Linoleum Flooring Removal

Linoleum flooring removal is not so difficult, if it is laid over a concrete floor. However, linoleum floor removal from underlying wood surface is quite challenging. Read on to find out do-it-yourself tips regarding how to remove linoleum flooring.
Eco-friendly linoleum flooring is a popular choice among several homeowners. Most of us are well acquainted with 'what is linoleum floor'. Based on linseed oil, ground limestone and resin, it is a durable material available in form of sheets and tiles. Sheet products are a much preferred alternative, as tiles are prone to curled edges and warping. Installation of linoleum floor is quite challenging and is best done by a professional.

Well cured linoleum is resistant to scratches, staining and heat. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a gleaming floor for more than 30 years. As with any flooring, linoleum material wears off with time. Whether you are planning to replace a worn out linoleum or just want a new floor material, linoleum flooring removal is a mandatory step. In contrary to the installation part, linoleum floor removal can be done on your own, which we will discuss in this article.

How to Remove Linoleum Floor?

The worst part with old linoleum flooring is that it glues tightly to the underlying floor with age. Hence, removing it without damaging the subfloor is not so simple, especially if it is a wooden material. But, if you have some spare time and basic flooring skills, you can definitely try linoleum floor removal by yourself. This way, the cost to remove linoleum will come to minimum. Discussed below is the step by step procedure, concerning linoleum floor removal.

Required Tools and Supplies
Before you directly start with linoleum flooring removal, gather the required supplies, such as utility knife, reciprocating saw, circular saw, razor scraper, floor stripper and heat gun (or hot water). Also, do not forget to wear protective hand gloves and eyeglasses while indulging in linoleum floor removal project.

Decide Starting Point
If you are dealing with removal of linoleum tiles, look out for any damaged or loose tiles. This will serve your starting point for removing linoleum. Place a floor scraper underneath the tile and try to rip it off. In case of sheet, you do not have any option, other than cutting it into 6-8 inch strips by using a sharp utility knife.

Removal from Concrete Subfloor
Linoleum bonds weakly with underlying concrete floor, as it does not absorb the glue. Thus, taking out linoleum flooring from a concrete subfloor requires minimal effort. What you can do is pour hot water carefully over the cut linoleum sheet and wait for a few minutes. The water will loosen the glue, after which you can strip off easily. Using a flooring scraper, scrape off the glue as much as possible.

Removal from Wooden Subfloor
In case of linoleum floor having a wooden subfloor, you need to first check the underlying layer. If it is plywood, consider taking out linoleum and plywood together, by using a heat gun. Otherwise, for hardwood flooring, you should cut the linoleum sheet in a specific direction (preferably along the hardwood grain) for easy removal. Following this, soften the glue with a heat gun and immediately remove linoleum. You can cover a small space at a time and scrape off the glue with a scraper.

So, this was all about some basic do-it-yourself tips for linoleum floor removal. For any home improvement project, understanding and proper planning are the thumb rules for achieving flawless results. The same is applicable to linoleum flooring removal on your own. After you are done with removing linoleum floor, prepare the floor surface for new flooring.
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Published: 5/20/2010
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