How to Remove Vinyl Tiles

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When it’s time to install new flooring in your home, the first step may be to do away with the old flooring. If the old flooring is vinyl tile, the hard work and heat are on. Removing vinyl tile doesn’t require experience or skill, but it does take elbow grease and time. The process for removing vinyl tiles is the same whether they are self-stick tiles or laid with flooring adhesive. Even with the right tools, removing the old tile – and the glue holding it to the floor – will likely take longer than installing your new flooring.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Heavy-duty metal scraper
  • Heat gun or hair dryer
  • Floor adhesive remover

Work under a tile with a heavy-duty metal scraper and begin prying the tile free. It is usually easiest to start with an edge tile or a tile that is already loose. Score a tile with a utility knife if you cannot find an edge to work under.

Heat the tiles with a hair dryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive if the tiles will not release or if they come off in tiny shards.

Heat the tiles and follow with the scraper until the tiles are removed.

Apply a commercial floor adhesive remover to remove residue from the floor. Follow all instructions carefully and wear any recommended safety gear.

Clean the floor to prepare for the new flooring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris when scraping off the old vinyl tiles.
  • Depending on your new flooring material, you might not have to remove your old vinyl tile floor. Ask a home improvement store employee if your new flooring can be laid over your exiting vinyl tile floor.
  • Use a long-handled scraper to reduce stress on your back and knees.
  • If your tile flooring is old, it might contain asbestos. If you are not sure if your flooring contains asbestos, have a flooring sample tested before starting the removal process.

References

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