How to Remove Vinyl Flooring From Concrete
The adhesive that is used to affix vinyl sheets and tiles to a concrete subfloor becomes increasingly strong over time. This is particularly true in a high-traffic area of the home where foot traffic has further solidified the adhesive’s bond. There are important differences in the processes to remove vinyl tiles versus vinyl sheets from concrete floors, so your first step involves identifying the type of material that you are working with. Then, remove all of the furniture from the room so that you have a clear work area.
Steps to Remove Sheet Vinyl Flooring
1.Vinyl sheets are often rolled across the floor in large sections. While this makes installation relatively fast and easy, it makes removal more demanding. A great first step involves slicing the vinyl sheets into smaller sections. A box cutter or a similar device will work well.
2. You will then need to use a stripper or scraper tool to peel off the vinyl. There are both power tools and manual tools that will work well. These tools appear to have a metal spatula-type instrument at the base. This flat piece will maneuver underneath the sheet to pull it away from the concrete.
3. If necessary, apply petroleum jelly or another agent that dissolves adhesive to the work area. This could make it easier to work with the stripper or scraper tool.
4. An alternative to using a dissolving agent is to soften the adhesive with heat. This may be done with a hair dryer or a hot air gun. You will work in small sections by lifting the vinyl as much as possible, heating the adhesive and working your way a little further along the floor’s surface.
Steps to Remove Vinyl Floor Tiles from Concrete
1.Vinyl tiles may be slightly easier to remove because they are already cut into workable sections. However, you may still want to cut them into smaller squares.
2. Pry the corner of a tile section up with a putty knife or metal spatula. Using the hot air method described above, heat the adhesive until it is soft enough to work with. Pry the tile section up as much as possible, and continue heating it in sections as needed.
Cleaning Off the Adhesive
Regardless of whether you are removing vinyl sheets or tiles from a concrete subfloor, some of the adhesive will remain after the flooring material has been removed. If you are installing new vinyl flooring and if the adhesive is not excessively chunky, you could leave it in place. However, with other types of flooring materials, it makes sense to remove the adhesive and to have a truly clean work area.
The easiest way to remove the adhesive is with super-heated water. Heat water almost to boiling in a large pot. Then, pour it across the concrete floor. After a few minutes, the adhesive will be soft enough to scrape off with a spatula and an old rag. Keep several rags nearby if you have a large work area. You may need to rinse or wipe off the concrete subfloor after the adhesive has been removed. If you discover any small sections with glue remnants, you can use the hair dryer heating method after all of the water has been removed from the space.
Keep in mind that these vinyl flooring and adhesive removal steps are only suitable when the vinyl is on a concrete subfloor. In some cases, the vinyl may be installed over a wood or plywood subfloor. You should always check underneath the vinyl before you get started because the process for removal over a wood subfloor is different. If you do not wish to remove the vinyl from the wood subfloor, removing the vinyl and wood at the same time could be an alternative worth considering.
Now that you know how to remove vinyl flooring from your home, you can begin your new floor installation project