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How to Remove Vinyl and Ceramic Tile Floor Coverings

Here are some tips on how to make this very messy job just a bit easier.

First start by removing all the baseboard moldings.

If you will be removing vinyl tiles then first start at a seam and pry it up with a long handle  floor scraper held  underneath  the tile at about a 45 degree angle. Push outward to break the glue.

 You may need to use a heat gun to help loosen it.

Then take the drywall knife and scrape up the bits of glue that are left. Use soap and water and your  paint scraper to clean what is left.


If you are  going to be removing linoleum start by removing all the baseboards and use your utility knife to score the linoleum at eight inch intervals across the  length of the whole room. Start at one end, keeping your  hand down as close as possible to the vinyl and pull it up. You may need to cut smaller strips if it is sticking too much.

Use your sheetrock knife to lift up any glue and ripped off pieces that remain and wash with soap and water. Use your long handled floor scraper to scrape up any remaining linoleum bits and sweep and clean with soap and water.


To remove ceramic tile remove all molding and plumbing fixtures such as toilets,  (see article "How to Remove a Toilet" and  using  your masonry chisel tap up underneath a tile at the grout with a mallet. Be sure you are wearing safety glasses or a full face shield since loose tile fragments will be flying in every direction. If you are going to be laying tile on top of the same floor sub surface then use a long handled floor scraper to clean off any remaining grout and then sand with a belt sander and a heavy grit. Using a wet dry vac  remove loose dirt and dust before laying padding or grouting for the next floor.


To remove carpet start by removing the moldings, use your utility knife and cut the carpet away from threshold strips and then use a crowbar to pull up the threshold strip.  Be careful and wear gloves, it will be full of small tacks.

Cut the carpet into two foot pieces across the length  of the room and  then roll them up. The padding may be glued or stapled or  possibly will  fused to the floor from heat. You may need your long handled floor scraper to remove the stubborn padding. Use pliers to remove any staples or tacks that  remain. If the carpet was glued down cut it into 8" strips and pull it up and use a floor scraper to remove the glue that is left.


In many areas you can recycle old carpet and padding so check it out before dumping it in the dumpster.


Be sure to wear your safety glasses and respirator, plus gloves to protect your hands from tacks and sharp edges when removing old flooring.





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