How To Remove Vinyl Tile & Glue

Are you bored and with a few hours to spare? Why not take this time to be productive and take the first step in replacing that ratty, tattered vinyl floor.  Stretch those muscles and work up a sweat. Vinyl tiles and the adhesive were made to be permanent, so it will be slightly difficult to remove the vinyl tiles and glue. Even if you worked with a partner, removing the vinyl tiles may take up to a day to complete. So make sure you have mentally prepped yourself for a hard day’s work.

Fortunately, you can cut down the time considerably by a few hours by being efficient and prepared for the task at hand. Here’s how to effectively remove vinyl tiles and glue.

  • You will need: a vacuum cleaner, a metal scraper, a long handed screwdriver/ lever, a hair dryer and wallpaper remover solution.
  • First, prepare the room by removing furniture and closing electrical sockets. Keep old newspapers or towels within reach to soak up the excess solution later. Also keep a garbage bag handy to dispose of the loosened vinyl glue.
  • Remove the vinyl tiles with a metal scraper or long handed screwdriver. Just loosen the vinyl tile’s grip on the floor and then peel it off. The top layer of the tile will come off easily. However, more often than not the adhesive will stubborn cling to the flooring. Instead of stabbing at the adhesive and accidentally damaging the floor underneath, apply a softening solution on the adhesive to loosen the grip on the concrete or wooden floor.
  • Here are several solutions you can use to spray on the glue
  • Acetone. A few drops will help loosen the adhesive. However, the smell of acetone is very intoxicating and large amounts would be needed to clear a whole floor, so this is not the most advisable choice.
  • Vinegar. Mix two parts vinegar in one part water. Instead of vinegar, you may substitute regular dishwashing detergent.
  • If you are afraid of chemical solutions, you can also apply simple hot water. Soak towels in boiling water and press against the glue. The heat will soften the adhesive.
  • You can also use your hair dryer at home. Turn the hair dryer to its hottest setting and point the heat on the glue stain. It will soften after a few seconds. When softened, peel off the adhesive or scrape it off with a metal scraper.
  • If you used any of the detergent, acetone or vinegar solutions, wash the area again with plain water and then dry. Leaving any residue will affect how the new flooring will set. Make sure the flooring is dry, especially if it is wooden flooring. The water will only warp the floor boards.
  • Before laying on the new vinyl tiles, smoothen out the flooring with sand paper and remove any dust and debris with a vacuum. If the base of your home is made from concrete flooring, you can place a new layer of cement to make an even base. Let the cement dry sufficiently as indicated.  

Now that the floors are perfectly bare, it is ready for that new, shiny vinyl tiles! Fortunately for you, laying on the new vinyl floor is easier and more fun than removing it! Enjoy your new and improved home in no time!


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