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Help! Removing Old Floor!

944 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  oh'mike

My husband and I finally bought our first home (yay!) but it hasnt really been updated since being built in the 70's.

We are tackling our first real project, which is updating the spare bathroom as it is probably the ugliest part of the house.

My job this week, while the husband is out of town, is basically to remove all of the things.

Google has been my best friend, but with the floors I need help. There is old laminate (or vinyl? I dont know what the difference is) and it goes a few inches up the wall with a golden metal strip holding it in place.

How do I properly remove this? What is it even called? I tried just prying it (using an old chisel). I got it a little disconnected, but it seems to maybe be nailed on, and I am worried about damaging the walls. Is there a better way? Or do I just need to manhandle this ugly thing?



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Looks like a poor sheet vinyl installation. Why they ran it up the wall is anybody's guess. Probably so they wouldn't have to install base trim.

I would use a pry bar or a stiff putty knife to get in behind where it's attached to the wall and pry that off as best you can. Then you can see how the rest of the floor is attached. It may be glued down, or, if you're really lucky, it could be laid loose on the floor without adhesive. Odds are, it's glued down. About all you can do is pull it up to disengage the glue. Use your putty knife or if you have a floor scraper to get underneath it and scrape it off. It is usually quite stubborn and you may need a heat gun to soften the adhesive. The heat gun gets quite hot, so be very, very careful with it.

Sometimes it's glued down so well that you can't budge it off. In those cases, it's just better to put down some underlayment over top of it and install new vinyl.
heat it up with a heat gun, they probably used some adhesive to glue that mess together, and see if that helps make it easier to pry off the metal and vinyl...heat is your friend for alot of things ...
A 5 in 1 painters tool--a large heavy one--will help you with the demolition---

first cut the curved section at the floor---then, using the painters tool and a small hammer, pry off the metal edge---then use the tool like a chisel and peal it down the wall.

As old as that is, it is likely glued----if you are lucky, the floor will be covered with 1/4" plywood underlayment--then topped with the vinyl---remove the plywood with the vinyl still attached.
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That sheet-vinyl floor brings back memories. It's a cheapo rotogravure style made by Mannington or possibly Congoleum. They took the extra effort to cove it up the walls, which even in the '70's was almost a lost art.

Remove it as Mike suggests. Start by cutting at the cove and remove the wood "cove". Hopefully the vinyl is glued to ¼" ply and you should remove it as Mike said with the vinyl still attached. Do not sand/scrape the off white backing, cuz I guarantee it contains asbestos.

Show us the subfloor when you get there. What's the plan for the new flooring?

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Thanks everyone! I will work on cutting the edges and seeing whats underneath.

If there is concern about asbestos, should we have the floor tested? Or if we wear masks and pull out the whole floor should we be ok? I have hear you need really long exposure for it to get dangerous.

This is our first house, and we are hoping to do as much work by ourselves as possible! My schedule is more flexible so I need to learn a lot of new things to get everything done :)

For new flooring we are torn between real tile, and luxury vinyl tile. I am a dog trainer, so lots of dogs in the house, so we need something durable. We live in the mountains, and I have heard the luxury vinyl wont get as cold. The bathroom is also attached to the laundry room/mudroom area so we will be dropping lots of ski boots and wet clothes there... I have concerns of real tile breaking. But real tile is just so pretty and nice to touch! If anyone has opinions on the two I'd love to hear them :)
Look at your states EPA site for instruction on removing flooring that contains asbestos.

In a nut shell----the airborne dust is what you need to be concerned about---spray the work area with water to keep the dust on the floor ---use a heppa filter in your shop vacuum--

I am a tile guy---properly installed,breakage is very rare------it is considered a permanent covering.

I have installed that luxury vinyl a couple of times----that is a nice product----I do not know how well it takes abuse--dog claws/wet boot/water bowls spilling ---
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