Linoleum is easy to take out from any surface. What is difficult is removing the glue that was used to stick the linoleum. You can just cover it up with whatever you want, but most of the time you will have to remove it. You can apply the tips below when removing linoleum on most surfaces. However, you have to be extra careful when removing it from wooden floors. You will most likely sacrifice the quality of the wooden floor underneath as you scrape away the glue. Before you begin, prepare yourself for a back breaking experience. Give yourself a lot of time and better do some stretching and warm up. Removing glued-down linoleum is a work-out in itself.
- Peel off the linoleum by parts. Use a knife to cut the area into strips or squares. This way, you will not be overwhelmed by the task at hand. After doing a certain portion, you can also decide if you need more help from others or if you will hire someone else to do the job. Have your scraper ready with you and scrape away the glue as you do it by parts. Scrape away as much as you can using a sharp blade and be careful with the wood. You may end up scraping a deep part of the wood leaving you with an uneven floor in the end.
- Pour boiling water over the glue. This can be tricky and dangerous so better not do it alone. Wear protective gear like gloves and pants. Remember to scrape away the glue as you pour the water. If it cools, it defeats the purpose. Hot water helps loosen the glue that was used. It can be messy too and the walls around the area may be affected. The glue may turn the water into soapy suds. Have a mop ready with you to clean as you go along.
- Expose the glue to heat using a powerful hairdryer or a heat gun. Another method aside from boiling water is using heat. Heat will help peel off the glue. If you can expose the glue to direct sunlight, do this also. Let it bathe in the noon sun for several days to make your job easier. The heat gun can warp your wooden floor if you are not familiar with how to use it. Better test it in some parts so you know up to how long you can expose the floor to the heat gun and at what distance.
- Apply a solvent remover. Chemicals can be used to remove the glue. You can purchase this in any hardware store. Follow the instructions carefully. Wear protective gear and use a face mask if you are in an enclosed area. The chemicals may be strong and may affect your health. Have someone with you when you do this and keep doors and windows open for better air ventilation.
- Use sandpaper to finish the floor area. You can do it by hand if you still have the energy to do so. Using an electric sanding machine might be a better option at this point. Clean the area first before you do any sanding. Protect the walls with newspaper since the dust and wooden particles may change the colors and texture of the walls.
Your aching back and your time may cost you more, so you may want to hire a professional to do the job. All you have to do is oversee the project and spend more time choosing what kind of flooring you want.