Flooring from National Floors Direct

How to Remove Old Vinyl Flooring

Believe it or not, the average vinyl floor will last between 10 and 15 years. Luxury vinyl can endure as long as 25 years.

This flooring isn't designed to last forever, and you may be ready for a change. You'll need to pull up the old flooring and replace it with something fresh and new.

If you plan on doing the job yourself, you may be wondering how to remove old vinyl flooring. 

Here's what you need to know.

Gather Your Supplies

There's nothing more frustrating than beginning a home improvement project only to discover that you're stuck in the middle of it because you don't have the right tools on hand.

Before you begin your floor removal, make sure you get equipped with all the necessary safety gear, including goggles, gloves, and masks. You'll also need long pants and steel-toed shoes to make sure you aren't injured.

You'll need a screwdriver, hammer, and pry bar. It's also important to have a sturdy tarp on hand to catch debris. In addition, make sure you're equipped with a floor scraper as well as a heat gun or hairdryer.

It's also important to make sure you're ready for clean-up. Garbage bags, a broom, and a dustpan should all be at your disposal. Depending on your flooring, you may also require a hand saw or power sander.

Clear the Area

Many individuals have vinyl flooring in their kitchens, living rooms, and hallways. Before you remove it, you're going to need to completely clear the area. This may involve moving furniture, area rugs, and appliances. 

It's also important to remove all baseboards and trim that meets the floor. This will require a crowbar and scraper knife. If you aren't sure how to do this you may want to hire a professional to help you with floor removal.

If you plan on re-using your baseboards, it helps to be quite gentle with removal. You should also mark the backs with the location so replacing it will be easier later on.

It's important to note here that, if your vinyl flooring was installed prior to 1980, you may have asbestos flooring on your hands. If that's the case, you may need a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to test your floor and help with removal.

Begin Floor Removal

Your floor should be removed in 12-inch strips. You can start by using a utility knife to cut right down the middle of the floor. 

You can then move 12 inches to the right or left and then begin drawing strips that are parallel to the first one. Roll the vinyl as you go down the strip.

Once your strip is cut, you can lift it until you feel resistance from the strong adhesive at the perimeter. You can then lift the vinyl using a small scraper. If this doesn't work, a prybar and hammer may be required.

If you have a vinyl plank or tile flooring, you'll need to pry up a corner with a putty knife. Once it comes up far enough, you can slip the putty knife underneath until the plank or tile comes up completely.

Pull Up Glued Sections

The flat end of your pry bar can be used to help you chip away at the glue underneath your vinyl. Once you've removed it, a floor scraper tool can help you remove the rest of the adhesive.

Remove Adhesive From the Subfloor

You will likely still have some adhesive left on the floor when you're done. You'll need to use warm water and soap to soak the glue. Give it a good amount of time to soak in. Once that's done, you should be able to easily remove the remainder of the glue.

If that doesn't work, you may be able to use a rented heat gun or hair dryer to soften the glue. Be careful not to use it so long that you begin to damage the subfloor. You can then use your scraper to remove the rest.

Clean Up

Once your floor and adhesive get removed, you'll want to use a broom or wet/dry vac to remove all of the debris from the floor. You can check out local recycling centers to see if you can dispose of your vinyl flooring in an environmentally friendly manner. 

Your New Floor

Many flooring companies will install your new floor for you. They may have options like luxury vinyl, which is completely waterproof. 

It's easy to clean and available in a variety of colors and styles. Another great benefit of luxury vinyl is that you won't have to worry about removing your floor again floor for at least another two decades.

You may also want to look at laminate, which is known for being quite affordable and easy to install over the existing subfloor. It's easy to clean and highly durable.

Both laminate and vinyl floors can get made to look like hardwood, tile, or ceramic. You can check them out in plenty of shades, and they will easily hold up to a busy household. 

New floors will keep your home looking sharp and well-maintained for years to come.

How to Remove Old Vinyl Flooring

If you're ready to install a new floor in your home, you'll need to know how to remove old vinyl flooring. With the right equipment and the right approach, you could be ready for your new floor in no time.

Don't stop getting smart about your floor installation now. For quality service and plenty of flooring options, contact us today.