How to Remove Linoleum Flooring

Removing Linoleum Flooring Can be Difficult without the Right Tools and Know-how

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have kitchen or bathroom remodeling plans and need to know how to remove linoleum flooring read on. The process of removing linoleum flooring is relatively simple as long as you have the right tools and follow the basic guidelines described below.

However removing linoleum flooring can be painfully slow depending upon how the linoleum was glued down to the subfloor. As a matter of fact, In some cases if the linoleum flooring is fully glued down then it may make more sense to simply apply the new flooring directly over it. I have done so many times when tiling floors.

All I do is apply decking screws on 6 inch centers across the entire linoleum covered floor prior to tiling the floor.

This said, I only do this when the linoleum has no signs of cupping or curling at the edges and there are no bulges or cracks in the floor.

For most re-flooring projects, however, it is best to remove old linoleum flooring prior to installing the new flooring material. So be prepared for some tedious work ahead!

The tool of the trade when removing linoleum flooring is a pole ice scraper. This is a long handle tool that has a metal scraper at the end of it. You’ll also need a small hand scraper with a rugged quality razor blade at the end of it. Make sure you buy plenty of replacement blades and a pair of work gloves to protect your hands when using the scrapers.

When removing linoleum from a concrete slab you can be more aggressive with the scrapers. On your first pass with the pole scraper you can dig in hard with the scraper to remove as much of it as possible. Then you can use your hand scraper to get the difficult pieces and the areas near wall and cabinet edges. If on the other hand you’re removing linoleum flooring from a wood subfloor you need to be more careful as you don’t want to knick up the subfloor too much.

If you have a hardwood floor underneath the linoleum flooring you’ll also want to make sure you scrape with the grain of the wood. This way you can touch up the would if you accidentally shave or scrape it a little.

Often after slicing the linoleum flooring with a utility knife you can peel up large sections of the linoleum flooring if the adhesive is only applied around seams and the peripheral edges of the linoleum floor.

When removing linoleum flooring its also best to work in small areas at a time. This way you can at least see some clear results after a short period of time, thus mitigating frustration and doubt about your ability to remove it all.

Once you’ve peeled and scraped off all of the linoleum surface and are left to the backing and adhesive materials you can then resort to specialized solvents to remove them. You can find these types of solvents at most home improvement centers.

When applying solvents again work in small areas at a time. Also make sure you follow the solvent manufacturer’s application recommendations and always make sure the room is well ventilated.

If you don’t want to spend the money on commercial solvents you can also try using hot boiling water. Water by itself is a solvent. So simply pour a little boiling water over a small area and allow it a little time to soak into the adhesive backing.

Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet

Then use your scraper to remove the adhesive backing. Do not use this method if you have hardwood floors that you want to preserve, as it could cause warping of the boards.

Also a hair dryer can often work to help soften up the adhesive backing, making it easier to scrape off.

With these methods you’ll eventually be able to remove the linoleum flooring. You just need to be patient and keep working at it!

For help on finding a wood flooring installation contractor, see’s Wood Flooring Installation Bid Sheet. It will help ensure that you find and hire the right flooring installation contractor for your wood flooring project. In addition, it will help to ensure that your wood floor installation is completed on time and on budget.

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