Because of its waterproof durability and ease of installation, vinyl flooring has long been a popular flooring option.
However, with visible wear and tear, there is a point where you know it must go. However, the process of vinyl floor removal for any home renovation project can be straightforward when you go at it in the right way.
Anyone can tackle this DIY project if they have the right tools and some advanced knowledge.
The subfloor will be ready to receive any replacement flooring once the vinyl flooring has been properly removed.
In our guide, you can find plenty of general advice on removing vinyl flooring. By the end, you’ll learn how to remove vinyl flooring glue from plywood and also remove the vinyl from concrete and wood subfloors. (Learn How To Polish Concrete Floors)
You will also learn one thing often overlooked: how to deal with vinyl flooring removal of vinyl floors that contain asbestos before you have a new floor.
How Hard Is It to Remove Vinyl Flooring?
Removing vinyl flooring isn’t always an enjoyable experience. The vinyl can be tough to remove, but the adhesive holding it to the subfloor is a genuine struggle.
Here are the quick instructions on how to deal with a stubborn vinyl floor. Remove it using these instructions and get ready for your new flooring.
Step 1: Clear Your Area.
To remove old vinyl flooring, you must first remove all furniture from the room, leaving the work area uncluttered.
Remove all baseboards and trim that meet the floor.
Step 2: Cut Vinyl
Next, find a spot on the floor free of glue. Start removing vinyl flooring now by cutting it into 12-inch strips with a utility knife.
Gently lift each one. Use a scraper tool to loosen stubborn glue strips. If the glue is tough, a hammer and flat chisel can be used for rough scraping. (Learn How To Remove Wallpaper Border)
Step 3: Remove the Glue.
If the glue on the subfloor remains after removing vinyl flooring, try:
In a bucket, combine warm water and soap, then liberally apply the mixture on the glue, allowing it to soak in and soften the glue.
The glue should have softened and become easier to remove by the time you return.
If it hasn’t come off yet, use a heat gun that you can buy or rent to help.
Heat the adhesive with your heat gun until it softens, then scrape it with your scraper or putty knife.
Step 4: Clean up.
After removing the vinyl flooring, clean up: Using a broom or a shop vac, pick up all the debris accumulated in the room. Any last bits of glue can be plucked up with your putty knife, or your new floor could be uneven.
Manually Removing Vinyl Flooring is Just One Option
You can always rent a power scraper from your local home improvement store if all the above seems too much work to remove old, glued vinyl in your home remodeling project.
There is a cost, yet it speeds up the entire process. If you’re going to use a power scraper, make sure you test it in an out of sight area. You’ll need to adjust the angle to remove the vinyl and glue layer and don’t damage the subfloor.
Cut your vinyl into 10-inch sections with your utility knife, then switch on the scraper and get to work.
How Do You Remove Vinyl Flooring From the Floor?
- Remove any furniture from the room.
- Cover everything that can’t be removed with tarps or drop cloths
- Using a pry bar or a screwdriver, remove your baseboards.
- Expose the edge of the sheet or tile so you can pry from beneath.
- Peel up a corner using a putty knife or cut through the vinyl using your utility knife to gain good access.
- Using a floor scraper or pry bar, raise the vinyl. To make removal easier, cut your vinyl into smaller sections.
- A heat gun can soften your old flooring and adhesive, especially to soften stubborn vinyl and strong glue. It’s possible you can use a hairdryer in the hottest setting, yet it isn’t the most reliable.
- With a floor scraper or similar tool, scrape off any residual adhesive or vinyl.
- Homeowners can rent a power floor scraper for particularly large or challenging home renovation tasks. The metal blade and tips easily cut vinyl flooring, thus saving time and effort.
How to Remove Vinyl Floor Sheets
Sheet vinyl flooring is more typically used for residential and commercial projects as a cut-to-size option.
Mostly, sheet vinyl is laid around the perimeter, so adhesive is only used on the floor’s edges. Vinyl sheets are relatively easy to remove when installed around the perimeter as they are often glued for a couple of inches only.
- Remove any trim or baseboards that are in the way.
- Cut a foot-wide hole in the vinyl in the middle of the room with a utility knife.
- Cut the width of the vinyl by cutting it into narrower strips. Pulling up the vinyl strips is easier than pulling up the entire sheet.
- Use a floor scraper, pry bar, or similar tool to pull tough vinyl parts and adhesive.
How to Remove Vinyl Flooring on Wood Subfloor
The ideal method is to remove through both the vinyl and the subfloor with a saw blade simultaneously. Regardless of how carefully you remove the vinyl, you’ll need to replace the plywood. (Learn How To Remove Linoleum)
It sticks to the glue, and fragments of wood emerge with the flooring.
Remove the vinyl flooring first, then remove the screws before removing the subfloor if the plywood underlayment is screwed into the subfloor.
To make removal and disposal easier, cut the floor into 2- to 3-foot portions using a wood saw.
How to Remove Vinyl Flooring on a Concrete Subfloor
- To reveal the glue, cut and pull the vinyl in narrow strips.
- If possible, soften the adhesive with a heat gun.
- Using a floor scraper or pry bar, scrape away any remaining adhesive.
- To soften and remove any remaining glue, use a professional adhesive stripper or acetone.
Is It Safe to Remove Old Vinyl Flooring?
Besides all this, you need to know that some vinyl floor install materials can be harmful when removed without precautions.
Asbestos was often used in vinyl flooring materials until the mid-1980s. When dealing with an asbestos flooring install, which has been around for an extended period.
Or, if you do not know how long the vinyl has been on the floor, it is only logical to use a test center to check the material before proceeding. (Learn How To Cut Vinyl Siding)
Homeowners will need an asbestos professional for the testing job and any asbestos tiles removal. Asbestos-laced vinyl flooring can cause cancer if the asbestos fibers are breathed in.