Before you begin the time-consuming job of removing the plastic cover out of your cellar or mudroom floor, you need to ask yourself if it is actually necessary; in many cases, you can put a new floor right over vinyl. When there’s no other way, and the floors are extremely old, you need to test both the vinyl and the glue for asbestos. Once you’re sure it is safe to proceed, get a good set of knee pads. You are likely to need them.
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Cut two strips through the plastic about 6 inches apart, extending from 1 wall to the opposite one, using a utility knife.
Heat the strip using a heat gun, and after the adhesive is soft enough, operate a stiff putty knife beneath it and put it away from your floor. As soon as the piece you’re prying is lengthy enough to grab onto, pull it while you are still warm the glue with the heat.
Use a commercial adhesive stripper to soften and remove the adhesive from the concrete after you have pulled the vinyl off. The simplest ones to use are contain citric acid, but you may require a solvent-based you to eliminate some adhesives.
Paint the stripper on the floor using a paintbrush, let it work for the time given on the container, then scrape off the softened adhesive with a paint scraper. Maintain a 5-gallon bucket handy to accumulate the old adhesive and discard it as toxic waste.
Try prying up a corner of a few of those tiles with a putty knife. If it comes up far enough, then slip the putty knife underneath it and pry the tile as far as possible. Heat the tile using a heat gun to soften the adhesive and make the tile easier to pry.
Cut two strips one of the tiles around 3 or 4 inches apart, using a utility knife, even if you can’t locate any tiles using loose corners. Heat the strip together with all the heat gun, then operate the putty knife underneath it and pry it up. Once you remove the strip, you are able to work the putty knife under the other areas of the tile turn and remove the entire tile.
Pry up each tile from the remainder of the floor by heating it and prying it as soon as the glue softens.
Clean adhesive residue off the floor with adhesive stripper.