Removing Linoleum Floor From a Concrete Base

Lead Image
  • 4-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-70
What You'll Need
Razor knife and extra blades
Floor scraper
Hot water
Straight blade scraper
Mineral spirits
Old towels
Mild detergent
Warm water

If your floor has seen better days, it may be time to consider replacing it. Removing linoleum floor from a concrete base can be hard work. However, with the right materials and guidelines, this is a task you can accomplish yourself. The biggest challenge is created by the adhesive used to attach the linoleum onto the concrete, as it can leave a mess behind. Lucky for you, the steps outlined below will help you complete the project in an efficient manner so that your concrete floor is stripped back to its original form.

WARNING: Check your home's records to see if builders used flooring or adhesives that contained asbestos. If so, consult professionals about the best way to remove the flooring.

Step 1 – Cut Linoleum into Strips

Use your razor knife to cut the linoleum into strips that measure 2 feet wide. If your blade begins to get dull, replace it with a new blade to allow you to cut more efficiently.

Step 2 – Pour Hot Water on Linoleum

Fill a bucket with hot water, then pour it carefully onto your linoleum floor. Use a mop to spread the water over the entire floor. Allow the water to sit on the floor for about 10 minutes. It helps to soften the adhesive used to attach the linoleum onto the concrete base.

Step 3 – Mop the Water

Use a mop to soak up the water from the linoleum. This allows you to work more efficiently when you strip the linoleum.

Step 4 – Remove the Linoleum Strips

Insert your floor scraper underneath the topmost strip of linoleum. You should feel it easily separate the linoleum from the concrete. Once you have removed a portion, peel off the strip with your hands. Proceed to remove the rest of the strips in this manner.

Step 5 – Scrape off Adhesive and Backing

Use a straight blade scraper to remove residual adhesive and backing on the concrete. Begin at the first section of floor you stripped. Start to scrape off adhesive and backing from one end as you steadily work across to the other end. Work in this way until you’ve managed to work on the entire floor. It helps if you have extra blades. You can replace the dull ones when it becomes necessary so that you can work faster.

Step 6 – Pour Hot Water on Concrete Base

You may end up with stubborn bits of adhesive on the concrete. In this case, pour some more hot water over the concrete. Allow it to work on the adhesive for about 15 minutes.

Step 7 – Mop the Concrete and Scrape

Mop up the water. Proceed to remove remnants of adhesive with your scraper. It should come off easily due to the softening effects of the hot water.

Step 8 – Clean the Floor

Open all the windows in the room to encourage good ventilation and air circulation. This is vital when mineral spirits are used, as the odor can be quite strong. Apply some mineral spirits onto a rag. Wipe small sections of the floor at a time. Once the rag becomes dirty with adhesive reminance and other dirt and debris, switch to a clean rag. The mineral spirits help to clear residual adhesive, which leaves you with a cleaner surface. Proceed to mop the floor with a mild detergent and warm water. Once you’re done, mop the floor one more with plain warm water to remove the soap. Change the water a couple of times in between mops to avoid leaving soap residues on the concrete. Use an old towel to absorb excess moisture a few hours after mopping.