Asked on Oct 29, 2016

Removing glue from vinyl plank flooring

by Louise
I bought this vinyl plank flooring from Lowe's 4-5 yrs ago. At the time I had 4 dogs and 3 cats and had read that it would work well with animals. After installation, I thought it looked very nice. The salesman had told me that the adhesive on the back would NOT be enough to make it adhere to the floor and said I should buy a Henry adhesive. So I did and the installers used it. But after a while, some of the edges started pulling up. I contacted the manufacturer and was told no adhesive should have been used. Meanwhile, I'd pulled up some pieces that weren't sticking, planning to put down new ones. You can see the mess. At first, it was sticky, even after a few yrs but now it's dried out. I tried scraping it up -- not very successfully. A handyman recently told me to sand it off. Sounds like a great idea!!! BUT what kind of sander should I use so it won't take forever and that I can control enough so it won't scrape off the edges of still-glued-down pieces? I have one like in the photo but it seems more logical to have one with straight sides & I wonder if one this small will do the job? Since I'll most likely not use it again after this is finished, I'd like not to spend a lot of money on it. Soooo, is sanding the best thing and what kind of sander should I use? How about one like I have but with straight sides, or do I need something more powerful? Also, some of the pieces are "cupping" slightly. Should I leave them or try to fix them? BTW, the manufacturer has given me several replacement boxes to finish up another room that I never got to.
removing glue from vinyl plank flooring
removing glue from vinyl plank flooring, Not sure if the cupping will show up on this hall flooring Most of the flooring is NOT doing this Pull it up or leave it alone I have little company so the floor doesn t have to impress a lot of people just fit my needs
Not sure if the cupping will show up on this hall flooring. Most of the flooring is NOT doing this. Pull it up or leave it alone? I have little company so the floor doesn't have to impress a lot of people -- just fit my needs.
removing glue from vinyl plank flooring, The gray is the dried glue You can see where I ve scraped some off the plywood subflooring
The gray is the dried glue. You can see where I've scraped some off the plywood subflooring.
removing glue from vinyl plank flooring
removing glue from vinyl plank flooring
  18 answers
  • Ellen Ellen on Oct 29, 2016
    Try using something like baby oil or makeup removers.
  • William William on Oct 29, 2016
    No extra adhesive should have been used. Do not sand because to can accidentally sand into the finish. To remove the adhesive, try some Goo Gone, Mineral Spirits, or nail polish remover (Acetone). Wear gloves. With edges that are cupping, lay a cloth over the cupped area, use an iron and go over the the area. Remove the cloth, then a either use a rolling pin or a 2x4 and go over the area applying pressure. The iron softens the adhesive and planks. Good luck.
    • Bernice H Bernice H on Oct 29, 2016
      These are good suggestions..I had vinyl planking and had a wonderful experience. I would ALWAYS check with the manufacturer...on any question.
  • Jean Blades Jean Blades on Oct 29, 2016
    Try Goo Gone
  • Cathy Barney Cathy Barney on Oct 29, 2016
    We just pulled up our kitchen floor. We had the same issue. We used a hair dryer and Goo Gone. Spread the Goo Gone onto the tacky area, heat an area with the hairdryer on high and gently scrape the area to remove the mess. You need to be careful with the amount of Goo Gone you use so that it doesn't seep under remaining boards and loosen them. Good Luck!
  • Both William and Jean have excellent suggestions. So sorry you had to go through this. Makes me hopping mad when stuff like this happens. Good luck and let us know how it turn out.
  • Dee Dee on Oct 29, 2016
    DO NOT SAND, IT WILL NOT WORK. Use acetone, the kind you buy in Lowes, make sure the room is well ventilated. It will remove the glue without harming the floor.
    • See 1 previous
    • William William on Oct 30, 2016
      Do not pour it directly on the planks. Dampen a cloth and let it sit on the adhesive to soften it, then scrape and wipe. Very little, if any, will seep under.
  • Janice Erickson Cathcart Janice Erickson Cathcart on Oct 30, 2016
    try WD-40 let it sit, may have to do a couple of applications...wipe with cloth or paper towel
  • Tina Morgan Tina Morgan on Oct 30, 2016
    As Janice said above, WD-40 will probably work as any oily product does something to release the adhesive from the surface. I used to work for a ready-to-assemble furniture company and that's what we always told customer to use to remove stickers from the parts and not damage the surface. Since it has been so long and it's dried, you may want to try using the hairdryer first as someone else mentioned just to soften it.
  • Sophia,M.,McConnery Sophia,M.,McConnery on Oct 30, 2016
    Goo gone is a very good option but it will be labor intense.You would have to do it in small patches.With the dryer set it on medium heat and have a putty knife or paint scrapper on hand.
  • Phil a Phil a on Oct 30, 2016
    Save your wrists and fingers from excessive pain if you decide to scrape. Go to your local Harbor Freight and get an Oscillating Multi Tool. ................ ................... I use one of these to scrape caulking and sealants from floors and counters as well as to make cuts in project pieces. These are really quite effective, a bit noisy, but the variable speed allows you to use the most effective speed. It really does speed things up.
  • Mary Mary on Oct 30, 2016
    We just recently had our hardwood redone and it had alot of glue and alot of cupping. We hired a small company. The man and one other man handscraped the whole floor and restained it and put a shine on it. I was amazed most all cupping was gone and all the glue had been scraped off. Turned out looking distressed and beautiful. Hope this helps.
    • See 2 previous
    • Mary Mary on Oct 31, 2016
      What our problem was with the glue was that we pulled up the laminate flooring and had glue all over the hardwood, the prior occupants had glue plastic down then put the laminate on top which left us with a wet hard floor and a lot of cupping due to the moisture in the house, why they did that? not a clue but it looks good now. So my apologies dearly. I know this may sound dumb but what about trying a heat gun and scraping it off when melted?
  • Phil a Phil a on Oct 30, 2016
    The photo above shows glue she wants to remove on the plywood UNDERNEATH the vinyl planks. So it WILL work on the plywood. But if also removing the planks, this tool will do great at scraping them off by using the scraper blade underneath the plank. When in doubt, check YouTube.... .... or..... ...... Easy-Peasy
  • Phil a Phil a on Oct 30, 2016
    check the photo: She's talking about the glue UNDER the planks. But this would also work for removing the vinyl planks. Let's check YouTube: ... ..... .... Easy, Peasey...
  • Mary Mary on Oct 31, 2016
    Have you tried a heat gun maybe and scraping off when melted?
  • Deb Whitney Deb Whitney on Nov 01, 2016
    I used some WD 40.You can mix it with a little warm water spray the glue & let it soak a few minutes & it should come off with scraper easy.Also any type of sand.Rub some on the glue ,it kind of drys it out so it's not so tacky
    • Louise Louise on Nov 01, 2016
      It's already dried out and now is rock-hard and needs to be removed.
  • Deb Whitney Deb Whitney on Nov 01, 2016
    The WD 40 worked pretty good for me.
    • Louise Louise on Nov 02, 2016
      How did you keep the WD 40 mixture from seeping under adjoining planks?
  • Phil a Phil a on Nov 02, 2016
    If you can scrape the glue by hand, yes, you'd be surprised how much faster and well it works and will save your arms and hands. But, that $20 unit is a single speed model. It will work, but the variable speed model is more usable and you'll be surprised at how much you'll use it for other projects and the variable speed makes the cuts/scrapes work better under different conditions. Just my opinion. I've had mine for about 5 years and it's well built and can really come in handy. Phil
  • Deb Whitney Deb Whitney on Nov 03, 2016
    It never seeped through.I only waited a few minutes after spraying,Don't saturate it.I also used it taking paint and old wallpaper off the hard spots.