Asked on Nov 11, 2012

I have Post Hurricane Sandy Flood floor removal questions. Having difficulty removing old lino in one room...

Brian Campbell, Basswood Artisan CarpentryKathleen MBuilding Moxie


My much loved home was flooded b two feet of muddy salty bay water during hurricane Sandy. My family and friends have helped me remove the existing wet floor coverings, and sub floors in all rooms, and we are down to the base floor in all areas with the exception of one section of old floor tiles in the living room. These thick tiles, which were directly glued to the base floor, were easily removed using a shovel in most of the room, but seem to be really stuck in one section. They are not ceramic tiles, and are more like a thick heavy linoleum. I tried using a hand floor scrapper and by tapping the end of the scraper with a hammer an prying up the crumbling pieces I have had some success, but it's taking FOREVER! I need to get this done asap, since there is still moisture under these tiles. Suggestions from flooring professionals would be greatly appreciated! I was wondering if there is a liquid that would help dissolve the glue, or if re-wetting it is a good idea (the idea of adding yet more water makes me shudder!).
6 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Nov 11, 2012

    You might test it with a bit of "solvent" I have used a "goo gone" type product on a concrete floor project to remove some stubborn residue from a cork tile installation. The risk with this though is then you are left with a solvent infested wood subfloor which may pose more trouble for future work. good ol elbow grease works, I have also used my belt sander to get the final bit of adhesive residue up from wood flooring. This glue will clog the sanding sheet ( more so with finer grit) I use a 40 grit for this rough work.

  • Kathleen M
    on Nov 11, 2012

    This is the base floor-the layer between the living space and the outside world, and I am sure that a new sub-floor will be needed throughout to level everything. There isn't much glue residue after the tiles are removed. I just need a more efficient method to remove the tiles. It's s time consuming, and there is so much to be done! to Add to this post...

  • You might try applying Dry Ice to the tiles. This sometimes works to loosen the adhesive and they may just pop loose. You can usually purchase dry ice from an ice cream shop. Bring your own cooler along. Be careful not to get frost bite with it though. No mess and no residue with it though. I just turns back into CO2 gas and vanishes into the air.

  • Building Moxie
    on Nov 11, 2012

    how about an iron? a heat gun or a propane torch to soften glue, then return to scraping. with the later two I would recommend using an appropriate respirator ... especially considering it is possibly that the tiles contain asbestos (only if they are dated). If you try the dry ice suggested by @Brian Campbell, Basswood Artisan Carpentry I love to hear ... I have never heard that before, but Brian is usually dead on. all the best.

  • Kathleen M
    on Nov 12, 2012

    Thank you. I'm going to try the iron tomorrow, just because it's handy. I don't think there are any ice cream shops open in the area to get dry ice from. I'll let you know how I do. Thank You!

  • If the iron doesn't work, you can have dry ice shipped to your door from NYC:

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