Removing Linoleum Floor from Existing Hardwood Removing Linoleum Floor from Existing Hardwood

What You'll Need
Several Old Bath Towels
Tea Kettle
Putty Knife
Orbital Sander
Utility Knife
Contractors Trash Bags

It is not uncommon to find hardwood flooring under linoleum, and the process of removing linoleum floor from hardwood flooring is difficult and labor intensive. This is especially true if you are trying to preserve the hardwood. Ultimately, melting the glue is the goal.

Step 1 - Score the Linoleum

Determine the direction that the hardwood is laid before removing the linoleum floor. This can be done by lifting a corner of the linoleum. With a utility knife, score (cut) the linoleum into 6-inch strips, in the same direction as the wood. Set the blade so that it cuts through just the linoleum and doesn’t harm the hardwood.

Step 2 - Heat the Linoleum

Fill the kettle with water, and set it on the stove to let the water boil. Lay a folded towel over an area of linoleum, beginning at the edges. Once water begins to boil, pour it directly onto the folded towel. Allow the wet towel to sit until it cools for about 1-2 minutes. While waiting for the towel to cool, refill the kettle, and place it on the stove to boil.

Step 3 - Remove the Linoleum

Before you begin to remove the heated area of linoleum, wring out the wet towel, re-fold it, and lay it over the next area to be removed. Pour boiling water over the towel again. While waiting for the water to cool, begin removing the first area of the floor. Using the putty knife, scrape up the area heated in Step 1. The linoleum, paper, and glue will all lift up very easily.

Step 4 - Clean the Hardwood

As you remove the linoleum, wipe up all the water and glue, and place all waste in contractor’s trash bags. Once all the linoleum has been removed, use the orbital sander to completely remove any remnants of glue.

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