| Bargain Outlet
Expert Contributor

Flooring projects for your real estate rehab property, home or rental often involve replacing an old floor with something modern.

If you have decided to get rid of that old linoleum floor, you are likely facing the task of getting rid of linoleum glue. These kinds of hidden chores appear when updating old flooring. The good news is that there are a couple of options that work for getting rid of linoleum glue. Your options include:

  • Using a flat scraper
  • Chemicals that dissolve glue
  • Treatments that soften glue
  • Using a combination of the above options

If the floor is large, then consider a process that requires less labor. If the floor space is small, such as in a hallway and poorly ventilated, then consider using a method that does not produce fumes. If you are working on a historical building project and the goal is to expose and restore the flooring under the linoleum, consider a method that protects the wood or subflooring.


Using a Flat Scraper

A solid 4-inch flat steel scraper is an ideal tool to have around when updating old flooring. Not only does it help to remove linoleum glue, but it also works well when removing floor tiles, too. The good news is that these tools are usually under $12, making them affordable, and if you care for them, they will last a lifetime. The drawback is that they are manually operated, meaning you will need to supply the elbow grease to get the job done. You can improve that process by applying a chemical that softens or melts the glue.

This process may mar the wood surface below the glue, so use it on concrete or wood floors that you cover. 


Chemicals That Dissolve Glue

There are a ton of adhesive removers that work on floors. They work like paint stripper. You apply them to the glue, give them time to work, and then use a scraper to remove the softened glue. The process is easy but should always be performed in a ventilated area and used with personal protective equipment, such as gloves and eye protection.

This type of application works well on most tile flooring, but you want to consider the result or the scope of your project. If you are working on a historical building and you want the subfloor to be in the best shape possible, then a chemical adhesive remover will likely be a perfect fit for your job. Just be warned that not all chemical adhesive removers are the same. Use a professional-grade product that the manufacturer recommends for the subfloor type.


Treatments That Soften Glue

Sometimes, the most-effective treatment is simply to apply heat or steam. People use boiling water or even dry ice to remove linoleum glue. The boiling water softens the glue so that it is easier to remove with a scraper. The dry ice causes the bond to snap so that the glue can chip off the subfloor. Dry ice is not an efficient tool, but it can work. While these procedures can work, and in some cases, they might be the only option available, they tend to be slow, labor-intensive and can create a mess.

Try a combination approach to get rid of old linoleum glue. Using steam and a metal scraper or a chemical adhesive remover and a metal scraper is often the fastest way to remove old linoleum glue. The takeaway here is that there are options available that will fit your flooring needs and time constraints.


David S. loves to tell stories. He came from a fishing family so storytelling is likely genetic. His writing style translates easily to both blog and article formats. He is a patient writer who takes the time to understand your project. David writes a great deal about home living. His favorite place in the world is his home. He has a vast knowledge of antiques, art, and deep love of cooking. He likes to entertain and is the master of small parties and intimate dinners. They say home is where the heart is and they happen to be correct.