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TNDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:36 AM
Original message
Need help removing old linoleum.
About 15 years ago I put down a sheet of linoleum in the laundry room. I decided to apply another floor and started pulling up the old one. It is a nasty mess. The top part comes off, leaving the middle layer and the glue. I tried steaming the whole piece and seeing if it would come up as one piece but it didn't work. I am laboriously scraping with a putty knife and thinking there has to be a better way. I have tried steaming the adhesive and it just makes it a gooey mess. Note to self: only glue around the edges next time. Any advice from flooring pros on how to get this stuff off? BTW, the floor beneath it is concrete.
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Raven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. I had this problem!
I had to pry the tiles off but was left with this awful black, tar-like glue. I tried everything and then, by accident, discovered that the stuff you spray on wallpaper to remove it worked like a charm. Spray it on the glue, let it sit for a while and then you can scrape the glue up like soft butter. Good luck!
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jayavarman Donating Member (319 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Are you taking it back down to the concrete?
or will you be putting new flooring down?

If you are putting new flooring down it might be easier as you dont have to get it all off!

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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-10-04 09:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
19. Hi jayavarman!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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Lars39 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. There is a tool just made for getting up linoleum.
You can buy it at Home Depot, maybe Lowe's. About $20. It looks like a flattened hoe that is very sharp. Has a long handle. We got our linoleum up the hard way, then discovered the tool. x(
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. Have You Tried A Heat Gun Or A Torch?
Edited on Sun May-09-04 11:59 AM by Don_G
Heat the linoleum or tile with a torch to soften the adhesive under it and scrape it up with a putty knife. It's slow but a lot faster than waiting for solvents to wick under the tile and a technique the pro's use.

Just be certain to ventilate the area, have a 5-gal bucket handy for the old linoleum and either water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case Murphy's Law rears it's ugly head.

Finish off by cleaning with the appropriate chemical solvent, use a second water-based solvent for a final cleaning and use entirely water-based stuff to lay your new floor.
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. It can be dangerous to use a torch on concrete
the heat reverses hydration. Water in the concrete vapourizes and explodes.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. You Heat The Tile Gently
And don't blast the concrete. Still, Goggles/Safety Glasses wouldn't be a bad idea.

I didn't think of it as I work Construction and tend to approach each and every job as "keeping my a** out of a hospital" before I plan the job itself.
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No Mandate Here. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. Use a combination of 3 and 4
heat and the very sharp scraper...
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Egalitarian Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
7. A Heat Gun might help
remove some of the stubborn areas. I'm not familiar with the above mentioned tool, but that sounds like the logical thing to try, or a similar tool (I have a digging tool that would work well-2" wide sharp end on a metal rod about 5feet long). Consider wearing at least a dust mask and sealing off the room if you go down to the concrete. Many older floors have asbestos in them so I have been told.
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BraveDave Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
8. Be careful...
Edited on Sun May-09-04 11:52 AM by BraveDave
the grey backing used to be made of asbestos. I recommend having it wet when you scrape it up.

edit to add: I should have read all the posts!
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Malikshah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
9. There are "removal compounds"
To get rid of the glue-- they are nasty, smelly and require ventilation. Make sure all the pets are away.

We had to remove nasty carpet (very astro-turf like) that had been glued (!!!) to the floor-- it was disgusting and difficult to get up. We used the compound and then the "razor-chisel" that has already been mentioned.

It's a labor intensive task, however.

Sorry to hear about all that.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
11. I think yours must be "real" glue
About 12 years ago my mother and I decided to get rid of an old linoleum kitchen floor that was starting to peel off on its own. it had some kind of wierd hard glue that my husband tried to scrape off with this weird roofing tool. We made him stop when we realized it was a beautiful wood strip floor underneath, not just plywood or whatever. Still the glue was a real problem. Then we noticed that plain old hot water disolved it - it was some kind of starch or somehting. Probably this floor was put in in the 50's or 60's maybe even earlier. So while it probably won't work for your more modern glue, anybody else out there give it a try - plain hot water and a paintscraper w/ lots of newspaper and paper towels.
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banana republican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
12. special tools
Some of the BORG(Big Orange Retail Giant aka Home Depot) have tool rentals.

1) they have a compressor run automated "putty knife" that will do the job very quickly.

2) Other rental stores have other types of equipment.

3) Asbestos; Be careful some of the tile made during the time you indicated had high levels of asbestos don't do anything that would make dust.

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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. As With Any Situation
Check with your local experts (hardware store) to see what's been happening in the area and how to go about handling the situation before handing money over to finance the the NASCAR Freepin', RIAA ever-lovin' BORG.

They're in business to make money and in the same way Wal-Mart does; without a heart or customer support.

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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I'll keep that "no heart" thing in mind...
when I go to work there tomorrow.

It is one of the few large retailers that has a heart.

As for the floor: the linoleum scraper tool would be my first choice. If you are sure there is no asbestos in the flooring (prying some up and taking it to an asbestos-abatement firm for advice), a very last resort would be renting a floor sander and using that to grind the linoleum off.

If the original linoleum was stuck firmly to the floor and not coming up anywhere, now would probably be a bad time to tell you about Armstrong Embossing Leveler. It comes in a box. You mix it with water, pour it on the floor, trowel it flat and lay your new vinyl.
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Long handled, flat bladed shovel.
Edited on Sun May-09-04 03:35 PM by trof
Like taking old shingles off of a roof.
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DancingBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
15. Just use the lino tool

Home Depot, Lowe's, or any full line paint store will have one. It does indeed look like a flat bladed shovel/hoe combination.Ii will slide right under the remaining glue/lino pieces, and take them off.

I've never needed to use heat to facilitate any type of lino removal, but I have used glue removers of various types.

Due to the fact that the main floor is concrete I would stay away from copious useage of water and/or removers.

What are you putting down in place of the lino?
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 03:59 PM
Response to Original message
16. Hire a professional...
Create employment! Get the job done right... :)
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kevinam Donating Member (475 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-09-04 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
18. Don't remove it!!!!!!!
Okay, first I noticed another post mentioned that there might be asbestos in the old stuff. That is definately something to consider. If you are going to remove it, I would suggest proper breathing protection, a mask or something. But you don't have to monkey around with that. Just don't remove it. I was starting on a similar project a few years ago. I talked to the folks at home depot about removal and such, and they said don't do it. The stores sell this really thin plywood called luan (may not be the correct spelling, it is pronounced Lou-an) You just slap that stuff down over the old stuff and you have a good new surface to adhere the new stuff to. They also sell floor leveling compound to even joints and such. Trust me, this will be a much easier and safer way for you to do this project. The plywood is really thin, so it is doubtful the thickness will cause any appreciable difference. If you are putting new linoleum down, you might try a "floating" type. I put it down in a kitchen roughly 4 years ago, and it is still doing fine. The floating type is different because you just use a special double sided tape along the perimeter of the floor. That saves you from having to apply contact cement to both surfaces, pulling them apart, then resticking, and praying you have it lined up perfect. Plus the mess that can be made with the adhesive. Best of luck, and let us know how it turns out...Kevin.
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