DIY Tips For How To Remove Vinyl Flooring, Old Linoleum Or Glue

One of the most frustrating home remodeling tasks is trying to remove an old linoleum or vinyl floor. Even when the linoleum is pulled off, things only get worse. Now you’re faced with gobs of old glue that seem harder than meteorites all over the floor.

Before getting depressed while reading this article, remember that there are a few ways around this formidable task.

Alternative Approaches

One common alternative to removing old linoleum or vinyl floors is to put a new one right over it. If the existing floor is still smooth or can be smoothed with a few patches of FixAll, then the new floor can be laid directly on top of the old.

In some cases, a layer of 1/4-inch plywood is laid over the old floor to provide a smooth base and then the new resilient floor is laid on that. In still another approach, the old floor is floated with a self-leveling concrete that is about 1/8-inch thick when dry. The new floor is put on that.

When adding a new floor, particularly when adding plywood or self-leveling concrete, consider that this process is going to raise your floor noticeably. The most important concern is that it will not connect smoothly with the adjacent floors. This height difference could trip the unwary, particularly guests or the elderly. Also, you will not have the same clearance under the toe kicks and you may have a problem in the future sliding out your dishwasher, refrigerator, or stove.

Removing old linoleum or vinyl is generally quite difficult because wood, a common subfloor, is porous, thus absorbing the adhesives. One reason why the old glues must be thoroughly removed is because some older adhesives had oils in them that chemically react with new vinyl to cause a yellow discoloration. Most warranties on new vinyl do not cover this type of failure.

Another reason the old adhesives must be removed if you’re installing vinyl stripping is because they can eventually become brittle. If old glue breaks loose under new vinyl, it can cause failures in the new floor covering. Moreover, any bumps or cracks in an old floor will soon appear as bumps or cracks in your new linoleum.

Homeowners also need to be aware that asbestos was used in some old linoleum and flooring adhesives, particularly in those made in the 1970s and earlier. Removing this material involves a health risk. If in doubt about your resilient flooring, break a small piece from a corner or behind the refrigerator and take it to an asbestos abatement firm for testing. Wetting the vinyl as you break it off and putting it in a baggie will keep any possible asbestos fibers from flying around. Asbestos abatement firms can be found in the Yellow Pages.

If asbestos is not present in your flooring, below are three ways you can remove it yourself, depending on the subfloor.

Plywood Subfloor

With a plywood subfloor, you have two choices: a) scrape away the linoleum or vinyl and glue or b) just cut out the subfloor and linoleum or vinyl flooring as one piece.

  • To remove old resilient flooring, first cut it into parallel strips about 6 inches wide with a utility knife. Use a hammer to tap a stiff putty knife or brick chisel under the linoleum to break it loose. Pull the linoleum up in strips to reveal the backing or the glue. Once the surface layer is gone, use a paint scraper to remove the glue. You can also use a heat gun to soften the glue as you scrape it away with the paint scraper. Some old linoleum has tar-based adhesive, which can be softened by applying mineral spirits.
  • To remove the linoleum and subfloor together, drill a hole through the floor to determine how thick the plywood is. Set the saw blade to cut just 1/8 inch deeper and cut away a section of flooring on one side of the room. To cut flush against the walls, use a reciprocal saw, but be careful you don’t cut the floor joists. Cut the floor into manageable sections about 3 or 4 feet long as you continue to remove it. When laying down the new subfloor, nail crosspieces between the joists to support adjacent plywood subfloor edges, particularly if the old floor was tongue and groove plywood.

Hardwood Floors

It’s not uncommon to find a perfectly good (or what used to be) hardwood floor under linoleum or vinyl. Peel away enough covering in a corner until you can judge which way the flooring runs. Cut through the vinyl in about 6-inch-wide strips in the same direction the floor runs to minimize any chances of cutting across the grain. Set the utility knife blade just deep enough to get through the linoleum or vinyl. Heat the linoleum with a heat gun and then pry it and the glue up while the glue is still soft. Scrape away as much of the glue as you can while being careful not to gouge the floor. Once you have cleaned the floor as well as possible, sand away any remaining glue and refinish the floor.

If you are having trouble deciding between hardwood and carpet flooring, see how they compare.

Concrete Slab

This is probably the easiest type of subfloor to get linoleum or vinyl off of, but it’s still no picnic. Again, it’s the same process of cutting the flooring into strips, heating it with a heat gun to soften it, and then pulling it off. The remaining glue can be scraped with a floor scraper or soaked overnight with water and dish soap, which helps soften the glue.

As you struggle with your old flooring, just keep thinking good thoughts and reminding yourself that you and the house will both be better for it when you’re finished.

Bell Fined $1.25-Million for Fake Reviews

The Competition Bureau set a precedence this week by fining BCE Inc. $1.25 million, after it was revealed that employees within the company were leaving fraudulent reviews for “MyBellMobile” and other applications found in the Apple AppStore.

Even though the fine may come as a surprise to many, fraudulent reviews are actually becoming more prevalent in corporate environments like Bell, where high level executives are expected to be well-versed on ethical business practices.

In 2010, The Better Business Bureau was exposed by ABC news for giving good grades to companies who had negative reputations but paid money for BBB accreditation. The company was forced to close several of its chapters due to accusations of corruption and fraud. We also discussed the relevance of the Better Business Bureau and why customers and businesses alike need to be mindful to gather information from a number of sources before making certain decisions.

TrustedPros regularly flags suspicious submissions it receives and alerts the Competition Bureau about the possibility of contractors posting reviews to show their companies in a favorable light. Corporations have a greater responsibly however, than a jerk pretending to be a handy man and does a sloppy job installing tiles in your basement. Corporations are often responsible for providing services to millions of consumers who trust them to be ethical in all their dealings.

Perhaps this penalty imposed by the Competition Bureau was meant to send a clear message to corporations that fraudulent reviews will not be tolerated, as they prevent consumers from making informed decisions based on factual experiences of their fellow consumers. Furthermore, there were hardly any gray areas in this particular situation as bias and subjectivity were painfully obvious. The Bell employees gave stellar reviews of an otherwise poorly received App that users rated an average of 1.5 out of 5 stars.

TrustedPros identified the need for honesty and transparency within the review world as they witnessed countless cases of homeowners being duped by contractors with fake reviews. The TrustScore system,, was developed specifically for the purpose of empowering consumers to make informed decisions 100{36a97cf0b8cdc8a56409aa6c7ad66044bdb3326b3e9bc65a732d103c30e98e6a} of the time.

Like most large corporations that are accused of wrong doing by an independent watch-dog, BCE has agreed to correct its indiscretions and educate its employees about the importance of acting with integrity. Bell has recently removed the fake reviews leaving an accurate assessment of the Apps in question.

Brick Vs. Concrete Patios

An outdoor patio is not only the perfect way to take advantage of summer and fall, but the best way to relax and unwind after a long hectic day at the office. Fortunately for eager homeowners, there are a few options as far as patio materials, the most popular of which are concrete or brick.

Concrete patios are the standard across the country. They are durable, look great no matter the size and require little if any maintenance. Brick patios, while also durable, offers numerous different designs and gives any home that traditional look so many of us crave.

Nonetheless, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both. See the ongoing debate between brick and concrete patios.

Concrete Patio Cost

To no surprise, concrete prices will largely depend on the size of your patio. The larger the patio, the more expensive the project will be. However, according to our concrete patio cost guide, average concrete prices range between $6/sf and $15/sf. The safest way to really determine how much you will spend on concrete is through a concrete calculator.

Besides the size, other factors that can decrease or increase the total concrete patio cost are the type of concrete (basic concrete is the cheapest), the color (if you choose to add color) and the design (complex designs raise the price).

Brick Patio Cost

Just like a concrete patio, the total brick patio cost will largely depend on labor. More often than not, the cost of labor is more expensive than the cost of materials. Nonetheless, the type of materials does play a role.


According to our brick patio cost guide, the average price for a brick patio can range from $10/sf to $50/sf. Needless to say, if you use premium materials, the project will be more expensive.

As far as materials, most homeowners will go with concrete brick pavers or clay brick pavers. Surprisingly, clay is more expensive than concrete, but overall, will depend on the quality of brick you choose. Just beware that it is quite common for homeowners to save a buck or two and go with an inferior type of brick patio, but sadly, pay more in the long run after repairs and maintenance.


Concrete Patios

Concrete patios are very durable no matter where you live. Whether you live in Chicago with long winters or Seattle with all that rainfall, a concrete patio can stand with the best of them.

One of the reasons concrete patios are so durable is due to the sealant many masonry pros add. The sealant prevents moisture from oozing inside the concrete. Sealants are also good for concrete around a pool, providing a barrier to common pool chemicals.

Despite its durable nature, concrete can chip or crack over the years. Likewise, concrete patios can only take so much abuse. Sadly, if you chose a colored or stamped concrete patio (more later), the repairs will not be cheap. Just like paint or carpet, it’s not always easy finding an exact match if you didn’t purchase extra before installation.

Finally, weeds have a tendency to grow in between concrete pavers, but common weed killers or pesticides are readily available at your local hardware store.

Brick Patios

Very similar to concrete, brick patios are durable and can last for decades if cared for properly. It can stand up against inches of snow and rain. Nonetheless, depending on the material and color of choice, the brick can chip and fade after a long period of time. Likewise, if your area sees heavy rainfall, don’t expect that bright red to last forever.

Additionally, brick can also chip, crack and form weeds over time. Fortunately, repairing brick patios is easier than most concrete patios as most homeowners purchase extra bricks. Remember, it never hurts to buy extra material for any home installation or improvement project.


Concrete Patios

As I have already iterated, there are few different options when it comes to concrete patio designs, the two most common of which are stamped and colored concrete.

Stamped concrete is the process of decorating the concrete once it has been laid. The name explains it all. When the concrete is still wet, the professional places a stamp above it. When it finally dries, the design will be imprinted into the concrete. There is no limit to what designers can do with stamped concrete.

Colored concrete is another option. Believe it or not, you can color concrete to match that red brick color or go totally out of the box and add a blue-green design to your concrete patio. The pro will either use a concrete dye or concrete stain. Either way, colored concrete will add between 10{36a97cf0b8cdc8a56409aa6c7ad66044bdb3326b3e9bc65a732d103c30e98e6a} and 30{36a97cf0b8cdc8a56409aa6c7ad66044bdb3326b3e9bc65a732d103c30e98e6a} of the total cost and is rarely completed by a homeowner (call a pro).

Brick Patios

While many homeowners use brick to add a traditional, red color to their patio, much like concrete, there are plenty of colors and designs to choose from. If you are looking to go bold, below are just a few of the possible brick colors to choose from:

  • White
  • Cream
  • Tan
  • Orange
  • Pink
  • Burgundy
  • Brown
  • Black

Likewise, brick allows you to incorporate multiple different designs. From a basket weave to a complex herringbone design, there are plenty of brick patio designs to choose from.


Concrete Patios

Given their long lifespans, both concrete and brick patios require little maintenance. Other than the occasional clean and weed spray, both need little if any care over the years.

However, if you want to ensure a long life for your brand new concrete patio, I highly recommend at least one coat of sealer every few years. This is especially important for areas that see a lot of rainfall or snow.

Additionally, make sure you fix any cracks or chips as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely the chip extends to other areas of the patio. Fortunately, a small crack, for example, can be filled in with epoxy and take less than an hour to complete.

Brick Patios

Brick patios can become uneven, dirty and like concrete pavers, form weeds between bricks. For uneven brick patios, homeowners should fix any drainage issues around the patio and then pull up the brick in the uneven area and check the sand/base of the patio. If you need to, add a few extra layers.

Brick should be cleaned on a consistent basis and sealed every two to three years. You can purchase a masonry detergent at your local hardware store to clean the pavers. Might as well purchase when you buy weed killers.

If you follow all the steps above, your brick patio should last for decades, if not generations.