Removing linoleum from concrete can be a daunting task. When linoleum was installed, adhesives were used to secure it. Once this adhesive cures, it is quite hard to remove. However, with some elbow grease and time, this task is manageable. Removing linoleum from concrete surfaces are the easiest of all surfaces. The reason is, concrete is a durable and rigid surface that can take the scraping needed without damaging it.
First, the linoleum itself must be removed. Score the linoleum into small sections with a utility knife. These sections should be about six inches wide. Removing smaller sections is a lot easier than trying to remove one large piece of linoleum. The next step is to start peeling the linoleum away from the concrete.
To peel away the linoleum, use a scraper, razor blade, or putty knife, to scrape the linoleum off. Begin by scraping small sections of the linoleum. Usually, the linoleum will not come off all at once due to the adhesive underneath. Several layers may need removed. A heat gun can help in this process. Heat guns can be rented from most rental houses or purchased at a home improvement store. When applying heat, direct the heat under the linoleum. This way the linoleum and adhesive will come off together. A hair dryer can also be used for this task.
Once the linoleum is removed, there might be remnants of adhesive left on the concrete. Again, using a heat source will come in handy for this step. Solvents are also another choice for removing adhesives. If solvents are used, make sure you read and follow all safety directions. Also, make sure there is adequate ventilation when using these solvents; as they tend to give off a bad odor. Another way to remove adhesive, is using boiling water. Boiling water will soften the adhesive and make it easier to scrape off. Pour the boiling water on the floor, and wait a few minutes before trying to scrape the adhesive. Don’t try to scrape the adhesive as soon as the water is applied. The water needs time to soak in the adhesive; also, the hot water needs time to cool down to prevent burns.
Removing linoleum from concrete floors does take time and a great amount of scraping. Following these easy steps will have that old linoleum off in no time. Just remember, all that hard work is well worth it once the new flooring is down.