Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Living Areas & Workspaces>How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?
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yardhubby
How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I have a 100 year old house. In the 50's or 60's some genius installed block tile using black mastic directly over oak hardwood. The tiles come up ealily as does some of the mastic, but some of the mastic is hard to remove. I read in an earlier post that sanding will remove the glue, but a. I have a hall and three rooms to work on and I want to wait until all are finished before sanding. b. Based on the age the mastic probably contains asbestus and I do not want to turn it into dust.

I have been told that I could use one of the "orange based" cleaning solutions which I did in this photo. It took over an hour of cleaning for this small are and there is still mastic remaining.

What is the best way to remove it without damaging the floors?

I have tried to attach a jpg file photo but keep receiving the messaage that it is not a valid image file.

Thank you.

yardhubby
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I think this post about a press break is in the wrong location.

After looking closer at the black stuff under my vinyl block tile I think it could be a form of tar paper like I read in another thread. In the 60's did they use a glue to attach it to the floor or is this places the tar in the paper has attached to the hardwood floor?

tfrenos
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I read in a different forum that the black stuff comes up easier after applying abit of hot water with a paint roller. But you have to wait till it's dry to sand it. I'm going to try that next spring, let me know if it works bc I have two big rooms of the main floor in my house to do. The kitchen is getting the remodel right now.

yardhubby
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

Thanks for the information. I have discontinued work until after Christmas but I will try it. My system has been to roll back the carpet and pad and remove a few tiles and a little black stuff each week, then replace the carpet and pad. I also read that using a heat gun or hair dryer will help. I will try both and report which gives the best results.

Tom
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

A heat gun and a sc****r is the only thing that will work well. I've done a lot of this type of removal and other then paint or glue remover which is expensive and messy - heat is the way to go.

burga
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I had this same question recently. I thought about using a grinder to clean the mastic from a concrete floor and was advised that the head on the grinding heads would melt the mastic and make a mess- which supports the heat idea as well. I haven't tackled this yet, but plan to use heat to clean up the mastic as much as possible.

tfrenos
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

Applying heat does sound less messy - I simply have to use what I have on-hand, don't own a heatgun.

Tom
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

Heat guns are cheap. Paint and glue removers are very expensive.
A heat gun and a sc****r are the most efficient, fastest and cheapest way to go. Don't even think about sanding. It will gum up the sandpaper almost instantly.

yardhubby
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I am going to try the heat gun and sc****r first. I plan to start out with a hair dryer to see how heat works. My wife has Christmas decorations on tables in the hall, where my work started, so I will have to wait another few weeks to continue.

tfrenos
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I'm the one w/tools & dust everywhere! Sanding kitchen cabinets at 8 a.m. before my husband goes to bed since he's a graveyard shifter, just have to go to the in-laws & kids's for Christmas this year LOL. I don't think a hair blowdryer is going to get hot enough to "test" removal..but you may prove me wrong. Merry Christmas!!

yardhubby
Re: How do I remover black mastic from hardwood floor?

I will try the hair dryer first to see if it has any effect. If not may try the heat gun, depends on how heat works. I do have a messy fall back plan. I used one of the orange cleaner products when I first started but only used a cloth, not a brush. It totally dissolved the black stuff as well as the finish on the floor. I do not know what finish is on the floor because the new carpet has been down since 1999. It replaced shag carpet from the 60's or 70's and the block tile was under that. The block tile must have been down since the 40's. I doubt they had poly then so it is probably just wax. I have been told that the orange cleaner will dissolve all types of glue and related products, but I do not know how much mess it will cause.

tfrenos,
You may want to try some of this on your cabinets. It is biodegradable and not hazardous to breath. I know it dissolves wax but I do not know about a cabinet finish. I just used a sander on my cabinets when I refinished them.

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