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How to remove linoleum flooring

Below you lay the new floor covering you need to remove the old finishing – here is some tips on removing the old linoleum from the subfloor.

Getting rid of old linoleumIn case you want to remove old linoleum flooring in your apartment of house, you must learn some useful tips. There are some simple ways to remove linoleum flooring fast and properly.

You will need:

  • a spatula of medium size
  • latex gloves
  • acetone solvent
  • a protection mask

Step №1

Before you begin, put on old clothes, rubber gloves and a mask to protect the respiratory system. Open all the windows in the room – this dismantling work is going to be dirty, so it requires good ventilation.

Step №2

Remove linoleum flooringFirst of all you should dismantle the baseboard. Then tear off the old linoleum. In case it’s very old, it can be removed by simply pulling it with your hands. You can also work with a spatula or a scraper.

Step №3

In those places where the coating is not far behind from the floor, pour some acetone solvent. Try to pour it a little bit at the junction with the floor. The solvent will soften the glue, so the removing linoleum from the floor will be much easier.

Step №4

Once you are able to remove the old linoleum, immediately scrape off the floor from all adhesive residue until it is dried up again. Using a spatula, gently lift each piece and tear it off. Some tiles on the floor will come off easily, but some will take a little more of your effort and time. Anyway, the solvent tends to evaporate quickly. You should be careful and attentive – take your time.

How to remove old linoleum from concrete screed

If the linoleum is glued to concrete, the removing process will be more complicated. But this task is not impossible. Here is a step-by-step instructions on how to remove linoleum from concrete screed.

You will need:

  •  Dismantling of linoleumacetone
  • a spatula of medium size
  • a scraper
  • hot water
  • latex gloves
  • a big knife
  • a level

Step №1

Using a razor knife, cut the linoleum into rectangles of small size. This will greatly facilitate your work. Pick up a piece of linoleum with a scraper and see if it comes off. If it is succumbed, consider yourself as a happy person! This means you can remove the flooring easily. If the pieces do not come off, take them using sharp scraper and acetone. The flooring will be removed, but in a more difficult way.

Step №2

First, you need to cut or tear the top layer of the coating. This can be done with a sharp scraper. In this case, some residues will remain glued to the floor. If the area is large, you can try using an electric scraper. But usually the handwork is faster and more reliable.

Removing linoleum using boiling water

Technology remove linoleumWhen dismantling of the top layer is finished, pour boiling water over the floor surface. Wait a few minutes and begin to scrub again. This work is dirty, but you will be able to remove the old linoleum completely. Moreover, the boiling water will kill most of bacteria that always exist under the old flooring – billions of billions of them. For water not to be spread throughout the apartment, surround the old flooring by cloths.

Removing the linoleum with solvent

If the methods mentioned above do not work for some reason, you will have to try one more radical way: acetone or solvent. Before you pour the acetone on the floor, put on rubber gloves and a mask. Work with the windows open. Leave the acetone for a while. Then begin to scrape the softened pieces with a spatula.

IMPORTANT: Working with boiling water, acetone, a razor knife and a scraper is quite dangerous – be careful! You should protect your health completely! Take your time, work out every single step of your work. Works of this type have to be performed in a very thoughtful way.


Question: It seems to me that removing the old linoleum from the floor is not difficult at all. Just scrape off pieces of linoleum, and that’s it. Or am I wrong?


Some may think that removing old linoleum is easy enough, but in fact there are a number of rules, without following which the removal will turn into a real problem. Initially, it is worth pointing out those actions that produce when removing linoleum is strictly forbidden.

You should not experiment with how to remove old linoleum, because the wrong approach can affect the health of an inexperienced worker. It is unacceptable to wipe the layer with sandpaper, drilling, splitting and forcing it out with sharp objects.

The reason for this is that when the coating is broken, dust is released into the air of harmful components from the substrate and the adhesive mixture used in the laying of the floor covering. We are talking about asbestos fibers and quartz particles.

Contact with these impurities in the human body can cause respiratory or cancer. Allergy sufferers are not allowed to work on the removal of old linoleum at all, because each harmful component can cause an attack of suffocation.

Question: Can I do without removing the old linoleum from the floor and use it as a base for the new flooring?


You are right, this is also possible. What’s more, sometimes it’s the preferred option. In general, there are several alternative methods that replace the complete removal of linoleum:

  • laying the new material on top of the existing layer (we are not only talking about linoleum);
  • the old coating, as already mentioned, can be restored or leveled with a special mixture;
  • you can lay sheet material as a levelling layer for the subsequent installation of selected materials.

Question: What should I consider when removing linoleum from the floor if I want to do everything myself?


Here are some tips and advice from experts to help you make the job of removing old linoleum from the floor faster, easier and safer:

  1. Promptly pack the removed layers in plastic bags and do not move through the remnants after removing the next strip is necessary in order to preserve your own health. In such a state, the materials are released much more harmful substances, and it is worth protecting yourself;
  2. shoes after work should be thoroughly washed or use those that can be thrown away after the dismantling is completed. Each plastic bag should be labeled with a warning that there are materials that release asbestos dust inside;
  3. To remove the layers firmly bonded to the substrate, a stiff metal brush should be used. Only the right way to remove the substrate from the linoleum, not vice versa;
  4. After removing every three layers of coverage should be cleaned from the flooring felt backing with a prepared detergent. The material is moistened liberally and scraped off with a scraper;
  5. After each area has been cleaned, it should be vacuumed and the entire floor should be cleaned in the same manner. A perfect subfloor will then be obtained, a photo of which can be presented to specialists to evaluate the work to be carried out in the future.


After conducting all the above steps in the correct sequence and with compliance with the basic recommendations will be obtained qualitatively cleaned floor base. The health of the worker in this case will be safe.If there is no confidence in your abilities, it is best to contact professionals who will produce removal of linoleum faster and provide the customer with a clean area for further repair work.

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