How to Remove Glued Vinyl Plank Flooring

What You'll Need
Heat gun
Utility Knife

Vinyl plank flooring is one of the most durable and long lasting floors on the market. Many homeowners have enjoyed having a wood or tile-look vinyl plank in their homes at some point or another. However, when it comes time to take them up, it can be a pretty difficult job. In fact, it may be one of the most difficult jobs that you will ever have to do. There is really no easy way to do it, but there are a few suggestions that might ease the burden a bit. Here are the basics of how to remove glued vinyl plank flooring. 

Step 1- Test the Floor

Vinyl planks are one of the trickiest things to get up off of the floor. With that being said, sometimes the vinyl adhesive has just disintegrated because it is too old or was faulty. Regardless of the reason, you need to check and see how hard it is to take up. Sometimes, the vinyl planks just come right up off of the floor easily. This is rarely the case, but if it is, you do not need to take the other drastic measures. Just grab the edges of the planks and pull them up. In most cases, this will not work and it will take a little bit more work. However, you do not want to use more force than you need to.

Step 2- Cut the Vinyl

If the vinyl planks are not coming up, you should move on to a little bit more drastic approach. The hard thing about taking up vinyl planks is the adhesive that holds it down. Therefore, we need to gain access to this adhesive by making strategic cuts in the floor with your utility knife. Make several slits in the vinyl all over the room.

Step 3- Saturate the Floor

Once you have some access to the glue underneath, you should pour some buckets of water on the floor and allow it to soak into the adhesive. While it may not make a huge difference, it has been known to soften up the adhesive a bit. Let the water soak into the adhesive for a while and then test it out. If the adhesive has softened up at all, the vinyl should come up a bit easier than before. 

Step 4- Start Scraping

Unfortunately, this step makes up the majority of the job. With most vinyls, you are just going to have to get in there and do a lot of scraping with a scraper blade. Vinyl is one of the most stubborn things around and there is usually no substitute for some hard work.

Step 5- Remove the Adhesive

Once you get the vinyl planks up, you will most likely still have some adhesive on the floor. Use the heat gun to heat up the adhesive and it should become soft. Then you can scrape it up with the scraper. After that, you may need to wipe the floor down with a little alcohol and a rag to remove the residue from the adhesive.