As with the vinyl flooring removal part, if your subfloor is wood, you will want to be careful not to soak the floor with any of the options above or let any of the solutions sit on the flooring for long, as this can damage the wood.
Finally, rent a shop vacuum to remove any remaining loose adhesive or vinyl flooring particles. You are now well on your way to having a beautiful new kitchen floor. All you need to do now is lay your new flooring and enjoy the look of your renovated kitchen. Your kitchen will never look or feel the same.
|If you’ve just moved into a new house, or you’re looking to change things a bit, you may be faced with removing linoleum or vinyl flooring. Removing vinyl or linoleum flooring can be more challenging than you want, but it may be worth the effort.|
Understand why you need to remove the flooring
There are several tricks of removing linoleum and vinyl floors, but first you should need to know why you are looking at removing your flooring:
- You’re just kind of bored with it
- The surface is “banged” up
And why haven’t you done it yet?
- You’ve heard that it’s hard
- You’re not sure what you want to do
Glued floors make the removal tough
If you’ve ever tried removing linoleum and vinyl floors, it seems that every layer just yields more and more frustration. Not only is the original flooring seem almost impossible to remove (especially with age), but also doing so can harm the layer underneath, making new flooring lay unevenly.
You might also find globs of concrete-like glue underneath, which may not be readily removable without the help of specialized cleaners for removing linoleum and vinyl floors.
The Removal Process
If you’re dead set on removing the old flooring, then it will take a bit of time. You can start with chipping away at the old flooring and using heat to soften the material or use one of the old tricks of removing linoleum and vinyl floors by cutting it out.
Start the process by pulling the linoleum or vinyl flooring by hand and once you get a chunk of the material out, use a razor knife to cut the vinyl into smaller strips, as it can make the work easier, instead of cutting an entire big strip.
You can utilize the help of another person to use a floor scraper to clean the surface underneath the vinyl flooring while you are cutting down the strips, as it can help speed up the process.
Remove the Adhesive
And once you have removed all the strips of linoleum or vinyl flooring, the only thing left is the adhesive, which needs to be removed or else the floor looks ugly.
A special chipper one of the tricks of removing linoleum and vinyl floorsthat can help you in the beginning, and a heavy duty adhesive remover will help when you get to the clumps of glue from the initial installation.
A lot of homeowners have been rewarded in their floor removing efforts with a nice wood (or other material) floor underneath. This can be stained and sealed and make for a beautiful home accent.
If this sounds like too much work, there are other tricks of removing linoleum and vinyl floors or if the surface can’t be saved, you may want to get creative and decorate it instead.
Place plywood on top of the damage flooring (adhering it) and install your new flooring to the plywood. Many homeowners are turning to covering the old flooring with new flooring rather than go through the effort and mess of removing the old flooring first.
If the surface is still usable, a coat or two of paint, using paint that adheres to vinyl and linoleum, can cover up the old design or color. Follow that with some urethane and you’ve got a new, beautiful floor.
Start a Fun Family Project
Another fun idea is to literally decorate what’s already there instead of using cleaners for removing linoleum and vinyl floors. Start with a clear coat of urethane, add some decorative items (glitter, coins, stamps, etc.), let it dry and then add more urethane.
This is a great idea to enliven a new kids play room or bedroom, or to add drama to the kitchen. Involve the kids in picking out the “fun stuff” and you’ve got a fun family project. Of course, the fumes can be a bit much, so they should probably just be in on the planning part.
If you’re starting with a clean and dry surface, you can start over in terms of your flooring options. Using cleaners for removing linoleum and vinyl flooring isn’t the only option when you’ve got a damaged or outdated floor. There are many hole fillers that can be used to create a smooth surface for painting, while the addition of some plywood can make what was old new again.
Don’t feel that you’re ever stuck with the linoleum or the vinyl flooring that you have — get creative!
Background and History of Asbestos Vinyl
Asbestos vinyl flooring was widely used until 1972. Vinyl is made from a combination of ethylene and chlorine that result into a plastic resin. Back then, asbestos was the additional component that improves its strength and insulating properties. Apart from vinyl flooring, asbestos was also used in wallpapers and ceiling tiles.
If the vinyl is intact, it doesn’t pose any threat. However, problems started to arise when floorings are cut, damaged, or get worn out through time. Back then, those most susceptible to having asbestos related diseases were vinyl factory workers, floor installers and construction workers.
Don't Guess - Test and Have Peace of Mind!
When the dangers of asbestos became an issue, then careful vinyl flooring asbestos removal became an issue. One option is just covering asbestos flooring with the new flooring material like carpet, vinyl tiles or sheet vinyl, laminate or hardwood flooring, or even ceramic tiles and stone.
Testing for asbestos in vinyl flooring can be done by professionals or by yourself to determine “is there asbestos in my vinyl flooring” or not. Asbestos in vinyl flooring isn’t the end of the world, but asbestos and vinyl flooring do cause concern for your health. Use precaution if you elect to remove asbestos vinyl flooring so that its potential doesn’t become your reality.
Read Reviews and Buy Asbestos Test Kit
Until 1972, asbestos was used in a variety of building material such as roofing, exterior siding, window sills and linings, and vinyl flooring. Asbestos is a group of minerals known for their strength, flame/heat resistance, and indestructibility, and was considered ideal for insulation and fireproofing. However, once it was discovered that asbestos fibers can result in severe illness and disease when inhaled, the use of asbestos was banned by the EPA.
How to Check if There is Asbestos Flooring in Your Home.
Unless clearly marked on the product’s label, asbestos is impossible to identify without examining a sample under a microscope.
A. Size of Tile
One easy way for you to know if it is an asbestos vinyl is through the size of the tile. Before the 1990s, these tiles were manufactured in 3 sizes: 9 x 9 inches, 12 x 12 inches, and 18 x 18 inches. At present, standard square vinyl tiles are only 12 x 12 inches.
B. Brand of Tile
If you can still find out which brand of tiles was installed, here are some brands that manufactured asbestos flooring: Excelon, Fashionflor, Flor-Ever, Gold Seal, KenFlex, KenTile, Sears and Solarian.
C. Laboratory Testing
Testing for asbestos vinyl flooring can be done by a professional asbestos contractor or by using a do-it-yourself sampling kit.
- First, you would need to cut off a portion of your vinyl flooring as a sample. Spray water mixed with liquid detergent on the area where you're going to cut the sample from. The mist will ensure that asbestos fibers will not dissipate into the air.
- Using a utility knife, cut a small strip of the tile, around 1/8 x 1 inch in size. Cut all the way to the bottom so you can include the backing and the adhesive in the sample.
- Place the sample into the bag and ship it back to the testing laboratory.
- Wait for the result and if the sample consists of more than 1% asbestos, then it means your floor does contain asbestos.
Your Options: Removal or Installing a New Floor On Top
If your asbestos vinyl flooring is chipped, crumbling, or frayed, it must be removed before laying a new floor. The asbestos fibers from the damaged floor can cause health concerns when the fibers are released into the air.
However, intact asbestos vinyl flooring should not be removed because the removal of an intact floor poses a greater risk than simply covering over the old flooring. Leaving the old floor as is will be the most safe action you could take because you’re not disturbing the asbestos in the material.
Considerations and Risks Before Removal
If you determine that the asbestos vinyl flooring must be removed, asbestos abatement contractors are highly recommended.
Homeowners living in a single family home may also remove the asbestos but legally, family members and friends who help must do so voluntarily and without pay.
Moreover, if you as a homeowner are not confident in your ability to safely remove the asbestos vinyl flooring, hire a certified asbestos abatement contractor. Asbestos removal is difficult work, and can be physically demanding and potentially dangerous to your health.
Asbestos fibers are up to 1,200 times finer than human hair and when inhaled, they can directly penetrate your lungs. Even after 3 decades of inhalation, asbestos can lead to lung cancer, mesothelioma, breathing problems and heart failure.
Even the slightest exposure to asbestos can be risky, that is why medical experts emphasize taking precautionary measures when dealing with asbestos in home improvement projects.
Tools and Gears Needed for DIY Removal
If you’ve accepted the health dangers involved, you can minimize the risk of exposure to asbestos fibers for do-it-yourself removal by wearing safety equipment such as a respirator, coveralls, gloves, rubber boots and safety goggles.
You need to fasten your gloves to the coveralls with tape, to make sure that they won't come off. Plus, tools such as spray bottles, liquid detergent, putty knifes, a utility knife, a still floor scraper, plastic sheeting, duct tape, plastic garbage bags, a mop, and disposable towels will be needed.
Check out this DIY video on how asbestos vinyl floor tiles are removed.