removing vinyl flooring
Kitchen Decorating Ideas :: Removing Vinyl Flooring

Removing Vinyl Flooring

Trying to save a few bucks by removing vinyl flooring yourself? Make sure you know about all the risks and back breaking work involved before you start this project!

The first thing you should consider is if removing the vinyl flooring is even necessary. You may be able to install a new floor over it, or add a plywood subfloor and install the floor on that. So if your existing flooring isn't all full of divets and is still firmly attached consider saving yourself all the work. Of course, it will raise the floor height slightly so you'll need to consider if your room can accommodate this as well.

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Vinyl flooring and the glue used to apply it is often made with asbestos. Asbestos is harmless in this solid form, but as soon as you start peeling up the floor, particles will get released into the air and can cause a health hazard. Before removing vinyl flooring yourself, you should have it tested to determine if it does contain asbestos. Look in the yellow pages for an environmental testing consultant. You can have it tested for a nominal fee but if your floor does contain asbestos, then you will probably have to call an asbestos removal contractor to have it removed (I'm pretty sure their fees are not nominal!).

If you've read this far and are still thinking about removing vinyl flooring then you will need a shark utility knife, a putty knife, a floor scraper and possibly a chemical stripper.

Start by cutting the floor up into strips about 10" wide. Use the putty knife to lift up and edge and peel each strip off one by one. You'll probably have to wedge the knife between the vinyl and the floor to get it unstuck.

Once you have the vinyl up, you will be left with patches of backing and glue on the floor. This is the backbreaking part (what, you thought the peeling was back breaking??). Take the scraper and scrape up the backing and glue. Some spots may not come up at all and you will need to resort to removing it with chemical removers - please remember that the fumes from these are extremely dangerous as are the chemicals themselves.

For some, the back breaking task of removing vinyl flooring is truly rewarding. I, myself would prefer to have it done by a professional and spend my time watching TV!

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