Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to Remove Linoleum from Concrete

In order to save a few bucks, we decided to take out all the old linoleum from our bathroom in preparation for our tile guys to come out. I have a new found respect for crews that do demolition work.

In researching how to go about doing it, I couldn't find anything good online that actually showed how it is done. We made a few mistakes, so we want to pass on what we learned to save you some time.
First, cut the linoleum in 6-8" strips with a utility knife.

Use your knife and pull up a corner of the strip and start pulling. The papery bottom of the linoleum and the glue will be stuck to the slab.

Pour boiling water on what's left. (be careful here and go slow so you don't splash boiling water on yourself) Let it sit for about 10 minutes (turn off any ceiling fans). You can put an old towel over the poured water to keep it warm longer.

While it is still warm, use a Razor Floor Stripper (see picture below)to take everything off down to the concrete. You might have to repeat the boiling water process another time to get all the glue off. After all the paper is off, when you pour on more boiling water, the glue turns a milky white and you scrape it off.

A little tip here. We found a dark gray/black substance on top of the slab. We thought it might be glue and got really frustrated because it wouldn't budge. It wasn't glue but a leveling substance they sometimes put on the floor when the original slab was poured a little crooked. DON'T TAKE IT OFF.
Work on only a little part at a time and don't get frustrated. It takes a while. Take breaks so you don't get too exhausted.


Sarah McK. said...

Sounds and looks tortuous. You are a brave and determined woman!

Frazzled Mom said...

It really wasn't. I had lots of help (as you can see). If two kids and a lady that doesn't know what she is doing can do it, ANYONE can!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions! Few other websites had pictures. I'm going to give it a go tomorrow using your technique!

Emily said...

How long did this take you? my Hubby and I are doing it this way and we've been at it for two nights already. We cut and pulled of the almosst contact paper like top part of the linoleum (like you did) and then we pour boiling water. I then go through and take off the thickest part of the backing (it's almost like three layers plasicy part, thick part of backing, and then thinner layer attached to glue). He then comes behind me and has been using a putty knife to get it up. We weren't having luck with the big scrapper blades because they seem to almost just "thin" it. Like we couldn't get the razer to tear anything up. Any other advise? We're supposed to be laying tile on Friday and so we only have about 3 mroe nights to get this thing up (not to mention we're supposed to do a small bathroom and foyer too!!

Frazzled Mom said...

Emily - the key is that you have to keep the floor where you are working moist all the time. After I poured the boiling water on the floor, I threw towels to keep the area wet and warm. That helps the glue to release and the larger scraper blades should work better. If it is too dry, it won't work.

Andrea said...

can you pour the boiling water all over the linoleum to loosen the glue as well?

Frazzled Mom said...

No Andrea. You have to remove the top layer of the linoleum first. It will prevent the water from getting to the glue.


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