How to Remove Vinyl Tile Adhesive from Cement

How to Remove Vinyl Tile Adhesive from Cement

How to Remove Vinyl Tile Adhesive from Cement

Aug 12, 2009

Suzanne Pitner is a prolific writer and educator with a Master’s Degree. A member of RWA and YARWA, she writes fiction as Suzanne Lilly.

With the cost to install wood laminate flooring or laminate cork dropping, many homeowners are choosing to upgrade their old vinyl linoleum floors. Laminate comes in many styles, colors, textures, and patterns, and is durable and beautiful. When selling a home, laminate flooring may be a feature that buyers desire.

Steps to removing the vinyl floor tile and the adhesive can be strenuous. The proper tools and procedures will make the process go faster. Tools that will be helpful are:

  • Long handled floor scraper
  • Small hand scraper
  • Sharp cutter
  • Bucket for wet material
  • Fabric or sponge mop for the sealer
How to Remove Vinyl Tile Adhesive from Cement

Remove the Vinyl Floor Tile

With a sharp cutter, slice the vinyl along the edges of the floor. Cut a small section of the floor. Pour a small amount of boiling water along the cuts to warm and soften the vinyl.

Using the small hand scraper, lift up the edges of the vinyl. When the edges have been loosened, slide the long handled floor scraper under the vinyl, and lift the entire section from the floor.

Continue this process until all of the vinyl linoleum has been removed from the floor. There may be several layers of vinyl flooring, because it’s not uncommon for people to lay new linoleum right over the old. Some may come up all at once, and some may take longer to remove.

Soften the Glue on the Floor

Adhesive used in vinyl flooring is also called mastic. It is designed to be long lasting and durable. Therefore, glue removal can be difficult. Once the linoleum is off the floor, it’s possible to scrape some of the adhesive with the long handled scraper. Much of it will be stuck hard to the floor.

Boil water and pour it on a small area, about ten square feet. Wait one or two minutes for the adhesive to soften, then scrape it off with the long handled scraper. Repeat this process one or two times until the glue is removed. Some of the smaller spots may be removed with the small scraper.

After the adhesive removal, allow the floor to dry overnight. Leaving the windows open, if possible, and putting a fan in the room help the floor dry faster. If there is a mildew smell, the cement floor may be mopped with a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water.

Apply a New Coat of Sealer to the Floor

Before laying the new floor, many homeowners choose to reapply the sealer. This will help prevent future problems with moisture. Sealer can be bought at hardware stores. The label on the jug of sealant will explain how many square feet it covers.

Using the mop, spread the sealant over the floor and allow it to dry as long as the instructions indicate. Repeat until there are three coats of sealer on the cement floor. Once the sealer is completely dry, installation of the wood laminate floor can begin.

Replacing a floor in a do-it-yourself project can save a homeowner money and increase the value of a home. Using this simple method of floor preparation is the hardest part of the process, but since it doesn’t use chemicals, it’s relatively safe. The rewards for proper preparation are a new laminate floor that will last for years.


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