Tips on How to Remove Linoleum
by Beverly Kane
Description: Easy do-it-yourself tips for removing linoleum from your floor.
Wish you knew how to get rid of your existing linoleum? Like
all things renovation wise, it can be a tough job, but it is
still something that you are capable of doing. How difficult
your particular linoleum will be to remove depends on its age
and how it is fixated to your sub floor. If the linoleum is
currently in good shape minus cracks, and soundly affixed to
your sub floor, you may be able to leave it in place and add
your new floor materials over it. Most people, however, prefer
to remove the linoleum and start from scratch when installing
The removal of your existing linoleum will involve some sweat
equity on your part. Removal of your linoleum is a multi step
process. Once you get the linoleum up you will have to deal
with its adhesive material. Also, you may not even know what
lies beneath the linoleum until you remove it. The underlying
floors could be wood or concrete. Concrete being easier to work
with as it is more durable.
The best tip when removing linoleum is to work in small
sections. You can cut the linoleum in workable sized strips or
squares as you go and then peel them off. Not only will you
remove the majority of the surface layer of linoleum but it
will assist you in getting to the adhesive as well. You can
further attack the adhesive using a paint scraper or razor
blade scraper. The razor blades ones will work much easier just
keep in mind when working with hard adhesive or on concrete
floors you will likely go through several blades.
Now that you have been able to remove the majority of the
linoleum and its backing you can attack what remains. One way
to do so is by applying a solvent or chemical remover. Make
sure you follow instructions and read the warnings on the label
of whatever product you use and wear skin and eye protection,
such as gloves and glasses. One popular solvent is aptly named,
Krud Kutter. Again, proceed by doing small sections at a time.
If you prefer not working with chemicals a low cost method of
adhesive removal involves just boiling water. You can pour the
boiling water directly on the remaining adhesive, in small
sections, allow it to set a bit, and then proceed with scraping
If you are working with hardwood floors, that you are worried
about damaging, you can try to remove the adhesive and
remaining backing with a hair dryer or heat gun. Try a test
area such as in the pantry. Simply use the hair dryer to heat
up the adhesive and then scrape it. Make sure you are not
scraping against the grain of the wood. As this method will
result in hot and sticky debris make sure you have a heat
resistant container ready for the clean up. If you choose to
use a heat gun make sure you do not apply to much heat and burn
the wood. As always, it is best to work in a small section,
applying the heat in a moving motion versus static and scraping
each area as you go.
Unlike when working with concrete your goal is to not remove
100% of the adhesive. Attempt to do so on hardwood floors and
you will probably end up damaging the wood. Simply remove what
you can without forcing the rest then clean the area by
vacuuming or sweeping the debris. Depending on how much of the
adhesive backing remains you can proceed by lightly sanding or
removing the remaining portions with damp mopping using mineral
spirits or a similar product to prepare the floor for its new
Beverly Kane is a staff writer at
http://www.homeimprovementgazette.com and is occasional
contributor to several other websites, including
Painting Wall Murals - Tips for Do-It-Yourself Projects
7 Easy Faux Painting Techniques
Decorating with Sponge Painting
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