Quite a while back, I had some peel & stick vinyl planks installed.

I had trouble getting the installer back to my house to finish the job. I'm going to finish it myself. It's Novalis and I'm actually VERY pleased with the look and durability. I have dogs and cats and that was a big factor in getting this. It was a good decision. I have a new batch for this remaining space to make sure it will stick well. I was told by the Lowe's salesperson (mistakenly) when I bought the first batch that I should use addl glue (Henry Feltback Sheet Flooring & Carpet). So the installers did and for the most part, it worked well. But Novalis has told me that addl glue is NOT to be used. I'm going to use Henry FeatherFinish Underlayment Patch & Skimcoat to fill in the seams of the plywood and level some worn areas. On top of that, I'll put a floor primer meant to help the glue stick. But first, I need to remove a new pieces of old "planks" that will be adjacent to the new ones because they've popped up some and this area is high traffic. Here's a photo of a place where I pulled up one yesterday. I have to find a way to remove the glue on the plywood -- plus some of the dark backing from the plank -- to reach the bare plywood to prep it for new pieces. HOW to remove the glue? Some is hard and amazingly, after all this time, some is tacky.
q quite a while back i had some peel stick vinyl planks installed, diy, flooring, home maintenance repairs, how to, minor home repair
  18 answers
  • Lee Lee on Nov 15, 2015
    The safest way to go-- would be to contact the 'glue's customer service' or 'web site' for troubleshooting', I am sure you are not the first one with this problem. (sometimes WD40 will work on adhesives. you must test first). I am wishing you good luck, will look for you post on solution.

  • Cassie Shepherd Cassie Shepherd on Nov 15, 2015
    We have this exact same flooring for the exact same reason, 4 footed fur family. When one needs replaced occasionialy my husband uses his heat gun to carefully peel up the worn tile & replace it with the new one. Has worked fr us several times.

  • M M on Nov 15, 2015
    Heat gun is what our installers used when they returned to address a similar problem.

    • See 1 previous
    • LD LD on Nov 16, 2015
      @Louise You should protect the area surrounding the piece in which you are going to remove. Use a wide blade putty knife to remove it and put into a paper painter container.

  • Kimberly A Kimberly A on Nov 15, 2015
    We installed this in a finished basement for a home we remodeled. Your best friend needs to be a heat gun at this point. That not only will help remove the old adhesive but help the new pieces adhere as well. Good luck!

  • 9530106 9530106 on Nov 15, 2015
    I agree, a heat gun and a good old putty knife. I feel for you-and, be careful!

  • M M on Nov 15, 2015
    They used a metal scraper to remove the softened adhesive. Yes it was mess. Some of the planks had to be removed and replaced with new ones. They put the heat gun on the plank and when the adhesive softened they pulled it up. Then they scraped the old stuff out, put down a sealer, waited for it to dry, put in a new patch, waited for it to dry and then sanded it to the correct level. Then they put down new adhesive and replaced the planks. It was a big job and a big mess. On some of the planks that only lifted a little bit, they heated it and then used a heavy roller or a block of wood and a hammer to press it back down. My install was still under warranty and I insisted they come back and make it right. It took several days because of the dry time needed between steps. I'm glad it is over.

  • Valerie Valerie on Nov 16, 2015
    I agree - heat gun and scraper should do the trick. If you do not have a heat gun, try a hair dryer on a hot setting. If you have a spare piece, another suggestion would be to cover it in brown paper and iron it on a medium setting. The heat from the iron should loosen the glue and that should be absorbed by the brown paper. It may just work.

  • Margaret Margaret on Nov 16, 2015
    Heat guns are relatively inexpensive so I'd go with a heat gun. Caution - do NOT hold a heat gun on one spot very long as it can scorch or burn the underlayment. It's better to wave the heat gun over a small area, scraping as the glue softens.

  • Rebecca Eckman Farrell Rebecca Eckman Farrell on Nov 16, 2015
    I would try the heat gun as well but be sure to wear a mask.

  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Nov 16, 2015
    Hi Louise. Heat gun for sure. Keep it moving though and have a metal scraper at the ready. Caution:::::avoid neighboring flooring your NOT taking up.!!! If you do heat up neighboring tiles, place something very heavy on them and let them settle back down and cool off.

  • Rus1058682 Rus1058682 on Nov 16, 2015
    If you are not used to heat guns, they get super hot very quickly. DO NOT HOLD ONE TOO CLOSE.. IT COULD CAUSE A FLASHFIRE... I WOULD SUGGEST TRYING the hair dryer idea first. It will work, but may take a little longer.. Safety First..

  • Lori Johansen Lori Johansen on Nov 16, 2015
    Heat gun! We had linoleum covered stairs in our 1927 home in Sweden...linoleum!!! Hubby worked on a couple stairs a day for about a week...used the heat gun (with open windows as smoke detector kept going off) to melt away the gunk. Just be very careful!

  • Michelle Michelle on Nov 16, 2015
    I only neded to remove a small area . I used a folded towel and my iron. I had no problem. Probably not the best idea, but zero $, and easy.

  • Dragonintheattic Dragonintheattic on Nov 16, 2015
    I used an old iron so it didn't ruin my good one. Good luck.

  • Kellie Kellie on Nov 17, 2015
    I have used an iron, tea towel &putty knife. The towel protects the iron. Works really well.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 17, 2015
    I used a hair dryer to lift sticky tiles over linoleum. Bought a commercial produt that worked but expensive. Found paint thinner, scraper, and steel wool worked well. Stairs? Like Lori Johansen had a mess. Many layers of paint, and then carpet glued down. Used my Dremmel tool - worked like a little shovel. Then used a sander.

  • LG LG on Nov 19, 2015
    Def heat!!!! If you do not have a heat gun. A blow dryer or space heater will work as well. I use Style Selections self adheasive planks. I let the planks settle in room 1-3days...Then turn on space heater while applying floor planks and lightly hold back of plank up to heat prior to laying. Works Great! Good Luck!

  • CK CK on Nov 24, 2015
    Yup....heat is the answer. Heat gun or hair dryer. It reactivates the glue and allows it to become 'soft' and removable again.