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rinda
Removing old linoleum

We started our kitchen renovation by pulling up the old linoleum (1920's)which left a black tar paper type layer underneath which is a thick, I'm guessing adhesive, that doesn't want to come off the wood floors. I would like to keep the wood flooring, but how do I get the adhesive stuff off? We've tried all sorts of chemicals (turpentine, mineral spirits, 222, etc.) all to no avail. The only thing that seems to work somewhat is a mixture of mineral spirits and TSP. This is taking a VERY long time. So far 3 hours in a small area (3' X 5') and it still is not clean. Any suggestions?
Thanks.
Rinda

Dave357
Re: Removing old linoleum

Please read this thread.

KP23
Re: Removing old linoleum

Scrape and sand.
Kathy

KP23
Re: Removing old linoleum

I just read Dave's link, so don't do what I said!
Kathy

beaumills
Re: Removing old linoleum

I am an architect in Milwaukee. I am on my second 80 year old bungalow. I am in the process of removing my second kitchen and hall way floors. I've tried most of the methods typically used, but today discovered the simplest, easiest and least costly process of removing linoleum and the tar paper backing and adhesive underneath them.

I'd like to add my own two cents to the discussion:

1997: In my first home, I removed linoleum from the hallway by pulling it up. I then used heat gun to heat the adhesive and tar backing and scraped them off the hard wood floors. Very labor intensive and odorous.

In the kitchen of that house, there were two layers of flooring: a top layer of sheet vinyl with an underlayment and linoleum underneath that. We pulled up the sheet vinyl, pulled up the linoleum and scraped the tar paper backing and adhesive off the soft wood subfloor. Very labor intensive. It took forever. I was younger and stupid then. But it worked. Who knows what I breathed in when I scraped off the adhesive!

2007: With this kitchen floor, there was a layer of original linoleum covered with a 12 by 12 vinyl tile. I pulled up the vinyl tile and linoleum by hand, using a paint scraper to pull it up. I tried scraping the tar backing and adhesive, but decided I could not do that again. There had to be a better way.

I decided to try chemicals first. I bought Krud Kutter and also Jasco Adhesive Remover, both from Ace Hardware. I sprayed a 1 foot by 1 foot area with the the Krud Kutter and another with the Jasco Remover. Surprisingly the Krud Kutter worked better at removing the tar paper. It made it more pliable, but it still had to be scraped off with a lot of elbow grease. The Jasco worked less efficiently but seemed to soften more of the the adhesive than the Krud Kutter.

THE SOLUTION: I had removed wall paper from the walls in this room and cleaned the walls earlier in the day. Of course, lots of hot water managed to get on the perimeter of the floor at the walls. I noticed that this was surprisingly pliable. So, having read in another forum about boiling water, I put down an old bath towel folded in half on the tar paper. I then boiled a tea kettle full of water. I poured this on the towel and waited for it to cool. when I removed the towel, the tar paper and most of the adhesive wiped right up. It was a bit messy, but not too much so.

So, I decided that steaming the tar paper and adhesive would be the best choice. I went to Home Depot and rented a wall paper steamer. It cost 20 dollars for 4 hours.

After warming up the steamer (about 25 minutes) I sat on a stool and laid the steamer applicator (which was about 8" x 12" on a section of flooring. I left it there for one minute to 90 seconds. Then moved it to another area to steam. The tar paper and adhesive scraped off the wood subfloor with NO effort. While the next section was steaming, I took a bucket with hot water and a heavy duty scotch-bright pad and scrubbed the area where the paper had just been removed, then wiped it up with a wet cloth.

In this manner, I removed the tar paper and adhesive from a soft wood sub floor in this area of the room (6' x 10' area) in less than 2 hours. It cost only 20 dollars for the steamer and little effort at all--in fact, if I scraped too hard I found that it would more likely damage the edges of the subfloor boards. I found it was best to pull the scraper towards me without a lot of pressure. The tar paper just peeled right off like wet paper towel.

So,the only method I would use is a wall paper steamer. I thought it would be messy and hard. I couldn't believe how easy it was.

BUTTERFLYGODDESS
Re: Removing old linoleum this is dedicated to BEAUMILLS

BEAUMILLS whoever you are
THANK YOU for the most amazing advice
This saved us so much work
This saved us from working with chemicals
YOUR IDEA SUGGESTION ADVICE was IS superb
I wish I could thank you and you would know how useful your post was to me and I am sure many but your post is many years old so you will probably never know
THANK YOU AGAIN ANYWAY
BLESSINGS
butterfly GODDESS appreciates YOU

shasha120
Re: Removing old linoleum

Beau-even though your post is several years old-such great advice!! I've been busy scraping off four layers of paint off of the old "servants" stairs and just took off the carpet from the starting step. There was old linoleum on the step so I removed the metal band and used a screw driver to remove the linoleum. What was left is this black gunky odorous stuff. I sc****d off some of it but will definitely try your proven method!! Thanks!

Whitey
Re: Removing old linoleum

I've had the experience and found that only A LOT of elbow grease got the job done. None of the chemicals I tried persoanlly did anything at all. Not to say there isn't a substance out there, but it's a very difficult one, after all the floors were put down with no regard for such refurbishment.

Deborah&Serena
Re: Removing old linoleum
beaumills wrote:

I am an architect in Milwaukee. I am on my second 80 year old bungalow. I am in the process of removing my second kitchen and hall way floors. I've tried most of the methods typically used, but today discovered the simplest, easiest and least costly process of removing linoleum and the tar paper backing and adhesive underneath them.

I'd like to add my own two cents to the discussion:

1997: In my first home, I removed linoleum from the hallway by pulling it up. I then used heat gun to heat the adhesive and tar backing and sc****d them off the hard wood floors. Very labor intensive and odorous.

In the kitchen of that house, there were two layers of flooring: a top layer of sheet vinyl with an underlayment and linoleum underneath that. We pulled up the sheet vinyl, pulled up the linoleum and sc****d the tar paper backing and adhesive off the soft wood subfloor. Very labor intensive. It took forever. I was younger and stupid then. But it worked. Who knows what I breathed in when I sc****d off the adhesive!

2007: With this kitchen floor, there was a layer of original linoleum covered with a 12 by 12 vinyl tile. I pulled up the vinyl tile and linoleum by hand, using a paint sc****r to pull it up. I tried scraping the tar backing and adhesive, but decided I could not do that again. There had to be a better way.

I decided to try chemicals first. I bought Krud Kutter and also Jasco Adhesive Remover, both from Ace Hardware. I sprayed a 1 foot by 1 foot area with the the Krud Kutter and another with the Jasco Remover. Surprisingly the Krud Kutter worked better at removing the tar paper. It made it more pliable, but it still had to be sc****d off with a lot of elbow grease. The Jasco worked less efficiently but seemed to soften more of the the adhesive than the Krud Kutter.

THE SOLUTION: I had removed wall paper from the walls in this room and cleaned the walls earlier in the day. Of course, lots of hot water managed to get on the perimeter of the floor at the walls. I noticed that this was surprisingly pliable. So, having read in another forum about boiling water, I put down an old bath towel folded in half on the tar paper. I then boiled a tea kettle full of water. I poured this on the towel and waited for it to cool. when I removed the towel, the tar paper and most of the adhesive wiped right up. It was a bit messy, but not too much so.

So, I decided that steaming the tar paper and adhesive would be the best choice. I went to Home Depot and rented a wall paper steamer. It cost 20 dollars for 4 hours.

After warming up the steamer (about 25 minutes) I sat on a stool and laid the steamer applicator (which was about 8" x 12" on a section of flooring. I left it there for one minute to 90 seconds. Then moved it to another area to steam. The tar paper and adhesive sc****d off the wood subfloor with NO effort. While the next section was steaming, I took a bucket with hot water and a heavy duty scotch-bright pad and scrubbed the area where the paper had just been removed, then wiped it up with a wet cloth.

In this manner, I removed the tar paper and adhesive from a soft wood sub floor in this area of the room (6' x 10' area) in less than 2 hours. It cost only 20 dollars for the steamer and little effort at all--in fact, if I sc****d too hard I found that it would more likely damage the edges of the subfloor boards. I found it was best to pull the sc****r towards me without a lot of pressure. The tar paper just peeled right off like wet paper towel.

So,the only method I would use is a wall paper steamer. I thought it would be messy and hard. I couldn't believe how easy it was.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with the flooring...We (Deborah & Serena) have a 1909 Folk Victorian Home that has a beautiful Redwood floor through out...unfortunately, in the kitchen and mudroom a linoleum floor was put down so many years ago with tar paper....we have decided to pull it up and found your tips on your process using hot boiling water...we have decided to add vinegar to the water, because as all should know vinegar is magic...lol....we will let you know how it works..

Seth
Re: Removing old linoleum

He, wished I had read this months ago. I soaked and sc****d, soaked and sc****d, over and over and over. After several days I noticed the tar paper that was under my soggy pile of scrapings came right off.

My question: what is that rank, disgusting, nauseating glue they used? Is that dead horses? It smells like it. I would love to remove more of the glue but it's too cold out to open all the windows...

Tom
Re: Removing old linoleum

If the house was built prior to the 1920s it probably was horse glue. Once the horses got replaced by cars they had to find other glues. In our rental properties we always used a heat gun and sc****r. It works well but there is some fire danger especially when you get to wall area. We kept a small water sprayer handy and presprayed all wall/floor corners and then cooled it off with the sprayer immediately after scraping each area.

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