Any flooring contractors in here?

11 Replies

My GC has a guy out at the job trying to scrape this stick down flooring up with a scraper tool and it isn't going very well for that guy. Anyone know how to get this stuff off the slab easier so I can pass the info along, save some money (time) and this poor dudes back?

Not a flooring guy, but I had some tile glued onto basement floor concrete where the guy that took up the tiles used some kind of machine (looked a bit like a floor polisher) that heated the tile so that the glue loosened and then the scrape was easier. But glue residue might be left behind. That was OK by me since I was putting down a glue down vinyl plank as a replacement. 

Home Depot rents a machine that can scrape that up. I haven't used it, but it's made for that.

You could also buy a heat gun at Harbor Freight for under $15. Once he heats up the tiles, they will lift right up with a putty knife or wallpaper scraper.

Be careful pulling that up!  Many of the older vinyl floor tiles and any associated paper-like backing, mastic, adhesive or glue, may contain asbestos. In the past, asbestos fibers were added during the production of flooring materials to strengthen the flooring and to increase its durability.

Completely unconventional, possibly crazy, undoubtedly dangerous method that works very well.  Allegedly.

You need two dudes.  One with a propane torch ( big one, like you use to burn weeds off a sidewalk) and one with the scraper.  Have fire extinguishers at the ready, and do it in the morning so there is a lot of time for any embers to be well dead before guys knock off for the day.  Works very well.

I know, it is crazy.  But again, works well.  Up to you.

You don't have to heat it up. You just need one of these. It vibrates back and forth and you push it. It takes some heft to push it along but I did a 20'x14' room in about an hour. I rented it for around $30.

Here's a video: Scraper

Originally posted by @Ryan R. :

You don't have to heat it up. You just need one of these. It vibrates back and forth and you push it. It takes some heft to push it along but I did a 20'x14' room in about an hour. I rented it for around $30.

Here's a video: Scraper

That video was mesmerizing!  All that flooring just peeling away. I then watched some tile removal machine videos. Way less mesmerizing.

Originally posted by Kristine Marie Poe:
Originally posted by @Ryan R.:

You don't have to heat it up. You just need one of these. It vibrates back and forth and you push it. It takes some heft to push it along but I did a 20'x14' room in about an hour. I rented it for around $30.

Here's a video: Scraper

That video was mesmerizing!  All that flooring just peeling away. I then watched some tile removal machine videos. Way less mesmerizing.

 It's even more mesmerizing seeing it come up so easy after you've spent hours on your hands and knees trying methods such as heating it with a torch and pouring boiling water on it.

You can probably get away with leaving it as-is and installing the new flooring on top unless the new flooring is also linoleum 

@Rob K.  Sounds like fun. If I were doing the job, that's how I'd get it done!

Account Closed pointed out.  And if asbestos, you don't want to be smashing the flooring up because that is more likely to send the particles airborne ...

Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :

@Aaron Mazzrillo - if the tiles are 9 inch by 9 inch, then there is almost certainly asbestos in them.  From the look of those tiles, I'm guessing they are 12x12 and from the 1990s, so less likely to contain asbestos.  But the sheet floor underneath - that isn't clearly visible, so depending on year built asbestos could be present in both the flooring and the adhesive, as @Julia Blythe  pointed out.  And if asbestos, you don't want to be smashing the flooring up because that is more likely to send the particles airborne ...

Appreciate the feedback. Good thing I won't be anywhere near that place when the work is done. I'll make sure to pass along the info to the contractor though.

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