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How To Remove Vinyl Tile

Updated on January 25, 2012
Remove vinyl floor tiles before laying a new floor.
Remove vinyl floor tiles before laying a new floor. | Source

Home decorators and homeowners choose affordable vinyl tiles for their ease of maintenance and durability. Vinyl tile manufacturers make the tiles in hundreds, if not thousands or colors, styles and patterns to fit into a wide variety of design themes. Some vinyl tile is made to mimic other floor coverings such as wood or stone. Many homeowners remove their vinyl floor tiles so they can replace them with a new vinyl floor, ceramic tile or carpeting when the vinyl becomes worn, dated or damaged. Vinyl tiles tend to show wear in high traffic areas and make a room look shabby. Excessive water can cause the vinyl adhesive to loosen its bond with the substrate and cause the tiles to lift making the room look bad. Vinyl tiles have been around for many years and that maybe apparent in your home depending on the color, pattern of style of your tiles. Whatever your reason for removing the vinyl tiles, the method remains the same.

Removing Vinyl Tile

Remove as much furniture from the room as possible. If you can’t remove all of the furniture, slide it to one side of the room while you work on the opposite side.

Open a few windows in the room to provide adequate ventilation. The heated vinyl adhesive requires removal in a well ventilated room to avoid inhaling the potently harmful fumes.

Put on a pair of heavy canvas work gloves and a pair of safety glasses.

If you have any vinyl tiles with loose or curling edges begin there. If no tiles are peeling up begin at a doorway and work into the room.

Direct the heat from a heat gun or a hair dryer at a tile seam. Wave the hair dryer or heat gun back and forth over the seam and moving onto the tile field.

Wedge a small metal scraper under the seam to lift the tile off the subflooring.

Grip the edge of the tile with locking vise grips. Secure the vise grips onto the vinyl tile and peel the tile off the subflooring.

Heat an adjacent tile, lift it with a metal scraper, grip the vinyl tile with locking vise grips and peel the tile off. Continue using this method until all of the vinyl tiles have been removed from the subfloor.

If your tiles are loose, after peeling a few away using the locking vise grips, scrape the tiles off the subflooring with a floor scraper.

Use an adhesive remover to strip the old adhesive off the subfloor before installing a new floor covering.


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