No matter your level of flooring expertise, vinyl flooring removal can be tough if you don’t take advantage of the right tips.
Sure, there are professionals who will handle the vinyl flooring removal for you, but you can save some money by doing the job yourself.
If you’ve decided to take on this project yourself, pay special attention to these 4 vinyl flooring removal tips:
1. If you floor is more than 20 years old, don’t do anything until you get it tested
Decades ago, before they knew how dangerous it was, vinyl flooring manufacturers used asbestos in the backing underneath the floor. If you try to rip up vinyl flooring that has asbestos under it, those fibers will get loose in the air and turn into a major health hazard. Before you tear up your old vinyl flooring, have a professional take a look at it.
2. Vinyl flooring removal is different, depending on what’s underneath
If you need to remove vinyl flooring from a wood underlayment, the best thing to do is remove both at the same time. Use a power skill saw to cut through the vinyl and plywood, but not the subfloor underneath. Cut the floor and the plywood into 2’x2’ sections, and pry each section up with a scraper. You may need pliers to get all of the wood staples out. When you’re finished, sweep the area to make sure all of the wood dust and debris are gone.
But, if you need to remove vinyl flooring from concrete, your job will be much different.
When you have concrete underneath, all you need is a sharp utility knife that can cut the vinyl into squares. Then, pry up each section with a floor scraper. You’ll need a good adhesive remover to get rid of all the glue underneath.
3. Get a scraper with a long handle
You will need a heavy-duty blade to cut through all of the layers of vinyl and adhesive. A longer handle gives you more leverage, which can make your job much easier. Otherwise, you can wind up with an awfully sore back!
4. Use a quality adhesive remover
Remember, vinyl flooring removal means getting rid of the vinyl itself and the glue underneath. Over time, that glue can harden to near-concrete strength! You will need a special adhesive remover that breaks down the glue and turns it from a solid back into a liquid or paste.