Peeling up Linoleum Floor

by Regina
Need to peel up a linoleum floor that was laid down in 1992. This is part of a larger project to lay laminate on the entire main floor. Any tips, tricks, or words of encouragement on how best to proceed?

  5 answers
  • Liz Liz on Jul 02, 2018

    When I did mine, the heat gun was a big time saver. Just keep it moving to avoid hot spots.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 02, 2018

    Regina, I like to start at the outer edges, like the doorway and along the wall. I use a wide blade scraper to work it loose from the subfloor. Cutting sheet linoleum into easy to handle strips with a utility knife, scoring it first, helps. Clean as you go, scrape any residue as you go, I've found heat, as well as wet rags are helpful for loosening sticky stuff (I like Goo Gone, too). Keep a shop vac and garbage can handy so you aren't walking on debris.

  • Seth Seth on Jul 02, 2018

    Ditto on the heat gun. It's slow work, but works. Use a sharp utility knife to score square foot sections. Work on one section at a time. I found that it is a two step process. Heating the surface will allow you to peel off the top layer and then heating the adhesive underneath will soften it enough to be scraped up. Sometimes a whole section might come up if you get lucky depending on how the adhesive was originally applied. Use a semi-rigid putty knife to scrape up the adhesive as it softens. Like Liz said, keep the heat gun moving or it will start to burn and don't touch the putty knife blade as it will be hot as well. There is also a tool with a long handle and a flat blade that you can use to and scrape it up, but I think that works better with tiles and not as well with sheet linoleum. One other thing you can do is rip up as much as possible by hand and then rent a commercial grade floor sander and sand off what's left underneath. More expensive and not sure how much faster it will be. I tried using a 4 inch wide paint and wallpaper scraper with a replaceable razor blade, but found it damaged the plywood subfloor.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jul 02, 2018

    For the kitchen and the bathroom, make sure you get the laminate that is the most water resistant.