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jlfet 03-30-2012 10:15 PM

how do i remove VERy difficult, multiple layers of vinyl?
I am trying to remove the vinyl flooring in our kitchen. Once started we quickly learned there are multiple layers and possible cement patching. Some areas are almost 1/4" thick. THe bottom layer is almost tar-like. My husband and i used hammer and chisel and cleared about 4 square feet in 2 hours. I then tried an oscillating drill with proper attachment, but i've actually managed to deform the blade. Are there any better methods that won't break our backs, my new tool, or the bank? We also tried the hair dryer and iron without much luck.

rusty baker 03-30-2012 10:38 PM

The tar-like layer on the bottom is probably cutback. It most likely contains asbestos.

JetSwet 03-31-2012 06:04 AM

Don't use any saw type equipment as if that's the case that it is asbestos grinding or sawing will make a dust that makes it breathable you don't want that, maybe get it tested 1st.

RhodesHardwood 03-31-2012 06:04 PM

I agree.. Have it tested for asbestos. If it is found tonot contain it, it may be easiest to cut it down all the way to the subfloor and just replace it too.

joecaption 03-31-2012 09:43 PM

That's what I was going to suggest, easer to remove the underlayment or even the sub flooring then try and deal with all those layers and you would then end up with a far smoother, flater, and not all gooed up with cut back.

rkg 04-03-2012 10:05 AM

What year was the house built? If its earlier than sometime in the early 80s (which I'm guessing it is if somebody's put down that many layers of floor), chances are that one or more layers of the mastic/felt backs contain asbestos. (Asbestos flooring/mastic was banned earlier, but people were allowed to use/sell existing stocks of material, and so sometimes it shows up years after the 'ban' date).

There's all kinds of legal issues surrounding this which depend on your state, how you decide to proceed, etc.

In any case, you should probably immediately stop working on it until you've read up on dealing with asbestos laden materials and decided what you are going to to.

Good Luck,

(Richard George)

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