability to remove it all.
Once you've peeled and scraped off all of the
linoleum surface and are left to the backing and
adhesive materials you can then resort to
specialized solvents to remove them. You can find
these types of solvents at most home improvement
When applying solvents again work in small areas
at a time. Also make sure you follow the solvent
manufacturer's application recommendations and
always make sure the room is well ventilated.
If you don't want to spend the money on commercial
solvents you can also try using hot boiling water.
Water by itself is a solvent. So simply pour a
little boiling water over a small area and allow
it a little time to soak into the adhesive
backing. Then use your scraper to remove the
adhesive backing. Do not use this method if you
have hardwood floors that you want to preserve, as
it could cause warping of the boards.
Also a hair dryer can often work to help soften up
the adhesive backing, making it easier to scrape
With these methods you'll eventually be able to
remove the linoleum flooring. You just need to be
patient and keep working at it!
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