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Removing Old linoleum/Vinyl Flooring...

I am removing old vinyl or linoleum flooring, I'm not sure what it is. It's one piece flooring that covered my kitchen from the seventies. The material looks like it was glued to the subfloor because I can see trowel marks in the yellow glue underneath it. Most of the floor came up, but there are all these little blotches and blobs of grey material (no more than an 8th of an inch thick) that remained. I am going to nail hardwood flooring on the subfloor, so i want the surface to be even and at the height of the subfloor. How can I remove these undulations so my floor lays even?
Check out the pics...
Thanks for any suggestions
Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Removing Old linoleum/Vinyl Flooring...

You're going to have to scrap it off. You can rent either a hand scraper (a blade on a long handle) or a floor scraper that has the same type blade but has a motor that will vibrate the blade and you walk behind it.

Get it as smooth as you can with no little bumps. When laying the wood floor, it'll be worth having a small hand scraper handy to catch little bumps as you go along.

Good Luck.

Re: Removing Old linoleum/Vinyl Flooring...

I agree scraping the floor is about the best way to get that old glue off. I have tried paint thinner with some success but really the best way is to scrape the old stuff off. I never tried paint stripper which is stronger but might damage your sub floor.
If you were going to be putting another laminate floor down I would say you would need to put some thin veneer plywood down but since you are not going to be doing that I suggest you put some kind of floor leveling compound down. As you are certain to have some little marks from scraping on the sub floor. You could skip the leveling compound as you never will be seeing the sub floor again but I just think it is best to start with as level a surface as possible. Short of removing your old sub floor and replacing it, which I don't suggest you do, this really is the best way to go.
It certainly isn't a very fun project to do but after you are finished with it you will be very happy with the results of your new floor. I know I was many years ago after replacing an old laminate floor with a new one, with a little help from the pros. Good luck to you and please post some more pictures after you get your new floor down.

Re: Removing Old linoleum/Vinyl Flooring...


In several house restorations Dear Wife and I have had great success using a simple clothes iron (no steam) set it for high heat (cotton) apply to lino for a few seconds and lift off. Easy.

As far as residue it depends on age and what was used. Remember before about 1970 asbestos was used as a binder in the adhesives so scraping/sanding is not an option. We soaked the floor with a mop and hot water and let it sit for about an hour. Then scrape up the old adhesive. We found our stuff to be water soluable and the asbestos fibers, (if present, we weren't sure) were saturated and couldn't get airborne.


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