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How To Remove Vinyl Flooring


By Carrie Dixon, Blog Editor

Vinyl flooring in need of removalWhen it comes to home renovation, removing old vinyl flooring can be one of the most frustrating tasks. Even after you’re managed to pull up all of the flooring, you still have to deal with copious amounts of adhesive and glue which are even more difficult to remove. Because of how challenging this task can be, many homeowners choose to hire a profession to do the job. Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, we’re going to break down the process for you.

Removal Considerations

If you have a wooden subfloor, it is porous which means that it will absorb adhesives. However, the glue has to be removed from the subfloor before new vinyl is installed. The reason for that is because older adhesives sometimes uses oils which reach with vinyl and turn it yellow. In most cases, your warranty will not cover this if it occurs.

You should also know that asbestos was used in some vinyl flooring in the past. If your floor is from the 1970s or earlier, you should have asbestos testing done to determine if you have this health hazard present. If you do, you absolutely need to choose an experienced contractor to remove the vinyl flooring of your home.

Removing Vinyl from Subfloor

If you have determined that your subfloor is made of plywood, there are two options for removal. One is to scrape the vinyl floor and glue up. The second is to remove the plywood at the same time as the flooring. The best way to remove the adhesive is by using a paint scraper. This may not always work. In the event that it does not, you will need to use a heat gun which softens the glue, so you can scrape it away. If you choose to remove the plywood at the same time as the vinyl, you’ll need to use a drill and saw to do so. This is something that should not be attempted by anyone who is not experienced.

For those who have a concrete subfloor, the process is simple. First you will cut off the vinyl in small strips. This will give you access to the glue. You’ll again use a heat gun or paint scraper to remove the adhesive. You can also soak the glue in dish soap and water then remove the rest of the glue in the morning.

If you do not have the tools you need to do this on your own, floor strippers can be rented from major home and garden locations. You should also make sure to pick up a hammer, putty knife, chisel, and utility knife to handle the project right. Other helpful items include a sander, screwdrivers, screws, heat gun, paint scraper, and brick chisel.

Alternative Methods

Some people choose to ignore the old vinyl flooring and place the new flooring on top of it. This will only be an option if your floor is smooth, so your new floor can be directly laid on top without any strange bumps or ridges. No matter how you handle this process, it will raise the level of your floor to the point where it is noticeable. If this makes the floor not connect with the floor in other rooms, it could lead to trips and falls.

Removing vinyl flooring can be a complicated and time-consuming process. If you are comfortable with tools, it’s something you can do on your own. However, there are experts who can do the work for you. Regardless of which you choose, you’ll end up with a bathroom or kitchen that looks modern and clean, just the way you want it.

Work with a Five Star Rated Flooring Company

If you do want to hire an expert to remove vinyl flooring for you, be sure to choose a Five Star Rated flooring company from our website. We save homeowners time by conducting thousands of due diligence home contractor surveys and homeowner interviews. Only flooring companies that “earn” a Five Star Rating through exceptional service and work performance over time are listed on our website.