How To Remove Vinyl or Linoleum Flooring

Removing vinyl flooring or linoleum flooring can a big pain the butt. Today I went for it and took off the old linoleum/vinyl flooring in our kitchen. I have been putting it off for years. The floor we have is linoleum glued to the wood floor and on top of that is a kitchen carpet. It was the classic old carpet, I keep telling my wife it will come back in style but the carpet wore out first. It was a big job luckily I had the help of my dad. If you decide to remove your old flooring try and get someone to help you. You will get twice as much done in the same amount of time and you might even finish early.

One thing I learned today was to use laquor thinner on all the area that were still glued to the floor. It softened up the glue and I scraped the old flooring off with no problem at all. There might be a special solvent to remove the glued on pieces but I tried the laquor thinner and it worked awesome. I cut the top of an old beer can and used it as a dish and painted it on the floor. I started off in a small area and used the paint brush to paint the area. The thick areas need to be soaked.

I recently found out  using laquor thinner is hard on the glue in the plywood causing the top layer to bubble so be sure not to use too much.

I started off in the corner and pried up the old linoleum and keep going with a pry bar and scraper. You might be able to rent a special scraper to remove vinyl and linoleum but I assumed it would be aggressive. If you have a wooden subfloor like I do, I didn’t want gauges in the wood as I wanted to prevent slivers.The areas that were really glued down it took a bit more work. I used the scraper and took off small pieces until the linoleum was gone.

If you are going to use a solvent or thinner to remove the glue you need to scrape off the top layer so you are down to the plastic stuff (backing). Get as close to the floor as possible this way the flooring comes off real quick and it takes less laquor thinner or solvent. If you don’t get the top layer off nothing will soak in and penetrate the glue.

These methods should work for vinyl flooring too.

In no time at all your floor will be clean and look great. Now it’s time to decide what to put back down again.

PS. Use laquor thinner or solvents in well ventilated areas, it stinks and is flammable. Always read the user instructions. Keep your windows open and make sure your family is not going to be home for a while and make sure you where your safely glasses and gloves and keep out of the reach of children.