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How do I remove sheet vinyl flooring?

In my 1971 house the original owners closed in a Florida room and put down an ugly yellow sheet vinyl or linoleum floor with a glued on rubber baseboard. It is not in good shape, having gouges, grooves, and deep scrapes dug in it, and the baseboard has come unglued in places leaving a very sticky, very gooey mess.  I would like to install wood plank flooring in there to match what I am putting down in the rest of the house.  What can I use to remove it and the residual goo? Is there something that will penetrate through the vinyl to the glue beneath? I'm not sure prying it up first is going to be possible - it's been stuck on there for over 20 yrs.  Thank you

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Posted 2014-01-28T05:45:58+0000  by redneckpenguin redneckpenguin

Hi redneckpenquin,


Thank you for your question and welcome to our community. 


To remove the old vinyl flooring and the glue, may take a couple of steps.  To get to the glue underneath the vinyl flooring, you will need to remove the old flooring and baseboard first.  Removing the flooring can be done using:

A heat gun

A scraper

Your Dremel Multi Max tool with the Scrapper/Cutting attachments.

A Box Cutter


Since the glue and flooring are very old, the vinyl may be brittle and only come up in pieces.  I just finished my kitchen project and had to remove the vinyl floor that was also very old.  My flooring came up in pieces and whole sections.  I used a combination of the heat gun and the different scrappers.  You will need to be flexible and use whatever works in your situation. 


Above all, be patient!  This is a tedious and time consuming job. 


Once the vinyl flooring has been removed, you will need to remove the glue from the floor.  The Home Depot carries Adhesive Remover by Henry which will work well for removing the leftover water based glue.  This product can be diluted or used straight for those stubborn spots.  This will only work for water based glue!


Before you begin, be sure that you have plenty of ventilation.  Do not breathe in the vapor or allow any of this material to get onto your skin. 


After the Adhesive Remover has been applied and has had time to set and react, use a scrapper to remove the glue from the floor.  The long handle scrapper may be easier to use if you have enough space to use it.  When I did my floor, I would alternate back and forth between the long handle scrapper and the shorter hand held one, depending on what part of the kitchen I was working on.


Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Posted 2014-01-28T19:18:40+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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