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3 Easy Ways to how to remove vinyl flooring all by Yourself

What is the first thing that comes to your head when you think about vinyl flooring and the labor you have to harbor to remove it? Icky? Troublesome? Dirty? 

Well, you are right. It is quite unsettling if you are moving into a new house with old vinyl flooring all over it, and you need to remove it, to put in a design of your choice. 

However, we got you covered here. We have mentioned easy ways for you to remove the old vinyl flooring. 

All by yourself! Yes, that’s right. A little DIY right there for you. 

Here is what we will cover in this article-

  • Reasons to remove the old vinyl flooring
  • Materials you need
  • 3 simple ways to do it
  • Alternative ways to remove vinyl flooring 
  • FAQ section 
  • Conclusion

Reasons to get the old Vinyl Flooring Removed

1. Wood and Vinyl Flooring

Let’s talk about the disastrous impact of wood coupled with the adhesive in vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring, which is popularly referred to as linoleum is usually stuck to the floor with glue. Now it becomes imperative to remove that glue to avoid complications with your new vinyl flooring. 

The reason behind this is mainly because some old vinyl floors have oils in them, which can cause yellow discoloration once joined with the new vinyl flooring glue. Removing linoleum glue is easier than you think, and in this writeup, we will show you how. 

Since wood is porous, the glue can get through this product and stick to it. You need to carefully remove the glue from the floor. For this purpose, you can purchase a vinyl floor adhesive remover or a linoleum adhesive remover.

2. Brittle Floors and Glue

Floor breakage at your new apartment is the last thing you want to come across, right after you have laid out a new vinyl flooring. 

This can happen because the glue which is stuck to the floor from the old vinyl flooring(which you haven’t removed) is stuck to your new flooring. This will eventually cause breakage due to the hardened lumpy glue residue. In some cases, the floor also ends up being uneven, and that is very unattractive. 

So, you must remove that glue to avoid such hazardous situations. 

3. The Asbestos Alert

For those of you who are clueless about this word, asbestos is materials that were used in the 1970s in housing projects to set new vinyl floors. 

The thing about asbestos is that it is harmful to you when it is prone to breakage. So, while removing a vinyl flooring that contains asbestos, it possesses great health risk for you and those around you.

What you can do is break a small piece of the floor from behind the refrigerator and take it to an asbestos abatement testing firm to make sure your food contains it. 

In case it does, you will need professional assistance in removing your vinyl floors because doing it on your own might end up getting you to the hospital. 

Materials you need to remove the vinyl flooring- 

  • Wide Putty Knife
  • Utility Knife
  • Brick Chisel
  • Bully Flooring Scraper
  • Paint Scraper
  • Hammer
  • Heat Gun
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Toe Kick Saw
  • Oscillating Saw
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Water & Dish Soap
  • Sander

You need to ensure that you have the above-mentioned tools before you start working on getting those old vinyl floors off your new setting. 

For your convenience, we have put together three separate ways in which you can easily remove the old vinyl floor using a vinyl floor removal tool

3 Simple Ways to follow while removing linoleum and underlayment

A. Removing Vinyl Flooring Glued to Wood

Wooden floors are such a delight to the vintage eye. I am up for anything that has ‘vintage’ written all over it. Usually, in cooler climate areas, wooden floors are seen as a necessary measure to keep yourself warm. 

If you have a house from the 80s or 90s, there are high chances that your beautiful wooden floors are covered with vinyl or linoleum. 

Now, the old flooring has worn off and you want to replace it with something more modern and minimalist. But, there is a lot of hard glue stuck to it, and you cannot put a vinyl flooring on top of that because that will result in uneven surfaces and breakage. 

So, what can you exactly do in this situation? We are here to guide you through the process, so do not worry. 

Begin by scraping off enough flooring from one corner of the room. This will help you check how the floor has been crafted. Once you have understood the dynamics and the direction in which the flooring has been laid out, you can start by scraping off strips throughout the floor in a singular motion. 

Make sure there is a 6-inch difference between the strips. It is very important to measure these strips because that will determine whether you will get a smooth finish or not. 

However, it is not as simple as it sounds. There is hard glue stuck to the floor and that is almost impossible to just scrape off without damaging the floor. 

You need to heat the linoleum with a heat gun so that it starts melting all the glue. That’s when you will need to use a sharp utility knife, dig it deep enough to get to the glue, yet not damage the hardwood beneath it, and scrape out those six-inch strips until you have covered the entire flooring space. 

In case there is leftover glue, you can scrape it off, while it is still melted. Do not wait for the glue to get hard and then start scraping. That is not worth it. 

B. Removing Linoleum or Vinyl from a Plywood Subfloor

There are two ways through which this process can be conducted, so read carefully and pick the process that fits your requirements.

C. Removing Plywood Subfloor and Linoleum together- 

This process requires more labor than the other method that we are going to talk about but is effective to take off both the plywood as well as the linoleum. 

Since the plywood subfloor is thick, it is necessary for you to drill a hole in the ground to determine the thickness that you are going to cut through. 

Place the saw next to the wall ⅛ inches deep to cut through. Use a reciprocal saw to cut against the wall and make sure you don’t end up uprooting the floor joists. Cut the floors into manageable sections of 3 to 4 inches each and then begin cutting.

While laying down the new subfloor, hammer some nails into the joists to keep the plywood from breaking. 

And that’s how you do it! 

D. Scraping just the linoleum and glue 

As opposed to the method proposed above, this second option is basic and pretty simple. 

This method has already been discussed in detail in the earlier point. However, for your convenience, we have described it all over again. 

Start by using a standard utility knife and cutting the edges towards the wall. Once you have determined the duration in which the floor has been laid out, begin by melting the glue underneath the vinyl flooring with a hot gun. After this, it will become easier for you to scrape off the vinyl flooring while the glue is loose. 

Cut the floor in symmetrical strips, each 6 inches wide, till you have covered the entire room. After removing linoleum, you can scrape off the remaining bits of glue. 

However, make sure you scrape off the remnant bits of glue while it is still soft. Dont wait for it to get hard before you begin. 

E. Removing sheet vinyl from Concrete 

In case this is your way to go, you are in luck because it just happens to be the easiest way to go about removing your vinyl flooring. 

You can begin by heating up the linoleum flooring with a hot gun, so that the glue can melt. Cut the flooring into 6 inches wide strips and pull the stips up to reveal the concrete flooring. 

In case there is leftover glue, either soak it overnight in soap water to soften it or directly scrape at it while the glue is still soft. 

That’s it! That’s how simple it is. 

It may take you over two days to complete, but that completely depends on the area of the flooring. Whatever it is, the result is going to be worth it. 

Now that we have looked at the three elementary ways through which you can remove vinyl flooring, let us look at some alternative ways to do so. 

Alternative Ways to Remove Vinyl Flooring

The only alternative way to go about removing your vinyl flooring is to put a new layer over it. 

Remove Vinyl Flooring
Remove Vinyl Flooring

Now hold on! It is not as easy as it sounds. The first thing you need to do is either apply a layer of plywood or concrete before you apply the new layer of vinyl flooring. This is done to avoid uneven surfaces, it is inevitable for uneven surfaces to form in case you set a layer of vinyl flooring directly on top of the old one. 

In case you are putting plywood underneath, it should be at least ¼ inches higher. If it is a layer of concrete that you are applying, it needs to be ⅛ inches higher. This will create a new smooth layer on top of which you can skillfully set the next layer of vinyl flooring. 

What you need to keep in mind while applying this method is that the floor is going to be slightly elevated after you put a concrete layer or a plywood layer on top. 

Bring in the new furniture or replace the old ones keeping in mind this elevated equation. 

FAQ Section

After such an elaborate explanation of the different ways that you can set your new vinyl flooring the way it should be laid out, here are some frequently asked questions regarding the same. 

1. How to remove linoleum flooring? 

Ans. Linoleum flooring can be removed by using a heat gun to melt the glue underneath the flooring. After this, a floor scrapper must be used to cut the flooring into strips that are 6 inches each, and then expose the glue underneath. Using a scrapper, take of the remaining hot glue stuck to the floor from the earlier vinyl flooring. 

2. How to remove linoleum? 

Ans. Linoleum can be removed using a scrapper by cutting 6 inches strips from corners of the room. Even though this is an extensive process, it must be done with utmost care to avoid bumps and tears. 

3. How to replace linoleum? 

Ans. You can either do it with the scrapper, or you can opt for an underlayment. Either way, you need a smooth surface to lay your new vinyl flooring on. To be completely honest, it is an easy process to replace the linoleum. 

4. How to remove glue from a concrete floor? 

Ans. Removing glue from the concrete floor is done by scraping the remaining glue after removing the vinyl flooring. To make this easier, you can do this by melting the glue with a heat gun and then scrapping the floor. In case the adhesive under the vinyl is made of tar, some mineral sprits will soften it. 

5. How to remove linoleum glue from the wood subfloor? 

Ans. Wood is a porous material through which the glue can stick through and can be stubborn to take off. You will need to first melt the glue with a heat gun and then start scraping with a floor scraper. Make sure you don’t damage the hardwood underneath. 

6. How to remove vinyl flooring from plywood? 

Ans. There are two ways to go about this. The first is to drill a hole into the ground till you have reached the plywood and then start cutting with a reciprocal saw till you have uprooted both the plywood (¼ inches) and the vinyl flooring. The second way is to simply scrape through the vinyl flooring. 

7. How to remove linoleum glue from concrete? 

Ans. This is the easiest to do. Simply melt the glue with a heat gun and cut 6-inch strips. Pull them to expose the concrete beneath. 

Conclusion

So, which is the best way to remove vinyl flooring? This completely depends on the flooring you have beneath. But the easiest one to operate would be the removal of vinyl flooring from concrete by melting the hot glue and then cutting the flooring into 6 inches strips and finally scrape the remaining glue. 

Hopefully, this elaborate guide has been helpful to you and has given you a stronghold to undertake the removal of your vinyl floor all by yourself. 

Which one is your favorite method? We would love to hear from you, so do leave your answers in the comment section below.

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