How to Take Up Linoleum FlooringOne of the main reasons linoleum flooring is taken up is because it doesn’t necessarily age well. In addition to this, it can look cheap, and, it can actually be a health hazard. It can and has been manufactured with asbestos backing, which makes removal something that should be done by professionals. Do not attempt to remove any flooring that’s known or even suspected to contain asbestos.
One of the most frustrating home remodeling tasks is trying to remove an old linoleum or vinyl floor. Even when the linoleum is pulled off, things only get worse. Now you’re faced with gobs of old glue that seem harder than meteorites all over the floor. —Improvement.comThe biggest obstacle you’ll face with taking up linoleum flooring is how it is installed. Typically, linoleum and other types of vinyl and like flooring is glued down to the subfloor or even over hardwood. You might have discovered there’s hardwood under it and want to restore it to its former beauty. The good news is, even glued down linoleum can be pulled up without damaging the hardwood. However, it’s not uncommon for the glue to damage wood floors, either. Here’s what you need to do to take up linoleum flooring:
- Test it for asbestos. If the floor is old and been installed many years ago, it could contain asbestos. Purchase an asbestos test kit and then test the floor to know for certain if it does or does not contain asbestos. Should it test negative, you can roll up your sleeves and get to work.
- Carefully pull up the linoleum. You can generally start to pull up linoleum from a corner. Try this first, but, if that’s not an option, you can score it with a utility knife, then, carefully wedge a putty knife under it to be able to grasp it and pull it up.
- Remove the adhesive. There are plenty of adhesive removers available, but, these can soak into the hardwood and damage it permanently. Try using steam or even boiling water to loosen the adhesive. Then, use a floor scraper to remove any remnants of the glue.
- Sand and refinish the hardwood. After all the glue is gone, then it’s time to sand and refinish the wood flooring with polyurethane.