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Tips on How to Remove Linoleum
by Beverly Kane

Description: Easy do-it-yourself tips for removing linoleum from your floor.

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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 new flooring.

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 it.

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 refinish.

Beverly Kane is a staff writer at http://www.homeimprovementgazette.com and is occasional contributor to several other websites, including http://www.theshoppinggazette.com.


Related articles:

Painting Wall Murals - Tips for Do-It-Yourself Projects
7 Easy Faux Painting Techniques
Decorating with Sponge Painting


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